One of the most fulfilling things about being a photographer is helping preserve meaningful memories, which is why some opt to go into wedding photography. Tatler’s guide to the biggest luxury wedding trends notes that demand for more authentic wedding photos has gone up, with photographers now working closely with brides to capture intimate moments of their day and set up editorial-style shoots to commemorate the occasion.
This recent boom in wedding photography means that those starting out need to prove their mettle in order to attract great clients. After all, wedding photography is a business just like any other!
Below are a few key tips for those who want to embark on this particular career path.
Start out by assisting
Before you start your career as a wedding photographer, it’s a good idea to shadow someone and work as their assistant first. Capturing a wedding is a hectic affair, and one that you don’t want to rush into. Working with a wedding photographer will give you invaluable first-hand experience. You’ll be able to see the small tips and tricks that you’ll be able to use in your own work, like where to position yourself during the ceremony or how to build rapport with guests.
Shadowing an established wedding photographer can also get your name out there, which will be crucial in starting out your professional network.
Get the right equipment
Capturing the beauty of a wedding entails being prepared with the essentials of photography — and your camera is the most important of all. While there is no one-camera-suits-all option, there are a variety of cameras on the market that can benefit you in different ways. Nikon’s D850 boasts a 45.7 megapixel resolution and a built-in processor to capture beautiful shots with minimal noise, while Canon’s EOS 5D DSLR has an improved AF system that helps photographers take quick snaps as the day progresses. At The Blumes, we have used all these camera brands at one time or another over the duration of our career, and we now use Sony Alpha series cameras, including the Sony A7iii and A7riii models. In the end, all these brands make great cameras, so just find the one that you’re most comfortable with.
You’ll also need multiple lenses to capture all moments, big and small. A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens allows you to zoom in and out of scenes while keeping resolution sharp, which means you can be as inconspicuous as possible. In contrast, 85mm prime lenses requires manual zooming in and out but is great for intimate portrait shots.
Research your location
A great photographer is someone who works with the location. Do your research and find out as much as you can about the venue you’re shooting at. If possible, try visiting it yourself. This will help you visualize how to structure your shots during the actual event.
In terms of the editorial-style shots we discussed above, doing your research can also help you plan out where to have your portrait shots. Your clients will truly be impressed that you’ve done your homework, as it shows that you care about incorporating all parts of the ceremony to create memorable photos.
Don’t forget about people skills
Wedding photography is all about capturing even the most candid moments, which is why you’ll definitely find yourself mingling with guests. Knowing how to talk to people and appear personable are soft skills all photographers need, as it helps people warm up to you. You’ll get more natural shots as a result: lots of people are camera-shy, so having a warm presence behind the lens can help them ease up.
Of course, it’s not just about the guests. Chatting with fellow vendors can also give you a sense of the entire wedding industry as a whole.
As with any artistic career, becoming a wedding photographer requires a lot of grit and determination on your end. Stay tuned for more posts on becoming a truly successful wedding photographer and crafting the fulfilling career of your dreams.