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A Beginner’s Guide to Wedding Photography Basics
Being aware about certain photography basics before you even set out to turn that first lead into a client would certainly come in handy. As a beginner, you may not know everything about wedding photography, but having top-notch photography skills, functional gear, and knowing when and how to use photography equipment could help you go from point A to B a little faster. Practice indeed makes perfect, and as you continue to shoot more weddings and gain more experience, you will get a better understanding of not only how the business of wedding photography works but also improve your technical knowledge and creative skills. If you are just starting out in the industry, this blog on the basics of photography could help you avoid a bumpy start. 

Wedding Photography Basics You Need To Know

1. Lead With Your Skills

Infographic stating your photography skills can set you apart from your competitors

Without a doubt, photography basics start with having the ability to create, expose, pose and compose. Your photography skills will set you apart from your competition and will eventually help attract potential clients to your brand. Technical skills are essential, and therefore you can’t compensate for that with your digital marketing, sales, personality, etc. While your website and social media play a crucial role in raising your brand awareness and attracting the right clients, your photography skills are your creative foundation. So, hone those as much as you can and try to use them as your primary tool to attract clients.

2. Controlling Your ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture 

Bride and groom walking hand in hand through a sparkler exit at night
Image Credits: ShootDotEdit Customer @flavio_d_photography

The ISO, shutter speed, and aperture work together to create your exposure. Many pro photographers would agree that a slow shutter speed combined with flash can offer great ambient light in reception dancing images. A higher ISO, which means a higher sensitivity, can help you take photos in venues with low lighting (if you want to avoid grain or noise, you may want to use a flash), and a fast shutter speed can freeze motion during a quick recessional or sparkler exit. 

3. Understand Different Photography Gear

Infographic stating Stick with gear you can rely on & learn how to use it.

Your photography skills heavily rely on how well you understand your gear. Whether it’s knowing when to use a tripod or experimenting with different shooting modes, learning about your photography gear could also help to enhance the way you shoot. As you add more gear to your arsenal, try taking out time to understand how it works and when to use it. This brings us to another photography basic we suggest you lock down early on, and that is having reliable gear. If you don’t already have a brand that you trust, you could also try renting to get a feel of different cameras and brands.

Suggested Read: The Minimalist’s Guide To Wedding Photography Gear

4. Upgrade According To Your Needs

While many beginners do get tempted to buy every new shiny gadget in the market, we recommend that you switch gear only when you really need it or when upgrading will guarantee a better shooting experience for you and your clients. If your current camera is reliable and you can trust it to get the best results for your couples, then why change? Unless that’s how your business model works, another basic photography tip to keep in mind is that you don’t have to go out and buy the latest or the most expensive and fanciest gear every time. 

5. Learn About Lighting 

Bride and groom face each other as the halo from the background light highlights their smiles
Image Credits: ShootDotEdit Customer @wild.trail.studio

Photography literally means drawing with light. Therefore, knowing your lighting forms an essential part of photography basics. You may prefer shooting in natural lighting, but you may not always have the luxury to shoot in ideal lighting conditions. Also, you don’t always have control over natural lighting. And on days when it’s too sunny or too cloudy, you may need to turn to artificial lighting. The sooner you start learning about it, the better prepared you will be for shooting in different kinds of settings. And when it comes to shooting weddings, this is extremely helpful since you could find yourself shooting in multiple venues on the same day. For photography beginners, learning how to use different types of lighting gear, discovering brands that work for you, and knowing when and how to use artificial lighting is an essential part of the basics of photography. 

Infographic stating be confident and find what works for you

Besides meeting your couple, scouting locations, and making a wedding photography timeline, wedding photography basics are pretty similar to basic photography principles applied in other worlds of photography. Nothing can replace the photography skills you bring to the table, so being confident and leading with your skills would be a good starting point when learning about the basics of photography. Besides your skills, your gear is what supports you. Stick with what works until it is time for an upgrade that is worth the investment. While your personality and marketing strategies are essential to survive in the wedding photography business, starting your journey with learning how to merge your creative skills with the technicalities of a camera could be the key to a flawless beginning. 

Further Read: 20 Tips For Amateur Wedding Photographers

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you go from amateur to professional. But if editing photos is taking up a lot of your time and is keeping you from doing what you love, let us take care of that for you. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business through our professional photo editing services, check out our pricing plans


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