Wedding Photography – 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

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Wedding Photography – 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers by Darren Rowse 630 Photo by rougerouge “Help me – I’m photographing my first Wedding!Help me with some Wedding Photography Tips Please!” It’s a question that’s been asked a few times in our forums over the last few months so while I’m not a Pro Wedding Photographer I thought it was time to share a few tips on the topic of Wedding Photography. I’ll leave the technical tips of photographing a wedding to the pros – but as someone who has been asked to photograph numerous friends and family weddings – here are a few suggestions. Wedding Photography Tips 1. Create a ‘Shot List’ One of the most helpful tips I’ve been given about Wedding Photography is to get the couple to think ahead about the shots that they’d like you to capture on the day and compile a list so that you can check them off. This is particularly helpful in the family shots. There’s nothing worse than getting the photos back and realizing you didn’t photograph the happy couple with grandma! 2. Wedding Photography Family Photo Coordinator I find the family photo part of the day can be quite stressful. People are going everywhere, you’re unaware of the different family dynamics at play and people are in a ‘festive spirit’ (and have often been drinking a few spirits) to the point where it can be quite chaotic. Get the couple to nominate a family member (or one for each side of the family) who can be the ‘director’ of the shoot. They can round everyone up, help get them in the shot and keep things moving so that the couple can get back to the party. Photo by wiseacre photo 3. Scout the Location Visit the locations of the different places that you’ll be shooting before the big day. While I’m sure most Pros don’t do this – I find it really helpful to know where we’re going, have an idea of a few positions for shots and to know how the light might come into play. On one or two weddings I even visited locations with the couples and took a few test shots (these made nice ‘engagement photos’). 4. In Wedding Photography Preparation is Key So much can go wrong on the day – so you need to be well prepared. Have a backup plan (in case of bad weather), have batteries charged, memory cards blank, think about routes and time to get to places and get an itinerary of the full day so you know what’s happening next. If you can, attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where you’ll gather a lot of great information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony etc 5. Set expectations with the Couple Show them your work/style. Find out what they are wanting to achieve, how many shots they want, what key things they want to be recorded, how the shots will be used (print etc). If you’re charging them for the event, make sure you have the agreement of price in place up front. 6. Turn off the sound on your Camera Beeps during speeches, the kiss and vows don’t add to the event. Switch off sound before hand and keep it off. Photo by Ella’s Dad 7. Shoot the small details Photograph rings, backs of dresses, shoes, flowers, table settings, menus etc – these help give the end album an extra dimension. Flick through a wedding magazine in a news stand for a little inspiration. 8. Use Two Cameras Beg, borrow, hire or steal an extra camera for the day – set it up with a different lens. I try to shoot with one wide angle lens (great for candid shots and in tight spaces (particularly before the ceremony in the preparation stage of the day) and one longer lens (it can be handy to have something as large as 200mm if you can get your hands on one – I use a 70-200mm). 9. Consider a Second Wedding Photographer Having a second backup photographer can be a great strategy. It means less moving around during ceremony and speeches, allows for one to capture the formal shots and the other to get candid shots. It also takes a little pressure off you being ‘the one’ to have to
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Transcript of Wedding Photography – 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photography 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographersby Darren Rowse

630

Help me Im photographing my first Wedding! Help me with some Wedding Photography Tips Please! Its a question thats been asked a few times in our forums over the last few months so while Im not a Pro Wedding Photographer I thought it was time to share a few tips on the topic of Wedding Photography. Ill leave the technical tips of photographing a wedding to the pros but as someone who has been asked to photograph numerous friends and family weddings here are a few suggestions.

Photo by rougerouge

Wedding Photography Tips1. Create a Shot ListOne of the most helpful tips Ive been given about Wedding Photography is to get the couple to think ahead about the shots that theyd like you to capture on the day and compile a list so that you can check them off. This is particularly helpful in the family shots. Theres nothing worse than getting the photos back and realizing you didnt photograph the happy couple with grandma!

2. Wedding Photography Family Photo CoordinatorI find the family photo part of the day can be quite stressful. People are going everywhere, youre unaware of the different family dynamics at play and people are in a festive spirit (and have often been drinking a few spirits) to the point where it can be quite chaotic. Get the couple to nominate a family member (or one for each side of the family) who can be the director of the shoot. They can round everyone up, help get them in the shot and keep things moving so that the couple can get back to the party.

3. Scout the Location

Photo by wiseacre photo

Visit the locations of the different places that youll be shooting before the big day. While Im sure most Pros dont do this I find it really helpful to know where were going, have an idea of a few positions for shots and to know how the light might come into play. On one or two weddings I even visited locations with the couples and took a few test shots (these made nice engagement photos).

4. In Wedding Photography Preparation is KeySo much can go wrong on the day so you need to be well prepared. Have a backup plan (in case of bad weather), have batteries charged, memory cards blank, think about routes and time to get to places and get an itinerary of the full day so you know whats happening next. If you can, attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where youll gather a lot of great information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony etc

5. Set expectations with the CoupleShow them your work/style. Find out what they are wanting to achieve, how many shots they want, what key things they want to be recorded, how the shots will be used (print etc). If youre charging them for the event, make sure you have the agreement of price in place up front.

6. Turn off the sound on your CameraBeeps during speeches, the kiss and vows dont add to the event. Switch off sound before hand and keep it off.

Photo by Ellas Dad

7. Shoot the small detailsPhotograph rings, backs of dresses, shoes, flowers, table settings, menus etc these help give the end album an extra dimension. Flick through a wedding magazine in a news stand for a little inspiration.

8. Use Two CamerasBeg, borrow, hire or steal an extra camera for the day set it up with a different lens. I try to shoot with one wide angle lens (great for candid shots and in tight spaces (particularly before the ceremony in the preparation stage of the day) and one longer lens (it can be handy to have something as large as 200mm if you can get your hands on one I use a 70-200mm).

9. Consider a Second Wedding PhotographerHaving a second backup photographer can be a great strategy. It means less moving around during ceremony and speeches, allows for one to capture the formal shots and the other to get candid shots. It also takes a little pressure off you being the one to have to

get every shot!

10. Be Bold but Not Obtrusive

Photo by Brad Ross Photography LLC

Timidity wont get you the shot sometimes you need to be bold to capture a moment. However timing is everything and thinking ahead to get in the right position for key moments are important so as not to disrupt the event. In a ceremony I try to move around at least 4-5 times but try to time this to coincide with songs, sermons or longer readings. During the formal shots be bold, know what you want and ask for it from the couple and their party. Youre driving the show at this point of the day and need to keep things moving.

11. Learn how to Use Diffused LightThe ability to bounce a flash or to diffuse it is key. Youll find that in many churches that light is very low. If youre allowed to use a flash (and some churches dont allow it) think about whether bouncing the flash will work (remember if you bounce off a colored surface it will add a colored cast to the picture) or whether you might want to buy a flash diffuser to soften the light. If you cant use a flash youll need to either use a fast lens at wide apertures and/or bump up the ISO. A lens with image stabilization might also help. Learn more about Using Flash Diffusers and Reflectors.]12. Shoot in RAW I know that many readers feel that they dont have the time for shooting in RAW (due to extra processing) but a wedding is one time that it can be particularly useful as it gives so much more flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them. Weddings can present photographers with tricky lighting which result in the need to manipulate exposure and white balance after the fact RAW will help with this considerably.

13. Display Your Shots at the Reception

Photo by Jen Clix

One of the great things about digital photography is the immediacy of it as a medium. One of the fun things Ive seen more and more photographers doing recently is taking a computer to the reception, uploading shots taken earlier in the day and letting them rotate as a slideshow during the evening. This adds a fun element to the night.

14. Consider Your BackgroundsOne of the challenges of weddings is that there are often people going everywhere including the backgrounds of your shots. Particularly with the formal shots scope out the area where theyll be taken ahead of time looking for good backgrounds. Ideally youll be wanting uncluttered areas and shaded spots out of direct sunlight where theres unlikely to be a wandering great aunt wander into the back of the shot. Read more on getting backgrounds right.

15. Dont Discard Your MistakesThe temptation with digital is to check images as you go and to delete those that dont work immediately. The problem with this is that you might just be getting rid of some of the more interesting and useable images. 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. Change Your Perspective

Photo by shutupyourface

Get a little creative with your shots. While the majority of the images in the end album will probably be fairly normal or formal poses make sure you mix things up a little by taking shots from down low, up high, at wide angles etc.

17. Wedding Group ShotsOne thing that Ive done at every wedding that Ive photographed is attempt to photograph everyone who is in attendance in the one shot. The way Ive 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 everyones face in it and can fit a lot of people in the one shot. 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 and to have a couple of helpers to herd everyone in that direction. Read more on how to take Group Photos.

18. Fill FlashWhen shooting outside after a ceremony or during the posed shots youll probably want to keep your flash attached to give a little fill in flash. I tend to dial it back a little (a stop or two) so that shots are not blown out but particularly in backlit or midday shooting conditions where there can be a lot of shadow, fill in flash is a must. Read more about using Fill Flash.

19. Continuous Shooting ModeHaving the ability to shoot a lot of images fast is very handy on a wedding day so switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and use it. Sometimes its the shot you take a second after the formal or posed shot when everyone is relaxing that really captures the moment!

20. Expect the Unexpected

Photo by missmellydean

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 Ive participated in something tends to go wrong with the day. The best man cant find the ring, the rain pours down just as the ceremony ends, the groom forgets to do up his fly, the flower girl decides to sit down in the middle of the aisle or the bride cant remember her vows. These moments can feel a little panicky at the time but its these moments that can actually make a day and give the bride and groom memories. Attempt to capture them and you could end up with some fun images that sum up the day really well. I still remember the first wedding I photographed where the bride and grooms car crashed into a Tram on the way to the park where we were going to take photos. The bride was in tears, the groom stressed out but after wed all calmed down people began to see some of the funny side of the moment and we even took a couple of shots before driving on to the park. They were among everyones favorites.

21. Have FunWeddings are about celebrating 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).If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...How to Shoot a Traditional Cultural Wedding Wedding Photography Tutorials for Wedding Photographers Weddings 5 Ways you can be a Working Guest Note to Self 3 things I wish Id done differently in my last wedding A Fly on the Wall 10 Tips for Wedding Beginners

630 Responses to Wedding Photography 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers - Add Yours1.

2. laura j. says:3. July 10th, 2007 at 12:44 am

I can vouch for making a list of shots my cousin (a natural party planner if there ever was one), created our wedding cakes, decorated our reception hall, and gave me moral support during the debates I had with my mother over what I wanted and what Emily Post wanted. Sadly, the only photo I have of my cousin is a candid snapshot that my great aunt took when my husband and I were standing at the grooms table and my cousin was tending to a little detail with the cake. Because she was looking down, its not a full shot like I would have liked. MAKE THOSE LISTS!!! 4.

5. ken thompson says:6. July 10th, 2007 at 12:55 am

The title says it all! Tips for Amature Wedding Photographers In a word, keep away from Weddings unless you are a fully competent Professional Wedding Photographer. You normally only get one chance to do the photographs, and if you dont mind the pressure of actuially taking charge of the shoot and the wrath of the Bride if things go wrong or you produce a pile of rubbish, (as you really cant go far wrong with digital) you will get some pictures. Whether the pictures are any good remains to be seen. (composition, artistic, wow factor, etc) I do not support amatures misleading brides to be, stating they can do wedding photographs. Oh the number of brides I have spoken to whos photographer friend, has bottled out at the last minute does not bear thinking about. Give them a Digital Camarea and hey presto everybody is a Professional Photographer. 7.

8. Stephen Newton says:9. July 10th, 2007 at 1:05 am

Thanks.. Great advice, but I had that wedding this weekend just gone. Although I wasnt asked to do the photos I have been asked by the groom if he can see them and have copies. Luckily I had no input into the formal shots and was effectively the second photographer getting the candid and behind the scenes shots. The other bit of advice I would give for people specifically doing family or friends weddings. Remember there are two sides to the weddings. I find it difficult sometimes to remember to take pics of the other side because I dont know them and although they are not important to me or the side of the family I know they are to the other side and as Laura mentioned its always a shame when there isnt a pic of someone who was there. 10.

11. embrownny says: 12. July 10th, 2007 at 2:26 amThis is great! Ive done a few weddings as the second photographer with no pressures. Since Im an art director in my day job, I know the importance of a shot list. These tips are great. Keep up the good work. 13.

14. AC says:15. July 10th, 2007 at 6:13 am

Some really good tips. Ive never done this type of event photography but hey, you never know ^_^. Of the example pics, I really like the one by Ellas Dad. Perfect. 16.

17. mdwsta4 says:18. July 10th, 2007 at 6:32 am

here is another page with excellent tips! http://www.christophermaxwell.com/wedding-photography-tips.htm 19.

20. Darren says: 21. July 10th, 2007 at 8:15 amKen I agree with you to a point. The reason I put #5 in (getting expectations right with the couple) was because I think its so important. The problem is that many professional wedding photographers are just too expensive for some couples. One of the first weddings I ever did was for a couple who had just suffered the groom being made redundant and they just couldnt afford the prices of a Pro. While I attempted to dissuade them from me doing it (I was petrified) it was either me or nothing. So I decided to do it after showing them the standard of images that I take. They went into it knowing that there was a possibility that Id completely mess it up. Thats why I asked another couple of friends to make sure they took plenty of shots also so thered at least be some level of back up. Every wedding since this first one Ive done the same thing: 1. try to convince the couple to go with a Pro 2. when they insist I show them what Ive done before, including some of the less spectacular shots 3. attempt to have a backup photographer Problem is that in most cases the couples couldnt afford to go with a Pro and had seen the previous shots from other couples and thought they were good. These days I rarely take this type of gig. 22.

23. Andrew Ferguson says:24. July 10th, 2007 at 9:02 am

I was tapped to be a backup photographer once. Not secondary, backup. Apparently the pro they had was disliked by the couple but was a gift from a parent. He had a reputation for being unreliable, so they planned for the possibility that hed bail/have car trouble/etc I spent a good while trying to talk them out of using me to no avail. I was incredibly thankful when I wasnt needed after all. I didnt even make it to the wedding and I was *stressed*. 25.

26. james says:27. July 10th, 2007 at 10:07 am

In a word, keep away from Weddings unless you are a fully competent Professional Wedding Photographer. (Ken) Sowe should stay away from weddings until we magically become competent at shooting weddings? I say go out and let the risk drive you to improve your skills. No guts, no glory! 28.

29. Martin says:30. July 10th, 2007 at 10:11 am

Look every photographer has to start somewhere. I did my first wedding as a photographer, I have been videography for 11 years before that though, for my sister as a gift. Plus I used it to start my portfolio. Another tip would be just learn how to take good pictures of people in other venues. If you can do that then you can shoot a wedding. In other words, practice, practice, practice. Another thing I would add would be dont show all of the pictures you take. In other words dont show them the ones that were out of focus, bad lighting, etc. Unfortunately you cant really tell which ones are the bad ones during the wedding because the LCD viewer on a camera is not good enough to show such info, and secondly you really dont have time to review shots during a wedding. Wait until you get home and look at it in Photoshop. I would recommend shooting several weddings for free with friends to learn and practice. Or maybe even be a free secondary camera and then use those pics as part of your portfolio. 31.

32. Shayan Sanyal says:33. July 10th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I shot my first wedding about a month ago it was my sisters wedding, and I was pretty stressed out about it. I got a colleague of mine to be the 2nd photographer, and we agreed to split work according to the lenses we had in our arsenal. The following is some lessons learned: If you have the possibility, agree up front with the bride and groom the style of shooting preferred: portraiture or photo-journalistic (or a combination). If combination, make sure you have a 2nd photographer and that you distribute lense ownership (long telephoto for candids, fast medium telephoto for portraits, for example). Whatever you do, dont skimp on the number of shots (have enough memory cards, and shoot at least 3-4 shots for group pictures, in order to avoid the closed eye effects). This is one reason why Id rather not shoot RAW, I wanna get as much burst as possible when shooting on high drive. I personally prefer shooting a photojournalistic wedding. This means you need to get close to the action and get close to your subjects. Be sure to walk slowly, where dark clothing, and carry a minimum amount of equipment to be more mobile. Use a long zoom on at least one of your cameras (e.g. a 70-200mm F2.8) to take tight shots. Also be sure to capture the little details One thing I learned was to shoot with post production in mind: sometimes, an awesome effect is to shoot details in a scene, and other events around that scene, to compose a vignetted collage. A lot of the album design software available out there lends itself well to this approach (check this album out as an example: http://preview.picaboo.com/ Webview/CoverPage.aspx?user=000000000000B5E85B&album=000000000000B61EE6) 34.

35. wedding accessories says:36. July 10th, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Im no expert but I do love photography. I bought a canon 20d a few years ago and cant seem to put it down. Anway, Im always looking for tips on how to best capture the moment. thanks for the ideas 37.

38. Paul @ http://www.photographyvoter.com says:39. July 10th, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Have to agree on the advice to avoid weddings until you become a very competent photographer. The best way of getting some experience is asking some pro if you can act as a second photographer no pressure and gives you a chance to try out your skills and learn.. 40.

41. Simo says:42. July 10th, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Tip #1: Ask yourself if you are really willing to take the risk that the couple will hate you rest of their lives. People tend to have huge expectations for wedding photos and often shooting conditions in the weddings are not easy. So unless you have several years of experience in photography, pro-grade equipment and you feel really confident, leave it to the professionals. And as a rule of thumb I would also say: If you need to ask help for it in the Internet, dont do it! If I would be asked to do it, I would rather give them voucher to professional wedding photographer as a wedding present than do it myself. 43.

44. olpeculier says:45. July 10th, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Ive done a couple of weddings, just as backup to the professional: mainly for the group shots, getting him to pose everybody up then pointing my lens over his shoulder. And expose for the dress, nothing is worse than a bleached out Bride. 46.

47. chet says:48. July 11th, 2007 at 2:02 am

And expose for the dress, nothing is worse than a bleached out Bride. Great tip! Thank you! 49.

50. chi says:51. July 11th, 2007 at 2:24 am

wish me luck.. my sister has asked me to shoot her wedding this weekend. These tips are timed perfect. 52.

53. shroticg says:54. July 11th, 2007 at 6:25 am

when first couples meet you in yr studio to photograph their engagement/wedding, have a portfolio of yr previous best photos to show them because first impression is last impression. then hand over a brochure of visits/charges etc to finalise the deed. in brochure, if some of the best shots are included, it is well further for yr reputation. take couple away after the wedding in some good background and take beautuful shots-formal & informal- of them. if possible, keep and assistant to give fill light and other immediate helps while you are planning good poses and releasing shutter. dont forget to take the tripod. in low light it will be of immense help. rest as u understand best. 55.

56. Ulrik Kold says:57. July 11th, 2007 at 7:19 am

I tried to translate the article to Danish (and abbreviate it a bit) we are having at least three amateur photographers at our upcoming wedding here in Denmark. I thought they might like to have the list available in Danish Link: http://ulrikkold.dk/hoeyerkold/2007/07/10/en-hurtig-guide-til-bryllupsfotografer/ 58.

59. idlm says:60. July 11th, 2007 at 10:50 am

I shot my first wedding 2 years ago and everything came out great, but some of these tips would have come in handy then. Thanks for the pointers. 61.

62. david says:63. July 11th, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Leave it to the pros! People see a friends wedding album (done by a professional photographer) and they think that ANYONE with a camera can aim in the right direction and get the same results. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is multiplied in an outdoor wedding where proper metering changes from shot to shot. You cant just point and shoot and expect your camera to know where you wanted PERFECT focus and PERFECT exposure. Todays sophisticated cameras WILL give you perfect focus and exposure but it might not be focusing and metering where you wanted it too. You dont want a several hundred dollar white dress to look grey or the bride to look like she has a black eye because of shadows. You especially dont want to deal with Bridezilla or worse Bridzillas mother. 64.

65. ab says:66. July 11th, 2007 at 3:02 pm

Excellent tips here! Kind of surprised the number of negative comments to those trying to give this a shot! Not every couple has couple grand for a pro and may just be happy with their priceless photos taken by uncle Jorge 67.

Its their choice who takes them just the same as who they are going to wed, so relax, and have some cake.

68. portrait from photo says:69. July 11th, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I think Ive done everything in your list of tips except ONE use of two cameras. Instead of using two cameras I only bring one but various lenses especially when Im working outside my studio. Is this still a good thing to do? 70.

71. Simo says:72. July 11th, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Ulrik, I hope you have also at least one professional photographer there. You want your wedding photo to be perfect, dont you? 73.

74. jen says:75. July 12th, 2007 at 12:42 am

These are awesome tips. I have been asked to shoot weddings, but have declined all due to the panic factor as well as the amateur factor! I think it is a great idea to step in as a back-up to gain some portfolio shots, but I think you have to be careful as to not step on the pros toes. These are all very helpful tips and offer wonderful insight, as do so many of the DPS posts, so thanks everyone who posted. I am learning SOOO much, its very exciting. Maybe someday I will be comfortable enough to shoot a wedding, but as for now, Im not ready to deal w/ the wrath of bridezillas mom either! 76.

77. Lee Dunkelberg says:78. July 12th, 2007 at 10:08 am

I swore off weddings decades ago. Did video a cousins wedding, but only to show mom who was in hospital. Now, I am being nagged to shoot one. I think the best advice above here was the suggestion decide if you mind that couple may hate you the rest of their life. Also, I know shooting. Not sure my old Olympus 35s are up to it and I know my Canon Powershot isnt. Also, I hate the proofing and printing and all the stuff that comes afterward. Think of that. I am going to suggest if they cant afford a pro to buy a bunch of disposable cameras and pass them out. Yes, I am whining and whimpering. 79.

80. comment removed at request of commenter says:81. July 12th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

82.

83. john says:84. July 13th, 2007 at 3:54 am

These are all excellent tips! My wife and I did wedding photography for 2 or 3 years, but let it go about 5 years ago. Of course, we were shooting film then medium format, at that. One of the reasons we quit was because we over-shot so badly. About a year ago, we sold most of the film equipment, keeping only the 35mm lenses in anticipation of eventually getting a DSLR. Then in December, I bought one. I havent shot with it a lot since getting it, but two weeks a go, I brought it along with me for fun. The B&G didnt even know I was going to do it. I was an usher, so I took it with me to the rehersal. Got some fun pics there. The groom, groomsmen and I showed up to the church early while the pro was with the bride at her house. I started off there, taking some fun individual shots of the groom with each groomsman. Eventually, the Bride and the real photographer showed up. I purposely shot behind or to the side, kept quiet and made sure I was unobtrusive, but it took about 10 minutes before he got irritated and said something. I left him to do his thing whil I went off to find the groom agin. Got some nice shots of mom pinning the boutineer on the groom, then put the camera away until after the ceremony. Before the reception, they did the group and family shots. I have to say, I was really unimpressed with what the pro did. I think he missed some opportunities to get some fun shots. I ended up doing a little bit of my own thing, only to find him following my lead during the reception; like getting a shot of the rings in the bouquet. Eventually, he was nice to me. And while Im not saying I could have done a better job than he did, it was eye-opening to really see someone elses style. I really could have used some of the tips above to make my pictures a little better: I should have shot RAW (my flash didnt recycle as fast as I would liked it to have during the reception), I REALLY noticed the beeping sounds of HIS camera during the ceremony, and if I had given it a little more thought before just showing up with my camera, I might have gotten a few better or more shots. 85.

86. Frank Alves says:87. July 13th, 2007 at 6:13 am

Great web site and great hints on wedding photos! I knew many of them but it always good to have it again. Ive a question about how photographers and vido makers can coexist in the same wedding w/o tumbling on each other? BEst Regards 88.

89. shame shame says:90. July 13th, 2007 at 11:49 am

I just visited her for the first time and wont be back. To many insecure pros. I have been doing weddings for about 7 years and always encourage others to take the plunge. If you are a pro charging a couple of thousand dollars are you are threatened by loosing a shoot to an unknown $500 shooter you need to improve. It is very rare that I see someone elses work in the less than $1,000 range that compares to my work. I say more power to them as the $1,000 brides need pictures too. plus I have also found those price minded brides to be the most difficult. I love to share tips and teach others and was hopeful this site was a place to share and encourage not brow beat and discourage. Some comments are good in so much as shooting with a pro is great and the only fast way to get to the 2-4K weddings, but that still doesnt mean others shouldnt try. When I started my time was free, I wanted to make sure they knew what they were getting. That first free wedding is still my best for referrals today. She loved my work and it made her day. Im not free anymore and I can tell my new brides that you get what you pay for so if you want a pro Im your guy. If you want to take a chance go ahead but know they wont be the same. Every time I loose a wedding(which is almost never) to a newbie I always offer my touch up work to the bride for a fee. You would be surprised of how often I make more than the shooter did and end up with more referrals from her. Lets encourage others not beat them up. When the $500 shooters become $2,000 shooters Ill be a $5,000 shooter because Im always learning from others and plan to stay ahead of the curve. Competition is a good thing, I want to be pushed. That whats makes all of us better. Jim 91.

92. vicky m says:93. July 13th, 2007 at 12:48 pm

This shold be *REQUIRED* for professionals, too. My brothers in-laws hired the photographer (who had TWO additional back-up photographers)for his recent wedding. Too bad they did NOT read this list! Most of the pictures were badly posed of people who drank too much, shot into the sun (flare), very few close-ups, then they stole MY shots, and WORST OF ALL~~~NONE OF OUR SIDE OF THE FAMILY!!! Thank goodness I brought MY camera, AND made lists! I got pictures of relatives that came from around the world, amazing candids, the bridesmaids at the altar, and did NOT exclude the brides side of the family!!! Now everyone is begging me for my pictures, and not buying many prints from the professionals who were hired for the job. This really gives me the courage to follow my heart, and go pro. Ive studied and practiced for years, won contests, been published, and named official photographer for many people. Just goes to show that even pros need to learn a thing or two ;-> Best wishes to all, ~VM~ 94.

95. Richard Pentin says:96. July 13th, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Great tips. From my own experience, the first wedding is by far the most stressful but it does get steadily easier thereafter. Heres some bonus tips Ive picked up along the way. 1. Take a reflector and stand youll find your group photos will work much better and whilst its a bit obtrusive its not as bad as setting up studio lighting. 2. Avoid flash as much as possible (unless using for fill outside). On camera flash strips is generallky unflattering. 3. When using flash buy an omnibounce diffuser to fit on top. Theyre so cheap and the difference to your flash photographs will be noticeably better 4. I cant emphasise the importance of investing in a fast lens. Light will be your biggest problem at a wedding and a lens which can deal with poor light will cut down the stress significantly! It will also cut down the times you need to use a flash. 5. During group photos say something to make them smile. say cheese is a definate no no but think of something original which achieves the same effect with the mouth. Sausageeeees is quite a good one or if youre feeling really brave Al Quaiiiiiiida!! 97.

98. John S. says:99. July 13th, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Ken believe me, I WANT to stay away from the wedding I have to photograph tomorrow. Ive never photographed a wedding before, and I have no desire to start. But the brides mother asked me to take pictures. I warned her that my photography typically focuses on architecture and is generally hmmmm. darker or scarier. But they insisted that as long as I dont chop off any heads, theyll be happy. So, Im very grateful for the timing of this tutorial. I will definitely keep it in the front of my mind tomorrow! 100.

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simon says: 102. July 13th, 2007 at 10:09 pmOne of the best wedding presents we received was an album of unofficial shots taken by a friend of the family. Although we had an official Professional photographer do the expected family groups etc, enthusiastic amateur was free to wander around getting candid shots of guests who never make it into the standard group photos. 10 years later it is these photos that we have framed around the house and whose album we show to friends and remember the day by. The Professional was only able to sell us the minimum number of reprints because they so poorly captured the spirit of the day when compared to the amateur efforts. I agree that an amateur should steer clear of being the Main Photographer, but by relieving yourself of that pressure, you gain the freedom to offer an alternative view of the event which, as in my case, may be a more cherished and lasting record of the day. 103.

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eric says: 105. July 13th, 2007 at 11:26 pmPerfect timing. I will be covering my brothers wedding next week. I had such a bad experience when i covered my elder brothers wedding. I ruined about 7 rolls of film. Thank God for digital cams nowadays. I just hope i learned my lessons. 106.

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joe backward says: 108. July 13th, 2007 at 11:36 pmGreat article! Thanks! I work as a minister, and so I wont be taking pix at any weddings any time soon. (I have other things to do The couples I meet are usually in a total panic planning the wedding, because everything HAS to be perfect. I love your advice about embracing the things that go wrong. I wish everyone understood that those imperfections are part of what make the wedding into the beginning of life together. Youve explained that very well, and in language people can understand. I hope to share that part of this article with some couples in the future. Thanks again. 109.

110. l says: 111. July 14th, 2007 at 1:32 amThese are great ideas! As a Professional Photographer its always nice to be reminded of basics.

..HOWEVER.. I do want to just say to the bride or amateur photographer(Ive been there too!) that a wedding is a full day for most photographers and lots and lots of prep and scouting before-hand. Most phographers encourage and will step aside when aunts or grandma Mabel wants to take a pic or two of a set up (family or otherwise) but having a other photographer or amateur with the whole set-up (pro camera, flash, bar, ect.) can be very rude to the photographer youve paid for.(it can be like your boss bringing in someone off the street to do your job behind you) And cameras may set off our lights, or get in the way of important shots ! (i.e. walking down the isle or kiss) So, I encourage you to PLEASE talk with your photographer about any plans to have a friend take side pictures BEFORE the big day! Most Photographers want the BEST pictures for you! Let them be aware of your concerns before you hire them. I know that a good photographer can understand and will be able to work with what you want and what is possible in the time allowed. thanks! 112.

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annette h. says: 114. July 14th, 2007 at 1:52 pmI really wish that I had read this article before last weekend. I love to take pictures, and my sister-in-law suggested that I take her daughters wedding pictures. They were really looking for ways to cut costs. I was pretty nervous but I took some shots at the rehersal and got a feel of what shots I wanted to take. It was an outside ceremony in the late afternoon, so lighting wasnt really a problem. I moved around quite a bit to get the shots of the bridal party, the dad and bride, the exchange of rings and the kiss. I was also looking for ways to not be in the way. After the ceremony, at the reception, my sister-in-law got everyone together for outside shots. We are in the city and we took photos in the backyard of a nearby business. We got permission, of course. It is a beautiful fence with some flowers and a couple of stone benches gathered around a centerpiece of flowers. Unfortunately, I realized too late after taking some pictures of the bridal party that there were telephone poles sticking out of peoples heads! After I realized that, I made sure to position people away from that area. Also, I asked my sister-in-law if she wanted date imprinting on these photos. Mind you, the wedding date was 07-07-07. She said yes. Well, the one really good one of my niece and her new husband has the date imprinted on her shoulder! I totally forgot to take the imprinting off for the more formal photos. I was the only photographer at the wedding, but I feel that I did a good job on some of the pictures and I learned from the experience. Also, since I am the brides aunt, the grooms father suggested that someone take my picture for the album. And I really dont like having my picture taken. I guess thats why I am behind the camera. I am by far NOT a professional, but I would do it again for family, maybe friends.I just have a Kodak Easy Share digital camera with quite a few features. I dont have any lenses or extra flash, but with some of the inside pictures it took a while for the camera to adjust to the light. But they turned out pretty well. I will definetly copy some of the better photos for a personal album. If someone asks you to photograph their wedding, just let them know up front that you are not a pro, but you will do your best and definetley get a list of who they want photographed. Just go with it and have fun. My family always tells me that I should take classes and become a pro. It is something that I have always wanted to do. We will see. 115.

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william rodriguez says:

117. July 15th, 2007 at 1:30 am

I do not want to sound pesimistic but it is alarming the number of amateurs who believe that they can do a great job at weddings. Weddings is a serious business and a very special occasion for the couple. Just remember that they are expecting the best from this particular day and that includes you as a photographer. To learn wedding photography takes time and practice. My advise has always been to learn from someone who is already a professional. A great camera and an assortment of professional lenses will NEVER make a good wedding photographer. Do not spoil the expectations of the couple. If you do not have the expertise my advise is to let a professional do the job. 118.

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robert mcneil says: 120. July 15th, 2007 at 1:43 amover the years have been asked to do friends weddings and always explained that i wasnt a pro but would do the the best job for them and if there was a pro there would introduce my self to him and not get in his way and if you do your homework you should not have to many problems 121.

122. nick says: 123. July 15th, 2007 at 10:57 amNice to hear what others have to say and good advice too! I know how hard it was to be an amateurlots of stress! Ive been pro now for 5 years and I just wanted to say that I agree with comments from other Pros; It can make your job harder when amateurs and other photographers block the way of shots. but what it really comes down to is class. Its very unpro and not very classy to show up at a wedding with a pro camera when your not the photographer, unless you have talked to the couple and the pro. I have had lots and lots of this type of thing happen to me and only once has the amatuer came up and introduced himself and asked about shooting. I was happy to talk with him and show him some of my shots and tricks. Next wedding you go to to practice shooting, I would suggest talking witht the bride and photographer first, I know I would appreciate it! happy shooting to you! 124.

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kaylyn says: 126. July 15th, 2007 at 2:21 pmKen, like James says, no guts, no glory. My love for photography has grown, and I am now starting out on my business. I think it is unappropriate to tell people full out to stay away from it; I think it really depends on the person, their drive, passion, and creativity. Talent. I have now done 4 weddings, and with each one, you learn. You build a reputation. I went from having 2 weddings in 4 months to 4 this coming year! Word of mouth is what can really work in this industry, and I think that if anyone has the drive for it, and is willing to step out and try, you will always be surprised by what you can do! So if you are just starting out, go for it, because it may be something you really love and a great success, but you wont know until you try! 127.

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LinkTree says: 129. July 16th, 2007 at 7:24 pmThanx! This is a great check list some of the things here I usually do, others Ill start doing from now 130.

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debatosh sengupta says:

132. July 18th, 2007 at 3:44 pm

i should first appreciate on the concern of the authority to circulate such beautiful article on wedding photography. i also appreciate on the responce of the real concerned people to make their voice. i do admit with ken thompson on the need to be professional before taking up such project. yes it is necessary because such event is one time event and does not come regularly. however entire write up is possibly based on a type of wedding. but in a country like india and its continent there are differt cast and creed with a number of faith. it also differ from one federal to other. automatically the type of the coverage or documentation has to have different in nature. one needs to nurture in understanding the miniute to miniute programme of the happenings. above all the rituals that comes in between is very very important for the newly wedded couple in the sout asian countries. 133.

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hyze says: 135. July 21st, 2007 at 11:50 amThis is great article and awesomekeep up a good work consolidate and gathering all the wedding photographers.check it out at http://www.weddingphotograherscentre.com 136.

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Charlie Murnick/Minden,Louisiana says:

138. July 29th, 2007 at 6:17 am

This is info that is useful.I have a friend in Austin who has been doing weding photography for years,and its a turn-on for him.I can see why(course,my piddling little experience-photod ONE wedding, a long time ago)Love to see new bridesso does he,and thats precisely why he does it. 139.

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Jonnie says: 141. August 11th, 2007 at 4:28 amDarren, thanks for the tips. They are great. Would you mind if I posted them on my site? I will give you fill credit and a link if you have a site up. Thanks again. 142.

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kirsten Bery says: 144. August 13th, 2007 at 4:48 pmHi, My website is http://www.planmywedding.org/ (providing information on Plan My Wedding) If you think your visitors may help from it, here is its link information (link from content page or homepage will be much appreciated): Title : Plan My Wedding URL : http://www.planmywedding.org/ Description : Helps you with different wedding plans, locations, wedding budget, and other related information. Let me know what do you think about this. In return, I will add your link to my website within a day : Warm Regards Cheers kirsten Bery http://www.planmywedding.org/ E-mail: [email protected] 145.

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Disposable Wedding Cameras says:

147. August 14th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Just a recommendation: offer disposable cameras on each table and allow your guests to get random, unedited shots. 148.

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qrystal says: 150. August 14th, 2007 at 10:38 pmAs a bride-to-be and a lover of photography, I enjoyed this article, and the helpful comments afterwards too in fact, even the bickering between pro and am was amusing! I think what it comes down to, for weddings and many other things, is that some people have it and some people dont. Some pro photographers might be lousy at weddings, and some amateurs might just happen to have the knack for capturing the really great moments or luck! But I would hope that brides wouldnt put too much faith in luck though, and try to fit a pro photographer into the budget. I was quite concerned about finding the right person for the photos for my wedding. But I had no idea how expensive a pro would be, and got really discouraged really fast. Eventually a friend of a friend was recommended, someone who is working towards becoming pro. I liked what I saw in her shots of people, and she demonstrated her photoshop skills too, and Im feeling good about the choice and relieved about the price. I am glad I know to submit a shot list, though, because so much less can go wrong when theres some kind of guideline!! Anyways, the main reason Im writing right now is because I just used this article to show my fiance that I am not totally nuts, and that making the shot list is something helpful, not obsessive!!! I just wanted to express my appreciation, so thank you. 151.

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ll says: 153. August 24th, 2007 at 3:23 amI dont know why you so called pro wedding photographers are even reading this. The article is called tips for amatuers, so why are you wasting your time surfing the web for tips for amatuers if you all are such professionals. Sounds like some people must be threatened by those of us wanting to try out wedding photography. Get over it, everyone has to start at some point. 154.

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WEDDING CAMERAS says:

156. October 8th, 2007 at 12:29 pm

also a great website for wedding supplies http://www.thegiftmallonline.com 157.

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Dubai Wedding says: 159. October 17th, 2007 at 7:29 pmhave a look in my own wedding blog.. by the way I like your blog..!! keep up 160.

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chike nwobu says: 162. October 23rd, 2007 at 5:56 amGreat tips. I took my first wedding Photography about 3weks ago. I was stressed out but still needed to hide the stress from my family. My wife being the person she is saw it. This article gave me excellent tips which helped me a lot. The wedding pictures were awesome. And I have added two more weddings to my profile. 163.

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disposable wedding cameras says:

165. October 29th, 2007 at 11:59 am

JUST A GOOD ADVISE: A DISPOSABLE WEDDING CAMERA FOR YOUR WEDDING WOULD NOT BE A BAD IDEA. 166.

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Money Pictures says: 168. November 17th, 2007 at 11:44 pmI especially like the part about setting expectations. Sometimes a little prevention can go a long way to making sure everyone gets what they want. 169.

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Free Wedding Stuff says:

171. November 22nd, 2007 at 1:58 pm

This is an awesome list of wedding photo tips. I loosely call myself and ametuer photographer (took some shots for friends at their weddings) and I will be printing this list out and trying to follow some of your tips at the next wedding I attend. Great post! 172.

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Atlantis Photo Design says:

174. December 21st, 2007 at 10:01 am

#4 is key. If you dont prepare, it could be a complete failure. Also, always have a backup plan! Thanks for the list. 175.

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Samantha says: 177. January 9th, 2008 at 4:39 pmI really liked reading through your tips! I myself am an avid digital photographer and although I want to be the one in charge of the camera on my wedding day, I know I cant be. To save money, I am going to try to round up some close friends that I trust with a camera to get the shots I want. It was good to read your tips so I can keep these in mind when I talk to my friends before the big day! I just thought youd like a little feedback on that end of the spectrum! 178.

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irving says: 180. January 12th, 2008 at 4:56 amI think some of the professionals are not getting any business. Could it be because they charge an arm and a leg. Just because they call themselves Pro does not mean they are any good! If you feel you can shoot a wedding, then go for it. People like Ken, who try to scare people from doing weddings, probably did a really bad job and so are turned off by weddings. Everyone has to start somewhere. Suggest doing it for free just to start your portfolio.(why not, free party). Suggest getting a pro and to just use your photos as an additional, more photos the better! I say go for it! 181.

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sandy says: 183. January 13th, 2008 at 10:46 amThe tips listed are great. I am an amatuer photographer and have done several weddings. I do not search out jobs but am asked to do weddings by word of mouth. This can be very stressful but my photos have always turned out great.I always let the bride/groom know that I am not a professional and try to stear them in the direction of a professional. I think a great photographer has the eye,meaning he has a gut feeling when he see a good shot and is excited to capture that moment. I find some of my best shots were not posed, but people just being human. 184.

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Rod Pascoe says: 186. January 19th, 2008 at 3:27 am

Great advice and tips. Keep up the good work! Rod 187.

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SF Photographer says:

189. January 26th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

I wish this resource would have been available when Ive started my wedding photography career. Joseph 190.

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sammyjojo2010 says: 192. February 8th, 2008 at 4:26 pmim 16 years old and i have been asked to be the main photographer for a wedding and im super nervice. can any one help its im 2 mounths im not bad at tacking pro pics i just have not done this be4 193.

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jimbo1954 says: 195. February 13th, 2008 at 5:25 amChicken or the egg.is the old saying I would refer to as I accept wedding shoots. I know I can do the shoot and I charge at the lower end which more people can afford than the top end. I undertake weddings knowing the day is one of the most important for the couple. I use 2 of everything and prepare well in advance. Pre digital I accept would have been nerve racking as much as the first time you experience combat(I kid you not). 196.

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David Snook says: 198. February 26th, 2008 at 3:44 amThe title says it all! Tips for Amature Wedding Photographers I would like to offer a rebuttal to this. If by amateur you are referring to someone who only shoots occasionally and just acquired a DSLR, I agree. Not every amateur is an uncle Bob however, that just acquired a new DSLR. Many amateurs have years of experience and take the craft as seriously as a pro. Hiring a pro does not guaranty good results. I have seen many albums done by Pros that are terrible. They may get consistent results, but they are consistently poor. The term amateur or pro are not as important as the skill and experience of the photographer. 199.

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William Bay says: 201. February 26th, 2008 at 3:54 pmNice back to fundamentals article. 202.

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j.stas says: 204. February 28th, 2008 at 5:21 amThe title says it all! Tips for Amature Wedding Photographers Darn, I suppose no professional ever starts out as a hobbiest or amateur photgrapher. They are born professional, making money at it before they can tie their first set of shoes. I have been shooting film for about twenty years, 35mm and medium formats and now I am shooting with a DSLR. Not much difference except that I make more money when I do a job. Not a lot of professionals do their own processing, too many actual shoots to worry about processing. I do know a lot of amateurs who do a lot of processing and they can work circles around professionals in both the dark room and at an actual shoot. The term amateur is very, very misleading. Anyone can call themself a professional if they get paid for a job, that is all that professional means, getting paid. It does not mean that they are a competent photographer. A serious amateur is one who take the craft seriously. So in a word, chill on the Pros do it better. There are a lot of fly by nighters who consider themselves pros since they earn a living at it. 205.

206. Jensen says: 207. March 4th, 2008 at 4:41 amThanks for this short but helpful assistance! 208.

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annie-5994 says: 210. March 5th, 2008 at 5:34 amSammyjojo2010, RELAX! Remember that photography (no matter what type) is an art. What you feel is what is captured. If your worried about what formal shots to get search the net for some ideas. Dont be afread to be creative and have fun. If your smiling it makes everyone relax. 211.

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Hochzeitsfotograf says:

213. March 13th, 2008 at 5:33 am

Perfect timing. I will be covering my brothers wedding next week. I had such a bad experience when i covered my elder brothers wedding. Great tip! Thank you! 214.

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Rob says: 216. March 13th, 2008 at 8:04 pmAnother tip might be get all your formal photos done by the end of dinner so that you do not interfere in the party afterwards. I cant tell you how many photographers have ruined the flow of a wedding by pulling 20 people out of the room (including bride/groom) in the middle of dancing. It just kills the party. 217.

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Joe says: 219. March 22nd, 2008 at 1:46 pmGood tip list for a starting wedding photographer. With regard to #7 I would just say to be careful not to spend toooo much time taking a picture of those centerpieces. Those shots are easier and more comfortable, so I think new wedding photographers gravitate towards staying with them too long when they could be catching grandpa gettin down on the dancefloor. 220.

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aleisha says: 222. March 26th, 2008 at 4:19 pmThanks for the great info and tips. I was a bit disheartend by the negativity from some. We all start somewhere, I am fully qualified and get paid well but still struggle to call myself a pro. My advice is do it for the love of it as long as you can, if you dont believe in yourself no one else will. 223.

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julie beatson says: 225. March 27th, 2008 at 4:57 pmI am sick and tired of pros thinking thay are the only ones who can take pictures at weddings. I got married 3 weeks ago and three friends who are like me ( always have a camera in hand) did my pictures and WOW they are wonderful they have captured the essence of our day, laughter and happiness. There was no group photos but they got the most wonderful images of the joy in peoples faces when they came up to congratulate us after. Three of us have a couple of wedding to do together in the next 6 months and these tips will be very helpful thankyou. I dont think I ever want to be called a pro because it will never be my job, I plan to live my dream, my personal goal is to take pictures for those people who cant afford to pay the huge prices these so called pros charge, lets be real about this I know how much it cost to print pictures, and these photographers are making a killing, and before the so callled pros start to whinge I know it drops off in winter but you still charge way tooooo much. Life is not about how much money we can make its about bringing happiness into other peoples lives. 226.

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San Sebastian says:

228. April 15th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

very good, nice jobs for this tips 229.

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winata calista says: 231. April 21st, 2008 at 7:05 pmthank you so much for this great tips, I quite learn a lot from here 232. ))

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Kristen Weaver says:

234. April 22nd, 2008 at 9:20 am

Great tips to help out those amateur photographers. =) 235.

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michelle says: 237. April 25th, 2008 at 8:07 amim shooting my first wedding next weekend and now i feel a little more prepared. thank you! 238.

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Alycia says: 240. April 29th, 2008 at 4:15 amThank you for the tips! Im shooting my first wedding in about a month and im super nervous. But I know that I can do this! While im no pro, I do consider myself to have a nack to capture the moment. These tips just helped assure me that I can do this! So Thank You!! 241.

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felicity gray says: 243. April 29th, 2008 at 2:52 pmI am not a pro but simply love being the photographer at weddings. My father was a professional photographer so its in my blood but he as long since passed away. Most of my weddings are referrals and I take my work incredibly seriously with reading as much as I can and keeping up to date with the changes. Every wedding I go to I ask myself what am I doing but I just love it so much that I am driven to this work with great satisfaction at the time of handing over the happy couples preview album. I have improved over the years and created my own style by just getting out there and doing what I love to do rather than sitting at a desk slowly learning the techniques required for great wedding images or being some bag girl for a pro. We can offer creativity at a reasonable price for those couples that cannot afford such high prices. I do not compare myself with a pro and would not think of it but my clients are what drive me to continue in this wonderful world of wedding photography. I have just opened my very own studio at home and have already begun creating beautiful images for families. I do not intend on putting down my beautiful Canon 5D because I lack the professional label. 244.

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sandrene says: 246. May 7th, 2008 at 3:27 amI shot my first wedding years ago when I knew little about photography (I was a film student who happened to be taking a photography class when my friend got engaged). I did it for free and never saw the photos, since it was the time before DSLRs and the family moved right after their honeymoon. Since then Ive become a freelance photographer, doing mostly concerts, but have been asked to do a few weddings and demand increases every year. I dont charge professional rates, partly because my skill level is not up to what I would consider professional (which, in looking through online galleries of professionals in my area, seems to be pretty high in expectations compared to the quality they produce), but mostly because its not how I make my living so I dont see the point in charging $50/hour for coverage and post production work. Like someone else said, just because a bride cant afford a 2K photographer doesnt mean she doesnt deserve one. I have a great eye for framing and prefer the photojournalist style to a wedding than having a bunch of the traditional perfect poses. When the people contact me look through my gallery they can see the style I shoot in, and I dont advertise my rates, so those that contact me do it because they like my work, not because Im affordable. Thats just an added bonus. I think no matter how many weddings I get under my belt I will still read and benefit from articles like this one. A lot of these I figured out through trial and error on previous weddings (the first wedding I did since going digital I didnt have a shot list or a family coordinator. I got so wrapped up in trying to round up all the family members and get the big group shots they wanted before they had to go down to the reception that I didnt get any photos of just the bride and groom together! Then they left the reception quickly, so there was never an opportunity to do them), but theyre good to have fresh in my mind before doing a wedding. Everything goes so quickly so the more prepared I am ahead of time the more smoothly things will go, even if there is a problem. And I think preparation plays a big role in the quality of the wedding photos. Many pros feel they can just waltz in and do the same thing they do at every wedding. A true artist will see each wedding as a new one. 247.

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melissa says: 249. May 7th, 2008 at 9:17 pmI have photos taken of my children every 6 months, at different portrait studios. Ive never ONCE asked the photographer if he/she knows wtf an apperture even IS, or to see their qualification! As long as the photos are nice, thats all that matters! Someone can study photography for years and NEVER get the great pics that an AMATURE with agreat eye for detail will produce! 250.

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pennywishes says:

252. May 9th, 2008 at 7:01 am

Sad, Sad Sad, and very SAD. Shame on all you pros. There are ameratures, and then there are AMERATURES that will do a wedding on automatic mode. Becareful of whom you are speaking of when you say ameratures. Im a amerature. However, I have the eye for framing a photo. Im aware of how I want the picture to look. Also, I have the guts to do whatever it is to become a pro. There is such a thing as natural talent. Also, there is such a thing as a pro making mistakes. It all balances out. AMERATURES If you have a passion go for it. Obviously you have great passion or you wouldnt be here. ADVICE FROM AN AMERATURE. I am not a pro. But, Im good at what I do. 1. So, in turn offer a price that is reasonable. I offer the dvd of their whole wedding for free. 2. Take test shots for lighting. Raise your hand say loud and clear this is a test shot, please ecnore the next few shots. It works! This takes a lot of guts but I do it. Of course, I only do this for the formal posed shots. Sometimes, I have to do between 1 and 3 test shots. NOW..the pros dont do this. But a good amerature knows what shot they want, and a few trial shots make for a GREAT photo. I knowbecause I do it. 3. Be there before the Bride, Groom, Event actually starts. Pros do this. Howeverthis is very important for us ameratures. Take your tests shots for lighting. Now, you are ready for the cake shot, the first dance shot, etc. 4. Feel confident. Dont let the pros discourage you. If you have talent do it. However, if you do not understand f stop, ISO, shutter speed. I would definitely consider studying more. That is the only thing I discourage is an automatic digital amerature. Best of Luck Ms. Penny! 253.

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alex says: 255. May 10th, 2008 at 8:10 amThank you for this page. I came across it at the right time. I am a professional photographer as of the last few months, but have not done a wedding yet. My first one is tomorrow, no lie. I am doing it with a coworker, but still a little nervous. This page really got me back in the zone.. I am now ready to just have fun with it.. I am now confident and will rock this wedding, thank you.. Alex.. 256.

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tt says: 258. May 11th, 2008 at 3:55 amHi, Thank you for all the great tips on wedding photography. Two yrs ago I got married and we hired a professional photography. I was very disappointed with most of the photos. There were about 2 shots of full-length pictures of my husband and meand I even made a list w/ some that said full-length photos of bride/groom! Luckily we bought an SLR, Nikon D50 prior to the wedding and I gave it to one of my brothers to take. Looking at all the photos later I realized that my brother took the best photos. When one of my brothers got married recently he asked me to be one of the photographers. He did not hired any photographers. I must admit that he has very nice photos. He said that he received many positive comments from his friends. So, in the end being an amateur w/ some creativity and a good eye may not be so bad! tt 259.

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tammy says: 261. May 13th, 2008 at 9:05 pmI have done one wedding since I started taking pictures, it was outside country wedding, everyone says I done alright but I wished I could have done better, know my best friend wants me to take he daughter wedding, I feel uncomfortable to do this that I wont get the right shot, I know both of my kids have gotten marriade and I had paid for

photographers and did not get the shots we wished we had. This will be in a church and I have not yet learned much about Raw yet, I do alot better shooting in automatic, do you all have any advise, Thanks 262.

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Furious Photographers says:

264. May 14th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Awesome tips for wedding photographers. I have been in the wedding photography business for about three years now and still learned something new from your guidelines. Awesome stuff! Hopefully, some of my wedding pictures will be used for your future posts ;D Furious Photographers Blog 265.

266.

Mike Dubnoff says: 267. May 22nd, 2008 at 2:38 pmI think this is a great list of tips for wedding photographers. I follow most of these myself and I have been a pro wedding photographer for over 20 years. Thanks for posting