Few months ago, my friend and colleague decided to get hitched and I was beyond thrilled. When she announced the news, I offered to be her photographer for the day. This was my second try at photography in a professional setting* and it was way harder than expected. There’s a reason why wedding photographers charge that much. I would definitely suggest you hire a professional photographer if you’re planning your wedding, but in case you want to ask your amateur friend, here’s what you and he/she should keep in mind.
You can find millions of wedding photos on the Internet, photos of each and any style that can cross your mind. Rustic, modern, minimal or romantic, you can find someone who has done it before. Make sure you know what you like and what you want. This goes both for amateur and professional photography, you should know what style you want and ask for it. Especially when it comes to choosing a professional photographer, you should look at their portfolio and make sure that you like their style. If you go for an amateur photographer, show them some photos you like and explain the style you’re going for (and cross your fingers).
Bring back up
Professional wedding photographers have a back up camera, some lenses, extra batteries and so on. You don’t want to run out of battery midway through the reception. A back up battery is cheap and will make you feel more secure. Having an extra camera can be more tricky, but if you have one, then bring it. Also, two people are better than one. Ask for an assistant photographer, if that’s possible. A friend of ours was brilliant in giving instructions to the happy couple while I took the photos. We got some amazing shots that way.
Choose your lenses wisely
I have a 28-75mm zoom lens that works perfectly in a setting like this one. If I had the option I would also carry with me a 30mm lens, preferably one that has nice bokeh. My camera has a crop sensor, but if you’re lucky enough to have a full frame camera, then a 50mm lens would be the best choice.
Pose, pose, pose
One of the most difficult things, when shooting people, is to make them feel comfortable enough to behave naturally. I don’t like fake poses and in some cases it can take some time to loosen up. Be patient. It’s also wise to have some poses to propose. I’m not the best at giving instructions, but in this case, it’s useful to guide the bride and groom. “Move your head like this. Touch her shoulder. Look this way.”
In any case, you should have fun. This goes both for the couple and the photographer. It’s OK to take 1500 photos, only to keep 100. Don’t stress over it, just shoot.
All in all, this was a nice experience. I learned a lot about me as a photographer, even some things I need to improve on, but I also enjoyed it very much. A big thanks to the happy couple for letting me photograph their wedding. Would you be the wedding photographer at your friend’s wedding?
* As a matter of fact, I shot the engagement photos for a lovely couple in Trondheim few weeks before my friend’s wedding.