Step 1: have a friend that is getting married
Step 2: have a big ass camera
That’s about it. Ok, let me elaborate and throw in a few tips for those budding wedding photographers.
My friends decided to get married in a really cool venue (aquarium) who had never hosted a wedding before. They then decided to ask a couple other friends if they would do the photos. I was meant to be the backup photographer. That’s how it all started. Get ready, here comes the tips!
The setup: an aquarium with nice dark interiors the better to see he lovely backlight tanks of fish. An event space with low ceilings and crowded interiors. (If you are a knowledgeable amateur, you probably have goosebumps already, right?)
Tip 1 case the joint. Picks few spots that you think will work and persuade the couple that those are really the best places. “Yes, I know the sharks make a great background, but aunt so and so is never going to make it up and down those stairs six times in a row.”
Tip 2 Make friends with the event coordinator. Best friends. She is going to be your new BFF. The one who will let you in all the back hallways so you don’t have to walk the whole bloody place too many times. And she is the one who is going to get you permission to go where only the keepers go to get that one shot the couple really wants. Plus, how cool is it to be on the catwalk of the shark tank only 4 inches away from the huge animals?! They don’t jump, do they?
Tip 3 Hump the equipment. It’s tempting to slim down your kit because you will be walking that entire place at least twice, if not 3 or 4 times, but you are going to need it. Flash for sure and I wouldn’t say no to a tripod.
Tip 4 Dont wear a dress. Granted, I was also a guest at this wedding, so I did dress up a bit in a fairly short dress. So there I was, kneeling down to get a shot during the ceremony and braiding myself to steady the camera as there was no room for a tripod and realised how short the dress was.
Tip 5 Shoot, shoot, shoot. I don’t think this requires any more explanation
Tip 6 don’t sweat it. It will be what it will be. You’ve just been asked or hired to do an extremely difficult shoot with little to no prep. You will do your best. And as your mom always said that’s really all anyone can ask (unless they are the bride).
The group shot – honest, there were sharks in the background water. This shot did require considerable scoping out before the event as well as the widest lens I could find, a fill flash (needed a more powerful one), and a tripod.
There’s the fish! My friends were good enough to stand there for a number of test shots so that I could figure out the exposure for the silhouettes, checked the right fishes were swimming by and then held the pose for the long exposure.
Just so you can see the faces. Similar to the one above but I also had to hide the flash in the glass. This made carrying the 5? 10? pounds of equipment through the aquarium in my dress all worth it.