I have been asked by a friend to be her photographer for her upcoming wedding. This experience is both exciting and terrifying for me. I love that I have the opportunity to be able to do this for her, but I am also terrified. I donít have all of the fancy equipment that professional photographers use. I donít have the experience professional wedding photographers have. I get one shot at freezing the moments of her special day. To have anything go wrong will mean the wedding couple will miss out on keeping these memories. So how am I preparing to be sure I will capture her perfect day with no hitches?
I asked to see the wedding site and place the for reception a few weeks before the wedding. The bride walked me through where the chairs will be set up, where she will walk in from, and where the ceremony will take place. She showed me where she will be getting ready before the ceremony. We walked through how things will be set up for the reception. I looked for windows and lights. This is giving me the opportunity to plan out where I should be photographing. I find that I am thinking about the upcoming day in my spare moments, thinking about what angles would be good to capture what part of the ceremony. I donít want to be distracting to the ceremony, and I donít want to miss any photos.
This visit let me know that I am facing a photo shoot in a room with no windows and romantic lighting that doesnít put off a lot of light. There are two spotlights which will be on, which will make her hot, and create a harsh light to one side of the bride and groom. I know that I need to find a soft box to light the couple from the other side. I know that I will need my tripod to avoid camera shake since the lighting will be low, and I will be using the vibration reduction setting on my camera lens to help as well.
I am also be attending the rehearsal. I will bring all of the equipment that I have and it will give me the opportunity to take some test shots with the lighting that is available. I will also know exactly where the people will be and where the best place for me to set up all of my shots. I will be able to pop them into my computer and see what is will work well for the ceremony, and what settings will be best for the camera.
I am getting extra SD cards so that I can shoot in both RAW and .JPG formats all day and not worry about running out of disk space. I will bring my laptop in case I need to download the pictures and get back to shooting. I will have one case for empty cards and one case for full cards to keep them separate. I plan to have my battery completely charged and a spare battery in my pocket.
The bride doesnít want to spend hours taking pictures before getting to the reception, so I am working with her on a list of photographs that she wants to have. I am working on a schedule of getting through shots the easiest, so that I can let people know who will be next and have them ready. I do know that nothing ever goes completely by plan either, and I know that I may have to improvise for getting everyone photographed.
I am almost as excited as the bride is for her wedding day, and I know that I will be able to face this challenge fully prepared. A little bit of preplanning and preparation will make sure that it is a success!