Monday, 23 January 2012

Are you ready to be wedding photographer?

Warning: a shiny new camera does not give you a right to be a professional.

Sound a bit harsh? Well unfortunately, we have heard this story more than once before. You have a new camera which looks great, and you've managed to capture a couple of great shots, maybe even done a workshop here and there, all the time gaining valuable knowledge to your new found passion and you should be rightly proud.
And then you are asked to do a job...there are expectations.... it's a one-off like... a wedding!
Shooting a wedding is not as easy as it sounds. It's not just a matter of clicking the shutter button and because it's a 'good' camera means you'll get images that meet the expectations: that is the clients expectations, as that is what it is, a client either paying or non paying when you say 'I do'. That word expectations holds a lot of power. Let's look at a few pointers for photographers wanting to enter this market and brides to be looking for a photographer that needs some practice, and everyone does.
For Photographers
  • Know your boundaries, be honest with yourself on what you can and can't do. This is not a day to be learning on the job.
  • Manage the expectations - what they are seeing in magazines is not necessarily what you can honestly deliver.
  • Have a shot list with family details checked.
  • Research your venue: what's the light like, what's in flower, are there rules such as no flash.
  • Get help! Have back up and its great if you can have a helper to round up the family.
  • Said yes and now panicking because people are saying you need this and that. Before rushing out and buying consider hiring first.
  • Always be polite and professional: become a peoples person.
  • Have a contract even if they are not paying.
For Brides to Be
If you are paying peanuts expect a monkey - sorry but true. And at the same time, just because they are charging a lot, does not mean they have the experience and the people skills to manage your big day.
  • Look at their images, speak with others that have had them photograph their wedding and if it is their first wedding, have realistic expectations.
  • Have a contract.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the photographer and can express easily your likes and dislikes in creating your shot list together - this helps manage those expectations mentioned above.
  • Make sure you have a truthful mirror. One of our last but hard tips is be careful of your dress. We all want to look slimmer and usually with as few as wrinkles and bags around our eyes as we can. However, it is a fact, many see themselves in a dress either too small or really not suiting their figure: a classic is the strapless wedding dresses as you have to be a neat size 10 to not look fat in these dresses and under that you look bony and undernourished. Sorry, we said this was going to be truthful.
  •  Enjoy the day! When a bride enjoys the day you can tell. Have fun, as this is such a special day for you!

    Image by Mike Geisel at a Bluedog Wedding Photography Workshop

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