Top 10 Wedding Tips....
A little about my camera history...
I started using Canon cameras back in 1995 when I started University in Nottingham. My first Canon camera was a film camera, Canon EOS 1000f! My first digital camera was a Canon EOS1ds, I waited for a full frame body to come out as I was used to using Leica cameras and didn’t want any crop factor. This may sound crazy but back then I went with Canon over Nikon because it just felt better when I gripped it in my hand!
I went from a 1000f to a Canon EOS 1 - to EOS 1v - to Leica R8 & Nikon FM2 - to Canon 1DS - to Canon 1ds Mark II - to Canon 1ds Mark III - to Canon 1 dx & Pentax 645z.
I have used them together with my medium format Pentax 645z cameras ever since. I now use the Canon EOS1dx primarily with the 50mm 1.2 L lens. My go to combination for weddings particularly. For me its the way that Canon cameras capture skin tones that makes them work so well. I use the Kelvin scale when shooing weddings as I find the accuracy of this is unmatched when out in the field. My post production is less as I aim to get it right in camera! I also shoot jpg, for weddings anyway! I have always shot this way at weddings and just prefer to get it right when I shoot it! When shooting with the Pentax 645z for Portraits , Commercial & Lifestyle shoots I shoot in Tiff.
1- Try & get used to using one or a couple of focal lengths over zooms. I used to use the Canon 70-200 2.8 L lens for my weddings but stopped a couple of years ago. Although a beautiful lens I found for weddings, looking through a fixed prime lens made me a better photographer. My photography got “tighter” overnight because of the potential for wasted space around my subject. A zoom works for some photographers but I prefer to get in close when I shoot. I find this allows me into the clients space and then the reaction I get is better. It allows me to think about the composition quicker and achieve better shots.
2- Avoid angling your camera! Angling used to be the done thing a few years ago but now can be seen as an excuse for bad composition. Let the angles be in the image, in the scene, work for you. Keep the camera square. I still shoot vertical at weddings as some shots can only be captured this way. A lot of my images are in landscape though and this means that I have to watch the composition a lot more.
3- Get to know your camera! I used to work with cameras in the dark when I was starting out just to get used to where the buttons were etc.. There is nothing worse than not knowing your way around your camera!
4- Stick to one camera! In my mind there is nothing worse than carrying around numerous cameras. Only when I shot with film did I ever carry two bodies, one with slide film - colour & the other with B&W film. As I only use two or three lenses I find it easier to know what lens I am about to need depending upon the environment I am in or the next shot I am about to take.
5- Plan - but don't overplan! I think a lot of photographers make the mistake of too much planning. I understand this , especially if you are new to the game. I always think that too much planning can lead to disappointment. If you visit a location on a summer day and the sun is shining down then you will plan a shot or a particular route to take with the Bride & Groom. If you then turn up on the wedding day and its raining your best laid plans may lead to nothing. I have always preferred to check out a location , usually on the morning of the shoot. Then have 3 or 4 possibilities , locations etc.. for the shoot. That way I won't be disappointed when I shot won't work because of weather or lack of time.
6- Learn to think fast & on your feet! A lot of weddings that I shoot are fast paced and there is often little time for us to take pictures. Now & then we get time which is great but usually we have to work fast and know what we need to get. Making sure I get the most out of every situation as it often won't happen again. Shooting with an assistant definitely has it's advantages. Richard , my assistant makes sure that the kit we are about to need is on hand and everything is ready to go. Clearing up after me takes some doing!! If I have to, I can usually shoot group shots, big group, bridal party & Bride & Groom shots in 30 mins.
7- Re-format your cards after every shoot. I always do this in camera after I know that everything is backed up. I keep a copy on my Drobo in the office & a copy on backblaze which is awesome - Do not underestimate the importance of backing up your work. CLICK HERE if you would like to see more about online back up - Backblaze. Clients memories cannot be reproduced and should be treated with care.
8- Do it your way without being pushy.. No-one likes a pushy photographer and sometimes its easy to forget what the wedding day is about - it is certainly not about you! We are there to do a job, to capture as much as we can, as unobtrusively as we can! Learn how to be sensitive to your clients feelings and needs on the day. There is a time to step up to the plate and a time to back off and disappear into the crowd. I would say above all this is the key thing I have worked on over the years & is a big reason as to why some of the UK's top planners choose to work with us for the way we make the clients feel.
9- Shoot onto 2 cards.. You'll be amazed how many photographers don't do this. I always shoot onto 2 cards at the same time when shooting anything! We have to rely on our kit for sure but can also do things to help us stay safe! In 17 years of shooting I have only ever had 2 cards fail me! It does happen and you don't want to lose any images. Make sure you have 2 cards in your camera at all times! Some cameras don't have two slots, I know , with these cameras there isn't too much you can do to be honest! Maybe shoot on smaller cards to avoid the entire wedding being on one card only..
10- Use Social media to help your business! I am a great fan of social media and it can take over your life! I try and keep all my social feeds fed as much as I can with different things. When I have shot a wedding I try and post one image the day after ( aslong as the client allows this ). I then tag as many of the providers for the wedding as I can. This encourages them to share the image & or comment on it. Also share the image with the client ( if they are on social media! ) Hopefully they will share it too! Most of our weddings come from referrals , either through planners or clients themselves. I usually try and blog the wedding if it is going to be blogged ( I don't blog every wedding ) around 1-2 weeks after the wedding. The full collection is then online for the client to view around 3-4 weeks after the wedding date.
If you want to follow me on Social media then please click on the links below:
Facebook - Photography
A few great links for the things we use to help our business tick!
Backblaze - An awesome online back up system for all of our files
Agree.com - We use this amazing service for all of our contracts & online payments
Pixieset - How did we ever survive without Pixieset! An amazing platform to send clients images and galleries
Kaleidoscope Framers - We have been using Kaleidoscope for over 15 years now and we just wouldn't go anywhere else. For all of our framing & printing for frames there is no-one better.
Queensberry Albums - Are key to our business and we have been producing Qberry albums for aslong as we have been in business.