In part one, we looked at the things you need to do to get ready to photograph a friend’s wedding. But the day has arrived and the hard work begins!
On the Day:
Wear nice, but comfortable clothes. Remember you will be doing a lot of standing, kneeling and running around, so dress so you can do that. A jacket with deep pockets can be great to hold an extra lens or lens cap. But please, dress up! You are at a wedding remember.
Get to the venue early. Have a chat to the officiary about what they expect from a photographer – many will ask for no flash, little movement during the ceremony, and no auto focus beeping.
If your own family is going to attend, make sure you have lined up help from your partner, friends or family to be in charge of your children. Explain to them that you are working for at least part of the time and if they need anything, they need to go to someone else.
When you are photographing any key moments, make sure that you, as the official documentarian of the day, get your shots first. Other guests at the wedding will have cameras and they will want to capture the same key moments, but this can lead to the subjects looking at them instead of you. The best way I have found to do this is to be very clear and say, “I am going to take a couple of photos first, then I’ll move out of the way so you can get in.” This means that the best smiles, most natural poses and critical moments are captured by the official photographer.
Try to get a mix of shots – small details as well as larger scenes. I like to think about telling a story – capturing the venue, the flowers and the food all help the bride and groom remember the day.
Almost every time I have photographed a wedding for a friend, I have been told “We don’t really want any posed family photos” and then, every time on the day, they decide that actually, a group shot would be nice.
Wedding photographers will have a set range of group set ups they use. By all means, check out sites like Pinterest to find inspiration for those kinds of shots. However, I prefer a more natural “tall people in the back, shorties in the front” kind of set up. Make sure if there are older people needed in shots to get those done first so they can go and sit down!
After the Wedding:
I normally aim to get photos back to the couple within about 2-3 weeks of the day. My photos are all edited in Lightroom and then uploaded to a Dropbox for filesharing. I also give the couple a simple PDF with a shareable link embedded so they can send it off to friends and family.
Most of all, enjoy it! Photographing weddings is a wonderful opportunity to capture special moments of love of people that you love.
About the author: Kat Goldin is a textile designer and photographer living in rural Scotland. She blogs atwww.slugsontherefrigerator.com