Oh, how that perfect day can be ruined by really rubbish photos and although we would always recommend a professional wedding photographer, if you can’t afford it or you are working on a really tight budget, I have a few pointers.
Start by sounding out a family friend, as they won’t have a ‘job’ at the wedding, like the family members might. However, don’t assume that because they have an all singing all dancing camera, that they can actually use it. You may have to use commando techniques to get a glimpse of previous photos they have taken without them suspecting that you are sussing them out, but trust me, it will be worth it in the long run; (hopefully) this is a one off event. All you need to know, is that they can focus on the subject and not the building behind, that they can understand the exposure on the camera (a white dress can cause havoc with the auto exposure metering, especially if you happen to be under trees) and that they know who the close, family members are so no one gets left out.
Once you have found someone
gullible, I mean willing to take the photo’s then following additional issues will need to be discussed.
Camera-shake can be an issue. In all the excitement, it’s really easy to forget to hold the camera still, especially if using a long lens, that isn’t normally on the camera. It can be difficult to get to grips with different lenses if you don’t use them often and switching between one lens and another quickly, can cause its own issues.
Have a practice run. Now this sounds slightly over the top, but if you go to the wedding venue a few weeks before the event, it will mean that even if the weather isn’t the same, the interior shots can be mocked up and the best area for photo backgrounds inside and outside can be decided on by the bride, groom and photographer. Lots of venues have outside toilets, down pipes on the sides of buildings and inappropriate signage that gets in the way of the image. Find out where all of those are and avoid them!
You may also find that there is a better area where photographs can be taken, like a park opposite, or a green lane close by which will help with getting a beautiful background amongst the flowers and ducks.
So Top Tips for DIY Wedding Photos:
Choose a family member or friend who you have seen can take a good photo
Make sure that their camera is up to the job (DSLR, CSC or Mirrorless system Cameras)
Remember the contrast between very bright and very dark areas of the image mean that the camera may struggle to get a good overall exposure, so often centre weighted or spot metering will work well.
Have a family list for the important family member photos and a list of all the ‘obligatory’ photos that need to be taken – some bride and grooms, want formal family shots, but others don’t, so to make sure everyone is accounted for, a list is useful
Remember to look at the background and avoid all the pitfalls of a telegraph pole extending out of the brides head or a ‘members only’ sign sitting behind the groom.
Try to be a fast worker, as guests get bored quickly and unless they have canapés and drink, tend to wander off.
Being a fast worker, will also help for getting natural shots. Posed shots are OK for the formal photos, but everyone likes the well taken ‘snap shot’ as they tend to speak volumes and wedding photography is all about the story of the relationship and the journey to the wedding day.