Ready to photograph your first wedding? The key to being successful with your first wedding is to have a plan. Here are some tips to prepare to rock your first wedding.
1. Use a contract.
Regardless if you are doing business with a friend or a stranger, it is a good idea to have a contract in place. There are several that you can download or purchase on the internet or check out these tips at writing your own contract. A contract will keep both parties on the same page with expectations and can protect your business as well.
2. Dress appropriately.
Wearing comfortable shoes is essential when planning your attire for photographing a wedding. Make sure that your shoes do not create extra noise when walking back and forth down the aisle. When shoes flop or create small noises, it can be distracting during a ceremony. Even though you are carrying a load of gear around, it is also important to dress like a guest at the event. You will be in the background of guests photos and videographers footage. Wearing black attire helps you to look professional as well as blend into the background.
3. Pack water and snacks.
When you are on the go all day, it is important to stay hydrated. Sports water with electrolytes can help with achy muscles and keep you hydrated during the event. Packing snacks like granola bars or protein bars help to fuel you while you power through the day.
4. Take back up gear and extra batteries.
It is essential that before you commit to photographing a wedding, you have back up gear. Whether you borrow it from a friend or rent it for the event, make sure you are familiar with it. A wedding moment cannot be recreated so its imperative that you are prepared with extra batteries, memory cards, camera bodies and lenses to ensure the client that you are ready for your first wedding.
5. Know how to use your equipment including flash.
Even the best planned wedding events can have its obstacles. Perhaps you are ready to shoot the entire event in natural light, but Mother Nature derailed your plans. Another obstacle is maybe the wedding party is running late and the sun is setting faster than you had hoped. Be prepared with flashes and know how to use them.
6. Ask for a shot list and a timeline.
To ensure that you capture the images that are most important to the couple, ask for a shot list and discuss it with them beforehand. You will want to document any heirloom items as well as guest that traveled to be at the event. It is also a good idea to ask for a timeline so that you know how much time you have to work with at each interval of events.
It’s okay to feel nervous prior to your first couple of wedding gigs, but at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to make the best experience possible for the bride and groom. Even though, I have photographed over 300+ weddings, I had to start somewhere too. When you master these wedding photo tips for beginners, you’ll be set for success.