12. Don’t Shoot .jpg, Shoot in RAW
Many Photogs are not familiar with or comfortable enough processing RAW images, or feel that they don’t have time for shooting RAW (due to extra processing) I’ve found that once I started shooting in RAW, I actually cut my processing time in half. A wedding is one time that it can be especially useful as it gives so much more flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them. Weddings can present photographers with tricky lighting situations which result in the need to manipulate exposures and white balance after the fact – RAW will help considerably.
13. Add Value to your Package by Displaying Your Shots at the Reception
One of the great things about digital photography is the immediacy of it as a medium. One of the fun things I’ve seen more and more photographers doing is taking a computer and projection to the reception, uploading shots taken earlier in the day and letting them rotate as a slideshow during the evening. Though the photos are not edited, this adds a fun element to the night,
14. Consider Your Backgrounds
One of the challenges of weddings is that there are often people moving everywhere – including the backgrounds of your shots. Particularly with the formal shots scope out the area ahead of time, where they’ll be taken, looking for good backgrounds. Ideally you’ll be wanting uncluttered areas and shaded spots out of direct sunlight where there’s unlikely to be family and guests wandering into the back of the shot.
15. Don’t Discard Your ‘Mistakes’
The temptation with digital is to check images as you go and to delete those that don’t immediately look acceptable. The problem with this is that you might just be getting rid of some of the more interesting and useable images. Some of my best images have been derived from what I thought was originally a terrible shot. Keep in mind that images can be cropped or manipulated later to give you some more arty/abstract looking shots that can add real interest to the end album.
16. Keep a Fresh Perspective
Keep things fresh by mixing things up a little. Take shots from down-low, up-high, wide angle etc… Get creative with your shots. While the majority of the images in the end album will probably be fairly ‘normal’ or formal poses –
17. Wedding Group Shots
Something that I do at every wedding, is attempt to photograph everyone who is in attendance, in the one shot. The way I’ve done this is to arrange for a place that I can get up high above everyone straight after the ceremony. This might mean getting tall ladder, using a balcony or even climbing on a roof. The beauty of getting up high is that you get everyone’s face visible in the shot, and can fit a lot of people in the the frame. The key is to be able to get everyone to the place you want them to stand quickly and to be ready to get the shot without having everyone stand around for too long. I found the best way to get everyone to the spot is to get the bride and groom there 1st, then have a couple of helpers herd everyone in that direction.
18. Fill Flash
When shooting outside after a ceremony or during the posed shots you’ll probably want to keep your flash attached to give a little fill-in flash. I dial it back a little (1-2 stops) so that shots are not blown out – but particularly in back lit or midday shooting conditions where there can be a lot of shadows, fill-in flash is a must.
19. Continuous Shooting Mode
Don’t be afraid to switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and use it. Sometimes it’s the shot you take a second after the formal or posed shot when everyone is relaxing, that really captures the moment best!
20. Expect the Unexpected
One more piece of advice that someone gave me on my own wedding day. ‘Things will Go Wrong – But They Can be the Best Parts of the Day’. In every wedding that I’ve participated in something tends to go wrong with the day. The best man can’t find the ring, the rain pours down just as the ceremony ends, the groom forgets to zip his fly, the flower girl decides to sit down in the middle of the aisle or the bride can’t remember her vows….
These moments can feel a little panicky at the time – but they can actually ‘Make’ a day and give the bride and groom funny memories. Attempt to capture them and you could end up with some fun images that sum up the day really well.
21. Have Fun
Weddings are a celebration; they should be fun. The more fun you have as the photographer the more relaxed, those you are photographing will be. Perhaps the best way to loosen people up is to smile as the photographer (warning: I always come home from photographing weddings with sore jaws and cheeks because of of my smiling strategy).