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What Does It Take to Be a Great Wedding Photographer?
Let’s take a look …There are good wedding photographers and great wedding photographers. A wedding photographer needs to be capable of wearing many hats and titles. He or she must be capable of multi-tasking—thinking and performing simultaneously. Sound daunting? Don’t be discouraged. Every person may have strengths and weaknesses in certain areas. Use your stronger skills as a launching pad to sharpen your weaker ones. If you practice each one independently, in time, you’ll become a master and claim their title.
Below is the list of skills you’ll need to acquire to be a great wedding photographer.
• Photo Technician
• Production Manager
Photo Technician: A great wedding photographer will know how to adjust the right camera and flash settings for a the perfect foreground and background lighting, choose the right f-stop for large group shots, and select the right focus mode for creative moving dance shots. He or she will also know how to deviate from the camera’s default settings to create a unique image or improvise when a device malfunctions. Having the best fail-proof equipment, numerous camera bodies, lenses, flashes, filters, film, digital cards, hard drives, and batteries is a mandatory skill of a wedding photographer.
Production Manager: A great wedding photographer will know how to create a customized photo timeline, schedule the hotel and travel plans, scout and secure all locations, prep the gear, arrange the perfect props, arrive early, introduce the team, organize the people for the next shot, and always have an alternate plan in case things don’t go as anticipated. Unlike the wedding day timeline, the photography timeline enables the photographer to capture the maximum number of beautiful, sentimental, and funny images in the minimum amount of time.
Artist: A great wedding photographer will know how to frame a unique composition, choose the right lighting, select the best exposure, use the perfect lens, and know just the right moment to press the shutter and create an award-winning image. Doing more than just documenting the wedding, an artistic wedding photographer will create magazine quality, fine art, award-winning images that are far beyond ordinary, standard wedding images. She will silently tell a story, sing a song, or write a poem, through her magnificent imagery, unlike that of any other photographer.
Director: A great wedding photographer will select and demonstratively direct an awesome team of skilled photo assistants to pass the right lens, camera body, or more batteries, fast, so a priceless shot is never missed. A director will be a leader and know just the right moment to crack a joke and snap the shutter, speak clearly, show the bride how to stand, encourage a family to put their arms around each other, imitate the perfect jump shot for the groomsmen, and remind the couple their honeymoon escape is less than 24 hours away! Making everyone feel totally comfortable and entertained in front of a camera lens is a personality skill that’s imperative to capturing authentic images.
Therapist: A great wedding photographer will listen to your clients’ needs and make suggestions where and when appropriate, be flexible if the timeline runs off schedule, hug the bride if she’s worried about her feuding parents, tell the groom’s mother she looks beautiful, and reassure the best man that he’ll find the ring when it gets lost! Having a warm heart, a listening ear, a calm and fun-loving attitude, and a shoulder to lean on in an emotionally charged environment like a wedding is the key to making others trust you and feel you’re on their side.
Once you’ve practiced these skills, integrating them simultaneously on a tight time schedule and keeping your cool all the while, you’ll be a good wedding photographer. If you can master these skills, you could become a great wedding photographer!