Congrats on your first wedding! You’ve definitely pointed out a tricky part of the day. Different photographers will have different strategies for the processional and recessional shots, according to their own shooting preferences and gear . But here’s what we do.
First off, make sure to get your exposure settings before the ceremony starts. (We sometimes even tested when we were at the rehearsal, which is a great reason to attend!)
Go to the head of the aisle where you’ll be shooting from, and take some test shots to nail that exposure before the action starts. That way you’re ready!
In terms of focus points, we used focus-recompose because it was faster, and you have such a short period of time to work with. To be honest though we didn’t do a lot of recomposing, and rather usually kept them near the center point because it’s more accurate to focus there, and faster to get the shots we needed! This was especially true for the bridal party, who seem to come down the aisle a whole lot faster than the bride. It’s a good idea to try this all out at home so you can get the hang of it!
Now, if you’re using a camera with a focusing system that you really trust, AI Servo could work quite well. But we never found our cameras (Canon 5Ds) were accurate enough.
Final note: don’t be shy about taking a ton of photos during the processional and recessional. This is when burst mode comes in handy! People are moving fast and facial expressions are changing so quickly that taking the extra shots is a necessity in order to make sure you get a good image.
Good luck with the big day!
Marketing is one of those things that is hard to pin down what will actually work for your unique business. Your idea of printed fliers being sent out could work, or maybe it wouldn’t. And a different photographer, in a different city, with a different clientele might have the exact opposite results!
That’s one reason we’ve tried to focus on marketing techniques that don’t cost much, so that we won’t be out a lot of money if it’s not effective!
You can check out our free eBook, 7 Simple Ways To Market Your Wedding Photography Business. It’s written with weddings in mind, but the concepts can work for any type of photography business.
Here are a couple of our posts on marketing that might help as well!
- Better Photography Marketing By Communicating Benefits
- Referral Programs: An Easy, Affordable & Effective Marketing Plan
- The Money Is In The List. Do You Have A List?
Also take a look at The Thank You Economy, by Gary Vaynerchuk (and our Book Report of it here). It’s a great look at some basic concepts of marketing that will help you really take care of your clients!
The backbone of our system involves a division between our RAW data and our LIVE data.
So on one harddrive we have our RAW data, which includes RAW photo files, and original video files.
On the other harddrive we have our LIVE data, which is all of our business files, finished JPEGs, album designs, final video projects, and pretty much anything else that isn’t RAW data.
Keeping these separate means that our LIVE data, which we work with on a regular basis, can stay on one harddrive for a longer period of time. When we combined it with the RAW data we had to change drives very often, since RAW data takes up so much space.
From there, the organization is fairly simple. Here are a couple example screens:
The numbers in front of the folders are dates, so that we can see when the entire folder was shot while in Lightroom.
Hope that helps!
We used Photoshop actions for editing when we first got started, since it seemed like an easy way to make our photos look really cool. But we quickly realized that actions can be a crutch. They can prevent you from actually learning editing skills! So now we don’t use any pre-bought actions. I have created a couple that just perform some processes when I’m retouching (i.e. setting up a file to be ready to be retouched) but other than that we don’t use them.
Lightroom uses what are called “Presets” which is the same idea. Pre-made adjustments that you apply with one click. And again we don’t think they’re the best approach, since they also prevent you from actually learning the program!
Lightroom is a fantastic way to edit your photos, quickly and easily. And it’s easy to learn. So we definitely recommend learning to make the adjustments yourself. It takes a little bit more time at the start, but in the long run it will help you create better images! Make sure to check out our tutorial, Super Photo Editing Skills, that will teach you how to use Lightroom to bring the best out of your photos, quickly and easily!
As for whether to invest in Lightroom or a lens first, that’s really up to you! Which one do you think will help you more at this point? You could rent or borrow a 50mm to try it out first, and download a trial version of Lightroom, and maybe that will help you decide which purchase is best for your business right now!
Editors note: we also have a detailed article specifically about Lightroom vs Photoshop right here.
I’ll be honest—we have never been super duper networkers. We were lucky to get to meet a bunch of other photographers in our city early in our career, and made friendships that have lasted all this time. We did that by emailing them and asking them if they wanted to meet for coffee. Nothing fancy!
We see networking as a tricky situation. It’s great to have people who send you referrals. But if the only reason you want to meet them is to get your own career ahead, it’s kind of hollow! We preferred to get to know other photographers, just so that we knew other people in our industry. We’d help them whenever we could, and tried to create relationships that were more than just a matter of furthering our business.
The same thing goes for networking with vendors. Try to create win-win relationships with them, and find ways to help them out. You’ll show that you really care about being a solid presence in your market, and they’ll likely reciprocate by sending referrals your way.
In terms of places to market, I think creating one-on-one relationships is likely going to be the most powerful and meaningful. So that just means finding photographers in your area, and sending them a message saying you dig their work, and would love to take them for coffee to get to know them. Remember that you’re asking for their time, which is really valuable, so try to make it worth it for them!
You can also begin relationships online via Facebook messages or Twitter. That’s often a good way to get the ball rolling before asking to meet in person.
One final thing to remember about networking: balance. It easy to get caught up with networking, and spend lots and lots of time doing it (partially because it feels like you’re getting work done, and partially because it’s really fun to hang out with other photographers!). Don’t let your efforts there take too much time away from working on your own business!
Check out our free eBook, 7 Simple Ways To Market Your Wedding Photography Business, where we chat a bit more about networking!
– Lauren :)