DO – Pinterest the crap out of “wedding photography tutorials” Pinterest became my very best friend. I found a ton of really great blogs with advice for taking good wedding pictures. I added them to my Photography Pinterest board which you can find by clicking here.
DON’T- Pretend like you’re an expert when you’re not. I read a few times that I shouldn’t let anyone know it was my first time photographing a wedding, but I have to say I disagree. I made sure to let Brandi and her family know that this was my first time photographing a wedding. I needed help deciding where to place people and I wasn’t ashamed to ask the designated wedding coordinator for her opinion. I didn’t want to set false expectations.
DO- PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. I did practice quite a bit leading up to the wedding. Thankfully I had already taken couples sessions for two friends at work so I knew that I would be fine when it came to photographing just Brandi and her husband Braxton. It was ceremony pictures I was the most nervous about taking.
DON’T- Wait until the last minute to practice with a new lens. A friend from work who has the same type of camera I do, let me borrow his 75-300 mm lens. Basically it was a super zoom lens, so I could stand at the back of the church and still get a decent shot. I got the lens about 5 days before the wedding and I really don’t think I practiced with it enough.
DO- Learn your camera inside and out. I’m still learning this. I feel like I will never stop learning about my camera. I’m finally getting the hang of shooting in manual mode and I have to say, the pictures are MUCH better than when I use one of the automatic settings. Best advice to to keep playing with the settings and pretty soon it’ll become like second nature to you!
DON’T – Over edit your pictures. Guilty! I’ve noticed I make them way to bright. A little editing is good but don’t go overboard.
DO- Talk to the bride about what she does and doesn’t want. Talking to Brandi about what she wanted was super important to me. I wanted to make sure I got all the shots that she wanted the most.
DON’T- Forget to take shots you think your bride will like. To that same token, the bride may not know exactly what she wants so you’ll want to have some shots in mind that you know she will love. For example, I pretty much told Brandi we needed to find a place outside so we could get some pictures of just her, Braxton, and their son Braylon.
DO- Create a shot list to keep yourself organized. To help me with that last “don’t” I made sure to make a list of the different shots I knew I wanted to get. Like shots of just her accessories and her dress, portraits of just her and just Braxton, and of course shots of them as a family. Having the list made this much easier!
DON’T – Forget to be calm and relax. It’s your first time. You’re allowed to make mistakes and not get every little thing right. What helped me was how easy going Brandi was the whole time. She was fine when I was a little bossy and also wasn’t afraid to tell me what she wanted. It was pretty much the perfect combination!
And now here are a few of my personal favorites from the day. Please notice they are pretty much all outside! 🙂 Told ya I was better at the outdoor stuff!
While I did end up having a great time being “the photographer” at my friends wedding, I honestly am not sure I’m cut out to ever try and do this professionally. I think I’ll stick with travel photography, mini-portrait sessions, and of course stuff for this little ol blog of mine. But I am so grateful to Brandi for trusting me with photographing her big day and I hope I didn’t disappoint! 🙂