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As a wedding photographer, it is your core responsibility to provide your couple with the best results and photography experience. You need to know how to photograph a wedding effectively and take images in a limited timeframe. However, even with the best wedding planning timelines, sometimes things can just go haywire at the last minute. There can be unexpected incidents where you or the bridal party can be late due to some unforeseen circumstances. From a 2-hour cushion time slotted for portraits, you might have to wrap it up in 15 minutes! However, in such moments you can either regret or pull yourself together and come up with a clever game plan. Since the second option is better, we have listed down 6 useful wedding photography tips on how to never miss a shot as a wedding photographer on a time-crunch and pull off a great wedding photo session. 

Wedding Time-Crunches: How To Never Miss A Shot As A Photographer

1. Rely On The Second Shooter

infographic stating capture double the number of pictures with a second shooter

Having a second pair of eyes or a second shooter is one of the best ways on how to never miss a shot! Since there are several aspects to cover in a wedding, a second shooter can help you in creating twice the amount of images in the same amount of time. You can rely on your second shooter to focus on photographing stunning wedding ceremony pictures from different angles! Having a second shooter is also an added advantage for getting pictures of moments that you might have missed out or couldn’t capture because of where you were positioned. If you are capturing your couples getting ready photos, split your team and have your second shooter photograph images of the groom, while you have a photo session with the bride or vice versa.

Related Read: Hiring A Second Shooter For Weddings: Tips & Tricks

2. Avoid Complicated Poses

If you and your couple are on a wedding day time-crunch, now is not the time to direct or ask a lot, especially with complicated posing. You will end up wasting a lot of time trying to get the couple to pose the way you want, and chances are that those kinds of poses might not look great from other angles or during post-production. When time is running short and nerves are running a little high, you can keep the posing simple and allow your couple to be themselves and soak in the moment. This will make the whole experience a lot more fun for them. Not everything has to be complicated, there is beauty in simplicity as well!

3. Divide And Conquer 

infographic stating divide your team to cover different events at a wedding

Since you have a second shooter to assist with taking shots, it will allow you to save time by dividing up for the individual or group portrait sessions. Not only is it a blessing to have them during your couple's formal wedding ceremony to capture different angles, but also during the wedding reception where there are multiple activities taking place at times simultaneously! While you head out with your couple to photograph some breathtaking couple or "happy-married" portraits, your second shooter can capture the fun happening on the dance floor or vice versa! This 

Suggested Read: Top 5 Tips: Building A Strong Wedding Team 

4. Use Go-To Poses

If you are short on time, have a few go-to poses in your wedding photography shot list, so that when you are on a time-crunch you know at the back of your head how to make the couple pose, rather than wasting time on thinking and executing right in the moment. You will need to act quickly and execute whatever you have planned for and help your wedding client pose with confidence. Additionally, you will also have to remain calm and graceful on the surface, even if you're panicking from within, so that your portrait sessions take place smoothly. Here is a wedding photography shot list template with classic go-to poses for you to :

  • Direct your couple to look at each other while holding hands.

  • Have the groom stand behind the bride as he wraps his arms around her waist.

  • Have your couple look off into the distance.

  • Focus on capturing candid and natural reactions.

  • Have the groom dip the bride to the side.

  • Have your groom lift up the bride.

5. Move Like The Wind

infographic stating switch between different locations quickly to never miss a shot

During weddings, one of your goals is to move fast between different locations, and capture compelling shots. Even if you need to take close-up pictures of the guests, try doing it in a respectful manner that won't disturb or irritate anyone. In case you are shooting a church wedding ceremony, firstly find out the photography rules and regulations. Most churches have a strict "silent mode" during the formal wedding ceremony and also prohibit flash photography. In such circumstances, turn on your camera's silent shutter mode. Before the wedding day, scout the location with your team or the couple and request church officials to guide you on the rules, so that you can also chalk out places on where to stand as a photographer during ceremony time. This pre-planning tip on how to never miss a shot can help you move fast to different locations and capture picture-perfect moments. 

6. Backup Equipment The Night Before

An essential part on how to never miss a shot as a wedding photographer is by having plenty of memory cards, batteries and other important equipment as backup in case you run out! Be prepared with a second camera and lenses. Also make sure that your backup equipment is easily accessible when you are shooting - not hidden away in the of your car in case your camera zonks out midway! Carry wide angle lens to capture group shots with stunning backgrounds, and a different lens with a longer focal length for candid and portrait shots. If you can't bring two cameras, take two lenses and practice how to change them quickly so that you save precious time. 

Further Read: A Minimalist’s Guide To Wedding Photography Gear

From grand-scale to intimate weddings, each one of them have timelines for things to pan out perfectly. Some moments can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if things don't go according to plan. But it is in these moments where you can shine and prove your photography skills. Because many of your shoots will have unpredictable elements, it’s necessary to be prepared. With a solid backup plan and an effective shot list up your sleeve, there is nothing you can't do and photograph. We hope that these useful wedding photography tips and tricks on how to never miss a shot, even during a time-crunch, helps you in capturing more relaxed shots.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you hone your craft! And we help with that by taking editing off your plate with our professional photo editing services, giving you more time to learn new skills. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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