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.
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?