Wedding photography is a very important task. This can either make or break your photography career. So, it is better to cover everything and make a wedding photography checklist so that you do not forget or leave anything unattended.
The Wedding Photography Checklist:
Meeting the couple before the big day:
Meeting your client is very important. You need to know what they are expecting. In every industry, clients are everything. If no meeting is possible, at least make a list of questions and ask them over the phone. Make sure to talk to both of them about their wedding theme, plans for the wedding day, location, their religion and culture, and tradition. Also, ask about the people who will be attending and if you have to put someone special in your photos.
Get the wedding schedule:
Keep in touch with your client about their detailed wedding event schedules minute by minute so that you can be present when you are needed.
Although the main event is the wedding, it is often a good practice to shoot the couple wedded during their engagement. You will have an opportunity to test out a lot of things which will help you during the wedding ceremony.
Put everything on paper and make sure that the wedding couple agrees with what is on the paper. Give them a copy of the paper. This will be like a checklist of ‘to do’.
Gears of War:
Your battle will start on the wedding or engagement day. So, have one full set of DSLR, flash, and a good quality zoom lens. You rent a full set but keep that as a backup in case something happens to your original one. Keep some extra batteries because you do not want to run out of juice in the middle of important work.
Learn your venue. Visit it beforehand. Learn about the light conditions in normal weather. Outdoors or indoors – you need to learn that. Learn about the weather forecast. Learn ahead and be ready.
The Helping Hand:
You can work solo, but it is better if you have your team. Hand them copies of your checklist and distribute the workload. This way everyone will take their unique photos. You will not overlap your work.
The day before the wedding:
- Make sure of the time of the bride’s arrival.
- Ready your gears by charging and cleaning them and checking for faults. Get backup empty memory cards and charged batteries. Cards must be fully formatted and checked for functionality.
- You can also work with the rehearsal of a wedding if you do not have enough experience.
The Wedding Day:
Let me give you a sample checklist for the wedding day. But keep in mind that this list can change based on the culture, country, and religion you are in. Always talk to the couple to see if they want anything extra outside the checklist. Sometimes they may want something out of the ordinary. Be ready.
Right before the wedding:
- Shoot the dress itself before it is worn.
- Natural photos without anyone posing – the bride, bridesmaids as they get ready with hair and makeup, etc. If there is no cultural restriction to see the bride and her group getting dressed, you can take their photos with permission.
- The bride – with and without her bridesmaids, after they are completely ready.
- The groom and the groomsmen getting ready.
- The Groom once he is ready.
- Portrait photos of everyone – bride, groom, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. Do not forget the important people – parents and close relatives. Take photos from all sides, even from the back.
- Take photos of the dress and shoes of the bride and the groom and all of their jewelry.
- Keep taking photos in volumes and from all possible angles. You never know which one they will like.
- Take photos of the decoration of the venue, the furniture, the decoration, etc., take photos of everything.
- Photos of the cars.
- Photos of the complete ceremony including, every event. Take shots in volume.