Things Wedding Photographers Should Always Prepare For
Wedding photography is entirely different from studio photography. At a wedding, you can’t tell your bride and groom to redo their poses if you messed up your shot. You’re dealing with live moments, and you need to act fast.
A good wedding photographer knows how to adapt to any situation, and they know what to do when something goes wrong with their initial plan. This is a list of a few things that wedding photographers should always prepare for, but it isnt a list of common sense items like extra batteries or a second or third camera body as backups.
This is more of a list of things wedding photographers should prepare for that you might not have thought of yet.
4 Things Wedding Photographers Should Always Prepare For
- Outdoor photoshoot using natural lighting
As a wedding photographer, you should know when is the best time to do outdoor wedding photoshoots. Taking outdoor photos is more complicated than staying indoors as you will never know how much light or how good or bad the weather is on the day of the wedding.
I always hope for a little bit of cloud cover making the outdoors closer to being inside, but when it’s super sunny – as it so often is in Australia – I like to use the shade a lot.
Most non-photographers don’t know that taking photos at noon is not ideal since the sunlight is very bright and harsh. Unlike during the golden hour, the light is more flattering for the couples. If you can, talk to the bridal couple beforehand and request to take the photoshoot at a specified time of the day.
To help you out, here is a detailed comparison between midday and golden hour that you can share with your client:
Midday – the sun’s peak
- Shadow is not flattering to the body
- Creates shadows in the surroundings
- Overhead light creates a strong shadow on the face
- Hot temperature leads to sweaty and shiny skin
- Light is strong and harsh, making the couple squint
- Overall: awkward, over-exposed, and unflattering images
Golden Hour – one to two hours before sunset
- Soft light keeps the face free of harsh shadows
- Lower temperature relaxes the couple
- Less intense sky is flattering to the face and body
- Warmer tone light creates an intimate and romantic look
- Overall: relaxed, flattering, and romantic images
- Bad weather conditions
Weather is unpredictable, so you must always anticipate possible scenarios. Having a back-up plan for bad weather is one of the things wedding photographers should always prepare for. It is crucial that you know how to shoot in all weather and are prepared to get a bit wet sometimes.
Here are some things that you should have, in case of unwanted weather disasters:
During warm seasons
- It’s going to be bright outside so try using an ND filter to keep your depth of field soft
- If you have an assistant, carry a reflector to direct some light to the harsh shadows
- A drink bottle to hydrate!
During colder seasons
- Lighting equipment for dimmer locations
- Bring umbrellas for the birde and groom and possibly your camera
- Extra batteries as the cold weather drain the battery faster – but you should be doing that anyway.
- Camera angles
Before the ceremony begins, make sure to check on the location regardless of whether it is outdoors or indoors. Assess the place and see what position captures a good shot of the bride’s entrance, the taking of vows, the wedding kiss, and other highlights of the ceremony.
Also, consider the lighting in the area, where is the best place to get a shot of the faces of the bride and groom, etc? Plan out how you will move around the place while the ceremony is on-going. If you have a team with you, it will help if you assign designated areas to each photographer.
- Use of fill-flash
Fill-flash can also be used outdoors while the sun is up. Typically, a wedding photographer would not recommend a shoot at midday, as this creates sharp shadows in the face. However, the light from the flash will help fill out the under-eye shadows of the bride and groom. It also helps balance images that have backlighting.
As a wedding photographer, you should know when to use fill-flash to balance out the light to your images. It is not always necessary, in fact I try not to use it during the day as much as possible, but it is better to equip yourself with knowledge and proper gear in case it is needed.
Wedding photography is a hard task because you are dealing with real-life events. If you messed up or missed a good moment, you will never get a chance to capture it again. Thus, wedding photographers are skilled and experienced professionals that anticipate every scenario to make sure that everything is in their control.
Hopefully this list of things wedding photographers should always prepare for has alerted you to some of the things you may not have thought of yet before heading out to shoot a wedding. I’ve tried to include points that arent in other, similar lists, so hopefully it was some help 🙂
If you or you know someone who is looking for an Adelaide-based wedding photographer, contact us at SvenStudios today – we can help capture precious and intimate moments on wedding days!