It is possibly one of the most stressful events you could photograph – the wedding. The summer marks the start of the wedding season, and with the credit crunch affecting people round the world, people are finding it harder to afford seasoned wedding photographers.
So you could be a confident amateur photographer or you could have been asked by a friend or family member who has seen your photographs and trusts your judgement. Either way, here are some tips for people new to wedding photography who have been asked to take on the challenge of recording someone’s big day.
Before you start, think about the equipment you will need. No doubt, the seasoned photographer will have endless pieces of equipment that may seem intimidating to a new or amateur photographer. Here are some items of kit that you will need.
Equipment you need:
2 x Camera Bodies – you don’t need to have two expensive bodies, one cheaper body that is an entry level SLR will do.
Lenses – include a standard lens, a telephoto and a wide angle if possible.
Reflectors – large white ones are great, although gold is a nice on to have as it adds warmth.
Flash – a separate flashgun is a must as you may need the power to illuminate the indoors and also as a fill in flash. You may also need flash for creative techniques.
Tripods – necessary for formal shots – don’t risk getting camera shake!
Small Camera Bag – you will have your large case for all your equipment but you will also need a smaller one or a tool belt type item to carry all your items on your body. All your essential items should be easy to reach for.
Batteries – rechargeable or fresh, you need plenty and they must all be fresh or charged up. Also take the chargers just in case.
Memory – take lots of memory. Lots of small cards are better than one big card that can get lost or be broken. Never shoot an entire wedding on one memory card. If one is lost at least you will have others to fall back on.
All the kit you use for wedding photography must be tested before you use it and in an ideal world, you should have a back up (this includes lenses, your camera body). Here is a list of things you should check before you go:
1. Have you charged your batteries?
2. Have you got all your memory cards?
3. Have you cleaned your lens and camera body if necessary?
4. Do you have the directions to the wedding?
5. Do you have a list or idea of what you will be shooting?
6. Have you checked everything to make sure it works?
7. Have you packed some bits and pieces (blu tack, sticky tape, duct tape, clips) that could be useful?
At the end of the day you may not be a bona fide professional but this doesn’t mean you can’t do a great job on the day. In the next tutorial we will cover some shots you must capture.