- Must-Have Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers
- Wedding Photography Tip: Guidelines for Being a Second Shooter
- Powerful Ways to Improve Your Photography in 2018
- Newborn Photography Tips for Beautiful Photos of Your Baby
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...
Wedding photography is the toughest job for a photographer.
There's plenty of reasons for this, not the least of which if you screw up, you've kind of ruined your client's day.
With that in mind, I've put together a quick list of mistakes beginner wedding photographers make and provide tips for what you can do to avoid making them yourself.
Mistake #1: Diving in Without Much Experience
Photography is hard enough to master on its own. But trying to photograph something as significant as a wedding without much experience beforehand is the biggest mistake you can make.
I understand that you have to start somewhere, but that starting point is not at someone's wedding as the primary photographer.
Instead, seek out opportunities to be a second shooter for a more experienced wedding photographer.
Not only does that get you the experience you need, but it also gets you connected with someone that's been there, done that, and can offer critical advice to you as you develop your wedding photography skills.
But don't think that getting behind the lens at a wedding is all the experience you need.
It's crucial for photographers to develop their business skills, too.
You need to know how to market yourself and your business, how to brand you business, how to develop a pricing schedule, and create a suite of products and services to offer your clients.
All that takes a good deal of business know-how that you may or may not have.
If you're lacking in the business department, a mentor can help you get on the straight and narrow. Perhaps that mentor is the person for whom you serve as a second shooter. Maybe you have a good friend that's got tons of business savvy. Or you might watch YouTube videos and read tutorials like this one to get the ball rolling.
Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of just jumping into wedding photography. Get experience first!
Mistake #2: Giving Clients Poor Quality Products
As I noted in the previous section, one of your tasks as a budding wedding photographer is to figure out what products and services you will offer to your clients.
The easier of the two is coming up with a list of services - wedding photography, engagement sessions, a certain number of photos from the reception, and so forth.
The harder part to determine is what products you'll include in your wedding packages.
That's true on two fronts: What products will you offer, and where will you source them?
The second part of that question - where to source products - is the most critical. Do it right, and you get gorgeous results, like the canvas in the photo above. Do it wrong, and you've got a problem.
That's because where you source your products impacts the quality of the products, and the quality of those products has a direct reflection on you.
For example, if your clients want a large canvas print made and you go the bargain-basement route and present them with a print that's poorly made, it won't matter how gorgeous the photo is that you took.
Instead, what your clients will remember is that you cut corners and presented them with a print that left a bad taste in their mouth.
I can speak from experience that not all photo printers are made equally. That's especially true when it comes to things like canvas prints.
For my money, you can't do better than CanvasHQ.
The quality of these canvases is second-to-none with gorgeous (and correct!) colors, beautiful contrast, and a host of finishes that allow you to customize the look of the print.
As always, nothing but pure professional perfection from the team at CanvasHQ! Keep up the great work! - Mark C., Ankeny, IA
And the quality doesn't stop with the canvas itself, either. The craftsmanship that goes into the frame behind the canvas is worth mentioning as well.
The prints that these guys put out look like heirloom pieces - precisely what you want to present to your clients.
Beyond that, CanvasHQ treats you like an actual person, not another order number that has to be fulfilled. If you have questions or concerns, a real-life human will talk to you about it. If you aren't totally satisfied with your print, they'll remake it for free or refund your money within 30 days.
They have fast shipping, too!
In other words, if you want to offer your clients the very best products while setting yourself up with a printer that makes your life easier, choose CanvasHQ.
Mistake #3: Not Having a Back-Up Plan
When you've got a gig that's as important as a wedding, you need to be prepared on all fronts with back-up plans.
What happens if it's raining the day of the wedding? What if the venue is locked when you get there? What if your car breaks down on the way?
Aside from those logistical questions, what will you do if your camera stops working? What if you accidentally drop your lens?
I know playing the "what if" game can result in a long and scary list of potential disasters, but if you don't think of everything and have a back-up plan for those eventualities, you could find yourself in a real pickle.
On the logistical front, you can prepare for problems with the weather and the venue by visiting the venue well ahead of time.
Find places indoors and out where you can capture photos of the happy couple and their family, that way if the weather is rough, you know right where to take them inside.
On the gear front, have duplicates of everything. Bring at least two camera bodies and multiple lenses. Have multiple batteries for both cameras, and be sure they are fully charged. Also have multiple memory cards at the ready, so when one fills up, you can quickly swap them out.
Will you be able to think of every single possible problem that might arise? No. Are you going to be the one beginner wedding photographer that doesn't make a single mistake on their first job? Sorry to say, but no...
But what you can do is prepare yourself as best you can and seek to set yourself up for success well in advance.
Continue learning, continue practicing, and you'll find that when it's time to shoot your first wedding, you'll be much more capable of doing so and doing it well.