After having done a good few weddings over the years, I have a routine that I try to stick to which helps me capture as much of the day as I can. The night before I take out all the equipment that I will take to the wedding and make sure I have everything I need.
Which cameras will I take? Different lenses need to be chosen and cleaned for what the clients and I want to produce as there are many different scenarios over the course of the day. Portraits, natural shots, posed shots and group shots all need varying lenses.
Batteries need to be charged and memory cards need to be emptied. Having all these elements squared away the night before means I can have a good nights sleep and be ready to roll in the morning. Wedding shoots are usually exceedingly long days!
An early start to travel to either the venue or the bride’s hotel to photograph the bridal preparations. It is always best to get there early! These are fun, sometimes emotional shoots, group shots and relaxed portraits and a good way to build some rapport with the bride before the big ceremony.
Next, we are off to the groom’s prep. This is usually quite short as the groom typically gets to the ceremony before the bride but it is more of the same type of images to take.
I like to get to the ceremony early, I like to know what kind of place it is, maybe scout out some of the angles I want to use in my shots and get some images of the guests arriving. It is also useful to speak to the people holding the ceremony to see where you can work while the wedding is happening. You do not want to be stepping on anyone’s toes, literally or figuratively!
Photographs of the bride coming down the aisle and the couple being joined in matrimony are some of the most, if not the most important shots of the whole day, so knowing what the lay of the land is, is a must.
On to The Confetti Moment. These photos are some of my favourite, a lot of movement, colour and smiles to be captured. A lot of wedding photography is about timings, you must move fast and shoot fast to be in the correct place when you need to be. It is an art to move around while trying to blend into the background and not be in everyone’s face all the time.
The next few stages are usually all in one location, the reception, wedding breakfast and onto the evening which is a bonus for us photographers as you can learn the layout fairly quickly, especially if you have been to the venue before.
The wedding breakfast, speeches, cake cutting and first dance are the priorities now. Trying to keep on top of the timings can be tricky sometimes as things go awry all the time at weddings. Just make sure to keep an eye out for surprises!
Once the “big stuff” has wrapped up, it’s on to the celebration part of the evening. I try to take more candid shots here. Try not to get in the way of the guests having a celebration, you want to be as invisible as possible here whilst being open to everything around you. Some people will not want to be photographed at all, some will ask you to take posed shots of them with the bride and groom or with friends. It really is quite chaotic but fun!
After the day is done and you are released from your duties, there is still one job to be done. That is backing up your photos. Either in the cloud or physically or both. Losing these photos would be a disaster so you can’t end your day until you’ve done this step!
Wedding photography is a long day and can be quite complicated but also rewarding once you produce the album to your happy couple. That is what makes it all worth it.