I am going to tell you about some of the smart yet simple rules that I follow in my photography business and trust me THEY WORK MAGIC!
1. If you have not worked in a venue before, always do a walk through and check their website for the previous photos that were taken there a few days before the wedding. This helps you choose the best locations for photos.
2. Get in touch with the event planner one or two days ahead of time and reconfirm all the timeline and details. Let me highlight, keep their cell number handy at all time during the event, even add it to your speed dial haha…, but seriously!
3. This might sound like a cliché, but yes ALWAYS plan to arrive at least half an hour earlier. Check the forecast and traffic in the morning of the event. Nothing is worse than being late and the stress!
4. Living in the DMV area, having a plan B for outdoor shots is a MUST. Remember a day that you are walking around in your summer dress and enjoying some good eternal sunshine, and then suddenly you are rained out? Yes, I am talking about exactly that. To be on the safe side, let’s keep one or two nice-looking umbrellas in the trunk!
5. If you are working as a group of photographers, it would be smarter to take your own cars, so that if one of you gets stuck in traffic or something unexpected comes up, the other photographers can take care of the job. I know carpools are fun, but let it go this time!
6. Do not miss out! Ask for a list of important people that bride & groom want to make sure they have pictures of/with. After all you are saving those precious moments and faces that they want to remember their special day by. It might be even wise to know how many parents and stepparents are there, and who is living with who currently, and how good/bad the relationships are! Vibes are captured in the photos, trust me!
7. Angles are key! Try to figure out, as soon as possible, if the bride is not comfortable with any angle of her face/body, or specific parts of her body or posture. She is the queen, you are her magic mirror, and it is your job to show her the most beautiful of all.
8. Comfort adds quality and efficiency! We are there to slave, while having some fun OF COURSE! Wear comfortable shoes and pants with big pockets. No skirts for me! So, you don’t have to worry about your poses when you’re behind the camera! you can carry extra batteries, memory cards, oh and CHOCOLATES … in your pockets.
9. Make sure to introduce yourself to the DJ/band and make sure you are on the same page regarding the timing and all the happenings. After all, “baby tonight, DJ got us falling in love again”.
10. Always use both memory card slots and multiple record in case of malfunction of one of the cards. As simple as this is, if not done, moments of panic could happen. Scary moments of malfunction… To expand on this, always have a backup camera set and ready to replace the main one in case something happens. Things happen!
11. I know you like to be fun and adventures, but NEVER ask the bride to lay on a car or anything with the risk of damaging or making the dress dirty. Better safe than sorry!
12. Ask the bride if she can bring a backup pair of comfortable shoes, especially for outdoor shots with walking distances. She has a lot of dancing to do later, so it is only wise to do this.
13. Make sure to ask the bride & groom ahead of time, if there are any small hidden details that you should be aware of. For instance, small notes on the bottom of their shoes, something borrowed, family heritage rings or other sentimental things like these.
14. Establish a good relationship with bridesmaids and groomsmen. You’re going to need that through the day!! Trust me!
15. Keep calm my friends! Try to keep as calm as possible and help the bride relax and enjoy her day no matter what happens, how things or timelines might change, or if people are being late … BREATHE!
16. Let the bride & groom enjoy their first look! It is such a special moment. “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
What do you think ladies & gents? I would love to hear your opinions …
I am also passionate to learn about some of the killer lessons you’ve learned in advancing your career.