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As a community of photographers here at Lumoid, we’re constantly learning from one another. We want to inspire each other to create and explore and grow, so we reached out to the Lumoid community to gather everyone’s tips and tricks for shooting a wedding. The more than 30 comments we received on Facebook include valuable advice that can only be learned from experience. We’ve compiled some of our favorite feedback here.

Get everything in writing. We know it’s tedious, but your contract should be as detailed as possible. It’s best if you can sit down with the bride and groom long before the wedding to talk over specific ideas and expectations. Go over the specific hours you’ll be expected to shoot, the agreed upon compensation and the date by which it will be paid. Spell out the expected number of edited photos or videos the couple will receive and the date by which they will receive them. Include additional post-processing fees in the contract, so that the couple can’t ask for last-minute free and complicated photo edits.

Create a detailed shot list. This is exceptionally helpful for both you and the couple. Weddings are very hectic, fast-paced days and even if you feel confident in your ability to get all the shots, having a detailed list on hand won’t hurt. Going over specific shots will also help give you ideas and will leave you and the couple feeling more comfortable with each other before the big day.

Make sure you have a detailed schedule. Knowing exactly when and where all of the day’s events will take place will help you stay on top of your tasks. Going over the schedule with the couple will also ensure you have enough time to get all of the shots they want. Have the schedule on hand during the wedding so you’re never at a loss for where to be.  

Be prepared. Make sure you have backup memory cards, batteries and a charger. Bring a second camera body if you have one, but make sure you also have a second lens to go with it. You need to be prepared not only with equipment, but also with sustenance. Make sure you bring snacks that will help keep your energy up throughout the day – think cereal bars, sandwiches and fruit. Wear comfortable shoes and have a water bottle on hand.

Test all of the equipment beforehand. We’ve all been there – setting up for a shoot only to realize your tripod is broken or your flash isn’t going off when it should be. In order to avoid these on-location nightmares, lay out all of the gear you plan on bringing at least a week before the wedding, and test every piece of equipment. If you have any issues, you’ll have time to either fix the gear or rent different equipment.

Don’t undercharge. Even if you’re just starting out, don’t undervalue your work. Unless you’re gifting family or friends with a free shoot, ask for and expect compensation. Be willing to negotiate and compromise when reasonable, but doing work for free will undervalue both your work as a photographer and the photography market as a whole.

Thanks, Lumoid Community, for helping each other grow.

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