Wedding photography is hard, so think twice before taking on this assignment. There are many factors to a successful wedding shoot, including your rapport with the bride and groom, knowing what to expect at every moment for five or six hours, and the venue. Here are a few technical tips that should help you do your best at one of the most challenging and emotionally charged shoots you can tackle.
The stakes are high. Get off to a good start by shooting the bridal portrait and/or engagement photo. At a portrait session you aren’t under the kind of pressure you’ll be under at the wedding, and a good job done here will make things easier for you later. All brides are beautiful and all grooms are handsome but very few of them are models. Start thinking about how to make the couple look their best—such as the best angles and best distance.
And here’s a tip that applies to everything that follows: Compose your shots so there’s room for cropping later. Your DSLR probably shoots 3:2 aspect ratio but brides like 5-by-7 and 8-by-10-inch prints.
[William Porter is a photographer and database designer based in Dallas, Texas.]