How to Photograph a Wedding - What Skills do you Need

Before you learn to photograph a wedding, you should ensure that you have a number of basic photography techniques mastered. You should also have certain personal qualities and attributes.

I'm not saying if you have none of the above, don't do it, however I am saying that it will make things much easier for you in your strive to become a professional and semi professional wedding photographer.

Firstly the photography skills. You should already appreciate and be comfortable with exposure technique and flash technique. Many beginners assume that automatic cameras negate the need for expertise in exposure. I can assure you this is not the case.

If you leave a camera on complete automatic exposure you will be just fine for 95% of the time. Your shots will be well exposed and perfectly acceptable as prints.

However there will be situations, for example backlighting, fill flash, the bride's white dress that can fool the camera exposure system.

Ideally you should use an ambient light meter and go for consistency of exposure throughout the day.

You should also be totally at ease and familiar with your camera controls, nothing looks worse than a photographer fiddling with camera controls on the day, it makes you look amateur.

Now, what about people and posing skills?

You should know at least the 20 or so odd fundamental to capture at a wedding, and should be ok in setting these up. The rest of the shots will generally flow from these as variants on a theme.

You need to be very firm and assertive to be able to control groups of people who often have other agenda other than having their photographs taken!

You need to be reasonably fit and strong to carry around the gear all day without getting tired. You need to be a good communicator and be able to make people feel at ease in your company. You need to be able to motivate and inspire both comfort and confidence in your subjects.

I hope I haven't put you off becoming a wedding photographer!

Given you have the above skills and qualities you are at an excellent starting point.

You now need to learn a bit more about the profession and put it into practice.


 





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