Guest Article by: Marcela De Vivo

A wedding is an important event in a couple’s lives, and if you’re in charge of taking pictures of the big day, you’ll want to capture the excitement of the day as best as possible. However, wedding photography isn’t always as easy as just snapping a few candid shots.

Weddings also pose unique challenges as they’re often highly populated, and guests always want to talk to the bride and groom. Whether you’re interested in a career as a wedding photographer and looking to gain experience, or just helping out a friend on their big day, there are some 10 basic tips you can use to help you capture any wedding.

1. Talk to the Bride and Groom

Before the wedding it’s important to talk to the bride and groom about what is most important for you to capture. They’ll surely want pictures of the actual ceremony, but they may be less concerned with pictures of themselves during the reception and more interested in photos of friends and family.

Take time to ask what they’re looking for so you can meet their needs. After all, it’s about them, not you.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Kris Kesiak


2. Compile a Shot List

A shot list is basically a list of shots you know you’ll need to accurately create a photographic document of a wedding. That list usually includes pictures of the ceremony, portraits of the bride and groom and pictures of the bride and groom with any family that’s present.

Making a list you can take with you will help you remember to capture everything essential.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Ally Mauro


3. Visit the Location Early

Checking out the location of the wedding a few days before the event will make it easier to avoid problem areas and scout out good locations for shots. If you can’t visit the day before, get to the site early to do some quick scouting.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Winter Stephan


4. Ask About Cues

Most weddings have a musical cue or something similar when the bride walks down the aisle or any other major event happens. Make a list of those cues so you’ll be ready to snap the perfect picture when the time is right.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Oliver Li


5. Bring Extra Equipment

Extra batteries, SD cards, flash devices – anything that may fail on you during the event should have a suitable backup. Whatever you need, bring extra equipment. An extra camera body with a functional lens is also a great thing to have if it’s available to you.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Daniel Stark


6. Set Up a Clean Background

If you want to do a few portraits or the bride and groom want them, the best thing you can do is to set up a clean background with a solid-colored paper or curtain. That way you’ll be guaranteed at least a handful of perfect still shots to supplement the “action shots” of the wedding.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Sean Molin


7. Mute the Sound

Digital cameras can be set to be perfectly silent when in use. That’s ideal during speeches and other wedding moments, though it may not matter much during the reception.

If you’re using film for a special look or at the couple’s request, do what you can to minimize noise during the ceremony, or switch to analog for only the reception.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Louish Pixel


8. Use the RAW Format

RAW does take up extra memory, but it’s much more flexible when it comes to editing – something you may need as an amateur photographer. SD cards and flash memory don’t cost much, so there’s really no excuse to use a lesser format.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Tamhuu Photography


9. Use Continuous Mode

Being able to take three pictures instead of one at a wedding means you’ll be much more likely to get that perfect shot. You’ll have a lot more pictures to go through at the end of the day, but you’ll capture more realistic moments in continuous mode.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Justin Kern


10. Join the Party

You may not be able to partake in all of the festivities, but joining the party and actually talking to guests will help you get better shots. Don’t hide behind your lens the whole time – try to mingle with the guests as much as possible.

10 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers
Photo Credit: Albert Palmer

Shooting a wedding isn’t always easy, but these basic tips can get you through the process. More than anything, preparation is key.

Always be prepared for things to go wrong and know what you’re there to do, and you’ll end up with satisfactory shots that the bride, groom and families will love.


About the Author:

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer for Bellezza Spa and has contributed several wedding and beauty blogs. She loves helping brides make sure that their special day is just as beautiful as they are.


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