Tips for Getting the Best Wedding Photographs

Wedding photos are a permanent memory of that one special day in any couple’s lives. A huge part of the wedding budget is always reserved for the photography and the couples expect nothing but the very best shots from their service provider. But in order to get a quality wedding photographer whom you can rely on to capture the most stunning moments during the wedding, there are certain factors you must give a keen consideration to. They are as follows:

Don’t pay too much attention to the price

Other than focusing on the price that the photographer will charge, you need to focus on the package that will be best suited for your kind of wedding. You need to search for the wedding photographers that are able to offer theme based packages which will be suitable for your style, your location as well as other setups during the wedding. You should also incorporate the style of photography to be used as there are very many different styles couples can pick from.

Pick on your preferred hues

Knowing your preferred hues for the photographs will also be essential in getting the best from the photographer. Whether you want black and white hues or you simply want to go with warm tones, you should make it clear to the wedding photographer and ensure that they understand the hues and in case they don’t have them, then you can search for another service provider. If the photographer have this knowledge in advance, they can prepare well and come with the appropriate cameras and lighting equipment to enable them take the kind of shots that you desire.

Get sample poses

It is ideal that you give the wedding photographer your preferred poses that you would like them to capture. This will help a lot in helping them to understand the kind of poses to go for on the wedding such. There are several resources online where you can ideas about some of the best poses that will you can use on your wedding day.

Use a photo booth

It might not be an easy task to get the photographer to take photos of you together with all the guests on the wedding day. This can be a bit tiring and it might compromise on the quality of the shots as it will be done in a hurry. Instead, you can set up a photo booth with some nice backgrounds where the guests can take a few photos which they will use to remember your wedding.

Wedding Photography Gear: A Check List of Equipment Every Wedding Photographer Needs

Being asked to be a Wedding Photographer is a huge responsibility! Someone has trusted YOU with capturing the memories of what could be the biggest day of their lives!

Have you got the right gear to get the job done?

Gear can be a bit of a sensitive topic and every photographer is different. Some prefer Canon, other prefer Nikon. Some prefer zoom lenses, others prefer prime lenses. And some photographers are just starting out and don’t know what they need. So, I have created this article to give an outline of the gear I take with me to every wedding and that I feel is crucial and could not live without!

Firstly I use Canon gear and ONLY use zoom lenses. A lot of my friends like to use prime lenses and we often have fun battling about the pros and cons of both options, and for me, I’m a zoom lens kind of guy.

The battle of the zoom lens Vs the prime lens

Here are 6 super important reasons why I prefer to use zoom lenses over prime lenses:

1. Firstly, I can shoot 95% of the wedding on just 2 lenses.

2. It saves me from having to shoot using 2 cameras.

3. I feel more prepared with a zoom lens to get ‘the shot’ when it appears in a split second.

4. It gives the look of my images more variety. For example, I can shoot the same subject while quickly zooming in and out, and the two images will look completely different.

5. It’s also just way quicker to use, instead of running in and out, I can simply just zoom in and out (within reason)

6. And my last reason is simply, this is the way I learnt to shoot weddings and just feel way more comfortable using zoom lenses. Again, everyone is different and everyone has their own style, so it’s simply just my preferred way of shooting a wedding

Checklist: 13 MUST-HAVE things for every wedding!

OK, so this bag (LowPro Pro Roller x300 AW) comes with me on every shoot. Check out what’s inside:

1. Canon 5D MK3 (with battery grip)

My trusty workhorse! An absolutely fantastic camera that does everything I need it to do to shoot weddings. There are definitely better camera’s out there, but for what I need it for, and at this price range it is the BEST!

2. Canon 5D MK2 (backup camera body just in case)

This was my old camera before I upgraded to the Canon 5D mk3. The perfect backup camera, which hopefully I will never need to use!

3. Canon 24mm – 70mm f/2.8 (series 2)

The lens I absolutely could not live without and most used in my whole kit. The series 2 is also a big improvement on the series 1, providing noticeably sharper images.

4. Canon 70mm – 200mm f/2.8 IS (series 2)

The second most used lens in my kit and another that I could not live without! This lens comes in two versions, with image stabiliser and a cheaper version without. If I could give one point of advice, it’s DEFINITELY worth forking out for the IS.

5. Canon 100mm macro f/2.8

I mainly use this lens for all my detail shots as the macro lets me get up close and personal with the item and also gives the images a super nice soft drop off. Just be careful to check your images on the back of the camera to make sure the thing that you want to have in focus, is actually in focus. If you miss by a millimetre, your whole shot will be ruined!

6. Canon 17mm – 40mm f/4

This is a great lens that I use to get a lot of my ‘epic’ shots. The wide angle is amazing and can give you some really dramatic shots. Also great when you’re shooting in a crowd after the ceremony and on the D-floor in the reception. Personally I couldn’t justify the additional $1500 for the 16mm – 35mm f/2.8

7. Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flash

I just upgraded from the 580ex and basically can’t tell the difference. I’m sure there are more and better features, but I just use it on ETTL and bounce the light around. Works perfectly, as did the 580ex.

8. Spare camera batteries

Always bring spare batteries with you to every wedding! Luckily I have never needed to use them yet as I always charge my batteries the night before, but still for the peace of mind it worth having.

9. Canon battery charger

Also have never needed to use this on a wedding yet as everything is already charged, but it’s nice to have just in case you need to do some emergency charging. Remember with the battery grip you can charge one battery while still being able to shoot with the other in your grip.

10. Spare AA batteries and charger for Speedlite flash

Now these are probably more important than the spare camera batteries. I find I’m way more likely to run out of flash power, especially on some of the longer days, so a spare set of fully charged AA’s is a must!

11. Card folder with 1x 8gig, 2x 16gig and 1x 32gig sandisk memory cards

To be honest I should actually have 1 more card in my kit. I find it is best to have 1 card for every different section of the day, groom coverage, bride coverage, ceremony, locations and reception. That way if worst case scenario you end up with a corrupt card, you have only lost a section of the day, not the WHOLE day!!

12. Little baggie with lens cloth and elinchrom flash trigger inside

I find it just nice to have a little bag to put random little stuff in.

13. Business cards!!

Always thinking about marketing, so give out your business cards!!

Stuff I take to give my images that extra punch!

So apart from everything that is in my camera bag, a few extra bits and pieces make it on the list as well! These things are not crucial but I still like to take them to every wedding so I can use them if I want to.

1. Elinchrom Quadra – An amazing 400 watt portable studio flash unit that’s totally easy to use and transport. It also allows me to take some of the photos you see below. This flash has helped me define my ‘style’ as a wedding photography and I use it at almost every wedding. Remember, I don’t use assistants or second shooters on a wedding, but still easily manage use this flash without any headaches. Here is a link to the Elinchrom Quadra official site if you want to read more about it.

2. Dido Video Light – A super awesome warm light that I use almost at every wedding to create really moody shots. I use the light generally during the morning coverage at the grooms house and brides house, sometimes at receptions to get a bit of flare during the dancing, and if we go to any bars or clubs on locations. Works a treat!! Check out the effect below.

3. My trusty little step ladder! I use this 95% of the time for the group photo of all the guests after the wedding ceremony. A bit of a hassle to carry and travel with as it takes up a decent amount of room in the car, but a must have piece of equipment if you’re doing group photos. Without it you might be stuck standing on a chair, which doesn’t give you the height you need, or looking for a tree to climb.

4. Lastly, not exactly something you need to bring with you, but something worth preparing, always have enough petrol in the car to get you through the day.

Thanks so much for reading!

Thanks so much for reading my post about wedding photography gear, a detailed MUST-HAVE checklist of everything you need to take to every wedding!!

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Made When Choosing a Wedding Photographer

There is one thing that every couple must do when planning a wedding, and that is finding the right photographer. This may not be as easy as you think, as a lot of things depend on the photographer. You want to make sure you make the best decision since you will only get one chance at this. Having someone who captures this priceless day is important. So make sure you do not make the mistakes listed below when you are searching for your wedding photographer.

1. Having the Thoughts that All Photographers are Equal

As you know, no one is the same as anyone else. This is especially true when it comes to photographers. To get this point through, think of your favorite sport, and now think of the top two players. Notice how these players are both great, but have their own style.

2. Choosing a Photographers Based On Their Price

Choosing the cheapest or most expensive photographer, does not guarantee you they quality. You may choose the cheapest photographer and get the best quality, or choose the most expensive and get the worse quality.

3. Thinking the Right Gear With Get Great Results

Just because the photographer you choose carries around the best equipment, does not mean they are an expert using it. These expensive cameras come with a lot of great features, but unless your photographer is skilled on the equipment, these features mean nothing,

4. Letting Friends and Relatives Take the Pictures For You, and Expecting Professional Results

It is always nice to have your friends and family take pictures at your wedding, but remember that taking professional pictures needs experience. Even if your favorite Uncle does have the best camera, if he is not experienced, these pictures will not be professional.

5. Cutting Your Photographers Time

A lot of times we want a lot in a little bit of time. If you want family pictures or pictures of the wedding party, make sure you schedule time for it. If you try to get everyone together and rush the photographer to take the pictures fast, you are more than likely going to get bad results. Know who you want pictures taken of, and make time for it. Make sure you tell your photographer the must have pictures well in advance. Having a time schedule will give your photographer and chance to organize and take great pictures.

6. You Entertain Too Many Photographers

Though price shopping with a number of different service providers is often a good idea, with photography this is not necessarily so.

A good photographer often has an already established client base and relies more on word of mouth than on advertising or on overly competitive prices. Many quality photographers will not even consider lowering rates for a price shopper. While it is important to get a good price and to stay within budget for photography services, it is even more important to have a professional experience and a high quality product.

7. You Sign the Paperwork Without Looking it Over First

It is not only one of the biggest mistakes but also one of the most commonly occurring – many people do not read the paperwork provided by their photographers. If a couple is serious about getting the best photographer, they need to take the time to read the contracts. Also, any items that are discussed between the photographer and client must appear in writing.

8. You Do Not Trust Your Own Instincts

A couple may get the feeling that an offer from a photographer is too good to be true, then will ignore that feeling in order to get a good deal. It is more important to trust those instincts; if something seems fishy, it probably is.

9. Lack of Professionalism is Ignored

A person who is planning a wedding has a long list of items to attend to, so it can be easy to ignore small things, such as a photographer who is dressed unprofessionally or behaves in any way other than a business-like fashion. It may seem unimportant how a person is dressed at the time of procuring their services, but if you attempt to picture this person in the midst of a wedding ceremony and formal reception, you may understand why professionalism is vital.

10. You Do Not Make Inquiries Into the Sample Album

Amateur photographers may attempt to piece together a sample album from multiple weddings, showing only one or two of the best shots taken at each wedding. A professional photographer will show a sample album with shots obtained at one wedding, showcasing the ability to capture multiple excellent photographs during the event.

It is also important to ask the photographer about the wedding; ask specific questions about techniques used or about the wedding itself so that you know for certain that the photographer is showing a legitimate sample album rather than one obtained from another photographer.