Following on from Part One of this short series here's the next part of what your professional wedding photographing is doing for you.
On the wedding day itself your money is going on several areas that friends & family just won’t be able to cover or help with effectively. First the wedding photographer’s equipment. It is higher spec than anyone else will be bringing to your wedding. Well, bar the very odd occasion when a serious hobbyist is invited as a guest! Professionals’ cameras will focus faster, deal with darker conditions, fire multiple shots per second and generally have the functionality to be quickly adjusted to a variety of conditions. You can often spot the professional at the wedding as they will have a flashgun attached to the top of their camera, rather than relying on the built-in flash. Like many fellow wedding professionals I carry two cameras with me at any given time, so that I can use a different type of lens without any delay. I always have least one circular reflector with me so bring in some soft light, and you’ll find other professionals use them extensively. There are other bits and pieces of kit that a photographer might bring with them, according to how they like to work. These might be wireless flash triggers, tripods or monopods for low light work, specialist lens filters such as polarisers, coloured gels for flash work or extra specialist lenses.
As well as having the equipment the professional photographer also needs to know how to use it. That means spending time studying photography theory, reading manuals and practicing. Family and friends of photographers are often long suffering subjects of many a photographic experiment. Modern DSLRs used by wedding photographers have a large array of dials and buttons on them. They are all there for a reason, and allow for the camera to be set up for whatever is happening at the wedding at that time. For example on a sunny day I want to make-sure that the bride’s dress is nicely exposed and not a blur of bright white reflecting the sunlight, so I get the camera to meter just for her. When a bouquet is being thrown I need to make sure that the shutter speed is fast enough for a crisp image so I set that manually. For more atmospheric images with a defocussed background I need to make other adjustments to the aperture. Leaving the camera in Auto and hoping just won’t cut it for a long wedding day, I need to know how to get the best from my camera.
I believe it’s also professional behaviour to reduce any risk to the precious images that I’m taking. That means they are written to two memory cards on every one of my cameras. If there is a card failure I haven’t lost anything, and at the end of the day I can carry the two copies of everything in different places to avoid losing or damaging all the files. My day isn’t done until I’m home and have loaded and backed up copies of all the photos.
It’s also professional behaviour to be working all the time that I’m being employed. So although I’m working from a plan I’m always looking for something else that might be happening, or an opportunity for an unplanned shot. Any professional photographer should have ‘The Eye’, so they should always be aiming for the best compositions all the time. It’s about having the right attitude and being dedicated to the photography for the entire day.
And of course I have experience, of dealing with guests, of dealing with situations, of just generally making the day go more smoothly and being as helpful to you as I can.
Next up, the wedding day is finished but there's still plenty for the wedding photographer to do.
Have a look at my wedding page so see the results of some of my photography, and get in touch if you think that I’m the Sussex wedding photographer for you.