Top 10 Wedding Photographers Melbourne tips and suggestions to make your wedding photography a success.
- Know what it is you are shooting – understand that you have been commissioned to shoot a wedding and that the day is one of the most significant days in the couples’ lives. You have the responsibility of recording it.
- Understand your photography equipment thoroughly. Know it to a point where you could explain how to use it to someone who has never held a camera before. You need to be able to set all the controls and parameters and find your way through all the menus blindfolded. In reverse also. When situations change quicker than a heartbeat on the day of the wedding, your wedding photography skills must be even sharper than intuitive.
- Don’t be a fashionista – dress for work not for show. Maybe the bride and groom stand on firm dry ground, you as a wedding photographer could end up anywhere.
- Know where you are shooting- don’t rely on a GPS to get you there on the day if you have never visited the venues you will be shooting at. Preview them in advance – not too early because times and seasons change places. Know what you are working with in terms of locations and light play. This applies equally to the wedding ceremony venue as well as wedding photography locations you intend to use later.
- Have your backup equipment for wedding photography with you. Not in your car – it’s of no value sitting there if you need it as the bride walks down the aisle.
- Observe the rules or guidelines of the wedding ceremony venue regarding photography and lighting. Some of the older, more traditional priests will stop a wedding ceremony to request that photographers – amateur and professional alike – move away.
- Work to a plan. The worse thing you can do is turn up and just start shooting – with no purpose or direction. If your clients have city bar or restaurant locations in mind, then you won’t get those shots shooting at the beach on a bright summer’s day, nor will you come up with an alternate wedding photography location when the bride asks, unless you have researched this beforehand. Remember, there’s not just you to consider- you need to take into account the logistics of the bride’s chosen transport getting the entire wedding party to and from the venue.
- Be where you need to be as the action happens – you are of no value shooting photos of the groomsmen in the church, if the bride is alighting from the car, looking for her photographer. Anticipate where the action will be and be in place ahead of it, so you can get the shots as it unfolds!
- Don’t restrict yourself to just one viewpoint. move around, but don’t make a nuisance of yourself. The best candid wedding photography happens when the photographer is mobile, not shooting from a tripod in one fixed position.
- Be aware that during weddings wedding photography and wedding celebrations, people are having a great time and catching up with others they may not have seen for years. As well as recording these moments, it’s also your responsibility to keep an eye on the time, and ensure that you have the group move along when time is running short. Under absolutely no circumstances at all, should you cause a bride to be late for the wedding ceremony. Wedding ceremony timing is usually cut fine enough without the photographer causing additional grief with lateness.
Wedding Photography can be a breeze to some – and a nightmare to others. We’ve heard stories of “friends of the bride” photographing weddings as the “official photographer” and walking away half way through the day, overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. Yet to some of us, photography and photographing weddings is our “thing” – it’s what keeps the creative juices flowing. Wedding Photography never presents the same dynamic or set of circumstances twice – and provides us with the opportunity to enrich peoples’ lives by preserving the memory of their wedding day through the joy of pictures.
So if you’re a budding wedding photographer – or perhaps you’re looking for a break – a way in to the industry, perhaps you’re looking for a wedding photography traineeship or apprenticeship – this article you’re reading now, is a great place to start.
Read on my friend, and as time permits, I will add to this article and hopefully you will gain more of an insight into what it takes to do this demanding, yet wonderfully rewarding work.
Wedding Photographers Melbourne – Wedding Photography Masters or Pixel Pushers?
What sort of a question is that?
It’s a very important one, and it needs to be addressed before we even begin to look at wedding photography tips or hints.
Do you spend hours lovingly editing your images, tweaking white balance, adjusting for optimum exposure, lighting, contrast and tint – all this before you even start removing the distracting elements which should have been eliminated in composition?
How would you cope if your camera didn’t have a playback button, and LCD screen?
Would you feel confident that you were producing correctly exposed images, and that your subjects had their eyes open?
What if you had to shoot on slide (transparency) film – remember that – with its half stop exposure latitude – could you be certain that you were producing excellent quality images?
The purpose of these questions is to help you decide where you are at right now, in your photographic journey. Is your mind’s eye an exposure meter – or a pixel panel beater?
Forget the tutorials on the web which tell you to spend hours repairing digital files. Even if you process from RAW – as you should – you are still moving and altering data – and creating unnecessary work for yourself. Your time could be better invested in the creative, rather than the mundane. Digital technology – the discounter’s “deal” on a (whatever) meg body and “kit” lens, has spawned a lot of “photographers” for whom the combination of the “delete” button and photo editing software have been the rescue tools. Some see these two items as a lifeline, some see them as the rope that hangs them.
Knowledge is freedom – understanding the science and nature of light, and how to use it optimally to create technically brilliant digital files, will free you to concentrate on the creative.
OK – so you think you can do it. Consider the following possibilities then:
Wedding Photography Logistics and Planning – when the Bride’s 8 page running sheet isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, 10 minutes into the day… what do you do?
You need to be an outstanding situation manager – you need to make decisions in a heartbeat – that will affect the day the couple have dreamed about – and ultimately the outcome of the work you produce, and leave them with forever. And through it all, you need to provide outstanding images, because if it doesn’t work out, it’s YOU with whom the blame rests.
Some of the many recurring issues are:
Clients having unrealistic expectations of what can be done in a given amount of time.
Failing to plan for the “people” factor.
Other wedding service providers having their own agenda – hire car anxious to leave for another job, videographer is a failed movie director who just wants to retake a scene a dozen times, which will never make the final cut; Wedding Reception venue who cannot cope with a 30 minute later start (because of earlier delays) and tries to cut your photography time short. How hard is it really, to keep soup (the usual entree) warm, and allow the clients (the bride and groom) a little extra time to shoot? Many reception venues run a “cash bar” for drinks to guests during this time – which does two things- puts cash in the venue’s pocket they otherwise would not have had, and reduces the amount of drink (pre paid by the couple) that the venue serves later because the guests have already drunk their fill during the time the couple were shooting.
Through it all, you need to carefully manage the entire event, and produce stunning images – so your clients have these to look back on in the years to come. All the discussions before the day are forgotten, all the tips, advice and suggestion about how to not run late and make a mess of it all are lost- as the couple get caught up in the sweep of it all, with wedding photography often being one of the last things on their minds.
Sometimes I shoot weddings in areas where other people are taking wedding photos. Recently one such scenario was in the grounds of the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne. There was an oh-so-happy twenty-something year old dressed like a fashionista, merrily chatting away and snapping away. The gear she was using was lacking some key elements for that situation, she was overlooking glaring compositional and aesthetic errors in her photography, and worse still, seemed to be oblivious to it all.
And the couple were having a ball, blissfully unaware…
Until the final images are produced…