Wedding Photography - two words designed to distill fear into the heart of any photographer. And rightly so - a wedding day is one of the most important days of someone's life and shouldn't be taken lightly. As their photographer, it's your duty to make their day as badass and wonderful as you possibly can, as well as providing the best photography you can provide! :) So no pressure, guys...
Here we go!
with abit of background music! ;)
Step 1, of course is to meet your bride and groom prior to their wedding day, to get a feel for their personalities and squeeze as much juicy information out of them regarding the wedding as you possibly can!
Today's case study is the wedding of Katy and Matt Linley. I went to primary school with Katy, and was drafted in 3months prior to the wedding - though many people will wish to book you up to a year in advance. I met with Katy, her mum (and my former maths teacher!) and her sister/bridesmaid Shauna the week before her wedding. She filled me in on her plans - themes, colours, amount of bridesmaids (nine, yes really, nine) and other details. We arranged my transport, timings and durations all prior to the Big Day - just to save on any questions.
I arrived at 11am, spent 20minutes having a big "oh my god you're getting married" session (which is great, not only because it's super fun but it puts everyone at ease). Then out came the camera....
These pictures were all taken within the first 30minutes. You want to interject photography with conversation, keep it relaxed! Get to know everyone around you. Leanne, one of the bridesmaids, worked in a prison with Katy providing aftercare when the inmates were released. Get to know people so it doesn't feel like they are being photographer by a complete stranger. The best lens to start off with here is a 70-200mm 2.8 (paparazzi lens!) because it let's you keep your distance from everyone and doesn't make them feel their space has been invaded by a camera wielding maniac!
The above shots were taken with the 70-200mm 2.8 and the 85mm 1.2.
Then I headed downstairs to say hello to everyone else...
Taking a random photo to get my settings right:
And shooting at a high ISO and getting a "film" look:
Back to the wedding preparations! I then spent the last 45minutes bobbing about upstairs and downstairs taking pictures of anything that caught my attention (which was alot!)....
...and there we go! 144 images (there are a few b&w conversions I did of some of my favorites) of everyone getting ready. One of the reasons you can feel okay with charging alot for wedding photography is that it takes a LONG time. I have been editing each of these photos since 9am this morning, and it's now 11.45pm.
I charged £500 for this wedding, as Katy is an old school friend so I gave her a big fat discount, plus it's only the 6th wedding I have done so far. For the wedding itself I was there for 12hrs, and today's editing has come about to approx 12hrs and I'm about 1/5 of the way through. That's around 72hrs total work with each wedding. At £500, I'm earning around £6p/h, which isn't all that much when you look at it that way. So when it comes to pricing, don't feel bad for charging what sounds like ALOT. I did a wedding the other day for £200, which was my first booking, same amount of exhausting work. Let's just say I'm never charging that low again! ;)
Another thing to remember is that you HAVE to stay enthusiastic and enjoy yourself! Boogey round while you're taking the dancing shots. It makes the world of difference, as Katy very lovely-ly pointed out!!!:
I think one of the reasons I love wedding photography so much is that I get to see people on the happiest days of their lives, and I get to see love everywhere from everyone. I genuinely LOVE doing it, to the point where sometimes I well up a little to myself while editing the photos afterwards (and occasionally during the ceremony!!). Keep smiling, have fun and notice the little things which really make the day what they are.
“When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.”
Stay tuned for part two of this wedding with some more How To commentary! :D