So, you show up at a wedding with your camera and your friend, the bride, is in tears. The photographer isn't gonna be there! She sees your camera and suddenly you are the photographer. Don't freak out. You can do this!
Here are some survival tips for shooting a wedding, on-the-spot or not.
1. Make a list of important shots. This is your cheat sheet. Put formal portraits in the list and candid shots you know the couple will love. This way when you get busy you won't forget what needs to be done. Check the list every 10 minutes or as needed. Weddings make almost all photographers nervous. Don't worry. You'll do fine.
2.Pretend you are shooting a movie. Have the bride and groom move. Have them touch noses or hug. Have them spin or jump. Photos will look less posed if you to this. Most of all, make sure they are having fun.
3. Shoot a lot of candids. Always get the flower girl. Take photos of the guests and family. Take photos of the cake. Remember that photos don't need to be posed.
4. Check out the location in advance. Look around for nice backgrounds. Find interesting places and think about how to pose the couple in the surroundings. Be creative.
5. Always have a back-up camera. Extra batteries are nice also. You don't want to get stuck with a dead battery or a camera that doesn't work.
6. Do the formal shots(groups and family) first if possible. This will make things easier as the day goes on.
7. Shoot close-ups. Get ring shots. Get hands. Shoot the detail in the back of the dress, shoot the bouquet, get creative! These shots will add depth to the album or DVD.
8. Get help from the Maid of Honor. Girls are more comfortable with helping than men.
9. Get to know the DJ. He can help you get ready for shots like the bouquet toss and the dance shots.
10. Enjoy yourself. Your images will reflect it if you are not having fun, so have fun!