For any budding Photographers among you, you are in for a treat today ! Today I have a special post from the very talented Andre Reichmann of andrereichmann.com who is going to share with us his 4 easy tips to shoot a wedding like a travel photographer !!
You may not have seen the Great Wall of China or walked along the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, but you don’t need to travel the world to capture weddings like a travel photojournalist. Here are some easy tips to help you get great shots at your next wedding.
Map out the wedding day.
You wouldn’t show up in India without considering where to go. And you shouldn’t show up to shoot the wedding day without taking some time to figure out the venue and schedule. Will it be raining? If so, I will need to prepare to shoot indoors. Is the venue large enough to accommodate large umbrella strobes? Does the venue allow setting stands or tripods on the ground?
Be sure to call the couple, speak to the wedding planner and the venue manager if possible, and check the weather a few days in advance. Finding out where everything will be (especially if it’s a large, multi-level venue) ahead of time will save you a lot of trouble later. And definitely get your hands on a paper copy of the schedule.
2. Pack light (or don’t).
Now that you know what the wedding day is going to look like, you can start figuring out what to pack. Just like on the streets of Spain, you wouldn’t want to be over-encumbered by having any extra lenses or tripods you don’t need. You certainly wouldn’t take even an extra ND filter with you on a hot desert trek. It’s going to be a long day, and (especially if you won’t be working with an assistant), you should budget the weight you add to your bag.
I never travel to another country without at least one spare camera body, but that doesn’t mean I need to carry it with me on each excursion. A great idea is to hide that spare in your car, a locker, or leave it with someone you can trust. (It goes without saying that you should have all your equipment insured, and never leave it with anyone you don’t know well.) Same goes for any extra gear that you don’t need with you at all times. If you have a locking bag, you can tether it to the bandstand or hide it under the stage for easy access.
3. Study the culture.
Your subjects may have some traditions you’ve never heard of, some of which may be as foreign to you as the culture of another country. You don’t have to be afraid to ask in advance if there will be any surprises in store, or if there will be a cultural ceremony like the traditional Jewish Chupah Ceremony, which includes many unique blessings and recitations.
You can also ask if there will be speeches, prayers, special dances, or other celebrations throughout the event. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s your job to be prepared for the wedding day, and the couple will understand that some of these traditions may be unheard of to others.
4. Stay out of sight (when possible).
A great photojournalist is one that can capture moments as they happen naturally. You won’t see people acting naturally if they know some tourist has his huge camera and lenses trained on them at all times. Of course, at a wedding you have to do some posing. And that means not only being out in the open, but giving directions (and being the center of attention) here and there.
When you do have the opportunity to stay hidden, you’ll get those great candid moments. A hug a tear, or even just a funny moment between two old friends. These shots are the ones that may end up having the biggest impact in the album. And it goes without saying that no one wants to stare at a photographer’s back during the entire ceremony. Keep your surroundings in mind, and be sure to look out for those special moments.
A wedding is very much like a trip abroad. You’ll see unfamiliar faces, you’ll witness age-old traditions, and you’ll be often be surprised with a small detail you took for granted. If you prepare yourself well and take the time and effort to treat a wedding day like you would a trip across the ocean, you’ll be sure to capture once-in-a-lifetime memories for the bride and groom.
Andre Reichmann has traveled the world as a professional photographer and won many awards for his work in photo journalism. Andre Reichmann Photography shoots weddings all over the New York Tri-State area and around the country. If you would like to reach Andre you can contact him on his website.