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Photography Question 
Ashley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/15/2004

My First Wedding

So, I'm shooting my first wedding on Saturday and I'm pretty much freaking out. I've done one studio wedding session before, and it turned out great...but this is like the whole event. Now, I know that a lot of people say that you shouldn't do a wedding on your own until you've been an assistant to an experienced photographer, but the bride is a friend of a friend who didn't want to spend a lot of money and was totally willing to take a chance on a first timer. So if you're planning to give me the "You shouldn't be doing this" line, then I ask that you kindly refrain. But I would like some words of encouragement from others. Or tips of what to do your first time or whatever. I am continually encouraged by friends, and especially my husband, but somehow hearing it from other photographers means more I guess. Wow...can you tell I'm nervous?

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9/15/2005 9:07:08 PM

Nicole Kessel   Hi Ashley!

Breathe! Would be my first bit of advice! :)

Personally, I have only done two weddings and they were both for family members so I'm not sure how qualified I am to answer but, I will give you as much advice as I can.

-Try to get there early and explore the church ahead of time so you know where everything is and possibly pick out some good spots for posed shots after the ceremony.
-When it comes to your posed shots.. Shoot the kids first. They get real impatient real fast! And mess up their hair and outfits, too!
-Bring back up batteries! For your flash and your camera!
-Relax and try to have fun! Act confident even if your not!

Good luck, and let us know how things went! -Nicole

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9/15/2005 9:30:44 PM

Ashley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/15/2004
  Thanks so much for response. It does actually make me feel better cuz I've done most of that. The extra batteries for the flash is something I haven't thought of yet, so thank you for that. And actually, I hadn't thought to shoot the kids first either. Ok, so I've done 1 out of 3. Anyhoo...thanx for the advise.

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9/16/2005 4:42:10 AM

Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  If possible try to take as many photos as possible before the wedding. Ask that they get ready earlier and do all of the bride and bridesmaid photos, groom and groomsmen photos, bride walking down isle with dad, bride and groom with each of their families, bride's dad giving her a kiss on the cheek, special mom and bride photo, groom's dad shaking his hand or adjusting his tie, all before the wedding. The reason for this is that the bride and groom are going to want to get the photos over with quickly so that they can get on to their reception and see their guests. By doing it this way it also breaks up having to do so many photos in a row and ending up with forced smiles.

Also, when doing the after ceremony photos try to get the ones with all the groomsmen done early on because men are in as much of a hurry usually to be done just like the kids. You can't blame them really, ties can't be all that comfortable.

Oh, one more thing that will make it go quicker and smoother. Ask the bride and groom to have a contact person who knows everyone who will be photographed after ceremony. This person should be given a list of the shots you will take. While you're taking your portraits, they will be getting the next group ready. This really helps speed up the process.

Listen to Nicole, if you exude confidence your day will go smoother. You can do this, you'll be great.

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9/16/2005 6:54:55 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Just sent you a list of suggested photos. Hope it helps.

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9/16/2005 7:14:31 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Hi Ashley,
Do you have a posing list to shoot from- this will help you to remember what you need to do to stay on track!
before any BIG shoot- get everything ready , get a cup of coffee or something - and sit in a quite room and look through galleries( NOT WEB SITES!!!!) at "real" wedding portraits and get the creative jucies flowing.
*most web sites are staged shoots-the photographer has all the time to get perfection-THATS NOT REAL!
and most of all take "graceful, confident,respectful,sweet CONTROL"
You will have to take controll to get things done a bride is pulled this way and that- find out when she would like the posed shots done -then get a hold of the brides maid or Mom and talk to them about getting that time for the family and wedding party.Also get one of the brides maids or a sister or brother to do the gathering of those in each differant shot- show them a copy of your pose list and talk to them about gathering up the wedding party straight away- then as you move to the family shots they can gather up both sides of the family for you.This works very well and when yo give this responcibily to someone else they rarely fail, also get a copy of your pose list to the dj-ask nicly if they will anounce these shots for you(most of them will be standard and they will be happy to do so)
I do hope this helps, if you need a pose list please email me soon as I am having company. actually I bet Liza will have one and I will email her mine as well_I do hope you don't mind Liza,LOl-I'm busy the next few days and Liza is oh just sitting around waiting for a hurricane,lol,just KIDDING shes was going NUTs trying to finish up all her work on her cds and the stuff for our classes, before it may hit, poor kid .
but she's always up to help someone else too.(if she has elec.and phone,lol.
Liza your such a sport!!!!
anyway I do hope this helps,

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9/16/2005 7:17:09 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
You are just sooo good- always a cup of coffee and a few steps ahead of me!!
wishing you a wonderful day!

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9/16/2005 7:20:52 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Debby, I'm on my second LARGE cup! LOL

Ashley, the most important thing is for YOU to relax. That will help put the B&G at ease. The list I sent you was the posed shots. Believe it or not, some of the best ones you will get will be spontaneous. Compliment the bride - and the groom. You will get better smiles. Shoot them when they are somewhat alone, when others are not right with them. You can get some great shots of them enjoying each other. The main thing I suggest?


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9/16/2005 7:26:56 AM

Ashley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/15/2004
  Thank you all so much for your advice. You were all very helpful. Some of the stuff I had thought of, but some I had not. It's just great to get other perspective. I'll let you know how it all goes.

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9/16/2005 10:40:36 AM

Kathy L. Pollick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/14/2005
  Ashley, a "friend of the groom's family" just took my daughter's wedding pix. I don't want to go into it.... but as for posing, don't do all the simple traditional "face the camera" poses. It would have been nice to have some cozy, looking into my eyes, types of pictures. There were none of the bride & groom hugging or any "I love you" type poses. Get pictures when they may not be expecting it. Take all your bridal party shots before the wedding. All the shots of the bride & her party then the groom & his party, that way the ceremony shots won't take as long after the wedding is over. Be sure to get all the grandparents & relatives that are to be included. My inlaws (my daughters grandparents) weren't told to stay & as the mother of the bride, I never thought to mention it, so we have NO shots of them. We got a photo of the father of the bride & the groom High fiving it... and one of the brides father "paying the groom off"... dad was handing the groom money & shaking hands & grinnin. Cute. You can't possibly take too MANY photos, so be on the look out for those special moments. I also don't have any shots of the girls getting ready before hand. The photographer was a bit late & we were already dressed. Oh yea, be sure of your lighting. A lot of my pictures were pretty dark & the flash was reflected off the walls because the walls were a glossy stain. So... be on time... be on the look out... and have lots of film!!! And the best of luck to you. Let us know how you do & how the pix turned out

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9/16/2005 11:35:38 AM

Ashley Johnson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/15/2004
  Hey everyone. I just wanted to let you know that the wedding went really well and the pictures turned out great. Oh, and if anyone has any ideas about how to get rid of mothers at these juncters, let me know.

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9/18/2005 10:03:05 AM

Nicole Kessel   LOL... glad to hear it, Ashley!

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9/18/2005 11:04:20 AM

Antony Burch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/23/2005
  Ashley look at this website these are some of the best wedding photographers in the world, view the quicktime video may give you some good ideas

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9/18/2005 11:06:30 AM

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