Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weddings

You can get lots of information online about helpful tips for shooting weddings these days, and here is some more. Weddings are still somewhat new to me and I still am in the learning process but it never hurts to share what you know, and tools you have.
Getting the Gig
The first major step. There are a few ways people get wedding photo gigs. As nice as it would be to have waiting lists because you're a super-big time photographer, the rest of us need to rely mostly on word of mouth, and our own concerted efforts at self advertising. Keep in mind, as with anything else, nothing comes easy.
Chances are your first few weddings will be for either friends or family, and rightfully so! Charge only for your actual dollar expenses if you could because the experience is almost more valuable than a monetary payment. This is how you will get your own, high quality wedding photos essential for self promotion. Initially in the form of a wedding-focused portfolio. Eventually you should look into business card exchange, online galleries, social networking business pages, blogs and link exchanges with other websites.
To get people to talk about you, you need to be worth talking about. And you need to be talked about to have people suggest your services to prospective brides.If you are doing the first few steps of self promotion people should start to think of you when they think of photographers. Moving to a new location can sometimes reset this process.
People may be reluctant to hire you, especially these days more than ever. As you know there was the recent 'recession' and the technology juggernaut keeps moving. People are getting more and more complacent with photos from their friends point and shoots and compiling their own albums at Wal-Mart, if not just getting a couple smaller prints. Make sure that whatever you are charging for, you certainly deliver a product better than what they can do themselves. But if that was the case, you wouldn't have people talking about you in the first place.
Lists, Lists, Lists!
Go do something and go do it right, if you want to do it again! Get some lists together. Focus on a shot list. Compile your own list from the multitude of lists you can find on the internet these days. Try and organize it in order of how the wedding day will pan out, keep it small, and on your person all day long.
I have recently compiled a fairly basic one in Excel Spreadsheet. It is very raw and bare bones at the moment, but I do intend to refine, and glam it up, at which point I will make sure to share it with you - my countless faithful readers out there.
I also compiled a packlist. It is hopefully going to avoid me carrying around three lightstands and only two flashes, or another silly combination like three flashes and one pocket wizard. Also use it before you leave each venue to make sure you have everything.
Processing and Workflow
Ah! Wedding day is over. You probably have about 700 photos or thereabouts? Try checking out my very first post ever, all about the medial task of sorting through photos! Remember to take at least a day's break from looking through your photos before you begin the sorting.
Adobe Lightroom is a great tool for amateur and professional photographers alike because you can apply adjustments from one photo in exactly the same way to the one beside it, and the thirty after that. Instead of taking the time to apply adjustments to each photo individually, you can 'sync' your adjustments between many photos and it will really cut down on the time you need to spend on the post-processing. 
After you have your photos sorted, you need to get them ready to deliver to the newlywed couple, and this part will change gig to gig based on the agreements between yourself and the client.  Make them happy they chose you, over some memory card borrowing from friends with point and shoots. It will do all of us a favour and keep people's faith in hiring photographers for these special events. 
So that is a short look at the wedding photography process. I will leave you here, free to take the reins on your own process and practices in wedding photography! Best of luck.