Questions are the peanut butter to my jelly, for real. We mesh well together like that…. I like to answer them and I L-O-V-E to ask them. Is it the interchanging of knowledge that I enjoy? Or is it the fact that maybe I can help someone? Yes to all of the above, but mainly it’s because I desperately hope that one day someone will ask me about the Pythagorean Theorem. Because that’s the only theorem I ever learned in math class. HEEYY!
So now I introduce the F.A.Q. segment that I will be posting a few times a month. This means I need questions, people! So ask away and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
A few days ago a good friend of mine told me that she would be shooting a wedding next month and would appreciate any tips or advice. At that point I did the running man & threw my hands up in the air like it was my birthday. For real. After bombarding fellow photographers with my daily questions, here was something that I could answer based on my very own experience. Holla! Having shot a handful of weddings during the past few months -no really, as in I can literally count the number of weddings I’ve shot on one hand- I know the feeling, nerves & nausea of shooting your very first wedding. I was there four months ago and it’s still pretty fresh… queeziness and all.
So lets jump into the first question:
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR SHOOTING YOUR FIRST WEDDING?
1. PREP YO GEAR! - This is obvious, but the night before the first wedding I shot I figured “everything is in my bag & I just charged my battery”. Turns out I hadn’t connected my battery properly and it never charged. I had also removed the memory card from my camera to upload photos & left it on my bed (yes, right before going to sleep) so it got lost between my sheets, leaving me with only one memory card. OF COURSE ALL OF THOSE THINGS WOULD HAPPEN ON THE MORNING OF THE WEDDING! Needless to say, I was already a sweaty mess before even arriving at the wedding location. Prep the night before- gear, outfit, water bottles, wedding itinerary, directions, cell phone #s…. everything!
2. M.O.H. IS YOUR BESTIE- It’s all about the bride & since you will be with her almost every second of the day, you are pretty much the unofficial Maid of Honor #2 (guys included). With that, your duty is to make her day as smooth as possible & be proactive to get ‘er done The best idea I have seen is to recruit the Maid of Honor to help you with gathering the bridal party for photos, making sure the immediate family stays in the same vicinity for family portraits, etc. You as the photographer will be busy enough capturing the images… if the MOH gathers everyone for you & helps rotate people it will make portraits THAT much quicker. Setting a game plan with her ahead of time would be ideal
3. BE A LOUD MEXI-CAN (I’m part mexican so I can totally say this ) – Everyone takes photos at weddings. On their phones, on their digital cameras, on anything. That’s great… but there will come a time when you will need to speak up from the crowd around you trying to take photos and direct whoever you are photographing to “PLEASE LOOK ONLY AT MY CAMERA FOR THESE NEXT FEW PHOTOS”. Why? Because the couple is trusting you with their big day so it is your job to get the shots they want while still being respectful & polite to their guests.
4. THE SCHED. WILL CHANGE, FOR REAL! – Once you are provided with an itinerary or general schedule for the wedding day, review it and learn it…. but know that it will probably change. Since when are we girls ready on time? Something always comes up & you may need to change things up due to time. Roll with it! Don’t panic & just find your best lighting. If you keep your cool everyone will feed off of your energy. This might not happen at all! But if it does, it’s nice to know it’s not the end of the world and there is always a plan B to get all the photos you want.
5. MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE - Another first wedding mishap of mine was totally forgetting to shoot the rings. LAME!! But I was nervous and completely forgot. Make a list of the important traditional photos the couple will want (rings, bride accessories, bride looking at groom during ceremony, groom looking at bride during ceremony, first kiss, first dance, etc.) You don’t necessarily need an actual written paper, but if you make a mental note of what you want before the wedding starts it will be fresh in your mind and you will avoid a mishap a la Crystal
6. KEEP IT REAL - Be you, have fun, shoot your heart out and enjoy it! This will bring out the best in the couple and make them feel comfortable…. hence those dreamy photos