January 7, 2016

Seven Things I Learned from Shooting My First Wedding | For Photographers

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Towards the beginning of 2015 (can't believe I'm saying that!) , I had the great privilege of shooting the wedding of one of my good friends; Erica, and her husband Hector. Shooting a wedding was one of my bucket list goals and words cannot express how grateful I was to be asked to shoot her wedding!

I gained so much insight into all the work that goes into photographing a wedding without all the added stress of working with unfamiliar people and I've compiled a list of seven things I learned from shooting my first wedding to share with you.

>>Don't be afraid to ask. Your client most likely does not know about good lighting or composition, so it is up to you to determine those factors. When I arrived, the dress was still in the bag and upon inquiring about it, it was laid out in the bed so I could take the necessary shot. Picture this: the orange-ish lighting reflecting from an overhead ceiling fan light, the dress laying like a shapeless sack and it couldn't fit entirely in the frame due to my cropped sensor Canon T3 camera. What to do? I asked the bride if she didn't mind me borrowing the dress while she did her makeup, and with some help (wedding dresses are heavy!) I took it to a nearby window where there was plenty of good light and the shot was greatly improved. If I hadn't asked, I would not have that shot and would probably be kicking myself right now.

>>You cannot afford to be shy. People have entrusted you to capture their special day and that is not something to take lightly! I personally struggled with this, and if it was not for my sister who encouraged me to get up there and take that shot, I probably would have missed several wonderful shots that were a great addition to my portfolio! As an introvert, it can be hard for me to take that step and put myself out there, but for an occasion such as this, I had to make myself be extroverted and push myself out of my comfort zone.

>>Take lots of pictures. Of all the details. The ceremony. The family shots. All of it, from a variety of different angles. Chance are one of the shots will be blurry, somebody will be blinking and even if they aren't, it is better to have to many (which you can simply erase) than to not have enough.

>>Use the in-camera flash if you need to. Confession: All the photography websites tell you to avoid it all all costs which is what was engrained in my mind. However a well lit shot that you can edit afterwards is a thousand times better than a poorly lit shot that due to the darkness did not capture any detail at all or has too many shadows.

>>Don't be afraid to bump up that ISO. This can go along with the tip above. If the lighting is sufficient to not need a flash, then bump up that ISO! You can remove grain/noise in editing or even leave it as an artistic edit with the film trend going on right now. Its' better to have grainy picture than for it to be way under-exposed.

>>If you can, shot RAW. After hearing all the hype about shooting RAW, one day I decided to give it a shot and...i hated it. My camera buffered for too long and I felt frustrated when I didn't notice a big difference! Turns out I didn't have a fast reading/writing memory card which caused the delay and  I wasn't using the right editing tools! Once I made the switches to those tools, I wouldn't dream about going back to JPEG! It is a huge life-saver when you realized pictures are under/over-exposed and recovery is so much easier.

>>Don't be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes and it is natural! You will be over critical about your work, but take your errors and learn from them. Give yourself some grace. 

Hope these tips are helpful to someone out there!


  1. These are some perfect wedding shooting tips! These images are so lovely, and I know that the couple must have been so blessed having such an awesome photographer capture their special day! Lovely work sweet girl! <3


    1. You are too kind, Shannon! I would love to learn more from you about your awesome wedding photos! I definitely have a looonnggg way to go.

  2. Very Nice Pictures and tips! I hope to someday shoot a wedding, and this post will come in handy!

    1. Thanks, Susannah! I learned through trial and error & if I can avoid someone the same mistakes I made, then I will be beyond happy!

  3. Good tips, and congratulations on photographing for a wedding, and crossing something off your bucket list! I especially relate to the first two points - I think they would be the hardest for a not-so-forward girl like me.

    Oh, and they're excellent photos as well! :)

  4. This is a great post Rosi! I loved reading through your tips and even though I'm not a photographer, per say, I did find them helpful!

    And these photos are amazing! I knew you were a talented photographer but I didn't know the extent of your abilities! You go girl!

  5. Beautiful captures Rosi! :D What program do you use to convert/edit RAW files?