This is the part 2 of the “How to Get Started in Wedding Photography” article. Read part 1.
Compositions are everything in wedding photography; at least when you are not shooting candid photography. This article will not be able to address all different styles of wedding photography (yes there are more than one), so if someone who is trying to make a style out of shooting candid photos only may not find this article entirely relevant. It needs different approaches, different lenses and rarely, if ever, follow a ‘list of images to be shot’. Candid wedding photographer often work alone or in collaboration with the main shooter, so that one gets the ‘must-have’ photos and the other, those fleeting but important moments that are impossible for the main shooter to cover.
Coming back to compositions, all the golden rules of photography which you have learnt thus far and your personal experiments successfully breaking those rules are applicable here. A good image has to be properly setup. This is why I wrote that lengthy paragraph above trying to separate the different styles of wedding photography. A candid photographer will never have the time to stage a shot. The moment will be gone. On the other hand a more traditional wedding photographer would never shoot without properly arranging the shot.
A good pose can make or break a shot. Everything that we have learnt thus far comes down to this one thing, correct posing. This is because no matter how much you prepare if the bride or the groom freezes in front of the camera your images are going to turn out really bad. The pre-wedding / engagement shoot thus assumes paramount importance.
Know something about posing. Not every pose works with every body type. A slightly angled pose can drop centimeters off of a burgeoning waist line. The same way a straight on look at the camera rarely works. Try adopting something that is known as C-curve and S-curve (thanks to Moshe Zusman). When shooting group shots of the bride and the bridesmaids ask them to pose individually. Don’t line them up just like ducks in a shooting gallery. Experiment.
The bride may not be aware of what the right pose is, but if you had shot her on the pre-wedding day you probably have her briefed and educated about the right poses. If the connection between you and the couple is great you will find it easier to get better more natural looking pose that transpires into better images.
Marketing yourself as a wedding photographer
The first thing, if you wish to be a wedding photographer, is to find that passion inside you that can drive you forward, inspire you to make better wedding images day in and day out, not just float through the day. A better wedding photographer is one whose inspiration is the urge to create better images, not the paycheck at the end of the wedding. When you are inspired and enjoy the whole thing it shows in the work that you produce.
A good way to market yourself is to have a few portfolio books printed on high quality paper and keep them at hand to show to your clients when you meet them. But initially you may not have any images to show. Initially, you may have to even work for free to get a feel of the wedding photography business.
Many well established wedding photographers’ journey started in a subdued tone. Their friends knew that they had an eye for photography and that they had a camera and they called him to their weddings, engagements and other events to photograph. This could very well be how you make a start. There is nothing wrong with that. As you are new and you need the experience to get a footing. One of the finest wedding photographers around, Moshe Zusman said he initially did $500 weddings. Now he charges in excess of $10,000 for a day of shoot.
After you have done a few weddings, even if they are for your friends, word will go around. You will start to get inquiries for paid gigs. But before you start meeting your prospects have the printed portfolio ready.
Apart from printed portfolio you need also to have a website and a Facebook page. Both these are excellent marketing avenues. A Facebook page works as the first point of contact for your wedding photography business. You can showcase your best images to let people know that you do a great job.