When weddings are in season, the lives of wedding photographers become hectic. To keep things under control, honor scheduled events, and deliver photographs and photo albums on time, many wedding photographers automate their tasks, skip any meeting they can skip, and use the same to-do list for all their events. The result is disappointing: similar photos with a commercial and impersonal vibe, over-edited shots in which the bride and groom can’t recognize themselves, lack of storytelling, and thousands of mediocre images no one wants to show off. So how can you prioritize quality and artistic authenticity, meet the deadlines, and skip these Wedding Photography Mistakes?
Not Meeting with the Couple Before the Wedding
Even if you are very busy, scheduling a pre-wedding appointment with the happy couple is necessary. It lets you get to know them, observe their dynamic, and explore their personalities. The meeting also encourages the couple to speak openly about what type of photos they wish for and the schedule of their wedding day, how comfortable they are in front of the camera, which is their favorite location for a photo session, and what moments of their wedding day should be in focus.
Use this meeting to determine what lighting to expect and choose your gear accordingly.
Ignoring Love Languages
While meeting with the bride and groom, discuss the love languages topic. The way people express their love is an important aspect of wedding photography. You will be the director of their wedding photo session and, thus, the one who proposes the poses chooses the background, and comes up with props. If you don’t know how they show their love to each other, you risk putting them in uncomfortable situations.
For example, touching passionately in public may be too much for some people, while others will love every minute. Receiving a flower bouquet may be exciting and emotional for one bride and completely blunt for another. Love language creates the narrative your wedding photos need so much.
Taking only Staged Photographs
Staged photographs are artistic and look good in a wedding photo album. But it becomes a bit boring when the couple always poses. So give them time to be themselves and do whatever they like together (e.g., dancing, running, walking, playing football, etc.) and capture candid snapshots that will become treasured memories.
Don’t aim for perfection; aim for authenticity. It’s OK if the groom stumbles or if the bride has moments when she doesn’t smile as for a magazine cover. It’s OK for the couple to show their human side, with faults and awkwardness. Capture their innermost feelings and raw emotions.
Checking Every Cliché in the Book
Although having a list of poses and compositions is good practice, make sure you personalize the list for each couple you photograph. Also, allow unprepared poses and compositions, unexpected situations, and unique moments. Each couple is different, and so should their wedding photos. Don’t impose romanticism and drama on them to take your photo. If all the wedding photos in your portfolio look the same, you have done something wrong.
Too Much Editing and Batch Editing
One of the most common mistakes couples complain about is heavily edited photos. Furthermore, some argue that their wedding photographers applied the same filter or effect to all their photos, regardless of their content.
Applying a dedicated wedding preset to photos from a wedding session ensures a cohesive style and saves you a lot of time. However, you still have to review all the pictures and check that they look fine, make local adjustments, and remove the effect when it doesn’t match the picture’s content.
At the same time, too much editing may ruin your photographs by retouching facial expressions up to an unrecognizable point, creating artificial-looking skin tones, and producing unnatural compositions.
Wedding photography requires much more than technical skills. It’s a popular genre; therefore, many photographers struggle to find their artistic voice and produce authentic work. Don’t compromise quality over quantity. People won’t be impressed by your technical skills but by how much heart and care you put into your work.