If you’re reading this article, you’re probably an actual day wedding photography professional and you’re still in the process of building your portfolio. You might have taken a few clients and some friends may have asked for your services for free. I have written this article to give tips on how you can work better as a wedding photographer. I have skipped the shooting tips and I’m assuming you already know a lot at this point.
Set expectations and be honest. Most of your clients may not know you on a personal and professional level. It would be best if you can show them your portfolio and let them know about your style.
Know your clients and know what they want. Your previous clients will always be different from your next and taking the time to know their personalities and what makes them unique will help you plan the photos you will shoot. Of course, your clients may also demand some shots and you would need to include these things in your checklist.
Scout the location. Take a trip to the location days before the wedding day. Take a few test shots, for both indoors and outdoors, to know how the light may come into play. Visiting the location can also help you generate ideas for some creative shots.
Work with the wedding coordinator or planner. This person knows what will happen next. Ask this person about the ceremony and the program. This will help you plan your shots. You might not know if there will be surprises for the couple and these moments should be captured.
Create a checklist. Prepare a checklist of the goals you would want to achieve on the big day. The checklist can include things to bring like cameras, lenses, batteries, memory cards and other essentials. Also, don’t forget to create a “shots list” or a checklist of the shots you need to provide your clients. Create a story with the shots you listed.
Hire a second and even a third photographer. Weddings are big events and having one or more photographers can help you capture shots you did not see. The second photographer works as your backup in shooting candid shots of guests while you take shots of the couple.
Your price should be right. Don’t focus on what your competition charges for their wedding packages. Although your expenses may be similar, you should charge your clients depending on the quality of your work. Since you’re a newbie, your prices may be lower, but remember that you should still be able to make a profit.
Have a contract. Take the time to write an agreement and have your client sign it before you take the first photo. The contract should include the amount you should receive and the mode of payment, what your package includes, charges for anything extra and how long after the event will the proofs and album is ready. If you have the resources, consult someone who to check the legalities of your contract.
Get a business insurance. Insurance may be considered a cost at first but it can save you more money if something bad happens. Insurance can protect you in case of equipment theft and accidents like if someone trips over your stuff and breaks a leg.
Learn from your mistakes, practice and make it perfect. Professional wedding photographers have been a newbie once, too! There’s no other way to learn but through experience. Just don’t try experimenting on new techniques on your client’s wedding day. Challenge yourself to become better after your last work. Soon, you will find taking wedding photos a piece of cake!