Wedding Photography and YOU: It's a balance, not ALL about kit!

February 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Wedding Photography snobbery is rife!

A small minority of Pro's (inserted 'a minority of' so as not to offend all good pro's - there are many great Pro's out there folkssay only they should do it (and it's understandable that they would say this), idiots and numpties try to convince you that it's impossible to do weddings if you own certain brands of kit or have limited lenses etc, internet trolls post on forums and social media with their childish flames whilst unwittingly making total idiots of themselves (funny to watch them implode though!). So, what can be done? What is achievable? Pouyee & Adam WeddingPouyee & Adam WeddingBryn Meadow Golf Club

Wedding Photography is a génre that often scares the pimples off many amateur photographers backs!  Imagine the scenario... You have some kit, and ok - it's not your profession, but you are pretty adept at using it, and your 2nd cousins friends daughter-in-law asks if you would be the photographer at their wedding.  You are of course extremely flattered and you say yes.  As the event approaches, those stomach butterflies start flying, panic ensues and as the day looms ever closer - well, it's enough to send shivers down your spine and aunty running off to the hills.  Many amateur photographers recognise this scenario I am sure...? However, it need not be that way.

WeddingWeddingLeah and Gary wedding Of course and without doubt, Wedding Photography can certainly be a specialist field, and often it is only right and proper that those who have been trained and who have the experience should attempt certain weddings - but photographing a wedding should by no means be limited only to those who have been doing so for many years, and also more importantly, it is not limited only to those with perceived high end kit!

In my experience, being able to competently photograph a wedding is a balance, a triumvirate; of the equipment you have, your ability to use it, and most importantly the personality, confidence and character of the photographer.  You. Are. Paramount.  Your ability to communicate, deal with pressure and confidently relate to people is by far the most important facet in being able to successfully photograph a wedding. WeddingWeddingLeah and Gary wedding

The best camera you have is the one in your hand.

Of course kit matters! One should never plan to photograph a wedding using only a camera phone (despite reports of these being used in cases where kit has failed!!).  There are bare essentials required such that the usual routine shots can be obtained, all modern DSLR's are more than capable of taking high quality images, and brand matters not.  Only fools and their ignorance will suggest otherwise.

Do your research: explore the venue, check the time and date of the wedding so you have knowledge and understanding of the lighting and conditions (weather permitting) on the day, know what is close by for bride/groom shots.

Gerrin and SueGerrin and SueGerrin and Sue Have a keen eye: As well as ensuring you have a selection of the regular shots most brides/grooms will require, also keep an eye out look for the unusual. Alternate angles, use bokeh, use space, keep cognisant of what can be effectively processed.

Have a back up plan: Kit does malfunction so one should always consider this and have a contingency.

Whatever gear you have - KNOW IT: Fundamental to being able to obtain any quality photographs is your understanding and ability to use the kit you have.  Know it inside out so you don't have to think of how to enable certain modes, setups, lens specifications etc.

Be collaborative: it's all about being part of the day, being involved and being able to capture those special moments.  This is greatly helped by collaborating and working with everyone involved; from the bride and groom and their family, right through to the chauffeurs and staff at the venues.

Susie Sam WeddingSusie Sam WeddingSusie Sam Wedding Don't underestimate the amount of work involved: Believe me, there is a LOT of work to do, it really is not just about taking shots on wedding day!

Know yourself: Understand your limitations and what you are capable of.  You can't wing a wedding, there's simply too much responsibility at stake so make sure before you commit, that you know yourself what you are capable of, and that you can deal with the pressure and stresses of the day! And on the day, allow your personality to shine, make sure you communicate with everyone, and be confident - this will undoubtedly help people to relax, and perhaps smile!

In summary

If you have half-decent kit, and you know how to use it, don't be put off by pixel peepers and trolls suggesting it cant be done with the kit you have, and that you should leave it to the experts.  

Gerrin and SueGerrin and SueGerrin and Sue

Don't fool yourself of course - if you have doubts about your kit, or reservations about your confidence and ability it may be best to pass the 2nd cousins request on to someone you know who could ensure the job is done! Or, learn how to do it yourself. 

But if you are satisfied you know your kit, you're honest with yourself and and you know your ability... my advice is to go for it, don't let trolls or fools stop you! 

Most importantly... have fun!!!

PS: to all the trolls and childish nob-heads who suggest one can't photograph weddings if one uses any brand other than theirs - I'd stick to your tacky use of dodge and burn tools, way-off-white-balance, and tango'd portraits - big smiles 😜


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