Earlier this month, I shot my first wedding and I definitely had both happy and stressed moments. Here are some tips for any of you guys who are first time wedding photographers. From beginning to end!
Set up an Appointment with your bride if you haven't yet
The goal for this meeting is to get a picture of everything that will happen at the ceremony/reception, details on the venue, and specific shots the couple wants. This will also help you determine what kind of lenses to bring. I would suggest drafting a contract prior and add terms and conditions as well as specific payment deadlines. This way, you can lock everything down so all you have to worry about is planning for the perfect shots.
Bring a 2nd photographer/Assistant
I unfortunately didn't have a 2nd shooter however, when it came to getting ready photos, you as a main photographer would be focused on the Bride's side that you need to find someone to capture the groom's side as well. Plus, a 2nd photographer will help capture additional angles of the same important moments.
Be ready to scout the area and find areas for post-ceremony and group photos. You won't have a lot of time after the ceremony so keeping track of locations you like will help. Also, be aware of outdoor light changes if you are outside. This is also a good time to talk to the minister, videographer, and wedding planner as well.
COORDINATE WITH THE VIDEOGRAPHER
You need to make sure that you are not in their shots and they are not in yours. Plan out positions and sides beforehand so nothing would go array when the wedding happens. Remember, you only have one shot so be prepared!
Stay Calm and Compliment the Bride
The bride will be stressed out regardless if shes a bridezilla or not. It'll mean the world to her if you took a moment and compliment her and tell her that she looks amazing and beautiful. This'll calm her down as well as enjoy the process.
Always be taking photos
I know, its going to get tiring but in order to get those perfect moment shots, you have to constantly be on the watch for them. Make sure you are also aware of any distracting background objects like signs, marks, and people. It'll be easier for you in post production so you wouldn't need to photoshop everything out.
I genuinely enjoyed my first wedding experience. They played all my favorite cheesy and classic romantic dance songs and everyone was having a great time. Don't forget that a wedding is suppose to be fun and exciting. You are part of someone's very special moment and know that what you're doing for them is giving them captured memories.
Hope you learned a bit from my experiences! Also, Make sure you also wear comfortable shoes and be sure to get a selfie with the couple before you leave (if you can). After all, you're helping them capture moments of their beautiful day so you're pretty much their friend now :P