ivana rizik

Puerto Rico Photographer

My Top Three Tips For New Wedding Photographers

For Photographers, Tips, Weddings

As mentioned in my previous blog, tomorrow is my first Wedding since I relaunched my photography business in Puerto Rico. I think back to the very first wedding I ever photographed wonder, “how did I do it?” I had no system, no idea what it takes to photograph a wedding. To all you portrait photographers working toward being a wedding photographer, here are my top three tips I wish I knew before photographing my first wedding.

Tip #1: Know That You Will Be More Than a Photographer

I came to realize after photographing a few weddings, that I was more than a photographer on the wedding day. It was definitely not something I expected would happen getting into wedding photography. So that’s my first tip to you. Be prepared to be more than a photographer on the wedding day. Do your job, but also be excited for the couples big day, be there to help when it’s needed, show love and treat others the way you’d want to be treated. A wedding day should be happy and full of joy for the couple. However, there are a lot of things happening on a wedding day, sometimes things can go wrong or run late, and that can cause stress. Do your best to have a happy, encouraging and joyful presence during the day. Doing so can help relieve whatever stress the Bride and Groom may be under. You want them to look at their photos and remember the happiness they felt with each other in your presence, not the stress that was happening at the moment. (Or even worse, stress or negative energy you were giving) I also found myself helping in other ways like figuring out how to pin a boutonniere, or helping the bride carry her dress or bouquet from one location to the next. All this to say, be kind and serve others. Be a friend.

Tip #2: Prepare and Practice

Prepare yourself as best as you possibly can for the wedding day by offering to assist other photographers at their weddings or second shoot for them. You can also try looking up other photographers blogs and YouTube channels to learn more about what a wedding day is like. To have an idea of all the moving parts that go along with it. The more you educate yourself and the more experience you have, the more confident you will be.

Practice mastering your settings as much as you can, so you feel confident with your camera. Definitely educate yourself and learn about your settings: Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed. You can find information on Pinterest and YouTube on how to master the balance of these three to give you the perfect exposure. Remember that photographing a wedding is not the same as photographing a session. You will take A LOT, of photos. Mastering your settings will be a huge help in capturing those thousands of photos right in camera and make editing so much easier and faster.

Prepare a timeline. I cannot believe I use to show up on wedding days without a timeline. Complete transparency here. I did this and one time it lead to me photographing my bride and groom portraits at NIGHT. AT NIGHT! The sun was gone. To this day I still get mad at myself for letting that happen. That was the last time I ever photographed a wedding without a planned timeline. Make sure you know exactly what you need to accomplish at which specific parts of the day. Be sure to give yourself a little more time than you think you need. Things usually take longer than expected and things can also run late.

Lastly, prep your gear with enough time. Make sure everything is working properly. Format your cards. Charge all your batteries. Pro tip for those living in Puerto Rico, we all know how often the power goes out here, and we all know it can go out for a day to a couple days at a time. So charge your batteries DAYS BEFORE the wedding day because if you leave that for the day before, you never know if the power will go out. Preparing in this way can help you realize maybe something isn’t working right and you still have time to run down to Best Buy and get a new battery or memory card.

Tip #3: Dress to Impress

This may seem too simple or like common sense to some, but it wasn’t for me. I tried wearing all black, I tried wearing jeans, I tried leggings, I tried wearing heels etc. What I realize now is that I should’ve thought about this the same way I would think about dressing for a job interview. We know that people judge books by their cover and what you wear can make a good or bad first impression. If I walked in for an interview to be a wedding photographer in a blouse and jeans, I’m not sure I would be taken seriously. I realized I needed my outfit to reflect what I wanted to project, how I wanted others to view me and my business. For me that meant I wanted to look cute and professional, which means, dresses, skirts and blouses. The thing you really need for comfort are shoes. I still have not found the perfect pair. A tip I got from another photographer’s YouTube channel was to bring a second pair of shoes to change into before the reception. She said that by changing the support of the shoes she’s wearing helps reduce her foot and back pain. So, that’s something new that I’ll actually be trying for the first time tomorrow!

There you have it! My three tips for new wedding photographers. I know, I was a hot mess. However, I learned from my mistakes and I hope this helps you to never make the same mistakes I did.

Be more than a photographer on a wedding day.
Be more than a photographer on a wedding day.

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