First time wedding photographer? Here’s a primer

36912685 - wedding celebrationNow that almost every smartphone on the market comes with a high-resolution camera inside, there are more “semi-pro” photographers on the street shooting candid masterpieces than ever before. While filters on Instagram or any number of photoshopping applications can help brighten or tweak a smartphone photo, the standards are much higher for pictures taken using professional equipment.

Professionals or even hobbyists will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on the equipment they use to capture memories and make art. This means that the same standards of quality that those confident instagrammers may abide by do not stack up when using an expensive Nikon to capture a scene. And perhaps there is no busier time of year for those with the right tools to be out harnessing their skills than wedding season.

Even if photographers have other passions than capturing weddings, getting comission for capturing the best angles of a couple’s big day can help pay the bills and finance other creative endeavors. It can also be a great way for friends of the bride or groom to help the happy couple save some money by using the professional equipment they already have on hand to gift the newlyweds with professional-grade memories captured on film.

If you’ve found yourself in the position of taking wedding photos for a friend or family member – whether on a comission or as a gift – and wedding photos aren’t currently in your wheelhouse, here are a few tips for first timers to make sure the nuptials are perfectly captured for both the newlyweds and for your professional portfolio.

Anticipate emotion

Emotions clearly run high at weddings. There is always a last minute mix up with a florist or a caterer, and there is nary a wedding in human history that has seen all guests arrive to the reception on schedule. But there are tiny moments of spontaneous positive emotion that you want to be on the lookout for amidst all the orchestrated chaos.

For instance, keep your focus on parents throughout the event. Be on the scene when the father of the bride greets her before their walk down the aisle, and don’t miss a single hug or tearful smile.

Use “creative” tripods

Tripods can be bulky and hard to carry amidst a crowded wedding party. But you don’t want a blurry of off kilter photo, even if you’re taking candids on the dance floor.

Look for potential tripod alternatives to rest your camera on – safely, of course – that give you a unique view of the action. For instance, take a long-exposure image with a one-second-plus shutter speed facing out from the alter as guests take their seats, focusing on an immobile object (maybe even a posing flower girl?) at the center of the shot.

Back it all up

Take shots in RAW and JPG just in case so that you can easily backup any photos from the big day. For starters, if your memory card gets corrupted, you can typically recover JPG files easier than RAW files. Having both options simply ensure you have an insurance policy in place for your most cherished photos.

You also may want to backup your images onto the Fasetto app to share with the couple and others in the wedding party. This is a great way for everyone to have access to the digital versions of the files even if they aren’t connected directly to the internet or a wireless network.

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