Again, we say this over and over again time and time again but we feel as if this is still not being reiterated enough just yet – you need more than just one camera when covering event photography gigs. It would perhaps even be fair to say that you need quite an army of cameras particularly if it’s a really huge event. These things don’t come cheap but if you get to play your cards right and if you are able to thrive in the niche market of event photography, these investments will double, triple and even quadruple the initial amount of money you have put in for the equipment.
Assemble a team to help you out when covering event photography gigs
Again, events that have a budget that is big enough to allot some money to hire out professional event photographers should already tell you right off the bat that they’re pretty big and going in solo or with just one other person just won’t cut it. You will need a fully functioning team of three or more people. Go through the things that are required of you in the contract again and make sure that you are able to satisfy all avenues. You are dealing with veritable professionals in these events and it should be just fair that you bring in you’re A game in all this as well. Plus, a team provides you with the necessary safety net in order for you to be able to mitigate all the possible risks that may suddenly pop up.
Collect an assortment of lenses so you have variety in your shots
Different kinds of lenses provide you with different kinds of perspectives that will ultimately deliver different kinds of results. You owe it to yourself and to your clients to make sure that you are able to thrive in all that artistic capabilities by investing in a good assortment of lenses that will make you do your job beautifully.
Learn how to professionally touch up the photos post shoot
The amount of work that goes in the post shoot processing is just as tedious and just as technically and artistically challenging as the amount of work that goes in the actual filming process itself. You need to make sure that you are not lacking in any of those departments by all means. Take some classes. Get yourself trained. You can even teach yourself if you have the knack for that. The point is, you need to learn it and you need to be able to do it in order for you to complete the event photography job package.
Always scout the location before the event day itself.
Expert event photographers always scout the venues ahead of time. It’s both out of novelty and practicality. You get to seep in the vibes of the place and at the same time get practice shots so that you are better acquainted with it the moment the actual event rolls in.
Have the couple of people walk away from you then walk back again
Walking is one of the most natural and calming physical activities out there and is certainly a trick that you can use for your natural wedding photography style. It would be more natural looking if the people you photograph are talking about something while they are walking around. Walking and talking is the perfect combination if you are going for something casual and personal. It does not look contrived and it takes advantage of varied expressions coming from people’s faces brought on by them actually talking about something.
Encourage the people you photograph to let their personalities shine through
Natural wedding photography is not always about the candid and almost blank looking expressions of looking out into somewhere far. Sometimes, it can also be about the actual people that you photograph. Encourage them to feel free to really be themselves. Tell them that it’s actually OK to be a little silly during the photo shoot. Make them feel comfortable enough to pull it off.
Encourage people in group photographs to build a physical connection to each other
Group photos can be tricky in natural wedding photography because people oftentimes feel the need to really pose and be serious when they think of wedding photo shoots. Although that may sometimes be true, it helps to get more natural looking photos when they don’t have a physical gap in between them. Tell them it’s ok to hold each other, or pat someone’s head, anything at all to sort of get rid of the distance at some point.
Learn how to properly compliment women you take pictures of
This is an arsenal that you should have up your sleeve whether you’re into photography or not. Natural wedding photography is all about pulling out those facial expressions that would not have been possible with a more staged setting. A nice compliment every once in a while can really brighten up someone’s face and can really turn out looking great in the photos.
Learn to stay alert and look out for people who are deep in conversation
People look interesting and more real when they are talking to each other. Rome around and look for traces of conversations and try to photograph as candidly as you possibly can, hopefully without the use of flash so as not to be impolite and end up disrupting the conversation.
Photograph couples almost kissing
Couples look great whether on camera or off of it. Natural wedding photography is all about encouraging mystery and intrigue and nothing intrigues you more than wondering if they really kissed or not. It’s the oldest trick in the book but something that always works. And besides, capturing true love is something that’s a bit hard to get tired of, don’t you think? You might meet raised eyebrows or the feeling that the idea is a bit cheesy but it really does photograph well and is something that you should try out.
1. Put up a blog and stick to a schedule when you update it.
Wedding photography is all about getting your presence known both online and offline and keeping a steady stream of inspiration and tips to keep you active and updated in the industry. People will want to know who you are and how you work before they even talk to you or set up a meeting with you. Getting your presence out there in the World Wide Web will increase your chances of getting to the people who might need your services the most. Stick to a schedule that will be easy to remember and work on that routine tirelessly.
2. Create your online portfolio to showcase the best of your projects and works.
Again, this goes back to your online presence, only so much more. This is also your online resume. Take the time to really sift through the projects that you have done in the past and try to see if this is something that really represents you and what you stand for in the world of wedding photography. Make sure that you post only the most excellent and outstanding of your work. Remember, you are trying to reel clients in, not push them away.
3. Make sure you have all the gear that you need.
Your camera is your proverbial fishing hook, you might as well make sure that it is top of the line and updated enough to bring in the big fish. Invest in cameras that will be able to deliver high quality and high resolution images. Know your gear inside and out. Familiarize yourself with all of the buttons, all of the settings, and all of the modes that it may come along with. This is the one thing that you absolutely cannot cheapen out on so pool your funds and get ready for this one big purchase if you don’t have it yet.
4. Invest in great editing software to help you polish your images post shoot.
The filming process is quite important but so is the post shoot and editing process. You should know how you will be able to touch up and “fix” your photos and have access to great editing software that will enable you to do all of those things. You will not always be able to take perfect photos and you will be touching up a lot of them, either for corrective or artsy purposes so the software really is a necessity pretty much the same way that the camera is a necessity.
4. Plan out your pricing packages and make them attractive enough to bring in clients.
Create tiered pricing packages that are simple and concise. Flowery words do not always make the cut. Go straight to the point and be inclusive of the kind of products and services they will be getting and have them all in black and white. Be reasonable with your pricing and study the costing close enough to make it workable both for you and your prospective clients.
5. Do not be ashamed to network with other professionals during the wedding day event.
Be friendly to the wedding planners, they have all of the right connections and upcoming clients. Give out your business cards to the florists, caterers, and even to the waiters. You never know when good opportunities come your way.
Befriend your subjects and make small talk in between takes
Very few people may actually acknowledge this but it actually pays if the photographer has some sort of rapport with the subjects he is filming. This is a crucial strategy in wedding photography especially if you are going for those casual yet authentic looking pictures. Go out of your way to talk to them, ask them how they are or just give out nice comments in between takes. It will help them ease the nervousness off. Not everyone is used to being photographed, after all.
Change the angles up a bit every now and then
Wedding photography these days is all about creativity and fresh outlooks so do not be afraid to change up the angles a few times. Feel free to tilt the camera sideways, upside down, whatever makes you feel more inspired. You are granted a few artistic liberties as the official wedding photographer. Put it to good use.
Always make the bride look beautiful
This is something that you need to remember above everything else. The bride is your number one client. She is the Satine to your Moulin’ Rouge. Pose her properly. Capture only her best and most flattering angles. If she is having some trouble in the posing department, put in the initiative to give her directions and coach her the right way. Opt for the best silhouettes and poses. She will thank you tremendously once the finished photos come out.
Feel free to compliment the female subjects
Complimenting brings out a slight blush in people. Pepper a few compliments every now and then. You will see that their expressions will brighten up a little and their smiles will get wider than usual and it is as authentic as ever. This doesn’t work as well on the male subjects though so proceed with caution.
Encourage groups to huddle together or come in closer
Group photos are always fun and bring in that camaraderie. They are celebrating the union of their beloved friends, after all. Gaps in between people make them look awkward and kind of off though so encourage them to physically be close to each other, even for just the photos’ sake.
Eavesdrop a bit on deep and meaningful conversations
Once the wedding event is under way, people tend to relive or reminisce moments from the past such as how the couple came together, or how their courtship days used to be. Eavesdrop on these meaningful conversations so you can capture the wonderful expressions that people wear on their faces that you will not have a chance to capture otherwise in a more choreographed or staged setting.
Encourage a photo walk
This is for the couple, in particular. Encourage them to walk around and talk about something, such as their plans for tomorrow. This will produce great looking casual photos that are both gorgeous and intriguing if done right. Be wary of the blurs though.
Make the subjects feel comfortable
An uncomfortable subject does not make a picture look good. Break the ice and do your best to make them feel comfortable by either making light conversation or just being polite and friendly.