April 6, 2011 | Posted by Andy A.S Photography A Wedding Photographer in the UK. Source
1. Skills? Ok so this keeps popping up in my blog already. If you have any doubt in your photography skills then never take on a wedding day. Master Your skills to perfection before you take the plunge.
2. The right camera. I am a true believer that a great photographer will get results no matter what camera they are using but that is not to say photographers should limit themselves. Modern Brides expect only the best quality for there wedding day so invest in a camera that will help you provide that and not hinder it.
3. The right Lens? Wedding photography can be very demanding and your are often faced with difficult low light. That’s why good quality fast lens are a must. I think VR helps to for hand held shots in the church.
4. Back up. Every camera, lens or flashgun you own needs a back up plan. I carry 2 of everything just incase something breaks or fails. With out a backup you could be left in big trouble should the worst happen?
5. Battery’s. I have an odd obsession with batteries. I am endlessly paranoid about my battery’s dyeing on me during a wedding day and the result of this is I carry hundreds of high quality 2700mah for my flashguns. I also always have my charger running a set either in the car or the reception venue so there is never a chance of running out.
6. Insurance. Photography equipment is expensive but without it a wedding photographer is nothing. In the fast pace of wedding things can and do happen so make sure you have a good business insurance policy on all your gear.
7. More Insurance. Its not just accidents against your gear that need insuring. In this day and age it is very important that you also have Liability insurance for protection from claims arising from injuries or damage to other people or property. While it may never get used more and more people are making claims against business for injury’s and all it takes is for some clumsy so and so to trip over your bag and they have a claim.
8. Portfolio. Who is going to book a wedding photographer without bring able to see what they can do. You should be able to show a wide range of images from multiple weddings. Try and show images in various locations and various conditions
9. Contract. Your booking contract should be watertight. It should outline everything including hours covered, package price, what the package contains, terms of business, terms of booking fee, payment terms if you can think of it then include it. It is worth getting your contract looked at by both a solicitor and your insurance company.
10. Transport. A reliable mode of transport is a must have for a wedding photographer. The last thing you or your customers want is you breaking down on your way to the church.
11. Memory cards. Ever heard of the saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket? While there are plenty of cards out there capable of holding 2000 RAW files what happens if that card is corrupt? You lose all your images. I tend to stick to 4 or 8 GB cards and back up to my laptop any chance I get.
12. A good tripod. A £20 tripod simply won’t do the job. Get your self something with a bit of weight to it.
13. Some guts. Being a wedding photographer is just as much about people management as anything else. Even getting the bride and groom to step away from their family and friends for a few moments for their portraits can be a challenge. Being shy or reserved wont get your anywhere here and you have to be a little bossy from time to time. Don’t forget to always be polite at the same time but assertive.
14. Pressure tested. So the July Wedding you had booked should be easy right. The sun is out with just enough cloud cover that its not to harsh, the venue is perfect, the couple is stunning and everything is perfect….. How often is that really going to happen? The chances are something wont be perfect, it may be a rainy day, your bride may not be as slim as a fashion model or your groom may be camera shy. Under all that pressure you still have to get the shots so make sure you have all possibility’s covered and can perform under pressure.
15. Computer system and storage. IN the past photographers all used macs and the truth is many including me still do. Modern PCs can handle most image processing needs but you will need to invest in something with a pretty high spec. Most importantly spend time and money on a good monitor and color calibration.
16. Image Editing software. Wedding photography does not always have to be edited to perfection and image editing should not be a substitute for good photography but some level or editing skills and the software to do it are a must. Photoshop has always been the industry standard but can take years to master. While many people may think digital editing has made a photographers job easy, the truth is it has opened a whole new set of skills you will need to learn.
17. A Head for business. Being a wedding photographer invoices much more than pretty pictures. You need to become a top business person at the same time. Everything from marketing to accounts will need to be done and records will need to be kept. More hours will be spent on running the business than on the photography itself
18. Marketing. I am afraid to say that simply deciding to be a photographer wont result in a line of clients at your door waiting for you to shoot there wedding. Marketing and advertising is a must especially in the first few years.
19. Website. We live in an age where a good website can make or break any business and wedding photography is no exception. Clients are going to expect you to have a professional website where they can view all your information and even your portfolio. If your not a skilled web designer then invest in a professional service or even try a blog site (like the one your looking at now)
20. A solid workflow. It helps to know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Everything from packing your bag to designing the album is going to be done in a certain way. Find the way that fits and keeps your business moving.