digital wedding photography photo workshop

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    G PH




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    What It Takes

    Meeting the Clients

    Covering the Day

    Delivering the Goods

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  • 4also important to be prepared to cover the wedding day itself (see Figures 1-1 and 1-2) and deliver the final products to the clients in a timely manner. So if you are ready, its time to look at what it takes to be a successful wedding photographer.

    Your clients are expecting you to capture the day with the same dedication that they have to their wedding. They dont care that you might be shooting a wedding the weekend before or after, or that you have other clients who need your attention, so finding a balance that keeps every-one happy is important and necessary for you to survive in this industry.

    WHAT IT TAKESWedding photography is a tough business, and make no mistake, it is a business. Weddings happen every weekend and many weekdays all year long, and the one thing that all the couples need is a good wedding photographer to capture this joyous occasion. Your passion for photography may have led you to this industry, but there is a lot more to being a successful wedding photographer than just taking great photos. You need to be able to find a balance between the creative and the business aspects, and learn how to meet clients and make sure that you understand their expectations. It is

    ABOUT THIS PHOTO The ring being placed on the brides finger is a key moment in any wedding, and a good wedding photographer will make sure she is in position to capture it. Taken at ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/50 second.


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    DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY / Wedding Photography Overview

    As much as you love spending time on your craft of photography, you need to give yourself time to take a break and to get involved in other activi-ties to improve yourself as a photographer. Your time has to be divided so that you can focus on growing your business, doing client consultation, honing your craft, working on your creativity, handling the postproduction of the wedding images, and marketing your business. You also need to find a balance between your work, family, and social life. Because many weddings fall on the weekends, it can really impact the family life of

    FINDING A BALANCEMany photographers and artists believe that in order to be successful, you only have to possess talent and creativity. While talent and creativity are crucial (see 1-3), they are only half of the pic-ture. One of the most difficult things to do is to find a good balance between the photographing of a wedding and the business side of being a wed-ding photographer. But like all things in life, there has to be a balance in your business for it to thrive. Focus on one side of the business at a det-riment to the other, and things will fall apart.

    ABOUT THIS PHOTO The happy newlyweds walking back down the aisle. Taken at ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/400 second.


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  • 6Plan to take some time off or spread the jobs out as much as you can to make sure you give the cli-ents your best work as in Figure 1-4.

    TIME MANAGEMENTThere never seems to be enough time to get everything done. To be a successful wedding pho-tographer, you need to divide your time wisely, because taking the actual photos is just a small part, granted a very important part, of the busi-ness. Using a calendar (or a time-management tool or software) is essential so that you keep your commitments in order, not only in general but also for the actual wedding day.

    the wedding photographer. The key is to plan ahead and make sure that you can juggle these things without making too many sacrifices. It sounds impossible but it can be done with careful planning. Shooting multiple weddings on the same weekend, or generally overloading your schedule, will cause you to burn out and worse, can cause your attention to wander from what you are doing. Not being fully focused on the cur-rent job, but instead thinking of the next or last job, will result in a half-hearted performance and a delayed response to your clients and delivery dates which means that you are not serving your customers to the full extent of your ability.

    ABOUT THIS PHOTO Those candid moments before a ceremony has even started can really capture the emotions of the day. Taken at ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/100 second.


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    DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY / Wedding Photography Overview

    photographers do not take this factor into consideration when coming up with pricing for their photography service. Many clients also do not realize the amount of time you spend making their photos look perfect, like with Figure 1-6, which needed to be slightly cropped. All of this takes time, and it is important to educate them so they understand what the prices for your services cover.

    Client meetings. Client meetings are very important and can set the tone for the whole client/photographer relationship. Make sure that you schedule enough time to get to know the clients. This is a good way to determine whether you are a good fit with them. Give

    Some of the things to plan for include:

    Photographing the wedding. The most obvi-ous and important thing to plan is the actual time needed on the wedding day for shooting. You need to make sure that you schedule enough time to capture all the shots you need to, including the details (as in Figure 1-5). Make an effort to plan this out with your cou-ple. Most of your clients are more than happy to listen to your suggestions when planning their day.

    Post-processing. Post-processing is important and can take more time than you think. Make sure you schedule enough time so that you can do the best job possible. Many

    ABOUT THIS PHOTO Here comes the happy couple. Taken at ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/500 second.


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  • 8proposal. Also plan to arrive a day or two ear-lier. It gives you time to settle in and scout out the location, because arriving late or tired can be disastrous!

    Rehearsal dinner. Many times photographing at the rehearsal dinner can result in some great photos but more important, it can create a bond between you and the clients that makes shooting the wedding easier. Keep in mind that your clients dear friends and close family members will be at this event. Getting to know who they are will help you focus on them when photographing the wedding.

    them your full attention and listen to what their needs are. The better you understand them, the better job you will do on their wedding day.

    Engagement shoots. These can be a lot of fun and a lot of work all at the same time. They can also take a lot of time and need to be planned well in advance so that the images are given to the couple well before the wedding.

    Travel. I shoot weddings all over the world, and it is key to plan all the travel needed well in advance. You need to factor in your time and travel budget accordingly into your

    ABOUT THIS PHOTO Making sure there is enough time to photograph everything, including details like the brides jewelry, at the wedding is important. Taken at ISO 250, f/2.8, 1/500 second.


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    DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY / Wedding Photography Overview

    CREATIVITY VERSUS BUSINESSA successful wedding photographer has to walk a tightrope when it comes to dealing with the creative and business sides of the job. To be successful, you cant ignore either side and need to balance them out evenly. Many people get into photography in general because they are creative and want to create great images like the use of light and repeating patterns in figure 1-7, and there is nothing wrong with this. But unless

    Continuing education/training. It is impor-tant to set aside time to work on improving your skills by attending workshops or other training. (Even reading a good book on wed-ding photography once in a while is a good idea.)

    Free time/family. Make sure you schedule yourself some time off. Find hobbies that help you take your mind off work. Believe it or not, this is very important for boosting your morale, and it makes you a better photographer.

    ABOUT THIS PHOTO Each image needs to be looked at and edited in post-production to get the best possible results. This image needed to be cropped slightly to get the best results. Taken at ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/250 second.


    ABOUT THIS PHOTO This dress hanging in the window makes a great image by the creative use of the light and patterns. Taken at ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/200 second.


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    numerous vendors that you might want to build relationships with. The basic idea is to continue to improve your photography as well as your busi-ness at the same time.

    MEETING THE CLIENTSWhen starting out, your clien


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