The most basic and the most important gear that you will need to start with in the wedding photography niche would have to be two cameras. The first camera will serve as your main camera. This is the camera that you will be using all of the time and will be your primary weapon of choice for your wedding photography projects. The secondary camera will serve as your insurance for all of those times when your primary or main camera breaks down while you are in the middle of shooting a wedding event. The primary camera is simple enough. If you are passionate enough about wedding photography to actually make a living out of it, then there is a pretty good chance that you already have your main or primary camera. The only remaining problem you have is with the second camera. A lot of wedding photographers who are new to the industry do not have enough cash or finances to buy a secondary camera. There is a temporary solution to this kind of problem though. You can opt to rent or borrow your second camera at first just until you are able to pool enough money to afford it.
Tripod and light stands
A tripod is one of the most important wedding photography accessories that you could ever get your hands on. It is one of the most useful accessories out there and is something that you will really be able to use all throughout different settings and different circumstances. A tripod will provide you with the right kind of stability and support during both low light and high light settings. It will also give you the kind of stability you will need for those times wherein you are using lenses with focal lengths that are so long that they require some kind of balance to be given out at some point or so.
Telephoto lens and wide angle lens
A telephoto lens will let you take close ups even without being near the things or people that you are trying to take photos of. This particular lens will get to really serve you well during the ceremony and other instances wherein it will not be all that appropriate to be right near people during the wedding celebration. A wide angle lens is something that will let you take group photos without the struggle or the worry of having to fit all of the people in the view angle of the lens. You will also be able to better frame architectural designs and buildings that would have otherwise been extremely difficult to do with the use of another lens.
Memory cards and camera batteries
Keep more than enough memory cards and camera batteries that you could ever need. Always wipe the memory cards clean before and after they are used and make sure that the batteries are all fully charged so that you will never run out during the wedding ceremony.
Lastly, you will need a camera bag to hold everything together. Go for something that is sturdy and weatherproof. Go for something that will be able to take a beating.
If you have already been working on your photography skills for quite a while now and you are starting to get really good at it, a lot of people will notice it. Do not be too surprised if you will soon have family members and friends reaching out to you to ask you if you will be willing to cover certain events or hold photo shoots for them in exchange for a service fee. Technically speaking, anything and everything that requires exchanging your photography skills or services for a certain fee constitutes or makes up for what commercial photography is all about.
The very first thing that you will need to figure out would have to be the aspect of getting your gear in check. You will need at least two high quality cameras to get things rolling for you. The second camera will technically serve as your insurance in the event that something happens to your main or primary camera. Considering the fact that your clients are paying good money to get you to cover their event, you owe them just as much. You also need to make sure that you bring more than enough memory cards and extra camera batteries that you could ever need. It would be unprofessional for you to allow yourself to run out of “juice” when the commercial photo shoot session is already well under way.
Make sure that you manage the expectations of your clients before you even get to the point of hammering out an agreement with them and make sure that you know full and well what the images are for and where they will be used. You need to make sure that you are able to find out everything that you will be able to find out about the photo shoot. You will need to check out all of the variables and other contributing elements before you head on out and name a quote for the service that you will be providing. You also need to make sure that you are able to satisfy all of the requirements that the client is asking for one way or the other. One of the most common reasons why clients and experts in commercial photography fight or have arguments is because of the fact that either side tends to assume things because of some gray areas that have not been discussed previously during the initial meeting. Discuss all of the details related to the commercial photography side of things and make sure that all of these agreements are laid out in paper and all in black and white to make sure that all parties are pretty much on the same page when it comes to how things technically stand.
Since you are charging people for a certain fee for your professional services, you should also be professional enough to make sure that nothing gets lost in terms of files or shots, one way or the other. Back up your files twice. Make sure that you back them up in separate places and in separate devices as well as much as possible. This is the only way for you to be able to make sure that you really protect your files and protect everything else that comes with your commercial photography final products.
Documentary wedding photography is about being able to capture all of the natural and candid moments during the wedding. This is something that is easier said than done. It takes a lot of efforts and skills to get something to look natural and free flowing. The main goal of documentary wedding photography is for you to evoke emotions and sentiments to your clients and to the people who might be looking at the photos that you will eventually produce. This is a kind of wedding photography that requires a lot of work and a lot of time spent covering it so make sure that you work hard and think things through every step of the way. This is not an easy accomplishment but something that can be really rewarding if done right.
Meet with your bride and groom.
Make sure that you start things off with a meeting that covers anything and everything under the scope of documentary wedding photography. It is very important that you hold an in depth meeting with the bride and groom to discuss all of the details of your wedding photography coverage. You need to understand what kind of goal they are aiming for. Ask your clients if they have a theme. Ask them if they prefer something with is similar to a story or an advertisement. Whatever it may be, your goal is to basically bring their vision to life. This is the most important thing to do, above everything else. You will need to lay everything out in black and white and make sure that they understand all of the aspects of the agreement.
Move around as much as you can.
The key to having success in documentary wedding photography is by having different perspectives in your shots. There should be authenticity in them. after all, it takes a lot of skill and effort to come up with something that looks natural and uncontrived. This is actually something that requires more planning than you would think. Do not be afraid to walk a little faster or even run a little faster than everyone else. You need to be really lithe and agile and totally undisturbed for you to be able to take those authentic shots. Get the most comfortable pair of shoes you own and make sure that you wear them for the event. You will be walking and running around a lot. You might as well make sure that your feet will not punish you for punishing them all throughout the day. That pair of high heeled boots might seem like a great idea at first but you will soon realize that that is a huge mistake. Do not ruin your day by choosing the wrong pair of shoes.
Be a little bit clairvoyant (or it would seem like so).
Well, not really. You just need to watch out for those meaningful moments before they happen. Behind every reaction is a cause for it. Learn how to identify the signs early on so that you can prepare for your shot. It will only take a split second or so. You may not be so good at this in the beginning but over time, you will become better at it.
Event photography is hands down one of the fastest moving photography niches out there. You need to always think on your feet and to be alert enough to easily spot any interesting conversations or exchanges all throughout the event. This holds particularly true as well when it comes to the post shoot editing process of the photos. You need to learn how you will be able to edit hard and edit fast and still be able to deliver great photos with high quality to boot. That is the main reason why you should go well out of your way to make sure that you do not over shoot for the event. When there are too many redundant photos taken, it can seriously eat up a lot of your time and can bring in a degree of indecisiveness in you. Take three clicks per person and that’s it. That will make things so much easier for you and for your editing process in the long run. It also tends to help a lot if you do not over think things out because again, time is of the essence. Go with what you feel in your guts and try to run with that. That is usually the best way to go with it.
Wear comfortable shoes.
We again go back to the fact that event photography will require you to be on the move all of the time. You will have to walk and even at times run a lot in order for you to position yourself well ahead of everyone else so that you will be able to capture the moments before they actually happen as well as during the time when they are happening. You will be walking around so much than you will ever believe and you need to make sure that you are dressed appropriately. This is one of the few times wherein wearing high heels will get you nowhere. Your feel will kill you at the end of the day and you will end up being grumpy all throughout the event. No one likes a grumpy event photographer. You will need to really put your best foot forward – even quite literally. If it is a formal event and you feel as if there is an absolute need for you to look good, try to go for something that offers both style and comfort instead.
Take photos of the venue before the event actually starts.
Event organizers actually spend a lot of time poring over the details for the venue and spend a lot of time working on the finishing touches before the said events actually start and that is why taking photos of the venue before everyone else arrives is crucial to making sure that you are able to document all of the efforts of the organizers in more ways than one. Ask for the lighting to be turned on so that you can assess everything well and take note of all of the little details that come along with it. Your clients will really get to appreciate the effort.