As a wedding photographer, my job is to capture the special moments of a couple's big day. It's a demanding job that requires long hours, lots of planning, and a keen eye for detail. In this blog post, I'll take you behind the scenes of a wedding photographer's day and give you an idea of what it takes to capture those magical moments.
The Night Before
Honestly, the most stressful part for me! I generally go into a wedding photography day with 3 cameras and 4 flashes. I have multiple spare batteries for each camera, one main battery for 2 of the flashes and rechargeable AA batteries for the other two flashes - in total I have 16 batteries to charge! On top of that, my laptop needs charging, the mouse for the laptop needs charging, my car needs fuel, the list never seems to end!
It's akin to holiday packing - you never quite feel like you've got everything sorted, despite running through your list many times. Then the doubt creeps in that you've got the correct location, timings, everything. My least favourite part of the job.
Starting the Day
On the day of the wedding I usually start early, checking my equipment again. I ensure that everything is in working order, format memory cards etc. I go through the plan for the day again in my head - where I'm going, the shots I want in each place, when I'll have time for quick comfort breaks and try to remember all the names of the important people of the day (planners, guests of honour). Then I get everything in the car, go for a large breakfast and go on my way to the first location.
This is where the day really starts and I have to leave any social anxiety at the door. I am greeted (usually by the bridal party), the house/hotel room is manic, makeup bags strewn across the bed and the prosecco is flowing! I get to meet everyone and set up the camera, and finally start shooting. All of the nerves from the last day vanish as soon as I get those first few good shots. This part of the day tends to have the lowest time:shots ratio - there's only so many photos necessary of the getting ready process, but I have to stay around to document the process from start to finish, or near enough.
Arriving at the Venue
I always arrive at the venue early enough if possible to scout out the area and identify the best spots for photos. It's important to plan for different lighting scenarios and weather conditions, this gives me a chance to do so in-person rather than relying on photos. I also get the opportunity to meet and speak with the other vendors around - mainly the venue & planners, so we can work together to maximise your day and your wedding photography.
Capturing the Ceremony
During the ceremony, I try to be as unobtrusive as possible. I use a mix of longer lenses to capture the proceedings from a distance, and I avoid using flash photography when I can. As well as the obvious key moments, I also focus on capturing the emotions of the couple, their families, and their guests.
Group Photos & Couples Photoshoot
I will openly admit - this is my least favourite part of the day. My whole style revolves around being discreet & candid, and posing groups of people for group shots doesn't quite get the creative juices flowing! However these are super important pictures so they have to be done correctly - and well. I (or my assistant if present) will be bossy, organised and make sure everyone is involved, usually following a tight schedule. It helps a lot when there is someone in the wedding party assigned to help us!
Shooting the Reception
The reception is where the real fun starts. This is the time when people let their hair down and have a good time. I personally focus on capturing candid moments, from the first dance to the speeches and the cutting of the cake. I use a combination of natural and artificial light to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
We always aim to eat at the same time as yourselves - photos of people eating are never flattering, and by this point we've been working on our feet all day, and need a good break!
After the reception, I spend some time wrapping up and ensuring that I have all the shots I need. I also back up my photos on my laptop and external hard drives to ensure that they are safe.
Once I get home, I take another two backups - one on the main computer and one on the cloud. In total, this gives me 6 copies of all of your photos - safe enough! Then there's a culling process where I go through the thousands of photos, one-by-one, to decide what to keep and what to leave out of the final gallery. Finally, I get to editing & uploading. The culling > editing > uploading process takes many hours generally, so it's so rewarding when we get that feedback at the end!
In conclusion, being a wedding photographer is not an easy job, but it's a rewarding one. It requires a lot of preparation, planning, and hard work, but the end result is worth it. As a wedding photographer, my goal is to capture the emotions and the moments that will last a lifetime. I hope this behind-the-scenes look at a wedding photographer's day has given you a better understanding of what it takes to capture those special moments.
If you're looking for a wedding photographer who can capture your special day, don't hesitate to contact me. As a professional wedding photographer, I have the skills and experience to capture your moments in a way that you'll treasure for years to come.