Digital Wedding Photography
Digital wedding photography is something that many professionals specialise in. A lot of them make a living from digital wedding photography, sometimes coupled with portraiture. If you've never done this type of work before it can be intimidating - and quite rightly so. Weddings are very personal events that happen once. Miss the shot and you've missed the opportunity to succeed at digital wedding photography.
Before you tackle wedding photography for the first time, you do need to know what you are doing with your camera. This is not the type of project where you should experiment, unless of course you are taking pictures for fun (or for experience), and the bride and groom are not relying on you for their memories! You also need to be very organised. For example, you need to be sure you are at the venue on time and are ready for the event to begin.
Generally photographers record the event starting with the bride getting ready. These shots may be set-up or candid. Then they will race to the church or wherever the couple are getting married. They will snap the groom waiting for the bride and then get photographs of the bride getting out of the car (or from whatever transport has been chosen). Don't forget the best man and bridesmaids or flower girls.
If the wedding is in a church, you will have to get prior permission to take photographs. If you are using a flash the priest, minister or rabbi may not allow you to record the ceremony itself. Most will allow pictures to be taken as the bride is led down the aisle to be 'given away'.
The next photos will be signing the register, and this time you will want to photograph the witnesses as well.
Presuming this is a traditional wedding, inbetween the service and the reception, the norm is for the official photographer to take group pictures. You (or the happy couple) will need to organise a venue for this in advance, taking into account the possibility of bad weather. For example there may be a gorgeous outdoor venue with roses and lots of other flowers you can use as a backdrop. But if it rains unexpectedly or is very windy, you will need a second option indoors. Often the easiest choice is the reception venue, providing there is somewhere suitable to set up group shots.
Typical Digital Wedding Photography group shots will include:
- The bride and groom,
- The bride with her bridesmaids,
- The groom with his best man,
- The top three groups all together,
- The bride and groom with her parents,
- The bride and groom with his parents,
- The bride and groom with both sets of parents.
The bride and groom also want some formal group pictures of themselves with other specific family members and friends. Make sure you know what they want long before the wedding.
At the reception typical pictures will be of those making the speeches, cutting the cake and then the bride and groom dancing (if there is dancing).
Whether you do candid shots after this will depend on whether you have quoted to be there for a particular length of time and/or whether you have specified exactly what pictures you are going to take, or whether you have agreed to be there for the duration of the event and are happy to include candid shots taken at the reception in your deal. Remember that all this must be agreed beforehand when you set your price and also agree whether you are going to supply a set number of printed pictures, or whether you will supply the whole job on a CD so that the couple can get their own prints done.
If you plan properly and produce some really nice shots, you can be sure that every wedding will lead to further jobs doing digital wedding photography.