weddingphotographychecklistA wedding is one of the most meaningful and memorable days in your entire life. It is a day on which you can finally share with the world your love for a lifelong partner, and a chance for you to celebrate with the friends and loved ones you cherish most in the world.

Yet while the day itself may leave you feeling elated, it is the memories that are created that can ensure your euphoria for a lifetime, and these can be easily captured with the use of a camera, a good knowledge of this device, and even this course on wedding photography. And don’t leave anything up to chance on your big day – make sure to check off each item on this list in order to prepare for the perfect day together.

1. Understand Your Camera

Is it a ‘point and shoot’? Do you have an SLR? Will you be taking videos, or only still shots that capture the moment? And how do you use the flash?

If you find yourself asking any of these questions, then you should make sure that you understand the full capabilities of your camera far before the big day arrives.

Most digital cameras are fairly easy to use, and only require that you point and click on your desire subject in order to snap a picture. This can be fairly simple, yet they often come with many functions that can confuse a beginner user. If you don’t understand your device, consult the user’s manual to fully understand each function.

If you decide to use a video camera, keep in mind that you should save enough battery for speeches, first dances, and any other notable performances throughout the ceremony. While you may want to capture the entire day, your battery and storage space may only last for a few hours – so pick your timing wisely.

If you are wielding a single-lens reflex camera (SLR), either regular or digital, then you are dealing with a machine that when used efficiently can capture some of the most beautiful moments with stunning accuracy. These cameras do have a bit of a learning curve though, and it is important that you learn your devices functions in preparation for the ceremony. If you need assistance, try taking this course on SLR photography to become a serious shutterbug.

2. To Flash, or Not to Flash

When it comes to photography, this is the eternal question. Using light to your advantage can help you capture the perfect image, but an over-utilized flash can lead to pictures that contain an uncomfortable amount of light, effectively erasing the subject from the frame entirely.

But how can you prepare for the amount of light you will need to take professional-quality photographs?

Simple – by doing a small amount of research. Head to the wedding venue a few days beforehand, and ask the staff about the quality of light and the lighting that will be present. You can even bring your camera along with you and take a few preliminary pictures – this will help you get the best sense of what you will be dealing with.

If the wedding will be held outside, don’t fret – you can’t know for sure what the surrounding lighting will look like, but you can always check the weather forecast, and prepare somewhat adequately for the actual day.

All of these simple flash-related steps will help ensure that you use light to your advantage. Of course, if you need more practice with flash photography, this course can help you understand everything you need to know.

3. Pick the Best Shots

The bride and groom locking lips in a kiss that seals their love for eternity; the happy couple sharing their first dance together as a married couple; the newlyweds running down the stairs of the reception hall in pursuit of a blissful honeymoon – these are all magnificent moments during the ceremony that can be captured well by a skilled photographer.

But if no one is there on the spot to take these shots, they may be left behind as times to reminisce without a picture.

Instead, decide on which shots are most important before the big day, and make sure that you are standing on point well before the events occur to ensure that you capture each moment individually.

And while you may have a list beforehand of the shots that require most attention, there are sure to be other moments that should be captured in an album. If you witness something that is charming and endearing, snap a photo of it – but just make sure that you are ready with your camera at all times to grab pictures of the bride and groom’s choosing.

4. Check Each Item Off the List

You have worked so hard to prepare for this big day – and you certainly don’t want anything to go wrong. But if you are concerned, use this checklist as a reminder of everything you need to complete:

–       Ask the bride and groom about important shots

–       Make sure your equipment is with you and running well

–       Cover the cake cutting, first kiss, dance floor, and other key moments

–       Prepare adequately for lighting and weather with your gear

–       Speak to wedding staff about places you can and cannot stand

–       Speak with bride and groom about contact info after the ceremony

Shots for the Big Day

Capturing photographs of a wedding can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and will create images of beautiful events that can last a lifetime. If you are just starting out with photography, try this course to help you learn the basics, and get ready to take shots that will last a lifetime!

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Wedding Photography: Build a Referral Generating Machine

Last Updated March 2020

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A step-by-step system to get a continuous stream of referrals for your wedding photography business. | By Laurence Kim

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