Wedding Photography Ideas – Be a Professional With These Tips – The Wedding Day

Welcome to part two of my series on wedding photography. This part will deal with the wedding day itself. We will explore wedding photography ideas about you, your equipment, the bride and groom, and many other aspects of photographing the wedding day.

OK, it’s the big day. First thing you need to decide is what to wear. As the photographer you want to blend in with the people attending the wedding. During your first interview with the engaged couple you should have gotten a feel for the type of wedding it will be. Whether it be a suit and tie, jeans and sport coat, or biker leathers, you need to try to dress the part of an invited guest.

Now it is time to pack up your equipment. Here is another great place to have a pre-made checklist. On it should be everything you have that you will need for the shoot. You may also want to include items like “is everything that was charging unplugged and packed”, you don’t want to leave anything at home. You may also want to bring along extra batteries for every piece of equipment that you are bringing. Having two or three cameras with different lenses is also a good idea. If one of them breaks, or malfunctions, you will have a spare right there ready to go, and you won’t miss a shot while you are changing lenses.

If this is your first time photographing a wedding, or if you are that type of person, you may be getting as nervous as the bride-groom… GET OVER IT. You must put forth a calm, relaxed, and professional fa├žade, even if you are quivering inside. If you seem to be nervous, your subjects will get nervous and it will be more difficult for you to get completely candid shots. It will also be more difficult to get the posed shots to look comfortable if you cause the people in those shots to lose confidence in their photographer.

When you get to the bride’s house, or the church, or wherever you previously agreed to start the day, you will want to focus on the bride. As a matter of fact, you will want to focus on the bride for the majority of the day. She, after all, is the star of the show! Any special event that needs to be photographed will happen around the vicinity of the bride. Anyone special to the bride, that she wants photos of, will also be near her for most of the day.

If you go about your job quietly, and unobtrusively, you will become almost invisible. This will allow you to get better, more relaxed, and candid shots of the bride and groom, and their guests. A wedding is an emotional event, and, if you let it evolve naturally, a sensitive and reserved eye can effectively translate those emotions into some very powerful images.

It might be an idea to bring an assistant along with you. Especially if this is your first wedding shoot. The assistant can keep track of the photo list, hold up reflector cards, carry extra equipment, and generally help keep you focussed on the job at hand. He, or she, may also be able to point out a developing shot in another direction from which you are looking, if they have an eye for photography as well.

Remember to take lots, and lots, and lots of shots. There really is no way to overshoot a wedding, the more varied the shots, the better. The one thing you DO NOT want to do is undershoot. If all is going well, you are keeping up with your photo list, and there is some extra time, you may want to take some creative shots. Have the groom push the bride on a swing, or perhaps shoot them playing hide-and-go-seek around a tree. Possibly put them as the point of interest in a landscape shot, if the landscape allows. Try using some different camera angles, as you would with any portrait shoot. Playful, and artistic photographs can make the difference between an outstanding wedding album and a boring one.

Always keep in mind that this is a wedding. It is supposed to be a joyous occasion, so keep a smile on your face, be upbeat and jovial with all around you, and your photographs will reflect that. Hopefully these wedding photography ideas will help you toward a successful day, and promising career. I’ll see you in part three where we will look at ideas for delivering the final product.

Finding The Right Person To Handle Wedding Photography

Your wedding day will likely be among the biggest in your life. Beyond the birth of a child and
perhaps the first day in the house that will become your home, few days come close to being as
special. With this in mind, finding just the right person or people to take care of recording
wedding memories will be vital. Wedding photography is an art form that requires skill and grace
with the camera.

There are two main options when it comes to wedding photography – hiring a pro or enlisting
friends and family. Both can result in some amazing pictures. To be honest, a combination of the
two produce the best results. The pro knows what shots to get and has an eye (or should) for the
unusual. They simply know how to capture heart stopping, eye popping shots. Family and
friends, however, know who is important to photograph and they have access to places the pro
might not be able to go.

When the combination plan is the chosen one, it’s important to make sure you ask friends and
family to shoot in advance. They need to know so they remember their cameras, get film if
necessary, and start thinking about what moments they’d like to capture. Another route here is to
provide everyone at the reception with a “throwaway” camera for you to get developed later. It’s
likely that many of the shots that result would make Ansel Adams cringe, but some of them just
might be spectacular.

Now, to choose the best pro to handle wedding photography, it’s important to start looking well
before the big day. You need to review, check out, price and book photographers. To find the
best wedding photography pros in your area:

  • Look online. Most professional photographers have their own websites nowadays. You can see their work in full color online. Look for pros whose photo galleries have the shots you’d like taken. The sites that have pictures that make you say “Wow,” belong to the pros you want to check out further.
  • Seek out recommendations. Ask family, friends and co-workers for recommendations. If you’ve found a pro whose work you like, check them out further. Ask for references. Don’t worry, they expect it. Do check into the references.
  • Check pricing. Some wedding photography specialists charge a minimal amount an hour or even by the package. Others command a hefty fee. Find out what to expect about pricing before you sign a contract. Make sure you understand exactly what you get for the price and do get the details written in black and white.
  • Interview the photographer personally. Remember, this is the person who will be running around on your big day with a camera. If you are not comfortable with the person and you don’t feel like they’ll shoot the big day in the manner you want, steer clear. A certain chemistry needs to be present for fantastic shots to result.

Wedding photography is an important consideration in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Recording memories to last a lifetime is a serious undertaking. Enlist family and friends, but
consider a pro to handle the “must have” shots.

Terrific Wedding Photography Locations Around Philadelphia

For wedding photography, Philadelphia is probably the best city in the country. It’s urban, steeped in history and culture, filled with gardens and parks and dubbed the “city of love” for a reason. For five of the city’s best wedding photography locations, keep reading.

Longwood Gardens (longwoodgardens.org)

Most Philadelphia wedding photographers will say you can’t go wrong at Longwood Gardens. With its acres of flowers and fountains, Longwood is pristine, beautiful and a stunning backdrop for your wedding day photos.

However, before you arrive at the Longwood gates with your wedding party, photographer and lights in tow, you should know the Gardens do allow photography, but there are policies you must follow. All attendees are required to pay the $16 entrance fee, and no tripods or lights can be used at any time. You may also be required to sign a permission form saying the photos are for personal, not commercial, use.

JFK Plaza or LOVE Park

Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza is lovingly nicknamed LOVE Park thanks to the iconic LOVE statue made by Robert Indiana situated at the head of the park. It’s an urban, Center City setting with a romantic fountain and a locale that simply embodies the city.

While free and certainly romantic, it can serve as a popular wedding photography spot, particularly on a beautiful July Saturday. You may want to go early or allot extra time to wait for other wedding parties.

Bartram’s Garden

As one of the nation’s oldest botanical gardens – Bartram’s Gardens – are steeped in history and tradition. They’re also incredibly beautiful, making them the perfect location for wedding photography. Philadelphia residents will instantly recognize the beautiful stone courtyard and classic coach house.

While Bartram’s Garden can be rented out for photos only, brides should be aware that the site is often booked for special events, including weddings. For strictly photos, it can be secured for between $200 and $250 an hour.

The Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

As the major focus of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is massive and a true landmark of the city. For those looking for a real taste of Philadelphia in their wedding photos, this could be it.

With its eight pillars and stunning steps, it’s a perfect photo spot. Also, fans of the Rocky movie may recognize these iconic steps from the popular film. However, to use those steps as a wedding photography location, you or your photographer must obtain a permit from the Fairmount Park Commission ($50 per hour).

Rittenhouse Square Park

Smack dab in the middle of Center City, Rittenhouse Square is both a convenient and beautiful spot for wedding pictures. Philadelphia residents will instantly recognize the urban park’s green setting and natural beauty. The best part? You don’t need a permit to shoot.