Hire an Assistant
Having an extra set of hands to help you out during a wedding shoot can be invaluable. Even if the assistant isn't using a camera, they can still come in handy for holding a flash, grabbing more equipment out of your car, organizing and posing everyone, or making you plate of food while you take more photos. Of course, it will cost you a little extra, but it will be well worth the saved time and reduced stress.
Always Bring Extras
You never know when something's going to go wrong during a shoot: Your battery dies, your memory cards fills up, you drop your camera. That's why it's always a good idea to bring a backup for everything. Your camera, flash, batteries, memory cards, lens, anything necessary for completing your shoot. How embarrassing would it be if your camera battery died right as the ceremony started?
Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Photographers often keep a full and busy schedule. Shoot, edit, meet with clients, edit, send e-mails, do finances, edit some more, and try to get a meal in between. But it's always smart to give yourself a little wiggle room in there, even if it's just half an hour.
Be Ready to Show Your Work
Presenting your photos is a big deal. The bride, groom, and all of their family and friends are going to want to see all the wedding pictures. A good presentation will not only impress your clients, but make you look more professional and give others a reason to suggest you as a photographer meaning more potential clients for you. Perhaps the best way to do this is by creating a slideshow presentation for your clients after the ceremony to show at the reception. I've heard that photographers who do this often blow their clients away with how fast they put the images on display. Obviously, time is of the essence here, so Proshow's slideshow software is best way to go. There are three different versions, each one designed to suit your specific needs. Using the wizard, you can set up a slideshow in a few minutes and be showing your photos to Grandma Esther during the reception. You can even try the software for free.
Create a Solid Contract
Before you start doing weddings, you should have a contract that covers almost any situation you may encounter. If you already have a contract, it doesn't hurt to look over it and make revisions. Listing everything you need in a contract would take another page or two, but there are many examples on the web that you can look at to get an idea of what yours should look like.
Communicate with the Bride and Groom
This is of utmost importance. The bride and groom are the ones you're trying to please, especially the bride. So make sure you communicate with them often and thoroughly. Before the wedding begins, you should know what their expectations are, what they'll be receiving as far as prints and digital media go, and when they'll be receiving their photos. These are your clients, cater to their needs (within reason).
Visit the Location Beforehand
This can save you a lot of hassle. Knowing the best spots for taking photos, the available light in the building, and where you and the couple will be standing during the ceremony can give you a huge step up when it's time for the shoot. Also make sure that you go to the location at the same time of day (if possible) as the wedding. This will give you an idea of how the outside light will flow through the windows.
Create an Agenda
Creating an agenda for both you and the bride and groom will (hopefully) keep things running smoothly. Again, giving yourself some wiggle room is a good idea, though, it may be tricky. Give yourself plenty of time to shoot the photos you want before the ceremony. Making a shot list can be a great addition to your agenda too.
Written by Spencer Seastrom