Five Common Wedding Photography Mistakes That Beginners Make and How to Overcome Them


Wedding photography is easily among the toughest assignments that can be taken on by a photographer. The stakes are unbelievably high and there is scope for a number of potential issues. If the photographer is a beginner, there are more chances of mistakes being made. Here are some of the more common ones explained along with suggestions to act like a professional.

Lack of Experience

If you are an amateur photographer with some advanced camera equipment, you can be pretty sure that at one point in time or the other, you are going to be asked to shoot a wedding. You need to assess your capabilities very realistically before you agree, and more so, if you are getting paid for the assignment. Ensure that not only do you have the right equipment; cameras, flashguns, and lenses but also you are familiar with them. Be candid with the couple regarding your experience and don’t be bullied into accepting the job. If it seems too big a responsibility, offer to help out as a second photographer.

Poor Exposure Control

The white wedding dress of the bride can be a big problem to photograph correctly; if you overexpose it, then it becomes a white mass with no detail, but if you underexpose it, then you run the risk of making it look gray and grubby, and really unromantic. Fortunately, it is possible to correct a little underexposure after the shot has been captured, but there is a limit to what can be corrected before the detail in the dark suit of the groom gets lost, and the shadows become noisy.

When using digital cameras, you can shoot and then check on the exposure, and correct it for the next shot. If you are in a hurry, use the auto exposure bracketing feature to take a number of shots with various exposures rapidly, and pick out the ones you like later on. Turning on the highlight warning of the camera can be helpful because you can immediately take note of the areas that are burned out and take another shot.

Messy Background

As suggested by a leading Minneapolis wedding photographer, it is always a good idea to check out the wedding venue before the day of the wedding so that the best locations for the essential photos of the couple and their families can be noted. While clean backgrounds can make a great difference, it does not necessarily mean that they should be uninteresting. For example, rather than clicking the couple in the churchyard, it is better to shoot them in the church doorway, because not only do you get a nice frame but there is a context added naturally that makes the shot very interesting.

The Sun Making the Couple Squint

Reconnoitering the venue of the wedding in advance also gives you the opportunity of noting the position of the sun at the time of the ceremony. You should also look out for locations that have interesting backgrounds but won’t have the couple squinting due to the direct light of the sun. Look out for shaded places or ask someone to help out with a diffuser. Getting your shots in the softer light also means that you don’t have to deal with harsh shadows otherwise produced by bright sunlight.

No Eye Contact

If you are going to be acting as the second photographer, then more often than not you are not going to have the happy couple’s full attention at some important points. As a result, while you will perhaps have shots that are exceedingly nicely composed but don’t have the crucial eye contact. Usually, families like each pose to be captured in a few different shots so you will need to be alert to seize the correct moment. Carrying a long lens can be very useful because then you can capture some intimate moments of the couple looking at each other rather than formally posing before the camera.


Author bio: Kevin Hall, a prominent Minneapolis wedding photographer, has written a number of articles in leading photography websites on basic techniques that every amateur photographer needs to master.

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