Dec 24 2012

Last Minute Wedding Photographer Survival Tips 101

Published by at 5:36 pm under Tips and Ideas

Well, you warned them in advance, but they would just not listen to reasoning. Now, on the eve of their big day, disaster stroked and the “professional” wedding photo service they have hired has called to inform the soon-to-be newlyweds that their photographers will not be able to make it on time. On top of it all, you just found out that you are suddenly in charge of shooting the wedding photos. The best approach in this case is to stay calm and use the little time you have left to prepare yourself properly for your first wedding photographer gig. Here are some suggestions to help you out.

1. Review the potential list of shots with the bride and groom

Before you do anything else, have a talk with the happy couple to find out whether they have established anything regarding the shots with the wedding photography service. In case they did, then your job here is fairly simple considering that you could simply stick to the predefined listing. In addition, you still have a few minutes to go check the places from which you will snap the photos and possibly get creative about the locations at the same time. However, if the couple has made the mistake of not discussing this issue in advance, then the only solution consists of brainstorm location ideas and creating the list as soon as possible.

2. Talk to them about what they should expect

Since the bride and groom have assigned this task to you, then chances are you have a little experience in photography. On the other hand, because you are not a professional it is best to comport an open discussion with the couple about what they can and should expect. Even though this is the first time you are “working” as a pro, it is best to not be overconfident and have a realistic outlook regarding the results. In addition, it is usually wise to talk about the monetary aspect beforehand in the event that they want to pay you for the gig or you are expecting reimbursement.

3. Don’t be intrusive

In spite of the popular perception on wedding photographers, it is necessary to mention that these professionals always prefer to capture natural reactions rather than beg for smiles and postures. However, natural reaction in this case does not refer to barging in on the bride or groom while they are still in the preparation phase. What it does mean is that you need to anticipate what is going to happen so you can get into the right position to take the right shots. For instance, a picture of the restless groom exiting his chamber with the best men would be more priceless than one with him yelling at you to get out, right?

4. When in doubt, use fill-ins

The main dissociation between an amateur and a professional photographer resides in the fact that the latter is “magically” able to set an atmosphere in the wedding album. However, the mood and the sense of ambiance of the location are not obtained through sorcery, but rather by finding the perfect fill-ins to put in the photo album. If you want your work to be just as delightful and admired, then the secret is to wander around the location of the wedding – if you are allowed to, of course – and take shots of photogenic details, such as the rings, flowers, invitations, bridal shoes, bride’s hair accessories, table menus, so on and so forth. Because the bride and groom have worked very hard to make sure that every details fits perfectly in their big day, they will surely be glad to know someone else appreciates their effort.

5. Make sure to include everyone in the picture

In general, people tend to sit near/talk to people they know not because they are antisocial or they do not like the other, but because at a subconscious level that familiar crowd makes them feel more comfortable. Since you are a guest at this wedding from either the bride or the groom side, chances are you may fall into this trap as well if you are not careful. In order to avert this mind trick, an idea is to make a list with all the family members attending the wedding and take at least two shots with each guest on the listing.

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Matt Moogan is a webmaster and event executive with XeroDigital.ca, award winning wedding photographers based in Toronto.

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