Getting Ready for the Four Acts of Wedding Photography

The United States Coast Guard has a motto that I think every wedding photographer should borrow. The motto is the Latin phrase Semper Paratus, which translates, “Always Ready.” Though a wedding photographer’s job doesn’t deal with national security, the idea of being ready for anything is one you should carry with you at all times.

As you prepare to shoot a wedding, think through the day as a whole before you even set foot at the venue. In Chapter 1, I mention that you should be able to visualize the wedding and anticipate the aspects of the location, lighting, and other details that affect how you photograph the event. In this section, I break the wedding down into four segments — the preparation, portraits, ceremony, and reception — and go over how you can mentally prepare for these four acts of the story so you can be ready for anything.

Documenting the preparation

As you anticipate photographing the bride and groom getting ready for the wedding, be thinking about

check.png The location, time of day, and lighting: Take these environmental factors into consideration and begin to think about how you can best use available light. (Flip to Chapter 3 for more about lighting.)

check.png What lenses you want to use to achieve certain effects: Because ...

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