The purpose of wedding photography is to help the couple involved create lasting memories of their special day. That’s the reason every professional in this field should know how to bring out the best shots. Since a wedding happens on just one day, the work of a photographer can be very tricky. The simple fact that a photographer has to deal with the couple’s families and meet all their needs can be stressful. Before you sign the contract, bear in mind that the wedding shall take place in only a few hours. Within that short time, you have to capture the essence of the wedding day for the couple, their family and friends.

1. Carry a Working Camera, Enough Accessories, and Manpower

Photography cannot take place without a camera. If your camera hasn’t been in use for a while, check that it is in proper working condition. No need to get to the wedding venue only to be embarrassed by a faulty camera. To pre-empt likely mishaps, carry an extra camera, lights, and lens. In addition to that, you need sufficient accessories. You will need enough camera batteries as well as memory cards for storing your photographs. It is also important that the photographs be stored on a laptop for backup purposes. So carry one to avoid situations where your precious photographs get wiped off.

By and large, wedding photography isn’t an activity you can do on your own. So ask one of two people to accompany you during the shoot. The extra hands will handle lighting, take test shots, and capture any scenes you could be missing. If you are in a working relationship with another wedding photographer, ask him or her to act as your assistant, so that you can reciprocate on his or her next assignment.

2. Make Prior Plans for the Shoot

It is not advisable for a photographer to go to a wedding unprepared. That’s why it is important to take extra photographs of the bride and groom in various attractive locations. In accordance with your photography manual, help the couple to choose the poses they will use during the wedding. Since newlyweds are doing this for the first time, make sure you give all the necessary instructions prior to their big day. However, it is important that you be patient with them.

3. Capture Firsts and Reactions

During the planning phase, it is important that the couple tells you the special moments they want you to capture. Expect them to mention the first look, first dance, first kiss, and so on. These special moments tend to happen in a flash and call for extra vigilance on your part and that of your assistant. As the couple makes an entry into the church or garden, capture the photos from different angles. Turn on shutter speed so that the camera can take multiple shots. Later, you can select the best.

During the first kiss or dance, friends and family will react. Have your assistant take multiple shots as the family and friends express their delight. Even though these reactions are momentary, it is important to capture as many facial expressions as possible.

4. Know All the Guests to the Wedding

Weddings attract all kinds of guests, whether they are friends, family, and neighbors. To know whom to include in your shoot, go through the guest list and mark out the VIPs. Since wedding photography is about capturing what’s important to the couple, make some standout portraits for these important individuals.

Be careful how you handle friends of the bride and groom. It is important for you to shoot great portraits of the friends solo and with the couple. So have the bride pose with her friends and the groom too. For the bride, have them make some girly poses. The groom’s group portraits need to showcase some manly poses. At the end of the shoot, take some group portraits of everyone present at the wedding.

5. Capture the Smiles and Rare Moments

If you are looking to be a real professional at wedding photography, it is important to keep watch for the rare moments. Have a third eye and you will spot spontaneous laughter, someone whispering in another’s ears, a smiling kid, and so on. It is these lively occurrences that make wedding photographs worth looking at. As soon as you see a defining moment, click away and capture it. At the end of the day, the couple will be glad that you were able to capture the essence of the wedding.

As you can see, wedding photography requires you to make elaborate preparations and to be on the lookout on the wedding day. This calls for extra vigilance.