Wedding photography or function photography is considered as one of the easiest disciplines in professional photography, but actually, it is not. A function photographer rarely uses high end equipments or do any experiments with lighting, but if we see from the other perspective, a function photographer has no second chance or chance to re-shoot.
Be very sure about the camera and flash light. If you have purchased a new one or got it repaired, shoot a trial roll before taking an assignment of photography. In case of digital version, shoot some pictures with different settings and down load pictures for detailed analysis.
Normally, a camera is a trustworthy machine, yet a spare body is a good insurance. However, never take any chance with a flash light. Keep at least two lights in spare when on assignment for wedding photography.
As a wedding photographer, you should be the first person to enter the function hall and the last person to leave. Keep yourself updated with customs and progress of the wedding ceremony. Be prepared for the next action.
Keep enough stock. Carry extra rolls or extra memory cards. Keep extra batteries, for camera and flash lights. Always keep settings of your digital camera on finest quality and largest file size for best picture quality. Never keep white balance setting of the digital camera on auto mode. Decoration lights with different colour temperatures will fool the white balance sensor of the camera and when the flash light is fired, you will get a horrible unwanted blue cast. Set it on 'flash' mode or if you want slightly rich skin tone, then set it on 'cloud' mode. However, be careful for the color shift, as other colors, especially of clothes also will be affected, if you set the white balance on 'cloud' mode. White clothes will turn pinkish in this case.
Experiment with theme. Be innovative in your approach. Explore some unusual camera angles and take some picture in available light. Function photography is just not a shoot for a bunch of happy and smiling people. It has some emotional moments. Capture them in a graceful manner.
Some photographers even use studio lights and umbrellas in wedding photography. These lights will provide softer and even illumination and hard shadows, produced by the head on camera flash will be reduced. However, this technique increases the budget and may not be workable in small functions, where you cannot set light stands and electrical wires. In such case, you can use a mini umbrella or a translucent tracing paper sheet in front of the head on flash. Remember, it is very important to keep the tracing paper, at least six to nine inch away from the flash light. Only then the light will become soft with tracing paper. You may have to make some attachment fittings for this technique.
Normally you will be asked to supply an album of prints. Don't go for anything smaller than 5" x 7" print size. There is a trend of editing images with photo editing soft ware and recompose some pictures. If you can learn this technique, well and good. Otherwise give it to an expert in this field.
Along with a hard copy, you will have to supply the content in digitized form on a memory stick or a CD. Go for CDs as they are more reliable. Supply at least two CDs and keep the third one in safe custody with you.
Some tips of trade in wedding photography - when shooting a wedding, shoot some good portraits of wedding couple's younger brothers and sisters. They are your future clients. Take portraits of parents and save those negatives or files separately. After few years, there will be a demand.
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