A day in the life of a wedding photographer

Raining?Rain?  Last minute Changes?

First thing in the morning I check my email and messages in case there are any changes from the Bride. I also worry about the weather, even though there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve already checked sunset times in advance so I know what kind of light to expect.

I assemble all my gear – cameras, lenses, lights, radio flash triggers, etc. and make sure everything has freshly-charged batteries, and then I test it all. I pack it all carefully, then add the spare batteries and memory cards.

I set off with plenty of time to spare in case of traffic problems. At the first stop light I check again to make sure I really have my camera.

Relax…The Camera Cavalry is Here!

Once I arrive at the venue, my first stop is to let the Bride know I’m there, to give her one less thing to worry about. Then I ask for her bridal shoes to photograph before they have any signs of wear.

Next I tour the site, both inside and out, looking for good angles and details, and attractive areas to make portraits. One the way round I will introduce my self to the venue management, and any other vendors that have arrived, such as the caterer, officiant, florist, DJ etc. It’s particularly important to establish a good rapport, because we all need to work seamlessly together so the wedding goes without a hitch.

Capturing The Pre-Ceremony Excitement and Anticipation

Once the bride is in her dress, I will take some pictures of her touching up her makeup, putting on her veil etc., then it’s time to go outside and get some beautiful bridal portraits. Depending on the light and time constraints, this can be the most challenging part of the day. I always make sure the groom knows he can’t come out of hiding until the bride is back in her dressing room.
After the photos of the bride and her bridesmaids, parents etc., I bring the groom out and get some shots of him and the groomsmen.
I make sure to explain to both the bride and groom how I will be working throughout the ceremony, and to make sure they have their hands turned out towards me when exchanging rings so I can get a nice shot of it.
I save taking photographs of the rings until later – the best man is usually too nervous to give them up at this point.

Next I find the officiant and discuss the order of service, so I know when are good times to be at the back taking long shots, and when I need to be where the action is.
If there is still time before the ceremony, I’ll walk around and get shots of the centerpieces, flowers and cake – all those things the bride has put so much care and effort into choosing.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Then, it’s time to go – I’ll get shots of the ushers bringing the bride and groom’s mothers down the aisle, then the groom and officiant taking their places, followed by the groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls and ring bearer.

Next, the big moment – the appearance of the bride. At this point, I’m actually pointing the lens at the groom – I want his expression the moment he sees his bride. Then I turn and capture the bride walking down the aisle, being presented to the groom, hugging her dad, etc.

During the ceremony, I’ll discreetly move from side to side, to catch both the bride and groom’s faces at various times, as well as all the attendants and the congregation. Whilst the officiant is giving a reading, I will quietly move to the back and get some overview shots of the entire event.

Then it’s back to the front for close-ups during the vows and exchange of rings, and any special touches like a Unity Candle.

Next comes the kiss, then I move quickly to the back to photograph the newly-weds walking down the aisle – I almost always get to be the first to congratulate them!

Things vary more widely after this – some couples have a receiving line, others duck out of the way to allow the guests to move outside and form lines to blow bubbles.

Finally Alone! (almost)

After this I work with the bride to gather all the group shots, starting with the largest groups, and working down to just the Happy Couple. We’ll then head off alone to take the portraits of the Bride and Groom, usually with one of the attendants to help me with the lights. It’s also nice for the couple to finally get a chance to be (almost) alone together!

We usually spend around 30 – 45 minutes on the portraits, then it’s time for the DJ to formally introduce the couple to their guests, and dinner will start.

Now it’s Time to Party!

While each table is waiting to be served, I will move around and get lots of shots of the guests. Once the bride and groom are seated, I will discreetly get the wedding bands and find a white table cloth to photograph them on.

Once dinner is over, it’s time for toasts, and then the cake-cutting. The caterers will make sure everything is ready, but sometimes I have to talk the bride and groom through how to go about it.

After the cake comes the first dance. It try to take lots of shots at the beginning, then drop back to give the newly-weds some space for this intimate moment.

Sometimes there is a father-daughter and mother-son dance, then the dance floor opens up to everyone, and the fun begins! I get lots of shots of everyone enjoying themselves, and especially the children. I make sure I really capture the flavor of the evening.
At some point we usually have the bouquet toss  - having a camera that can shoot eight frames per second really helps.

The Party’s Over…Time to Pack Up and Back Up

Once it’s all over, I head home (hopefully with a slice of cake!)
As soon as I get home, no matter how late, I download all the photos from my memory cards and then make a backup. I don’t wipe the cards until I’ve checked the download and the backup, and made another backup.

Over the next few days I will work through the photos, cropping and adjusting light and color balance as needed. I also single out a few of the best that might look good as black and white.
Once they’re ready, I upload them to my web site and email the bride the link, and also burn the CD for mailing.

She Loves her Photos!

For me, the highlight of the whole event is getting that email from the bride about how much she loves her pictures, and how glad she is that she hired me.  Here’s what a few brides had to say (more here):

I absolutely LOVE them! It was such a fun experience for everyone and you captured some really great shots!  Thank you soooo much again. You truly helped to make our wedding special.
- Christina S.

We wanted to tell you how much we loved the pictures! They were exactly what we were hoping for.
- Kelly C.

They turned out great! Thanks again so much for doing a great job! We really appreciate it!
- Jackie S.

We love the pictures, they are fabulous! Thank you so much for capturing our special day.
- Lisa H.

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.