Tag Archives: wedding

How to get a job as a wedding photographer

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.
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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.
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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.2015-007_266 FINAL


Tips from a wedding attendee

Chocolate fountains and pasta with red sauce only go so far. Both are great in theory, but not together and both place unnecessary stress on your guests freeloaders friends. I’ve been to a few weddings in my time (this advice goes for funerals and baby parties too), so I’ve built up a number of helpful observations. While everyone’s eyes light up at the flowing chocolate, the reality is that chocolate is damn hard to get out of party clothes. And those gi-normous, gorgeous looking strawberries that you dip in the fountain? Do you know anyone who can eat them without getting chocolate on their face and still look dignified?

Tip #1 The buffet stations (not the long table where everyone has to line up) is great. It lets the vegetarians pick out their stuff and the guests can wander around to their hearts content.  Sub-tip 1b – don’t put the vegetables in the middle of the meat dishes cuz then you get a whole bunch of vegetarians/pescatarians/vegans fighting the omnivores to get the last asparagus stalk and hey, they’re missing all the delicious steaks already, don’t frustrate them any more!  Guest-tip 1c – if you pick up some of the grilled zucchini for your vege-friends, don’t let it touch the chicken.

Tip #2 Long noodles are yummy, but they splash. I’m a super fan of all types of noodles, but I avoid them like the plague at business meals, job interviews – basically anywhere I’m not wearing jeans and a t-shirt. And, if it is Alfredo sauce, it has to be a white T-shirt and if it’s red sauce, it has to be a black t-shirt.  Just think of all the lovely white shirts and suit jackets and pretty dresses….oh, this rule can be thrown out if your guests are wearing clothes with a busy pattern in strong colours – the splashes will just blend in. Guest-tip 2b – if you get oil stains on your clothes that won’t come out – put some baby powder on them, let them sit for a few days, brush off the powder and wash again. The powder soaks up the oil. However, just as a side note to wedding planners and brides the long noodles do provide entertainment for the other guests 🙂

Tip #3 Your guests will entertain themselves so use decorations that you aren’t worried about getting back and that are easy to take apart. The latter is so that your guests won’t hurt themselves when they start poking at things and so that they can get creative with things and keep out of trouble while you’re making the rounds of the tables or they are waiting to be called up for the buffet.

Tip #4 Be the best sport on the day. Things will go wrong. Things won’t happen on time. Things will get spilt and broken and who cares? You’re married, the money is already spent and you have dozens of witnesses! If you enjoy yourself, your guests will too!

Some examples:

This is what you see just before it goes wild – only calm on the surface:

That sparkly collar used to be on the chair coverings – luckily it was only velcro holding it on

But all is good if the Bride participates

Until the dancing starts (don’t worry! They were just doing an x-rated kissing demo!)