TGIF. My ultimate plan is to rest this weekend. Hah! I wish. Its been a week already since I shot my first wedding and I must say it was quite an experience! I don’t know about other countries but shooting a wedding in Ghana must surely pack its own extraordinary moments! I think I now understand why some photographers I know are moving away from shooting weddings. Its stressful no doubt but which job isn’t? Anyway, I faced some interesting challenges which I just thought to share for budding photographers interested in shooting weddings, as well as some useful tips. Photography is the ‘in-thing’ in Ghana now. J

Plan

If you don’t plan you will fail. Same applies in shooting a wedding. Where is the location of the wedding? How big is the wedding? Make sure you have everything you need at least 3 weeks before the wedding. Check your camera equipment (spare fully charged camera batteries, spare lenses, battery charger, extra flash batteries, extra blank memory cards, etc); create a wedding shots checklist to make sure you capture certain critical photos; get an assistant (you cant do a one-man show, you will faint from tiredness) at least someone with good photography skills to help capture the guests as you focus on the couple. Don’t forget to pack your phone charger.

Communication

Meet with the couple and have them sign your T&C’s and communicate with them how the shoot will be. Stress on the importance of you being the official photographer.  So at this wedding I shot, a family member had apparently hired another photographer to also cover the event. It was a nightmare I tell you. Agree on location for exclusives and stress on the importance of time for exclusives in case you aren’t good at night shots.

Pay attention

Don’t waste time chatting with the pretty bridesmaids as they dress up, you will miss critical moments but be friendly with them all the same to get them to relax. Be sure to capture key moments from the bride’s dressing moments to the groomsmen working on their cravats. Make sure you eat properly on the day as well, you will need the extra energy.

Small details

The ring, shoes, the cake, décor, cravats, framed pictures are the small details you shouldn’t ignore. As much as possible place these in unique areas to give an interesting composition.



Take Candid shots

Personally I don’t like capturing posed photos. If a guest sees me with my camera and fixes their face or posture I will not take the shot. Sorry. Ghanaians love to pose paaa! You should try to be invisible especially if you have a good zoom lens like a Canon70-200mm, just stay in the distance and see the difference it makes.

The other technical team

Get to know who the videographer will be and team up. The videographer at this wedding almost beat me up because I told him the bride couldn’t crawl into the car on her knees.

Editing your photos

Sometimes after you upload the photos to your PC , the shots all of a sudden don’t look as good as they did on the LCD screen. This is where the real work begins. Editing about 1500 pictures is not a joke. Get a good post-processing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. I use both Lightroom and Aperture. You can also download or purchase some cool photo editing apps like Snapseed fromthe Mac AppStore for some awesome filters. Start editing early.
The Expectant Bride (edited with #Snapseed)

Ghana weddings are stressful but there is much joy when the photos come out beautifully. 
Check out more of my wedding shots on my Facebook page Timeless by Naa. Hopefully, you will share or like this post because you found it very useful. 🙂

4 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful shots. Love the detail. Although I subscribe to using photo editors, I'm weary of those who over use them in fixing every photo. Photographers should learn to take good shots and minimize the use of after effects.

  2. i agree with you Damien. i was however referring to amateur photographers who are still learning the art of photography and would tend to overexpose or underexpose their shots. in those cases its necessary. i am sure after a period of time, with more experience less of photo editing would be done.

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