040: Shooting Your First Wedding with Adam Mason

April 18, 2018

Tips for Photographing Your First Wedding Bearded Tog Adam Mason

Shooting Your First Wedding with Adam Mason

Are you ready for shooting your first wedding? 

Although many photographers I talk to say “I could never photograph a wedding nor would I want to”, I see it as an amazing place to create work that is going to be cherished, handed down, and seen by generations. 

In this episode of the Bearded Tog Podcast, I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take before, during and after photographing your first wedding to make sure you are successful, and show you that it’s not as scary as some make it out to be. 

How to Successfully Go About Shooting Your First Wedding

Before the Wedding

  • Make sure you have a contract signed by the couple (and only the couple, not the parents!) that states where and when  the wedding is taking place, what amount you are getting paid and how, and how the couple will receive the photos from you. Make sure all the necessary details are included. 
  • Don’t bring too much gear to the wedding. You only need a couple lendes, a couple camera bodies and a flash. Make sure you know the gear you do bring and are familiar with how to use it in a  variety of situations. 
  • DO bring a backup camera body in case your first one decides to break on the wedding day. 
  • Before photographing your first wedding, you might want to considering being a second shooter at another wedding first. 
  • Plan out your computer workflow for after the wedding. Make sure you have enough room on your computer or hard drives for all of the raw photos, and what your lightroom organization system will be.  For tips on making sure your files will be backed up, check out our digital backup episode.  
  • Ask your couple for a timeline of the day. You want to know the location and addresses of all the locations you will need to be at, what time people are getting dressed, how much time is between the ceremony and reception, the order of events at the reception, and ect. 
  • Get a list of the family photos they would like taken on the wedding day. Be sure to as if there’s any sensitive family situations (like a divorce or death in the family) that you need to be awake of before the wedding so you don’t make anybody uncomfortable. 
  • Get the phone numbers of the maid of honor and best man on the wedding day so you can text them when you’re on your way without having to bother the couple. 
  • Double check the locations of the day and timeline.

The Wedding Day

  • The wedding day will feel crazy and out of control, but don’t worry, it feels that way to everyone else too. Stay calm, cool, and confident and you’ll be fine. 
  • Be a problem solver during the day and help the couple have an enjoyable day. 
  • Don’t ask for too much during the day. Know when it’s time to direct, and when it’s time to be a fly on the wall. Whatever you do, do not give any direction at all during the ceremony. You are there to document it, not take charge of it. 
  • Every guest at the wedding is important but be careful not to just say yes to any request, because you are there to capture the memories the couple has asked you to capture. 
  •  Be a team player with the venue, the coordinator or planner, and all the other vendors.  No matter what happens, be a happy person, and give a positive impression.
  • It’s okay to chimp (look at the back of the camera to check you photos) often. Make sure you are getting the photos you need!  

Post Wedding

  • Send a quick email to the couple thanking them for having you be a part of your day. Include a personal note about something you enjoyed, and wish them a happy honeymoon. This is also a time to remind them of the expected photo delivery time. 
  • Quickly cull through all the photos, and do your best to deliver them before the time you said they would be ready. Aim for less than a month. 
  • Email all the vendors and thank them for being a great team. If you have permission from the couple, share the photos of the day with the vendors. 
  • Think about your experience and decide if you want to do weddings again!

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