Higher End Services of a Wedding Photographer
As more and more photographers, both amateur and professional, take up wedding photography, the competition gets stiffer and work harder to come by so is it still worth the effort?
Of course it is..more so than ever now the economy is picking up!
Even now with so many photographers out there, there are weddings to be had.
The beauty about this industry is that if you have a bad year (work wise) for whatever reason, come January the slate is wiped clean and we all start again from the same position…it’s all fair game in wedding photography.
Of course, we are all having to work harder these days but so what, the rewards are there for those that do.
So what can you do to compete and get more work in?
You need to up your game, be innovative, be creative and be there.
You need to look at what you do now and think “am I good enough…am I really pushing the boat out with every wedding I shoot…could I do more?”
Let me tell you about the last wedding I shot in the hope it may give you some inspiration.
Andy and Meggan
Andy and Meggan are an incredibly likeable couple and this showed by the amount of people that went out of their way to be at their wedding in the middle of nowhere. They are both intelligent, hard working people with Andy being a doctor and graduate from Eton.
So, you would think that when I completely forgot about our very first meeting, they would immediately look elsewhere for their photographer!
I was sitting in my office one day with nothing planned (or so I thought) except the usual work to do on my images and websites when there was a knock at the door. I looked like crap…unshaven, an old pair of jogging bottoms and a creased t-shirt, I answered the door.
Standing there was a smart, young, attractive couple who gave me a big smile and said “Nick Stubbs?” (we hadn’t met before). Oops…they were bang on time for our meeting which, for the only time I can remember, had forgotten to put in my iPhone calendar with alerts…I was mortified.
I asked them to wait in their car for 5 minutes whilst I tidied my office and got changed…my heart was pounding and I felt such a fool. I was sure this had killed the chances of me shooting their wedding.
As it happened, they found it quite endearing and the meeting went really well.
They decided to book me as their photographer and earlier this year we met for their engagement shoot in Weymouth. After starting off tentatively, they soon warmed to the camera and within no time, they were naturals and we got some amazing shots. You can see those in my blog:
Then came the wedding.
The venue was a fantastic place set deep in the Dorset countryside. A converted series of farmhouses done up to a standard that was certainly worthy of its 5 star status:
There were three houses, the main house and two smaller outhouses (ahem…they were huge, each with their own Jacuzzi and indoor, heated swimming pool) and a large (huge) marquee in the garden. The couple had booked the entire place for a week and all the immediate family and bridal party stayed there…amazing!
The day before the wedding, I visited the venue and did a full scout…all the while, thoughts of the day running through my head:
- Where would I stand for this?
- How would I get shots of that?
- How could I best use my assistant for certain shots?
- How best to video certain aspects of the day?
The couple had planned a LOT of things for the day which was also rather “higgledy piggledy” (arse-about-face ; ) to say the least. There would be:
- The getting ready shots
- The “first look” shots
- The main (legal) registration ceremony with immediate family at lunchtime
- Group photos of bridal party and family
- Fun shots with bridal party at the fete
- Portraits with just the couple
- Main ceremony with all guests who had now arrived
- Confetti shot immediately after
- Group photos in grounds
- Fete for two hours
- Sunset shots
- First dance
All in all, I was there for around 14 hours! I was shattered at the end but exhilarated at the same time as it had been an amazing day. I just knew we had some great coverage and couldn’t wait to get processing.
Bear in mind that as well as photographing all of the above, I was filming it too!
For filming, I used one main broadcast quality video camera, one high definition Handycam, two Go Pro point of view cameras and of course, both 5D Mark II cameras.
I had to prepare well so that each camera would be in the right place at the right time, with enough power and storage to last for each section, and then move all cameras and tripods (whilst checking sound levels and mic placements) before the next event.
Myself and Chris, my brilliant young assistant, used the following gear:
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- 2nd Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- Nikon D300
- Nikon D5100
- Sony PMW EX1
- Sony HDR SR1
- Go Pro HD Hero 2
- Go Pro HD Hero 3
- Two speedlights on stands
- Three tripods, one mini tripod and two Gorillapods
- A ton of lenses
- Various microphones (Lavelier and Bluetooth)
- Batteries, storage, filters, clips and other bits
Note: By no means at all do you need this much kit to get started with wedding photography. We discuss what kit you need in the Wedding Photography Blueprint 2.0 below but rest assured, it needn’t cost a fortune to get into this business.
It was tough but helped massively having an assistant, although I shot two similar weddings by myself this year…so it is possible. Hopefully you can see just how much of a headache it was to organise and shoot this wedding!
You can see in the image below where the cameras and myself were placed during one part of the day, the main ceremony. Remember, these all had to be moved, set up again and sound levels checked for each part of the day.
However, with careful planning and preparation, we did the job. You can see the best of the images and video clips in the following slideshow…
Please Note: All relevant licenses and permissions have been purchased to use the tracks in this slideshow
Andy and Meggan were over the moon and the feedback from them and their guests was brilliant. Such a good feeling when a plan comes together…
“Nick has been the most fantastic photographer & videographer – we can’t recommend him highly enough! From our fantastic engagement shoot in Weymouth back in May and scouting the wedding venue and learning the layout the day before, to the big day itself in August, Nick has always been the perfect balance of friendly & professional.
He is a really lovely personable guy, with loads of enthusiasm to boot and made us feel completely at ease when taking our pictures. He was absolutely discreet on the day, and yet has managed to capture every moment perfectly!
Our speeches ran on meaning our first dance was quite late, but he took everything in his stride and even stayed for a while after, capturing some fun dancing shots. The photos he has taken are just incredible, and the slideshow outstanding – it is highly addictive and we can’t stop watching it with huge grins on our faces!
A big THANK YOU just doesn’t quite seem to do our appreciation justice!”
The feedback from the owner of the venue was amazing too…
This is so wonderful. I loved the couple and their families so much and you really captured the fabulous time they had here. I would love to cross promote and would love ( with Meggan and Andy’s permission) to put this up on my website. Is this possible?”
She later told me that she had watched the slideshow about 100 times and showed it to all her friends…great stuff.
So, the money is there, the weddings are there, the opportunities are there…are you?
You have to be out there to get a piece of the action and in the Wedding Photography Blueprint 2.0 DVD’s and bonus eBooks, we talk about not only how to effectively and efficiently shoot a wedding, but how to get them booked too!
There is nothing like this business if you love having a camera in your hand and love great feedback for your work…
Please share this page if you know anyone getting into or wanting to get into wedding photography…thanks!