Starting out in wedding photography

2016-06-15 06:00

THERE is really no question that wedding photography is one of the most common forms of professional photography services to date, and is also the most exciting form of photography if you look at like it is an life event.

If you own a DSLR and haven’t photographed a wedding yet, this article will help you prepare to keep in mind what you’ll need to do first, before you accept an invitation to shoot a wedding.

A friend reached out to me and asked if I’d photograph her wedding. I declined, because I was physically not ready in my own understanding. One year later, I finally targeted weddings and below was my first experience.

I prepared a contract and followed numerous groups online on how they photographed weddings and checked how others review their photos­. I tried to get the know-how - how they recognise faults and avoid them. I also made sure I understood depth of field and its true meaning and basically just an all-round understanding of when-to-do-what.
If you can do that, know when to use your camera in every scenario, you will feel confident to photograph almost anything, and that’s when I felt ready.

Understanding what you want; and know-how to push your camera to get the shots you planned is key. Weddings are a one-shot deal, you get the light you have, you get the weather you have, and you get one shot to make it happen, you only have one chance to capture the day. Disappointing your clients is the last thing you want to do.

Going around getting various people that I don’t know together for photographs is what I enjoy, remember without help, and without a lot of practice this could be a difficult task.

So I urge anyone who’s thinking about photographing a wedding to not take it lightly. It’s an important day for a lot of people, not just the bride and groom, but their parents, extended family, and friends will want to remember this day as well so you must get it right.

If you are thinking to yourself that it will be an easy job – think again – don’t ever do this for free – being paid to shoot this wedding was what motivated me to find help, rent gear, drive to their location and process hundreds of photos – the experience was a bonus, and is the only thing you get for free.

All the reading that I was doing, really couldn’t prepare me for the real thing. Emotions, stress, time crunch, uncontrollable problems, such as cellphone camera photographers ruining some perfect moments and anything else you can pack into the 10-hour day.

You simply can’t read that. This experience gave me a huge boost of confidence going into the future, because the bride and groom were super relaxed and had no physical demands other than capturing the day as I see it. I have never done this before and was still nervous the night before, but when I got to Illovu Africa Lodge everything fell into place.

I recommend reaching out to local wedding photographers prior to photographing a wedding on your own for the first time. The experience is priceless. This is why I suggested at the right price.

You gain experience and learn and prepare so much to even attempt a wedding, having Spent so much on equipment, you also provide and do editing. Work out an hourly rate on location and off and use of your car and gear as part of your price, and don’t forget your assistant, I will never do a wedding without one, Calvin Hanford was of great assistance on this day, in the beginning go learn first and get confident.

The final bit of preparation was gear related – I went to Broadcast Lighting in Pinetown who provided my gear because I was photographing for my portfolio in the wedding category and wanted to start with a bang.

They provided me with a portable flash lights, two to be exact - Menik FN- 600 and Nikon f2.8 24-70 lens. Luke from Broadcast showed me the ropes and set the flashes up for me, really amazing staff and superior knowledge on products, but this was still nerve-racking as I have never used it before to photograph a wedding the next day.

There was no time to waste on figuring out the equipment supplied, so I spent two hours prepping and playing with the flashes before feeling confident and literally these flashes were so user friendly I felt like an instant professional.

For the full column visit the Amanzimtoti Fever Facebook page. - Johann van Dalen.

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