7 Tips For Photographing Your Wedding – Bruce Weber
When you’re in the business of photographing weddings, they tend to become what you do most. Yet it is still extremely important when you are photographing a wedding that you maintain your individuality and vision. You can’t simply repeat what so many others do or be content with capturing what’s already been documented by many other photographers like Bruce Weber. On the other hand, if you want to make a wedding your own, it’s important to know what you like. Although you can’t be an expert on every aspect of weddings (the bride and groom are ultimately responsible for that), it is helpful to understand some generalities.
Here are some tips for getting started. They’ll help you get off to a good start and give you ideas on developing your style.
1) Stay true to yourself – As I’ve repeated many times, great photographs happen when there is rapport between the artist (in this case, photographer) and subject (bride & groom). It is very difficult to build this rapport if you’re in unfamiliar territory with the bride and groom. If they feel uncomfortable, there can be no rapport.
2) Be patient – Some of the best pictures happen when things aren’t working out or “going as planned.” That’s when you capture life rather than pose it. You may not be able to control all the working parts of a wedding, but you can certainly contribute to letting things take their own natural course.
3) Feel – This is your best asset. If you feel absolutely nothing for what you’re photographing, it would be difficult to capture that feeling in a picture and, therefore, impossible for others to feel it too. On the other hand, if you’re feeling very emotional about what you’re photographing, that will come through in your pictures and be contagious to whoever sees them.
4) Let things happen – Your job as a wedding photographer is to capture “life,” not stage life. If I asked all my clients to stand in one place and smile, not only would I have no pictures to show, but it would be boring. The true magic of photographing a wedding is to capture the real emotions by not forcing everyone to do anything. Let moments occur naturally so they can be documented.
5) Work with an assistant – One person simply cannot photograph all parts of a wedding. For each part of the day, you need someone to help move things along (the bride getting ready, the bridal party getting dressed, etc.) and keep everyone on schedule. This person should also occasionally take over for you while you check lighting or equipment throughout the day.
6) Be effective – Being creative is fine, but if you’re not also effective, the pictures won’t work. You can be as creative as you like (I certainly am), but your pictures must work both technically and aesthetically.
7) Be prepared – Nothing is worse than realizing you didn’t check something vital before arriving at a wedding; it only makes the stress level rise. Before you arrive at the wedding location, check and double-check all your equipment so you can concentrate on shooting rather than fixing.