As a photographer, shooting a wedding is a tough assignment. Every bride wants the perfect wedding album, so the stakes are high. Whilst you cannot plan for all eventualities, there are some common wedding photography mistakes that photographers make when the first start shooting weddings.
We’ve highlighted some mistakes here, but also help to make sure they don’t happen:
If you’re a keen photographer with a good DSLR or advanced compact system camera with some great pictures under your belt, you may be asked to take wedding photographs for family or friends. It’s a big compliment, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes not to be realistic and honest about your capabilities and experience before you commit to shooting a wedding. Offer to be the second shooter to take photographs from different angles or locations.
Not knowing all parts of your camera
A wedding photographer needs two decent cameras and a selection of lenses plus flashguns. At a wedding, you’ll be taking photos under time pressure, so it is vital that you know how all parts of the camera work and are confident in using them. If you don’t have the confidence in your camera, being the main photographer is too big an ask. Again, offer to be the second shooter.
Over or under exposure
A bride’s white dress is one of the most important aspects of many weddings and can be difficult to photograph. If you overexpose, the dress is a mass of bright white with no detail. Underexposure makes the dress look grubby and grey. With a digital camera you can check the exposure immediately after taking a shot and adjust accordingly.
Not visiting the venue
It is essential to visit the wedding venue prior to the big day, ideally at the same time of day as the wedding date. Identify the perfect locations for the essential photographs. Shooting the couple in the doorway of the church gives context as well a creating a frame around them, but if the sun is directly on the couple, you’ll get a less flattering photo with the additional risk of the couple squinting. Making mistakes on the most important photos are hard for the bride to forgive.
Messy group photographs
If you don’t know what you’re doing, large group photos will have people not looking at the camera, blinking or not smiling. Put the most important people towards the center of the group around the bride and groom and taller guests towards the back. If you can’t find a high vantage point, use a stepladder. Attract the group’s attention by squeezing a whoopee cushion, it’ll create a few smiles too. One way to avoid having people blinking is to get them to close their eyes and open them on the count of three, when you take the shot.