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Wedding Photography Tips From A Nantucket Photographer

Feb 8, 2008
As someone who grew up as a Nantucket photographer, I've been asked numerous times for wedding photography tips, here are a few suggestions.

Create A List Of Shots.

Request or suggest to the couple to provide you with a list of shots they would like for their wedding. This makes things easy to remember and you can check them off as you click away. very helpful for family and group shots. It would be a real bummer to find out when you get the photos back that you missed Uncle Joe.

Use An Assistant.

Shooting the family portraits can be frustrating when you have people missing and they are not organized. People are just having too much fun and are wondering about - not really thinking about photography. I recommend to bring an assistant (preferably female) to nominate a family member to gather everyone for the portraits. They can round everyone up and make the shoot go so much faster so everyone can go back to celebrating.

Stay Prepared.

So much can go wrong on the day - so you need to be well prepared. Have a backup plan (in case of bad weather), have batteries charged, memory cards blank, think about routes and time to get to places and get an itinerary of the full day so you know what's happening next. If you can, attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where you'll gather a lot of great information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony etc.

Discuss Expectations.

With Your Bride. Show them your albums and samples of your work. Find out the style they want to achieve, how many pictures, key moments they want photographed, format of the shots ( digital, film), and more. Make sure to go over the price so they know exactly what they are paying for.

Minimize Your Camera Noise.

Camera clicks and beeps during the vows and toasts can be distracting. Switch off sound before hand and keep it off.

Shoot With Two Cameras.

It's too easy for one camera to go down during a shoot leaving stranded with out anyways to finish your work and destroying your reputation. Buy, borrow, or rent an extra camera for the day and set it up with a different lens. I try to shoot with one wide angle lens for candid shots and tight spaces and one longer lens (it can be handy to have something as large as 200mm if you can get your hands on one - I use a 70-200mm).

Capture The Details.

Take pictures of the rings, details in the dress, eyes, lips, table settings, interior etc - these help give the end album an extra dimension. Pick up a wedding magazine at your local news stand for a little inspiration.

Bring A Second Shooter.

Having a second backup photographer can greatly facilitate the day and improve your coverage. It means less running around during ceremony and speeches, and allows for your or your second to capture the formal shots while the other covers something else. Most importantly, it takes a little pressure off you being 'the one' to have to get every shot!

Don't Be Shy.

Being shy won't get you 'the shot'. Sometimes you need to step to the front of the line to capture a moment. However, timing is everything and planning ahead to get in the right spot for key moments are important so you don't disrupt the event. During the ceremony I try to move around at least 4-5 times but try to time this to coincide with songs, prayers or longer readings. During the portrait session take charge, know what you want, and ask for it from the couple.
About the Author
Mark Pommett is an accomplished Nantucket photographer serving Massachusetts.
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