Bridal party shots may get kind of routine when you do them every weekend, but don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit! I’ve found that the best way to get good bridal party shots is by first getting the group together for a fun, goofy shot. Asking the bridal party to do a silly pose gets them “loosey goosey”- they laugh and are having a good time which will come across in the pictures you take.
It was December 2007, I had just graduated from college about to marry my high school sweetheart, and I knew photography was my calling, I just didn’t know wedding photography would take a huge part in it. January 2008, we were newlyweds, living off whatever college savings we had left, lol. I had heard about a bridal show from a friend that was kicking off that February, and with some experience second shooting for a wedding photographer in college, I knew this was a huge chance for us. Thank goodness we were lucky enough to get a booth a month before the show. The show was a great experience, we got to network with so many awesome wedding vendors, and we booked 15 weddings. So, if you’re a passionate photographer hungry to get out there and shoot weddings, a bridal show is a great place to start. Just make sure you have enough photos in your portfolio to make a few sample albums, a backdrop showcasing your photos, and business cards.
Yellow Sky Actions
You’ve heard the saying a thousand times- It’s all in the details. Details help to paint the picture of the bride and groom’s entire wedding day. As wedding photographers, details make the story more interesting to tell, the way we do through our pictures. Details such as a one-of-a-kind boutonnière, a hand-made centerpiece, the ruffles of a dress, a brightly colored pair of heels- they’re the simple little things that make a big difference. As a wedding photographer, I find that paying attention to photographing the details of a wedding will in part cater to the type of bride who puts the time and effort into her own wedding day details. Details are not only fun to photograph, they also look great in your portfolio by showcasing your artistic eye, which will give you a better chance to be featured on different wedding blogs, or possibly even published in magazines.
A “first look” has become a big trend in today’s weddings. During a first look, we capture a couple’s romantic shots, bridal party shots and family pictures. That way, by the time the ceremony has finished, everyone can go directly to the reception including the bride and groom. Wedding guests, family, and friends never miss a moment with the bride and groom. Over half of my brides this year are opting to do a “first look”. It’s funny because out of all these brides, I never once presented the idea to them, they came to me with the idea. I’ll give a few reasons why its also good for a photographer if a couple chooses to do a first look. First of all, I only recommend doing a first look for couples planning an evening wedding. 1) Photographers like as little restraint as possible regarding the amount of natural light there is to work with. It’s much more fun to do outside pictures when the sun’s still up! 2) Being “weekend warriors” as they call us, weddings can be hectic (that is unless you’re working with good wedding planner). There are many big moments going on in a short period of time, and its our job to document all of it. Choosing the first look option makes things run smoothly (for everyone), since you’re getting lots of important shots prior to the ceremony when there’s great lighting available to work with. 3) First looks allow us photographers to get more creative with our shots, since we’re less pressed for time and good natural light. In summary, first looks allow for better lighting situations, help to alleviate stress, keep things organized and running on time – allowing for more creative shots for the bride and groom. For destination weddings, I always recommend doing a first look, since we as photographers can’t usually do a “dry run” to scout out good locations for pictures like we can for local weddings.
Having a good contract helps to manage people’s expectations and avoid surprises. A contract should be fair and resonable, for you and the purchaser of your services.
Just few tips on creating a good contract:
-Gather basic information: 1) Client’s name and all contact information (address/telephone#/e-mail); 2) Date/Time/Location of Ceremony & Reception
-Description of service: Clearly describe the package you’re selling so there will be no misunderstandings between you and your clients.
-Retainer Fee/Payment: How much money is required for the client to reserve your services? When is their final balance due? And what if they cancel?
-Copyrights: Will you give the clients a CD of the wedding pictures? Or will you give proofs only and keep printing rights?
-Model release: Most photographers will want to use the wedding images in his/her portfolio and for advertising. Be sure to get this permission in writing.
-Vendor meal: It’s never fun to go hungry!
-Place for client’s signature and date signed.
Know that it’s beneficial to get your contract reviewed by a lawyer if possible. Hope these tips help!