wedphotog_1Being hired as a wedding photographer is a big responsibility, but it can be one of the most enjoyable jobs in the world. You get to meet a lot of people in what is possibly the happiest but most stressful day of their lives, so exchanges of intense emotions will be a natural occurrence in your line of work.

As the photographer in a wedding, you become part of the intimate ceremony shared by this union. Therefore, these people won’t just view you as someone who works for them – if you deal with them right, you’re instantly considered a friend. You will get referrals based on how well people like you, so remember this when you’re stressed out on the day itself.

Like every passion worth pursuing, you will need to commit time in this endeavor. You don’t just work on the wedding day, you need to prepare for it before the wedding, and you need to process the photographs after it.

To make your job easier, here are a few tips that you should know before you head to your assignment:

 

  1. Listen to what the couple wants

Some couples pretty much have a good idea of what they want. They describe to photographers the theme they want in their wedding and the feel they’ll get when they look of the pictures.

Although rare, there are some instances when couples would already hire you as the photographer even before deciding on the wedding venue. If this happens, the couple might ask for your opinion as to which venue to choose. Fee free to offer your expert opinion from your perspective as the wedding photographer. The other important things to consider when choosing a wedding venue are cited in this article.

It’s also good to note who you work for. Weddings aren’t just arranged by the bride and groom, so you will have a lot of unsolicited opinions going your way. If it’s clear to you who you should listen to, then it will be easier to manage the shoot.

  1. Know what you’re working with

Needless to say, you have to be in the venue beforehand to know which locations to shoot for the couple and group photos. This way, you can form ideas on where to best incorporate the couple’s theme in the event setting.

Get a list of which portraits they’d like to have and who will be included in the formal pictures. This will help you be more efficient as you move from one group to another. In this post, you’ll get a clear idea of what the “must-take” shots usually are.

  1. Bring the essentials

Know your gear and prepare for what’s best in different lighting. Don’t forget to bring clean camera and lenses, charge your batteries (and bring extra!), and empty memory cards. Put all these in your bags along with extra clothes, snacks and umbrellas. Input the wedding location in your GPS so you don’t waste valuable time. It’s also a good idea to bring your Tires Plus Card so you’re prepared in case of any car situations. It would also do you a lot of good if you make sure to get your Tires Plus coupons here so you won’t have to spend too much on unexpected car repairs.

  1. Lead and direct

This is where your prior knowledge of the venue, and your list of people included, will come in handy. Most likely, the people you’ll work with are not models, so they won’t know which angles would look best on them. If the bride and groom don’t know what they want, it’s your job as a photographer to tell them where to pose and what to do to get the best pictures.

  1. Disappear

Don’t be the center of attention. Photograph candid moments and watch out for scenes worth capturing. It will be uncomfortable for some to ignore the photographer they feel is watching them, so you’ll end up having posed, awkward photos if you’re constantly hovering around the guests.

 

Most importantly, don’t forget to sleep! On the day of the wedding, the photographer gets no rest. You’ll be walking around getting every moment, so make sure that you have enough shuteye the night before and get the best pictures for the couple the next day. Have fun!

withgrandpaweddingYou remember playing with her in the swing set at the park playground. At the time, you could carry her on your back and bring her just about anywhere. Dressed up in her frilly outfits, she looked as cute as an angel. She was all smiles as she gave you hugs and kisses every time you saw each other.

Years past and your love for your granddaughter only grew more. You saw her cry on her first day of school, accompanied her as she went around the neighborhood during Halloween trick or treat, and enjoyed marshmallows together in your hot chocolate as you warmed yourselves by the fire during cold winter nights. You were the first person she called when that boy finally asked her out, and the one who was there when they broke up. For her prom you waited by the couch with her date, and you were there when you all drove with her when she moved for college.

Each birthday, each graduation, each special occasion was another reason to celebrate with your little girl. The awards she garnered made you proud, but nothing could beat the pride in knowing that she grew up to be a kind and intelligent woman who has reached her dreams.

And soon, your sweet little girl is going to get married. You can’t believe how time flies fast. For this special occasion in her life, nothing will stop you from attending. You know how fortunate you are to witness this happy event in her life. You see in her smile how grateful she is that she can celebrate this with her family and friends, and you feel the same way.

Before the wedding, ask your grandbaby how you can help with the planning. If she has already hired an official wedding planner, you can still help by making sure that the wedding planner is able to deliver on the services they are being paid for, such as the task of preparing the attendee list. Visit this site to learn more about the services which are generally offered by a wedding planner. She might need help or she might not, but she will at least consider it thoughtful of you that you asked. You can also give her a memorable gift that she and her spouse will adore. A good gift will be something that you know they can both use, or something that will remind them of you and your love.

If you’re not sure what to get for them, you can always call and ask your friends by availing of one of the  free phones for seniors here. If your friends’ grandchildren are already married, they will know what you are feeling right now. They can give you advice as to what gift is best, and how to help in the wedding. After all, the best way to truly know is to ask someone who’s been in that position. You can also read this very helpful article about the things to observe in giving a wedding gift.

On the day of the wedding, it is possible that she will feel overwhelmed – from the happiness, stress and the awe of the love being shared by everyone in attendance. Congratulate your granddaughter and remind her that you are always just a phone call away.

After the wedding, your granddaughter will now embark on her next journey – marriage, and raising a family with her spouse. You have always been her constant supporter since she was born, and she would likely expect that this relationship will continue. You have earned another grandson to love, in the form of her husband. Be there for them in times of celebration as well as in times of distress. Who knows, if you’re lucky, you will live to see her children as well.

keepsake3I have always been in love with my craft and to be able to have the chance to do what I love every day and earn a decent living out of it is just surreal. My passion for the art of photography never faded. It started in my childhood and stayed with me throughout my youth and adult life. I often go freelancing but the big share of my income comes from covering events like corporate parties and wedding. I work in a clean and often joyful environment and I am paid well.

At work, I am always dressed well, savvy suit and everything that scream ‘Professional’. My camera, accessories and supplies are of top-notch quality. Most of my clients are simply amazed by my work output. So considering everything I mentioned, I must say I am generally satisfied with my profession.

Yes, it is a dream job, my dream job. I wouldn’t trade my career for anything in this world. But being an event photographer is a job, and just like any job, it’s not all fun. From hard-to-please clients to issues with the event venue and my own set of equipment and to making some difficult financial decision in terms of pricing, an event photographer does have many challenges and some very lazy days.

The world of event photographers are getting more and more crowded every day. The slow economy and the digital age are making things worse. Young guns, wearing smiles filled with hopes, are constantly entering the competition and they are willing to accept a much lower price than the currently prevailing rates just so they can break in, but it has a lasting negative effect on the whole industry.

During the coverage of an event, a photographer is also in constant competition. If it’s a big event then it only makes sense that you hire a second photographer. The presence of a second photographer is expected to add dimension and perspectives to the story you are creating about the event. Your client can expect a maximum coverage of the event. You’ll get images of both the major moments as well as the happenings on the side and the in-between moments. But unfortunately the working relationship with your second photographer is not always smooth. If you are not used to working with each other, you may both end up in the images. Furthermore, you can expect that your second photographer has dreams of building his or her own business as well, so he or she will probably take advantage of the event to sell his own services to the people in the event.

Many owners of iPhones and Android phones equipped with high-tech cameras usually feel comfortable, confident and excited to take pictures of the event and end up competing with the official event photographer in capturing the precious moments. The stress caused by this is magnified in a wedding event where the photographer only gets one chance to capture moments like the ‘first kiss’.

An event photographer understands that smiling, making small conversations and encouraging attendees to pose for pictures are part of the job. However, having to smile all throughout a 4-hour event is exhausting and often results to painful jaws. When it’s finally over and all you can think of is getting some rest, you still have to will yourself to do the post processing and editing.

keepsake2Many amateur photographers would like to make a career out of their passion. They dream of becoming one of the most sought-after photographers who can command a high price, attain a celebrity-like status and simply make it big. But just like anything else, making it is the hardest part. A high-tech camera and a passion for the art of photography cannot instantly make you a professional event photographer.

There are some serious challenges you will meet.

 

Lack of experience

Covering an event is entirely different from any photo-shoot you’ve experienced before. The number of opportunities to shoot great photos are as much as the number of challenges you’ll face. Unless you’ve actually experienced it, you cannot simply underestimate the difficulties.

There will be a lot of nuisances. Not everyone in the event will be willing to join in the fun. Some would not welcome the idea of you directing them, a few will misconstrue your effort as an annoying and intrusive act. You will always be in the move. You cannot stay in one spot and simply wait for people to come your way so you can take their photos. While being constantly in motion, the elements changes as well, you’ll go to some parts where there wouldn’t be or there’d be too much light, so you would have to constantly change the settings of your equipment as well. You are covering a live event, so you’d only have one chance to shoot the most important moments, and you cannot afford to miss that one chance.

This is why you need to have some sort of experience covering an event. Ask any experienced event photographer you know if they can get you on board as a second photographer or volunteer as the main photographer for your family events. There is nothing more valuable than experience.

 

Landing a Gig

Once you feel ready, you can then market your event photography business. You would have to learn how to use the different social media to advertise and sell your services. You’d probably be over the moon when you land your first gig. Wait until your feeling of elation subside and you’d realize how much prep work needs to be done. From meeting and getting to know your clients, contract signing and surveying the venue to predesigning the albums, prepping the equipment and attending the rehearsals. There are too many things to do and most photographers usually devise a workflow which they religiously follow so as not to miss anything during the preparation.

 

Getting the Shots

Before a client hires you, he’ll tell you about the kind of event that you’d be covering and will probably make it clear to you the type of shots he wants, mostly about what and who to focus on. Whether it be a wedding or a corporate party, you should make sure you get the shots you were commissioned for in the first place. As an artist, you are given and you should have the freedom to show your creativity. However, as a professional you have to make sure you meet your client’s demands.

Make sure you maintain the delicate balance between your aesthetics and what the client asks for.  Do not get too creative to the point that you and your work no longer makes sense to your client.

 

Telling the Story

When you cover an event, you cannot be happy with simply taking hundreds of pictures randomly without any artistic or narrative direction. Once you organize your photos, you should be able to tell a story using them. Take photos and organize them in a way that the album would tell a complete story of how fun or sophisticated the whole event was. Be an effective storyteller .

 

Being a People Person

Bring your ‘A’ game when it comes to socializing with the people attending the event. Wear something appropriate to the event and practice a subtle form of leadership. Smile and have a lot patience. You’ll surely need it when capturing group shots. Make sure your presence is known, without being annoying. You can probably chit-chat with some people during breaks or after the event. There is a good chance that you’ll find your next client or at least get the attendees to spread the word to other people they know about your photography services.

keepsake1We often see event photographers in savvy suits and carrying expensive cameras and other equipment. And when you get to see their portfolio, you are awed by the beauty and glamour of their work. But in reality, these beautiful photographs and excellent taste don’t translate to making a good living, any honest photographer would tell you that. Like in any other form of art, aesthetics alone cannot dictate how much an artist earns. As an artist, a photographer must know how to manage and market his works.

Successful event photographers are also good entrepreneurs. They recognize that they cannot thrive relying only on their raw talent and honest desire, so they strive to develop strong marketing and business skills which in relation to their creative skills, are on the other end of the spectrum. They realize that if they want to be able keep on pursuing their passion then they need to make a decent living out of it. An artist who wants to keep creating works of art simply cannot ignore the business part of it.

To make an Event Photography business work, here are 3 major tips:


Be the Complete Businessman

Your event photography business, whether it be a team of several photographers and videographers or just a one-man team, is a valid business entity and thus must function as one. As the head of this business, you are now the bookkeeper, the accountant, the marketing specialist, the graphic designer, the customer service department, the secretary and your studio’s maintenance and cleaning person. As focused as you may be in honing your photography skills, you have to remember that you’re running a business and that one of your most important task is to research the prices and cost of doing business at different events. By doing this, you can then come up with a competitive pricing strategy keeping in mind to balance the cost and the quality of your work.
Some events are seasonal. June is when most weddings are held and many corporate parties are scheduled during the holidays. It is important to be completely aware of this so you can seize all the business opportunities that may present themselves in order to have enough resources to survive the offseason.

Utilize Marketing Techniques

One of the marketing techniques you can use is the sense of urgency. If possible, make the prints available for purchase during the event. Otherwise, get the images available online the soonest possible time and organize them in a way that’d it would be easy for customers to look for the photo which they most probably purchase. This way, you can catch customers while they are still excited and vulnerable to impulse buying.

Develop a Personality That Attracts Clients and Partners

You have to build your network so it is imperative that you dress like a professional and take time to talk with people during an event without being intrusive or annoying. When you treat everyone like a potential client, you would also benefit from word-of-mouth referrals.
Get to know and partner with other vendors who sells service or products related to your business. They could be costume designers, make-up artists or party organizers. If you make an effort to build a good relationship with them, there’s a good chance they’ll suggest your service or products to their own clients.