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Shooting Your First Wedding

Beautiful bride in wedding day In bridal dress. newlywed woman

© armina –

Shooting Your First Wedding

As a photographer, one of the most lucrative forms of business comes in the shape of wedding photography. However, it is also one of the most nerve shredding jobs out there. Only you have been behind the camera at a wedding will you truly understand why photographers seem to charge more for weddings! The majority of photographers will do their first wedding shoot as an amateur for a friend or relative, which can actually be more pressure than shooting a stranger’s wedding. Let’s look at a few tips to see you through your first wedding shoot.

Wedding dance the bride and groom

© Sergey Ryzhov –

Get Some Experience With A Professional

One of the best pieces of advice is to approach an experienced wedding photographer and as if they will take you along as their assistant on one of their wedding shoots. You may even negotiate taking a few candid shots on your own provided that you are not in the way of official shots. Nothing can match the experience of seeing a professional at work. You will pick up tips regarding everything from what sort of shots to look for through to how to manage guests. They may even offer tips about the best equipment for wedding photography.


Offer Free Additional Photographs

Another good tip is to find a couple among your social circle or family who is getting married and already have a photographer booked. You can offer to take additional photographs alongside their photographer free of charge. Again you must be sure not to get in the way of the official photographer. This gives you experience without the pressure and if they like the pictures, they may end up purchasing prints. You might wish to do this several times to build your confidence. Since you are offering your services free of charge you have no liability if the photographs come out wrong.



Going It Alone

Once you are ready to go it alone and have secured your first wedding booking it is a great idea to enrol on a short course in wedding photography the week before the big day. This will get you up to speed on techniques, poses and lighting in order to make the most of the shoot. It is also a good idea to meet with your bride and groom in order to discuss their personal expectations. There is no point in doing traditional posed portraits if the couple would prefer candid shots. It is helpful to know about those traditional poses though, just to be safe. The parents will no doubt expect a few!


Be Prepared

The stressful part of wedding photography is that it is a one shot sort of deal! There is no scheduling a re-shoot and so you must be prepared for any eventuality. Go ad visit the venues before hand so you have an idea of where you will be shooting. Similarly you need to know how to get there and leave plenty of time to do so. If the shoot is to be outdoors look for an alternative in case of poor weather.

Never be caught out by equipment failure. That means bring back up cameras and back ups for your back ups. You should pack plenty of battery packs, lenses and other items you may need. You also need to be aware that you should not use a flash during the ceremony – no bride wants to be dazzled, so check out the lighting. Similarly, if you are going to move around wear soft shoes and do so very quietly.


When shooting a wedding, it ll comes down to practice and building your confidence so you need to put yourself out there even if you do the first 10 weddings free of charge. There is no substitute for just getting stuck in! Keep these tips in mind and you will be as prepared as possible to tackle your first bridal shoot.


David Lye is a co-founder of He is passionate about photography and particularly enjoys wedding shoots.

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