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The Key To Successful Digital Wedding Photography Is Preparation

Digital wedding photography is all about being organised. You know how to work your camera. You know how to compose a good shot.
Now it’s time to get creative.

I’m not a professional wedding photographer, but I have been to enough weddings with my camera to share a few tips on the topic.

Most weddings follow the same sequence of events and once you’ve got yourself organised with a plan, you can concentrate on creating stunning photographs.

My digital wedding photography plan is divided into two areas....before the wedding and during the wedding.

Before the wedding is all about planning and organisation, whilst during the wedding is concerned more with getting the essential shots for the album.

Digital Wedding Photography - The Rings

Digital Wedding Photography - Before The Wedding

Create A Photograph List

Show the couple your portfolio to help generate ideas and find out what they are expecting from you in terms of an album. Do they want all the pictures you take or just the best forty or so?

Ask the couple to let you know what sort of shots they want you to take on the big day. Apart from the essential shots below, some couples like pictures of certain family members, like their Grandparents or Great Aunts.

Making this list with the couple prior to the wedding day prevents any surprises on the day, reducing any stress.

If you are charging for the wedding photography, make sure you have an agreement of price for the album with the couple beforehand. This saves any misunderstandings that may occur after the wedding when it is too late!

Wedding Photo Co-ordinator

Getting everyone rounded up on the day can be quite a challenge. People tend to wander off to the toilets or visit the bar for a quick drink before the reception.

I usually try to get the Best man or Chief bridesmaid to organise a member from each family group to round-up their respective families for the group photos. This keeps the event organised and less chaotic.

Do A Recce Of The Location

Visit the area where the wedding photos are taking place. This will help you discover good backgrounds and allow you to be more efficient on the day.

If you visit at roughly the same time of the day as the digital wedding photography will be taking place, you can also get a good idea of what the lighting conditions will be like.

Prepare Your Kit

Make sure your camera batteries are charged and that you have enough space on your memory card. I always format the card before I start shooting and always carry a spare. Also check that your flash-gun batteries are charged if you are using one.

One of the most important parts of being prepared is to have a backup plan should the weather not be favourable. You may have to take the photographs indoors, so different equipment may be required.

Digital Wedding Photography - The Groom Kisses The Bride

Digital Wedding Photography - During The Wedding

Digital wedding photography requires a number of traditional shots that you’ll need to take at the wedding. These include:

The bride at home. Shots of the Bride’s preparations for the wedding, shots of the Bridesmaid’s getting ready both individually and together with the bride.

The Groom arriving at the venue. Take shots of the Groom with the Best man and ushers. Also take pictures of the Groom’s parents and other immediate family.

The Bride’s arrival at the venue. Take shots of the Bride and Bridesmaid’s entering the venue.

Inside the venue. It’s good practice to use a tripod on these shots to prevent camera shake and blur. It can be quite dark inside the venue.

Exchanging of the rings. Get a couple of shots of the rings being exchanged and also the Bride and Groom kissing.

Signing the Register. Shots of the Bride and Groom as well as witnesses if possible.

Walking down the isle. The happy couple leaving the venue and also standing outside as the guests throw confetti.

Group Shots. I like to start with a large group shot first while everyone is still together. After this I get shots of the two families and then of the Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids and Best man and ushers. Some times it is easier to go in reverse, taking the group photo last, depending on the occasion.

The reception. Take shots of the Bride and Groom entering the reception as well as the cutting of the cake and the glasses being raised and clinked together during the first toast.

Digital Wedding Photography - The Ring In The Bible

Wedding Photography Blueprint

Wedding Photography Blueprint

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David Coote
Wedding Photographer
Northern Ireland

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