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Simple Rules, every wedding photographer must follow !

As a wedding photographer, there are several important rules you should follow to ensure that you capture the special moments of the day and deliver high-quality images to your clients. Here are some of the most important rules to follow:

Rules of Wedding Photography

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Plan Ahead well in advance

Before the wedding day, meet with the couple to discuss their vision for the day and create a detailed shot list to ensure that you capture all the important moments. In many cultures, there are elaborate functions involving multiple ceremonies and rituals. With experience, photographers do get an idea about these but it's still better to understand the flow of events.

Is the couple or their families, traditional or modern in their approach towards the coverage? You will have to plan accordingly. Sometimes, the couple wants things differently from what the parents are expecting. Get a better clarity or try to balance the different approaches which may not be an easy task.

Keep a formal record of everything.

From advance payments to pending amounts. From inclusions and exclusions to the timeline of all deliverables, mention everything on a proper contract note and share by email so that the record remains. You can create your own template of Estimates and timesheets which can be filled up as per the status of the progress of workflow.

Be Punctual

Be sure to get the complete Address of all the venues well in advance so that you can check out the directions on Google Maps. Many times, there are more than one venues by the same name, so proper clarity on this is very important. Still better to have a copy of the invitation card. This will allow you to reach the venue well before time so that you can set up and also get familiar with the venue.

Be prepared

Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and backup gear, including extra camera batteries, memory cards, and lenses. Lenses like wide angle and Telephoto are very important. Ensure that the batteries are fully charged and the cards are empty and ready to be used. Do not leave any leftover images from an earlier shoot as that can cause unnecessary confusion at the venue.

If you have any requirements which need to be fulfilled by the organisers, do let them know in writing. You may need electricity connections, for example.

Crew Size and coordination

It may be your team or you may be a part of it, coordination with others is very important and helps create good imagery as a collective team. When you put together your team, do so with a good understanding of their strengths. Some photographers are more creative than others and can handle to shoot instant candid moments better than other who may be otherwise technically stronger to handle more traditional and planned ways of shooting.

The team size will depend on the Budget of the client. Make it clear to the client about the limitations one may have with a smaller crew. On the other hand, if you have enough talented manpower at a shoot, plan it in such a way that you get the best out of everyone and segregate their roles properly so that you do not end up getting repeated shots of the same area. One may cover the guests while the other is covering the couple and so on. Unless, its something very important which needs to be covered from different angles, you do not need more than one photographer or Videographer at the same spot. More the crew members, better should be the overall coverage.

3 Photographers and Videographers is ideal for any wedding. First set can begin to cover the ceremonies at the Grooms side at his house. Second can cover the parallel ceremonies on the Bride's side. The third one can be present at the venue to take care of all the activity by the time the Bride and the Groom arrive with their respective crew.

Be Independent and Self sufficient.

Even if you have a dedicated Assistant with you, keep some of the accessories which you may need very frequently on you so that you can adapt these to your workflow quickly. Ideally, keep the lens which you may want to change often with you only. It's always faster to change the lens if its with you as compared to asking your assistant to get it for you. A small step can help avoid missing a precious shot. Check out if a Backpack or a Shoulder bag works better for you as your main bag.

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

Photo by Luis Quintero

Dress appropriately

Dress professionally and appropriately for the occasion. You should blend in with the wedding party and guests, so avoid bright or distracting clothing which are instantly noticeable. You may choose to be more formally dressed up or be more uniformly dressed up which is simple and comfortable to quickly move around.

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

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Be discreet

Blend in with the crowd and be as unobtrusive as possible. Avoid being in the way of the guests or disrupting the flow of events but at the same time be firm and ensure that you are getting your shots. Before the ceremony begins, make sure that the organisers have left enough space for you to cover the event.

Have a thorough knowledge of Flash

There is an art involved in the usage of flash. Use it in such a way that the viewer does not even get the idea that a flash was used, when you do have ample light but not enough for a proper exposure on its own.

In situations where you can't make much use of the natural available light, use the flash from a direction and not from the same camera axis. Good Directional light along with a balance of the natural available light especially in the background creates a good photograph with depth and also compliments the subject.

Avoid using the Flash fixed on the hot shoe of the camera unless absolutely necessary. check out some of the common Flash Problems and Solutions.

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

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Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

Photography by

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

Photography by

Watch out for Noise

using Natural light does not mean that you continue to push the ISO beyond a point. This will only increase the Noise in the photograph. Get a good understanding of Flash and practice how to blend the flash exposure with that of the natural light to create exposures which are natural, pleasing and devoid of any noise.

However, good your camera maybe in handling Noise at a higher ISO, the image wont be same in quality as shot at a lower ISO. Try to bring out the best combination of increasing the ISO to a certain extent, adding some flash light and utilising the ambient light.

Capture the Emotions

Wedding photography is all about capturing the emotions of the day, so be ready to capture the candid moments and emotions of the couple and guests.

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

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Cover it all

Get an understanding of who all are the key people involved in the wedding ceremonies and ensure they all are covered, be it Photography or videography. Its a good idea to make a checklist of all the stuff which needs to be covered. Ensure that every detail from decoration to food to the outfits of the couple are captured. Ensure that there are enough images of the close family. Not just in terms of the quantity but quality as well.

Shoot carefully without much dependence on Editing

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

Photo by George Milton

After the wedding, take the time to carefully edit and enhance the images to ensure that they are of the highest quality. However, there is nothing to beat, when you get great shots straight out of the camera itself. It's still always better to shoot on RAW and not on JPEG. Even if majority of your shots are perfectly fine, you still have a better scope of tweaking these as a batch process, if shot on RAW.

But this does not mean that you should not selectively enhance and apply filters and other effects to your images. You may check out the detailed Digital workflow in Photography

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

Photo by Владимир Васильев

Back up everything

Make sure that you backup everything as soon as possible after transferring the images from your card to the computer. Name these images properly and copy them to another hard disc as a backup so that you have two distinct copies of your data. We usually, ask the client to keep a budget for an additional hard disc so that it is not too much of a strain to maintain additional backups.

Deliver on time

Deliver the images to the couple within the agreed timeframe.

Today we live in the world where everything is digital and instant. We at "Together We Rock" pick up some of the best shots and upload the same on our website as soon as possible after every event so that people can start sharing the images almost instantly.

Putting together the images and designing the Album does not take so much time but it only starts once the client has shortlisted the images to be included in the album or the coffee table book, as the case maybe.

Rules of Wedding Photography for a successful career in Photography

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Wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the couple, and it is your responsibility to capture their memories in the best possible way. By following these or any other self created rules, you can ensure that you deliver high-quality images that will be treasured for many years to come.

Get some more Photography tips.

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