If you’re a photographer, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to photograph a wedding at some point in your career. Weddings can be challenging to photograph because there are so many things happening at once, and the photographer needs to be prepared for anything.

Its simply every genre all in one days and trust me, having photographed well over 200 weddings anything can go wrong when you least expect it.

If I can give you one tip as a Photography Apprentice, please please please go and assist another Photographer. Why, I hear you ask, this can be one of the most important Photography assignments you will ever have.

Ok we hope the fashion shoot for a Vogue front cover will be, but seriously your wedding couple are depending on you to cover there most important day of their life. So my Monday afternoon Rant over is over

I personally assisted a Photographer in Cambridge for over 2 years and that experience was amazing, I travelled all over the country and experience the technical side of working with Peter Constable.

Wedding Photography is about Light, Position, Camera skill and working with people.

Here are a few honest tips on what I learnt during my 200 weddings as a Professional Photographer who has Photographed over 200 weddings.

Wedding Photography tip – number 1

When booking the wedding with your lovely couple, I highly recommend doing two things.

  1. Get a professional contract drawn up by a solicitor or join a Photographic association that may be able to provide you with one. You never know what can go wrong and couples can be amazing, but at times those couple can become awful customers.

I had 1 customer who had over spent on the wedding and needed some money, so she decided to make false claims against my work and was hoping to get her money back. This went on for weeks and she started to state those claims on social media.

I soon found out that the same customer had made claims against the florist, cakemaker and the dress maker.

The customer had no claim to make, nothing had go wrong, but a contract was there to cover all aspects if they had.

What happens if it rains all day and the bride says but you stated we would take romantic photographs outside. Clearly the bride wont want to get drenched outside.

The contract has a statement about acts if god e.g. heavy rain all day.

P.s. I always ask the custome, do you want to go out in the rain.

  • As a Professional Photographer, you never know what can go wrong…..

I highly recommend purchasing Professional Indemnity insurance. The insurance protects you against claims of loss or damage made by a client as a result of things going wrong on a Photography shoot.

Wedding Photography tip – number 2

Camera equipment is very important and you will need to spend some good money on it.

If I can give a tip to my Photography apprentices, you need to have two camera, why I hear you ask. That expensive camera that you love so much is digital and it can stop working. A digital camera generally works for up to 250’000 pictures and they do last a long time. But what happens if the camera brakes. How do you carry on without a camera.

I recommend buying a cheap second hand camera and keep in your camera bag just in case.

Check out – https://www.wexphotovideo.com/

It has happened to me twice at beautiful weddings and I simply switch body’s and carried on. Why did they brake, I have no idea and the couple never found out.

Wedding Photography tip – number 3

As a Photography apprentice at some point in your career you will experience when your memory card stops working and you think oh my god I have lost all the images that I have taken.

Well here is a great tip, purchase https://lc-tech.com/rescuepro/

You simply place your memory card into the card reader and open the software and will bring you back the images that you think has gone for ever.

I cant promise that I will always work, but I have experience memory’s cards braking and it has worked every time for me. Yes it has happened on two weddings.

Extra tip, memory cards normally last up to 20’000 times. They do brake.

Wedding Photography tip – Number 4

When I’m teaching my Photography apprentices on the UK official Photography Apprenticeship I always recommend having a list of group shots.

You will be rushing around and the folks at the wedding will be wanting to enjoy there drinks and its your job to photograph those amazing group shots.

So before the wedding, ask your couples for a list of the group shots, and have a print copy and a email copy.

If it rains that list may become mush and you might not be able to read your own righting.

Now remember, this list is a recorded document, if you miss a group shot you are liable to pay to get the family members back to take the photograph it. 100% true fact, so do not mess up.

Wedding Photography tip – number 5

If you have never Professional Photographed or assisted at a wedding the structure of the day may seem daunting, but as shown below, I have provided a list of shots I would recommend.  

  1. Pre Wedding – Meet the bride at the place of departure – 1.5 hours before the wedding ceremony
  2. Brides maid image
  3. Image of the shoes
  4. Images of the brides hair
  5. Images of the dress hanging up
  6. Image of bride maids having fun
  7. Images of bride having her makeup done
  8. Image of bride and bridesmaid together
  9. Image of bride with parents
  • Meet the groom – 45 minutes before the wedding starts – give yourself 30 minutes to travel over to the groom and to rush into the church and meet the groom.
  • Photograph the groom outside the church with the best man
  • Photography the groom with his ushers outside the church
  • Photograph the groom with the wedding rings.
  • Bride arrives – You now meet the bride at the church 10 minutes before the ceremony starts.
  • Photograph the bride and dad inside the car.
  • Dad holding the car door and bridge getting out.
  • Bride walking to the main door (you will be walking backwards).
  • Photograph the bride and parents outside the church
  • Photograph the bride and bridesmaid outside the church
  • You will now go into the church and position yourself to photograph the bride coming into the church with her father. You may be asked to photograph the groom looking at the bride from the alter.
  • Wedding ceremony – During the ceremony sit at the back of the church and photograph the Bride and Groom with the beautiful stain glass window. You may need a tripod due to the low light, try using shutter speed of 1/40th or higher, put your ISO up and use aperture 11.
  • Photography the bride and groom placing the rings on fingers and capture that special moment of the kiss. These images are taken from the back on the church.
  • The signing of the register will take place before everybody leaves. It is illegal to photograph the actual signing due to date protection and the vicar will tell you not to. So you will need to position the bride and groom posing with the pen. I recommend having the groom standing behind the bride leaning in.
  • You now rush back to main position and photograph the bride and groom walking down the isle.
  • Group shots – Photograph the group shots at the church or at the hotel venue, I highly recommend to be loud and shout people names. It may seem rude on your first go, but trust me people will listen and thank you after for being fast. I always say, lady’s and gentleman, could I please have.
  1. Romantic shots – You can now take the Bride and Groom away for approx. 45 mins to take some romantic shots. Discuss location and also do you have time because they may have a meal booked for approx. 1 hour after the ceremony. I get this often.
  1. Reportage – Your job is to now go into reportage mode, photograph everybody having fun at the venue.
  1. Hotel shots – Photographing the guests having their meal, people enjoying themselves.
  1. Photograph the cake before anybody else goes into the dinning room
  2. Photograph the people entering the room
  3. Photograph the speeches
  4. Photograph the cutting of the cake
  1. Party – Photography the part and get the fun shots and everybody having fun.
  1. First dance – Photograph the first dance.

Now you can go home ……….

Extra hints.

The vicar and registrars are very busy and will tell you that you can not photograph at the front of the church. This is because amateur photographers have been like paparazzi.

Introduce yourself and let them know you will stand at the back and will not disturb the ceremony.

Well overall, Wedding photography is a huge market, and there are many photographers vying for business. How can you make sure that your wedding photos stand out from the rest? By following these simple tips on how to professionally photograph a wedding. Of course, if you want to learn more or need help with anything related to wedding photography, be sure to check out our website www.photographyapprenticeship.com and contact us today. We’d love to help you become a photography Apprentice or help you take on a Photography apprentice for the Photography Apprenticeship.