January 18, 2017

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Wedding Photography Business

By Will Anlezark

I have been shooting weddings for just shy of 6 years now and thought I would share some of the tips that have helped me through my own weddings, which typically provide more variety and attain more referrals.

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FIRST: Minimalism

Remember that old saying ‘less is more’ a lot of the time this is the case for photographers who are starting out.

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In earlier years I found myself shooting in cramped rooms with large bridal parties, the end result was an image lost in layers of stuff. Not only can all this stuff make it hard to draw your viewer’s eye to the main focal point of your image it sometimes just looks plain messy.

When you are out on a shoot and you are feeling like the image is looking too cramped, then the minimalist idea may be the best way to tackle the mess. Just shoot either the bride or the groom and remove any other confusion in the image. Once you have captured the image you had pictured in your head add different members of the bridal party or family to that same scene.

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SECOND: Presentation

Coming from years of videography as one of my main sources of income I was always taught to wear black everything…

In my own experience black makes you look like some sort of staff member at a wedding day. What this will do is make your second shooters instantly stand out in an image when surrounded by guests who are dressed very well.

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“Dress like a guest” this is what I tell my second shooters, by doing this they blend into your wide shots a little bit better and generally if you are wearing warmer happier colours people tend to be warmer and happier around you.

While talking about presentation, here’s a tip for presenting your package…

This is something I did not have nailed until about 2 years ago – packaging your product carefully is paramount.

This is the last thing your couple will have to show your work for the rest of their lives so why wouldn’t you invest in it.

I have been using a lovely company called Lamb & Raccoon for nearly 2 years, they deliver beautiful engraved handmade boxes that are frequently reposted on social media. I highly recommend them.

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THIRD: Its only really 50% about your photos

What I mean by this is as nice as your photos may be on the wedding day, you have to remember the day is entirely about the couple and the experience you provide them. If you are not the most incredibly warm and happy version of yourself you would be doing yourself a disservice and potentially lose yourself additional future weddings.

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Each wedding I shoot generally turns around 2 referrals that actually turn into bookings and a lot of that comes down to how your bride rates their overall experience with your team.

FOURTH: The follow-up

This is something I have done for quite some time now. After each wedding, I follow up by writing to the couple the day after and congratulate and thank them for booking with us.

In this email or Facebook message, I usually try to include 3 edited images so they can use them for social media. By doing this, it ensures the couple use your images from the get go and not Uncle Bobs.

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FIFTH: A better understanding of how to control light

Controlling light can be done many different ways, what I like to do is block the incoming light with a curtain or alternatively, shutting the curtains altogether can sometimes be the best option.

In the earlier years I always thought of hard light as something that was difficult to work with, but now some of my favourite images come from hard light. The title “natural light” photographer is something that is passed around a lot in the wedding industry and I believe a lot of people say this so they don’t have to carry additional equipment, or maybe it is because they don’t fully understand how to get the best out of off camera flash?

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At the start of my business, the only flash I used was an on-camera Speedlight that was daylight balanced. The photos captured with this lighting setup would always end up with mixed colours from the venue that just didn’t quite look right. So these days I opt for a more advanced setup.

The first thing I do when entering a reception venue is to always quickly assess what the lighting conditions are. I ask myself, is the light bluer or is it leaning toward tungsten? Once I have assessed the lighting conditions I then select the right coloured gels for the task at hand. The end result of the off camera flash is less obvious and more natural. You have to remember though this is a rule you might want to break infrequently as typically all rules in photography can be broken to suit your shooting style.

About the author

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Based on the beautiful Central Coast of New South Wales, our boutique team at Euphoria Films have travelled Australia, and the world, capturing unique stories – from beachy DIY weddings, to extravagant chapels – We’ll make sure your personality, your romance, and your story shine through in each photo, and, in every second of footage.

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