I have had the honor of photographing hundreds of weddings across the globe, and along the way learned invaluable lessons about how to approach and prepare for event lighting. Take the pressure out of the fast-paced and ever-changing lighting conditions of the wedding day with these six tips.
If you’re not taking your time to preserve the details they’ve worked so hard on, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity! If you’re only sharing your couple creatives, you’re not being found when they search for something like “Moroccan wedding decor.” And of course, capturing images of these details is a great way to earn referrals from your fellow wedding vendors.
There is no secret formula to providing an unforgettable luxurious wedding experience for your clients. It’s about taking the extra time getting to know them, listening to their needs and caring for their loved ones on their wedding day. It’s about genuinely becoming their friend while being professional. Even though it may sound like a big investment to do this for every wedding, the rewards will come back to you tenfold.
You can easily practice these concepts on regular objects around the house or on a planned practice session with one or two people. Some of these concepts are easier to pull off than others, and with great planning and preparation, you can allot yourself the time to experiment on a wedding day. Introduce off-camera flash slowly at first, while leaning on your natural light work to get the safe shots. Once you feel confident you have a strong body of natural light work to lean on, you’ll have less pressure on you should your OCF images not work out. I make a point to not show the back of the camera images to couples if I’m not confident in the end result. The last thing I want to deal with is a couple feeling like they are missing images you showed them on their wedding day.
I believe wedding photography is a lot more involved than most other genres of photography. What I mean by “involved” is that a wedding day usually lasts 8-12 hours and has many moving parts and we, as photographers, are involved in it all throughout the day. We are also involved in the wedding much earlier. Our relationship with the client starts months before the big day and sometimes years earlier. As a boutique studio, I go out of my way to get to know my clients and what is important to them. How can I know what they love and want if I don’t ask? I’m genuinely curious. So on your next potential client meeting, make sure you ask. This is one of the most vital pieces of information because it will lead you to take images that are important to your clients. My curiosity has led me to photograph so many amazing moments.
What I propose is that you have a system for engagement shoots (or really any shoot). Maybe you’ll only have it in the back of your mind and bring it up on the uncreative days. Or perhaps you’ll just use it as a starting point to get everything flowing from there. Either way, having a go-to process in my head has helped me on numerous occasions. Posing guides are great, but having a method in the back of your mind will be much faster to access. Here’s my method and process of how I shoot my typical engagement session and how I interact with my clients and pose them. My sessions are slated as hour-long sessions, usually shooting about an hour before sunset so I have the best natural light and can maybe even snag a sunset or twilight picture or two.
By transforming our business from a shoot and burn model to a full service IPS photography studio, we took our income from a yearly average of $70K to $195K in one year. I’m not going to lie to you—it was hard work. We revamped our logo, our website, thought about what we could do to elevate our client experience, and most importantly, added IPS. We realized we were leaving so much money on the table and we weren’t helping our clients where they needed it most. Here are 6 actions we took to get the ball rolling.
I love that when I start a wedding, I never know what to expect. Every couple is different and every wedding presents new opportunities. Creativity is all about highlighting people’s expressions, mannerisms, or interactions. Lighting, shadows, other subjects, or other elements can also make the image unique. Everything is based on using what you have in the location. I look into my psyche and trust my instinct to get the shoot I want.
There are a lot of elements that go into making a wedding successful from a photographer’s perspective. A lot of times we feel that if the client is happy, then mission accomplished! But if that’s your only gauge of whether a wedding was successful or not, then there’s a lot you’re missing out on. I want to help challenge you to look at other aspects of a successful wedding day, from before you even book a client to getting bookings from guests at the wedding. Once you finish this article, I challenge you to make a list of items that define a successful wedding for you. But first, let’s jump into my top 5 tips for a successful wedding.
This is the point in your business when you probably begin to ask yourself, “Is it time to hire some help?” When you get to that point, it’s usually already too late. Now I want to start by letting you all know that I understand your reservations about hiring employees. No matter how much money you spend on equipment in a year, it will probably never be close to what you invest in an employee. People are inherently expensive, and the workload involved in having employees is also very stressful at times. However, no empires have ever been built by an individual, and if you want to continue to grow your business, you will need the help of other people.