Some Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Photography for Beginners

Wedding photography is perhaps one of the toughest assignments that you can get as an amateur photographer. And with the toughest assignments come the many pitfalls and perils that most beginners fall into. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts to get you started:

Do’s:
Keep calm. While you have to keep up with the wedding day’s really fast pace, it’s important to stay level-headed, especially since communicating with the groom’s and bride’s families can be stressful. You can’t take good pictures when you’re having a breakdown on the big day.

Get pictures of everyone. No, you don’t have to go out of your way to get individual portraits of every single wedding guest, but you have to have at least one picture where everyone is in it. You might want a ladder or a place with a high vantage point for this.

Watch out for the little things. Little displays of affection, like a parent holding a child’s hand, can go a long way. Everybody loves a good unexpected photo.

Shoot from different perspectives. You should already know by now that eye level is boring – that’s the camera equivalent of shooting from the hip. Instead, why not literally shoot from the hip level?

Keep the family photos stress-free. Let the couple know how the photos will go, or better yet, ask them how they want the photos to go. If everyone knows what’s going on, the whole process of taking family photos will be much less stressful.

Don’ts:
Don’t nap. This is perhaps the worst thing you can do as a wedding photographer. However, you should seize the moment to relax a little whenever the opportunity presents itself, such as when the food is being served (no one wants to see a picture of them stuffing their face during the reception). A little breather goes a long way for your photos.

Don’t miss out on the food, either. After all, how could you miss up an opportunity to take some rare photos of the delicious catering? Just be sure to take pictures of the food before the guests actually start eating.

Don’t shoot with a messy background. Crowded and cluttered backgrounds are a big no-no in wedding photography. Unless you’re going for an effect, keep your shots of the bride and groom to a clean, simple backdrop to bring out the best in your pictures.

Don’t work alone. If you’re new (and especially if you’re new!), working alone can take its toll on you both physically and mentally. You might want to bring along a back-up photographer, preferably a friend with some experience in wedding photography, to switch around with you and help share the load. More cameras mean more chances of good shots taken.

Don’t rush. By running around too much, there’s a chance that you’ll missing some good shots. There’s no point in taking a million photos if only two or three of them are worth keeping.