Five Tips to Get Photographers Through Wedding Season

Five Tips to Get Photographers Through Wedding Season

Wedding season is in full swing in the UK. It can be a tiring and stressful time, so here are five tips to help you get through.

After nine years of shooting weddings, I am going to be calling it a day. I can no longer hack the 35-40 solid weekends and mid-week epic days of carrying several pounds of kit on my shoulders. My back hurts, my feet hurt, and my legs hurt. I am going to be keeping myself locked up in the studio; it's my safe place. As much as I love the day, my body won't be able to continue forever, and now seems like a good time to go out on a high. Over the years, I have picked up a few tips to help manage your stress and to physically get you through the day.

Don’t Eat the Wedding Meal

In the UK, as a wedding photographer, I am often offered a sit-down meal at the job. For the first few years, I jumped at the chance. However, the carb coma that follows is not ideal for what is often a 12-hour day. Nowadays, I go for small snacks throughout the day. Its also really important to stay hydrated. There are not that many opportunities until the evening event to easily grab a drink, so I put water bottles into every bag I have. I’ve also found that a can of Monster energy or similar about 6 hours from the end of the day is a real pick-me-up.

Keep the Following Day Free

You are going to be pretty spent the following day. A mixture of stress and physical exertion isn't the ideal prep for a big day out. Don’t go planning a day trip to some faraway location or a stressful family visit the day after the wedding. Accept the fact that you are going to wake up feeling dehydrated, physically spent, and probably a bit down. Plan the day off into your schedule rather than drawing out the fatigue well into the following week.

Buy Good Shoes

This might sound obvious to many, but the shoes you wear on your jobs are crucial. Finding the right pair will save you a lot of time. Trying to focus on capturing key moments when your feet are in agony is a thankless task. For the last five years, I have worn Loake shoes, which have been a blessing. Finding the right pair that suit your feet is so important. It is as important as your lens selection. 

Have a Good Assistant

I have tried second shooters, going solo, and taking the work experience kid. What I've found to be most beneficial is a great assistant,  someone who really understands what they are doing. They should make your life easier. If you are constantly having to ask them to do things, sack them off. They should have the kit ready before you know that you need it. I find this far more useful than a second shooter. For the last few years, I have worked predominantly with assistants rather than second shooters.

Backblaze

Last on the list is this little gem. Backblaze are a company who back up your machine and any hard drive to it really effectively and very cost efficiently. I always had the fear of losing someone's wedding images. Thankfully, it has never happened. But this software means that after backing up to my two hard drives and heading home (one stays at the studio and the other comes home), I know that my drive will duplicate to their server overnight. The piece of mind this brings is priceless.

What would you add to this list to make wedding season less arduous?

Log in or register to post comments

6 Comments

michael andrew's picture

This is a great list.

If I can add (even though I only shoot 1-5 weddings a year as I have almost zero desire to build out that part of my biz)

- Get in touch with the Videography crew before the wedding if you can.

When I started shooting weddings 15 years ago, I never saw a video crew more than twice maybe, I know they existed, it just seems like it was far less common than today. Today every single wedding has 2-3 video guys that frankly couldn’t care less about the photos and attempt to hijac the entire day for the film. Every wedding I have been to or shot in the last few years has had a videographer on the dance floor with a gimbal or a steady cam doing 360s around the first dance with a wide angle lens. Those rigs are really big and it makes getting photos extremely
Challenging.

If that’s what the couple wants then great. My suggestion is try and at least have a phone conversation with everyone about this very topic because if not lots of compromises are going to take place. Find out if you can have a signal
To “get your shot and get the hell out of the way” and make that a conversation well before the wedding.

I love videographers by the way, I hope I don’t sound too curmudgeonly. Everyone is just trying to make a great product.

Make friends with videographers, work together and get your clients to book you together. Works great for me,

Scott Choucino's picture

These are al great.

Brendan Gallagher's picture

"Keep the Following Day Free" so you don't shoot weddings back to back?

And don't eat the meal? No, eat but know your limit --nothing says you have the clean your plate.

Scott Choucino's picture

Not anymore, I did when I was younger though. If I don't have a 24 hour recovery period inbetween them I won't take the wedding. Likewise with commercial work. I try not to go over 6 straight days in the studio as I can't work as well.