Not all Wedding Photography Tips are about Cameras. Here is an Essential Tip that can Help Your Day Run Smoothly
Wedding photography is a lot easier if you are well organised, and a call sheet should contain all the information you need for the day to run smoothly. This should contain the addresses of all venues you have been going to on the day. The time you are supposed to arrive at each venue, the time the ceremony starts, the time the wedding breakfast starts and the time of the first dance, and of course the time you are expected to depart. Emergency numbers are also essential. You don’t want to be bothering the bride or groom on the day but the number of the best man or matron of honour could save your bacon. Imagine you got a flat tyre a few miles from your destination, wouldn’t you want a number to ring so someone could come and pick you up?
All this information should be shared between you and the couple via email. That way there is a copy held by both parties and no one can dispute any of the information in it. I always ring or email a day or two before the wedding and repeat back all the main times to the client to be sure they are right and nothing has changed. Some photographers are more talented than others but there is really no excuse for being badly organised.
The other piece of paper essential for successful wedding photography is the shot list. This is mainly for the group photos but can also be a useful reference through the day for you if you are working under pressure (which you will be!). As before, I ask the couple to give me a list of all the group photos they would like on the day by email. The first thing I do is look at the size of the list and work out how long I think it will take me. I then look at my call sheet to see how time I’ll have to shoot and whether I think I can complete the list in the time allotted. If the list is too long I go back to the couple with suggestions on how to make it shorter. Sometimes couples can pick some groups so similar that they almost cancel each other out so that is where to start.
When I’ve settled on a group photo list I ALWAYS make two copies. One for me and one for my people wrangler. That way I have a copy for reference whilst someone else is gathering guests for the next shot. I always ask for a one of the ushers or bridesmaids to help to gather guests because they will know who a lot of the guests are, which speeds things up. I always work on the basis that as I shoot one group the next group should be standing by. The easiest way to over run on group photos is not gathering people quickly enough, so perfecting the organisational aspect is essential and will give you more time to create the images you aspire to.
It’s rarely spoken of but good old fashioned organisation will will trump talent every time. A disorganised photographer is nervous, can panic, and makes mistakes. Good mind management is essential if you want to succeed as a wedding photographer. A couple of pieces of paper can go a long way to helping that.