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Friday Flickr Photo Critique #034 - Wedding Photography

Michael contacted me earlier this year after his cousin asked him to photograph her wedding. Michael is 17 years old and having never shot a wedding reached out for some advice. He’d actually NEVER BEEN TO A WEDDING before! As an non-experienced wedding photographer, he was potentially taking on way more than he could handle. Wedding day photography has a rapid flow from the multitude of events that occur on a wedding day in a variety of shooting situations. Indoors, outdoors, couples, groups, portraits, and event photography, all in one day. Being comfortable and competent with your equipment is paramount as there will be many different shooting situations where there is no time for guessing and trying to figure things out. I recommended that Michael try to see about doing some assisting with a professional wedding photographer before jumping into shooting his cousin’s wedding and suggested he recommend his cousin to hire a professional wedding photographer. For that day, I suggested that he offer to shoot some candids for the couple while staying out of the way of the professional photographer to hang back, observe and learn. Michael took my advise, and ended up shooting the wedding alongside another cousin who is a professional fashion photographer.

I think Michael did a great job, but I also feel that Michael has a lot to learn. Timing and framing are so essential to telling the story of someone’s wedding. Being versatile and knowing your camera’s settings is also imperative. Michael’s got a great eye and most definitely captured some great moments. However, some of the shots the framing or the focus is off. That and it would appear that he didn’t at all use a flash and or off-camera flash. All of which are essential skills for shooting weddings.

So, I commend Michael on his efforts and hope that if weddings are what he chooses to shoot, that he’ll hunker down and spend a few years assisting and second shooting before he goes out on his own. The experience and skills he’ll pick up by working with other professionals will help him to shape his own style while honing his skills.

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