I would not call myself a professional wedding phototgrapher. I am just going to state this now before getting into my experience as a professional photographer that dabbles in any field to increase my shooting skills. This is what I have learned from shooting at the Zimmerman wedding.
On January 20, 2018 I was the photographer for my oldest son’s father’s wedding. I also had my other photographer with me Heather. Another photographer is needed in my personal experience. Why? Getting ready photos. The grooms where in a different location to the bride. Sometimes the couple are near each other and other photographers can do this. However, I feel this can be very stressful. I’m not saying go fetch another photographer though having two photographers is very helpful if you guys can work together. It gives the couple more pictures of their wedding day, which is what they want. I walked away with over 16,500 photos or 17,000? I cannot remember the actual amount though it was high number. What made it through editing was 366 photos. I had more from getting ready though the bride did not want these posted online. I also shot all of my photos in JPG not RAW. I edited all the photos in Photoshop.
First, know what time your wedding shoot will be and location. I knew I would be shooting outside around late afternoon into the night. My following equipment for that day was this
- Camera FZ1000
- 256 GB microSD memory card
- SD Adapter for microSD
- 3 extra camera batteries
- 2 chargers for the camera batteries (I made sure I was allowed to plug in if needed)
- A ton of AA batteries for the speedight
- Flash Diffuser for the speedlight
You will need a decent size of lens. I didn’t need lens since my camera is a hybrid, so this was not needed at all. Would I recommend a 256 GB microSD card? Yes. Do you really need it? No, you can have two 64 GB, which is what I had for my other photographer in case she ran out of space on her end. I would advise if you have never used a speelight to try it out before a wedding gig that is going to happen at night or inside. I played with my speedlight for half a year and had one gig at night. I was afraid of blinding people that at my one night gigged I asked everyone if they felt my flash was too much. They didn’t, and this was all thanks to the lovely flash diffuser. Here are some of the photos from the wedding night.
2. Photo Ideas To Creative Shoots
Second, know everything the bride and groom want for pictures. Some couples may know what they want while others tell you to surprise them. I’ve known about this wedding for a whole year ahead. I had thousands of ideas from Pinterest. Let me tell you this you will overwhelm yourself from Pinterest. There are thousands picture ideas. Create your own and go with the flow. If you can remember some photos ideas than do it. However, looking at your phone isn’t ideal. Thankfully I left my phone in my purse and was left to my own device. My brain was in a thousand places since I was helping the bride too. However, the photos I took turned out pretty amazing. This is where I will say have a mental checklist though for pictures you really, really want. I will say though I did capture the photos I really, really wanted. Here are some with Pinterest ideas and my own ideas.
The typical girl looking at a dress, bridesmaids taking picture of the bride, groom/bride before the ceremony and pinky promise with rings.
My own ideas
- Daughter looking at her mother’s dress, however, front view of her face while the mirror reflects the dress and her looking at the dress.
- Rings matching the wedding theme.
- Rings with bride’s mothers ashes and picture in the back.
- Capturing the groom’s thoughts/emotions/feelings before turning around to see his bride, while the bride is blurred out.
- The same as four though with her coming a bit closer.
- The bride’s emotions as soon as the groom turns around. I told the couple and my other photographer about these shoots I really, really wanted. I wanted to capture the groom emotions/feels before turning around, having my other photographer capture groom reaction when turning around and capturing the bride’s reaction. How I made this happen was I told the groom I would be quick for the photo I wanted and I’ll signal my other photographer thumbs up be ready. Once the groom sees this he was to count to 5 seconds while I dodge down quickly to capture the brides reaction.
- Took advantage of the swing and went for the typical mister and misses kisses.
- Another kiss at a different angel.
3. Editing Ability
Third, know you’re editing ability. I only say this because during the wedding I had my flash on and off. There was one point where I had my flash off for some time of the wedding during the dark, however, the little lights hanging up helped along with ISO. I used some of these photos to my advantage for vintage. Not to mention once I upload a photo to my laptop I already know how I’m editing the photo. I see what the photo needs and do. Here are two different examples
Mr & Mrs 1st Dance Plus Circle Dance
These photos are shoot when the sun is going down and without flash. I am not 100% sure what the photos would look like with flash, however, I was confident to know whatever happened I could pull thru it on editing. I knew I wanted a photo of them dancing to be a bit dark though not too dark though with color. I made this happen through using Photoshop. The circle dance had enough lighting that I felt like a flash was not required at all.
Mr & Mrs Private Dance
Since this was the last night of the dance for the couple I did not want to use my flash at all. It was a private moment between the couple. I wanted to be that unknown person to them. I felt like my flash would have been distracting. In the end they still came out good and the couple loved them. Would I recommend anyone doing this? No not unless you know you’re editing ability and have dealt with night shots before without using flash.
4. Always Learning
Lastly, you will always will be learning from each shoot/gig. I have read so many articles about photography and how even 30+ years photographers are still learning to this day from gig, shooting and editing. What did I learn from this wedding? Not every photo is going to happen. The girls ran a bit late, so we didn’t get to take photos of the girls and then we sort of forget both parties together. And that’s okay. I also learned my ability to move quickly with ISO, settings on speedlight, and switching from flash on to off. And I will say this a wedding does require two photographers. This is defiantly not a one-person job and to those people who manage to do that? You’re awesome.