Around this time 2 years ago, I did my first wedding. And I was TERRIFIED. Before the big day I read up on SO many blogs to help prepare myself. I wanted to make sure that everything would go smoothly and that I was prepared for anything! I wanted to prove that I could shoot a wedding by myself at 16 years old! So whether your a young photographer who is shooting their first wedding, or you are an experienced photographer that just would like some refresh/tips for the big day, this blog is for you!
1.Bring an assistant
Going to a wedding by yourself is a really intimidating thing! I never go to a wedding by myself. Whether the couple has paid for a second shooter or not, I always bring a friend! This can be anyone from your husband, boyfriend, friend, or photographer! Anyone who you feel would benefit you and remain professional. DON’T bring someone who won’t take it seriously and won’t be willing to help you. Take someone who you trust to represent your business and help you on the day!
2.Bring an emergency bag
At every wedding I bring what I call an “emergency bag.” This bag contains everything from extra fabric for details purposes, ribbon, band aids, tape, scissors, safety pins, needle and thread, and anything else that I feel could be useful on the day! Think about it, what if a bridesmaids dress rips, everyone is freaking out and you remember that you have something in your bag that can fix it. You have not only become the photographer for the day, but you have become the hero!!! It is always better to be overly prepared then under prepared. Not to mention it can help ease your anxiety by knowing you have a whole bag of things to help any situation!
3.Bring an extra copy of everything
I always like to bring extra copies of everything. The day before the wedding I print out everything that I may need for the day. I print things like the timeline, family formals list, their questionnaire, hotel reservations, and anything else I may need. And I always print extra copies! Especially of the timeline and family formals! That way you can have one on you at all times and your second shooter/assistant can have one as well! That way you are both prepared to stay on time and you have all the info that you need right in your bag!
4.Check your gear
A few days before the wedding, go through and check all your gear. Make sure everything is cleaned out and works like it should! Count out all your gear so you know exactly what you’re bringing. That way you won’t leave anything at the venue! Remember to also bring extra batteries! Bring extra batteries for your flashes, and bring extra batteries and chargers for your camera battery! That way if you’re running low, you can have your second shooter/assistant run and grab you what you need, or plug in a spare battery to charge!
5.Relax and enjoy it!
I remember the night before my first wedding; I think I got like 3 hours of sleep! I was so excited, but so nervous at the same time! What I tell myself and other photographers all the time is that you have to remember that they hired YOU! They know what to expect, they’ve seen your work, and they have talked to you before. They aren’t expecting anything that you’re not. They trust in you, and they wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t think they were going to get amazing photos! So take a deep breathe, relax and enjoy it!
This was my on my first wedding day! I believe in you, you can do it!