So the first thing I’d recommend before you shoot your first wedding, Is getting some experience shooting or assisting staff. Now there are so many farmers in this day and age wanting to get into the industry which is fine. But it also means that established photographers receive a lot of requests to volunteer to a second shoot. I know I get at least two a week and so it’s really overwhelming to deal with 100 requests a year for second shooters and especially when you don’t have any relationship with a second shooter, it’s just kind of a cold email and so like a cold call full email so you don’t know like who is this person. How can I trust them to come with me on a pain wedding day? So naturally, I tend to choose from ski shooters that I know where I’ve worked with in the past. But how do you get your foot in the door? I would recommend emailing a photographer and offering to take them up for lunch for their time and just to get to know them a little bit. And this is really going to set you apart from the crowd. Because if I got an email somebody saying what’s a convenient restaurant for you and what’s a convenient time I’d love to treat you to lunch and how this happened to me the past.

Although honestly is really rare. It’s usually like love to grab the coffee. Can I second shoot with you? And unfortunately established photographers were busy and so we’re not really looking to say, drive to the city if we don’t live in the city and just meet for coffee and like. This is going to sound bad but like what’s in it for us, like, that’s not. Not that we really feel that way but if Ivan Shaffer who comes to me and said: “What’s the closest restaurant to your house and can I take you out for lunch?” I’m sure. Yeah, I can 45 remnants of my time and that’s awesome. I’ve met some great photographers and great friends through that. So that would be great with no expectation. Just like hanging out with the photographer, pay for the lunch, maybe to do that a couple of times later, or come a few months later. And if they have a second shooter say back home for a certain date, they might call you because they know you they trust you. Awesome. So that’s a tip on getting your foot in the door.

Some before the wedding day you’re going to want to make sure that you have all of your timeline details and you have addresses and you have contact information.

So do you have a phone number for the bridegroom? Do you have a phone number for say the maid of honor or groomsmen? So that’s the bride and groom will have their phones on them and rightfully so as they’re getting ready for the wedding. Do you have the addresses of everywhere you’re going in a G.P.S. either on your phone or standalone G.P.S. to get there? And do you know what time you’re showing up and what time you’re leaving? The third thing I’d recommend is bringing an assistant or a second shooter with you. If you don’t know any second shooters like other photographers and come with you, just assistant to help you on the off will be so helpful. They can have seen the family photo list. They can have a timeline. They can even manage the G.P.S. while you’re driving between locations. That’ll be really handy and you’ll feel like you’re not just going it alone. I did my first wedding alone and looking back. I wish that I had an assistant that first year and then invested just a small amount of money to have somebody come with me. The next thing you’ll want is backup equipment. It’s not enough just to have a nice camera and a nice flash.

Although, I’ve never had a camera break down at a wedding. It’s really important that you always have backup equipment because you don’t want your first wedding or your tent wedding your 100, ready to be the first wedding that happens. You don’t have a backup camera. Some matter, what you’re doing have a backup camera with you at the ceremony site because that’s the other thing. It’s not enough that it’s in your car. The bride’s walking down the aisle and your camera breaks. You need to know that you can run to the back where your bag is seated. Grab the other body and you’re good to go and you keep shooting. Same thing with flashes. Make sure you have a backup flash so at minimum age you have two camera body and two camera flashes and then a variety of lenses as well.

Obviously, when you’re starting out, you don’t need the highest quality lenses. It’s just not possible you need. I think I have thirty thousand dollars’ worth of equipment and I didn’t have that when I started my first year, it was probably four thousand dollars for equipment. But you need to at least have some easy of all your bases covered and make sure you have enough memory cards to capture the day. Which if you’re shooting raw will probably be somewhere around 40 gigabytes if not 60 gigabytes of memory. And then also. Plenty of batteries. You definitely don’t need to be recharging anything on the day. Same goes for W batteries for your flashes. You need to have lots of those more than you think you need. Another note on that, if you’re looking for a checklist to use before you pack for the wedding. If you go to my blog Jamie’ and on the sidebar, you’ll see a little icon said. Click here to download my free pre wedding checklist.

So I created this as a resource so when I’m packing for weddings. I don’t need to think do I have extra batteries? Did I remember my battery charger? All these different things you can just check it out so that’s free for you a free resource if you’d like to go there and download them. The next thing I’d recommend is location scouting. This is something that I did all the time when I was first starting to shoot because you’re really unfamiliar with locations, you might be more nervous than you starting out. You just have less experience so it’s really helpful to talk to the bride and groom about where they’d like to take their photos and then go to that place beforehand. Even like a week before or 2 weeks before whenever it is any time before the wedding day and if possible is wonderful to let’s go at the same time you’ll be taking photos on the wedding day. Then you can see what the light is doing. It’s an absolutely great location. But if the sun is shining right into the couples things, it’s not going to be an ideal photo but if you’re visiting at 7:00 p.m. and June and the light’s really soft and beautiful. You can know which direction. So that’s really helpful thanks.

The next thing would be pre visualizing which kind of shots you want to take. So you’re going to show up to this wedding day first wedding. The couple’s going to look at you and they’re going to be like. So what do we do? And if you just are like well just. Hang out or talk to one another. This is not going to fly, you need to have some ideas of what you want to tell them to do. So that might mean browsing your Pinterest for a couple of hours and creating some boards and some inspiration. I might be mean browsing weddings are blogs or just portrait blogs or fashion blogs whatever you’re inspired by.

Compiling all these images that you can look through and refresh. OK. These are some poses that I was thinking if this is a pose that I like how I am going to get my couple into that pose. So what would I say? So I’m going to have Angela you’re going to look this way. And then, Robert, I’m going to have you come in right beside Angela and you’re going to hug her around her waist. What kind of words are you going to explain to get them into those poses? My final step would be to make a shortlist for yourself. Now I don’t work with shot lists anymore but it is really helpful in your first couple of years of doing weddings things like I need a booth near shot. I need a shot of just the bride’s bouquet. I need a shot of just the bride of each bridesmaid. Those things that you think in the flurry of the day, you might forget to make yourself a little short list on your iPhone and then you can just delete or make a little X next to the shots as you take them.

So I hope these tips are really helpful for you if you’re watching this video and you’re preparing to shoot your first wedding and first of all, I’m so excited for you. You’re going to love it. It’s a crazy journey and you’re going to have a great time. You’ve got to remember to have fun. And if you have done everything this video you’re going to show up prepared and excited and you’re awesome images. Thank you so much for watching. Appreciate it.