In wedding photography, you need to be prepared as much as possible. Preparation will usually spell the difference between a really successful good and a tragic one. This is something that you should seriously take some time in to step back and really assess. After all, you need to make sure that you are fully equipped for a war before you step out of the barracks before you head out, don’t you? Wedding photography is pretty much the same thing. Your gear is the most important part of the equation. After all, no matter how much talent you have, if you do not have enough gear to follow things through with, you will have nowhere to go.
Camera and backup
You start with your camera and your backup camera, or course. If you are just starting out in wedding photography, there is a very high chance that you only have one high quality camera and that’s fine; but you cannot head out to cover an event for a paying client with just one camera. You need some sort of insurance for when something happens to your main one and that is where the second camera comes in and saves the day. Foresight is everything and you should expect the worst. If you can’t afford to buy a second camera just yet, it is ok to borrow or rent one out in the meantime.
You will need to start off with several lenses as well. Lenses are expensive and they can seriously drain you out so start off with the most basic ones. A medium zoom lens is one of the most versatile lenses that you can ever invest in. It films great in bad lighting and captures really awesome portraits as well. You will also want to get a telephoto lens for those times when you cannot be up in people’s faces all the time and you need to stay at a certain distance but still need to shoot close ups. The last lens you will need is a wide angle lens that will let you shoot group photos flawlessly and without that much trouble. Even an orange county wedding photographer brings several lenses when shooting a wedding.
Tripod and Light Stands
You might want to invest in a tripod and light stands as well. Tripods provide the kind of stability and support that is much needed for long events. They are also great in minimizing camera shake when you are shooting in low lighting. Light stands let you control your light placements and they are awesome to have when you are shooting at night.
Memory cards and batteries
You will need at least 60GB worth of memory space so invest well in your memory cards. You will also need a lot of juice so that you do not run out so get two spare camera batteries per camera. Make sure that they are all full charged and pretty much good to go for the event that you are covering.
High quality camera bag
Lastly, you need to invest in a high quality camera bag that can survive through heavy equipment and perhaps even rough handling and weather. Go for something sturdy and durable. Also look for something that is roomy enough to fit all of your gear in.
Do not be afraid to speak up. Work on the kind of presence that you portray out to people. If you want people to gather around so you can take photos of them, they should respect you enough to listen. If you want them to clear the area because they are getting in the way of your photography schedule, they should be able to respect that as well. You want to come out as someone whom people respect and listen to without sounding like someone who is bossy and authoritative. This is something that is far easier said and done and really is a daily battle of experts in the field of wedding photography out there. It is a delicate balance to manage but not something that does not come with its rewards if you are able to pull through successfully.
Give a quick turnaround time
Our wedding photographer Cardiff always does this. Nobody likes getting results far longer than usual. You will want to deliver your finished products about a few days after the wedding day itself. You can go as fast or as slow as you would like but you have to make sure that you do not take more than a week after the wedding when it comes to the post shoot editing process or when it comes to the touching up of the photos and bringing together of all of the materials for the digital and print copies of the wedding photography album.
Learn how to scratch other people’s backs and they will go back
Make sure that they scratch yours too. When you are in the process of writing up your blog about the wedding, make sure that you have gathered all of the business cards of the providers during the actual wedding day. Send them a quick email advising them that you have put up a blog and that you are including a live link of their business at the bottom of the blog as a part of the vendors list. This is a little thing to you and this might seem like you are not doing much here but you will be surprised how much people value little gestures like these and how willing they will be in returning the favor.
Once you are able to deliver your work, make it a point to find out whether or not the bride and groom like the quality of your work. If they come out right off the bat and exclaim how much they love it, you should by no means at all be ashamed and ask if they know of any other people that might need your services. Glowing recommendations work far better than a well peppered resume. People have the tendency to trust people more when they are being referred by friends and family members. A simple question like that just might land you your next possible client. You really never know if you never ask. This is the part where being too timid will not get you anywhere. Speak up or forever hold your peace!
Have confidence in yourself and believe in what you can do as a newborn photographer. This is probably something that can be somewhat difficult to pull off especially when you don’t have the experience to lend you the confident vibes that you absolutely need. However, what you can be rest assured of is the fact that this is something that can be quite easily taken care of. All you need to do is to make sure that you do your research and basically go do your best in terms of teaching yourself the basics on what is needed to be a professional newborn photographer.
Read through some articles online. Try watching some self-help tutorial videos. Maybe you can even attend some classes, seminars, or photography training so that you will get a better feel of the nitty gritty details and of all of the technicalities. When you come to think about it, it really is not as hard as you think it is. Everything is learnable at some point.
Go over all of the details with your clients and go back and forth into discussions about what will be best for the entire shoot. You need to really talk openly to your clients. Ask them what it is that they would like to achieve from the photo shoot. What were their intentions of having it to begin with? What were their sources of inspiration? Is there a particular theme that they would like to go with? What newborn photography style are they aiming for? These are all crucial questions in making sure that you know exactly what your clients what and just how exactly do they want them. You will be able to make sure that satisfaction is always guaranteed and when your clients are happy, the recommendations start coming in and more clients should be coming in left and right before you even know it.
Invest in stuff
Invest in a wide assortment of blankets and pillow stools. Blankets and pillow stools are the life blood of a newborn photography photo shoot, among other things such as props and toys and so on and so forth. You want to go for something that is soft and textured. You want something that is nice to the touch. Babies like rich textures, everything soft and cool to the touch.
Pay attention to the kind of lighting you use during the newborn photography photo shoot. You want to be using a lot of natural light when doing a newborn photo shoot. Try to position the baby near a window or a door or somewhere that light just easily streams into. Try to veer away from artificial and harsh light like flash guns because you will end up irritating the baby and may even cut your shoot short because he will start throwing up a tantrum.
Make baby comfy
Make sure that the baby is at ease and comfortable all the time, if you can help it. Try to keep the room warm and toasty so the baby can be kept comfortable but not too much in such a way where the temperature starts to feel humid.
1. Get some kind of experience first before even thinking about getting any clients to cover.
If you have not covered any kind of wedding before, don’t even think of doing it now; at least not until you are able to get some kind of experience. Wedding photography is more complicated and requires more hours and level of expertise compared to other legs of photography whose shoot periods may just last about 1-2 hours in a studio setting. Wedding photography is nothing like that. Do yourself a favor and offer to assist a more established a pro photographer first before even thinking about booking any clients. Experience is the best teacher and that is more applicable than ever especially when it comes to this particular field.
2. Prepare your gear ahead of time.
Wedding photography is not the easiest niche to get into and neither is it the cheapest. The thing is cameras, especially the high quality ones, really take a lot of money and can seriously burn a hole in your finances. Save up for enough money to get a high quality DSLR camera. You can start with the more basic 5D or the upgraded 1-Series, whatever fits your budget, really. But you have to prepare for that and for a secondary one of similar quality. The second camera will be your backup for when something happens to your main camera. It’s just smart planning.
3. Have a heart to heart talk with your clients and go over all of the options in detail.
Your clients are your prime priorities. You have to know what they want and how they want it done. Have an open discussion with them and go back and forth in brainstorming and sharing ideas and inputs about the things that are possible for you to deliver and the things that are not. Be honest and firm but still polite when you come across some hurdles as you most likely will when it comes to some topics such as pricing and turnaround time. Diplomacy is your best friend here so hone your skills properly.
4. Get someone to assist you by all means.
You can’t cover a wedding all alone. Wedding photography is too complex for that. You can pay an assistant to assist you in all your gigs or just get a friend to help you while you’re still starting out. Whatever works for you should be fine.
5. Attend some classes to help you get better at your craft
Formal training never hurt anybody. Getting some kind of advancement in your field in the form of academics is a great idea to start off with especially if this is something that you would like to really delve into on a more professional playing field. Plus, certifications look pretty in your resume if you want to apply for any photography jobs in the future.
6. Get your legalities covered by having an iron clad contract set in place.
A contract that mitigates your risks and gets your liabilities covered is an absolute must. Get it reviewed by a lawyer just to make sure you don’t come across any kinds of loopholes whatsoever.