Everything You Need to Know About Night Time Photography
 

Everything You Need to Know About Night Photography

 
How To Become A Wedding Photographer
 

How To Become A Wedding Photographer

 
Ideas on How to Make Money From Photography
 

Ideas on How to Make Money From Photography

 

How To Become A Wedding Photographer

Wedding photography is one of the most demanding genres of photography. Wedding photographers need to be adept in several different types of photography to do it well. You have to have a working knowledge of how to take portraits and how to take shots of fast moving action. Also required is an understanding of how to use natural light to your advantage and when to use artificial light, such as strobes or continuous lighting.

Wedding Photographer

Equipment

Your camera gear is arguably the least important aspect of photography. What makes a great photograph is the photographer, not the camera. That being said, this guide would be incomplete without at least a mention of basic gear requirements. Here is a list of gear that you should have at the minimum:

  • Two camera bodies: Why two? Because at weddings you don’t have time to be constantly switching lenses in and out. You want to change lenses as little as possible so that you don’t miss out on important moments.
  • At least two lenses: lens selection is highly subjective, but a good starting point is to have a 35mm lens and an 85mm lens. These are prime lenses, meaning they don’t zoom. Primes have advantages over zooms in that they have wider apertures, so they can take pictures in lower light. Additionally, while not always the case, in general they produce sharper images than zoom lenses.
  • At least one hotshoe flash: these are flashes that mount atop your camera and can be positioned to bounce light off ceilings or walls. In many wedding scenarios, you’ll find yourself in very low lighting conditions so having a flash to illuminate the scene is crucial.

How to Start

If you’ve never shot a wedding before, it’s best to assist for or be a second shooter for a professional wedding photographer first before shooting your own weddings. You probably won’t realize just how much goes into shooting a wedding successfully until you do it the first time. Being a second shooter allows you to photograph with less stress and learn from an established pro.

On The Wedding Day

The wedding day starts with preparations for the bride and groom. The bride and the groom usually go to separate locations to get ready for the ceremony. The main photographer should photograph the bride getting ready and the second photographer goes with the groom.

For a photojournalistic style, don’t pose your subject during this time and just let them do their thing while you snap away. Make the bride the main subject most of the time but place other family members as subjects throughout the frame as well. Try to focus your framing on interactions between at least two people as this makes for compelling imagery and tells the story of the day.

The Ceremony

The ceremony should be shot similarly to the getting ready – don’t focus on single subjects; instead focus on getting multiple subjects in your frame interacting with each other. Be ready for special moments that happen between the bride and groom or between family members. Ceremonies are often held in dimly lit churches, so you may have to shoot at your widest aperture possible and highest reasonable ISO for your camera.

Formals

After the ceremony and before the reception gets started is usually when formal family portraits are taken. Stop your aperture down a bit (f/4 is fine) so that you can get everyone in focus. To get better lighting, take your hotshoe flash and point it straight up to the ceiling. This basically turns the sealing into a giant softbox and softens the light for a more flattering look.

Reception

For receptions, the lighting will most likely be much lower than even the dimly lit church where the ceremony was held. This is where having a flash is very important. Stick with the couple for the entire night, from the speeches to the dancing. To get the best light, bounce it off the ceiling or on the walls; in most cases direct flash looks bad. An even better trick is to get your hotshoe flash off your camera and have an assistant hold it for you on a light stick behind you and from a 45 degree angle. This requires some advanced techniques like using wireless flash triggers, but the result is beautiful and completely worth the extra effort. After all, a wedding photographer takes pictures that are going to be with the couple the rest of their lives so you as a photographer owe it to them to prepare yourself as best you can.

Related Article: Ideas on How to Make Money From Photography

Leave a Comment