Sometimes when I have a second shooter with me, one who I am mentoring, I forget how helpful tips make it worth the time, not just the practice. While shooting a wedding this past weekend with a mentee, I might have heard:
“Why did you yell that?”
“Why are you putting your hand in the air?”
“What did you just eat?”
“Why are you cheering ‘2-4-6!'”
Why is your flash facing that direction?”
To be honest, I sometimes think my tips are silly, everybody know these things already! In reality, I didn’t always know them! So here we go, a quick run down of 5 tips I realized I needed to share with a new photographer and I hope it helps you.
Yell/Sing Silly Words
Genuine smiles are hard to come by on a stressful day. Nobody wants to mess things up, there are often family jokes, or jokers, and people want everything to go well for their friends.
I get it, but laughter is good. It heals all things, including anxiety. I cling to the hope (and haven’t been let down yet) that each bridal party has the one friend who is the party. This person is key to the day. Make friends with them, learn their name. They will make jokes, this will tell you the level of humor you can use. Then when group shots or even just one side of the bridal party gets together you know what words you can yell, or sing.
Things I have yelled:
Laugh like your bride friend will be laughing later tonight!
Palm the Light
Oh tricky lighting, but even the bright areas can be tricky. Finding the best lighting is as simple as looking at your hand. Face your palm toward you, put your arm straight out, move in a circle until your palm has the best light. When you stop at the brightest palm light, that is where you should place your subject.
Eat When You Can
I like to eat [period].
Let me also note, I like to eat when traveling from one point to the next. On a 6 hour wedding day, I really don’t have time to pee, let alone have a full snack. With all this being said, I will keep a granola bar, pretzels, even popcorn in my car and as we travel from point A to point B, I snack.
Sometimes if we stop between the venues, it is a shove and go. This is also true if we make random stops to capture sweet memories. I had a mouth full of pretzels when the Trolley holding these sweeties pulled over to get pictures in front of ambulances (they are both EMTs).
Cheer Up Your Lights
When I first started doing weddings, receptions scared me. Everything is so dark, and can be different at each venue. I have since gathered some tools so I can use my speed flash.
I shoot in manual on my camera, and use my flash in manual too! Having a starting point at each reception (or any time of the wedding day) is really helpful to make you more confident. I made a little cheer to remember how start off my set up: “2 – 4 – 6 – 8” who do we appreciate? Burman Photography!
- Shutter Speed 200
- ISO 400
- Flash Power 1/16
- f-stop (aperture) 1.8
It might be elementary, but you won’t see me floundering and freaking out, I have a plan, and for the record, I was not a cheerleader.
Bounce the Light
Sometimes, this past weekend for example, I will be shooting at a venue that has black floors, and black ceilings. Insert collective photographer cringe. The walls are white through, so though I can use off camera flash, I try to save the flash power for group dancing, I aimed my speed flash on the camera body toward the white walls.
Each venue is different, but knowing you have the ability to bounce light, and not just up, that can save you.
There you go, all pictures are from a recent wedding where I had the honor of mentoring Cassidy, it was after some fun conversation that I realized I had a few little tips that people might not always think about.
I you would like more behind the scenes, or to ask questions about photography follow my Instagram page @burmanphotography