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  • Pavel VK

Behind the Scenes of Wedding Photography or "Are you qualified to shoot my Wedding Day?"

First of all, I would like to say that this post is to help you be smart about choosing your local wedding photographer for your big day. The same photographer that shoots incredibly beautiful portraits may not be trained to shoot a wedding and has no idea what is coming his or her way.



It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the couple and a very emotional day that is captured in fractions of time by someone who they need to trust. And it is your wedding photographer’s responsibility to not fail and catch those moments.


Here is a good illustration of how I learned about this. I once was invited to shoot a college soccer event. It was an honor for me to be there for my friend’s son’s final game; he was playing in the forward position. I got my badge giving me permission to get on the field; I had my camera, tripod, and my longest lens on me. I was ready to get the best pictures I had taken yet! The game started and I quickly realized that I am doing something wrong. I started questioning myself, “Should I chase them around or stand in one place? Should I lower my tripod or should I take the camera off of it? What’s more important - to zoom in or capture the scenery? I ended up running around and doing all of it. My tripod got hit by the ball. I was in the way of the corner referee. I got yelled at. I had no idea what I was doing! And then I stopped. I looked at the other photographer across the field and noticed that he hadn’t moved in the last ten minutes. He was standing near his camera using an easy-to-move-around monopod, and he was patiently looking through his viewfinder for a perfect shot. I’m sure he was much more successful and productive than I was since he knew what he was doing. I have never wanted to shoot sports again. Though I didn’t exactly fail that day, I quickly realized that I was not ready for this. And so, I stick to my craft. I do better in wedding photography than I do anywhere else with my camera, gear, and my planning skills. Lesson learned.


This post was lingering a very long time in my heart.


This is not something you would normally talk about when you’re trying to sell your services to a client. It is technical, boring, and not fun to talk about, but it is an essential part of the “back end” of wedding photography. It is “Gear Talk”.

Every Bride loves to see the artwork, the end product, the photographer’s website, the reviews that make them dream. But nobody asks the question – How technical is it? What is going on behind the scenes? Can I trust my photographer friend who is starting a photography business?


The answer to all of this is short: You cannot re-shoot a wedding.

A wedding photographer that focuses mainly on weddings and has over 5 years of wedding photography experience (5-10 weddings per year), most likely has accumulated enough gear and experience to that point to make your wedding A+.


Before you make your final decision ask your friend wedding photographer these questions:

1. How many weddings did you shoot as a second photographer?

4. Do you use one or two professional-grade cameras and memory cards? (must have a backup camera).

3. Does your camera have a second memory slot for backing up pictures as you shoot? How many memory cards do you have and how much in total (average 120GB x 4 cards).

4. Do you use one or two professional grade cameras and memory cards? (must have a backup camera).

5. What are the images developing process after the wedding? Will you back up those pictures as soon as you get home? (mast have at least two different hard drives/ two copies of each image).

6. Is your camera weather resistant? Are there enough batteries to capture the whole day and more?

7. Do you know how to use flashes, reflectors, and adapt to any light conditions throughout the day?

A wedding photographer that focuses mainly on weddings and has over 5 years of wedding photography experience (5-10 weddings per year), most likely has accumulated enough gear and experience to that point to make your wedding A+.

I would strongly recommend meeting your photographer in person or having a video call to get to know them better. Have an engagement photo session with them, and look at how they work, watch what equipment they use. If there are too many red flags, do not hire them for your wedding day. Tip them well, and move on. In the end, you may pay a bit more for another engagement session, but you will avoid losing the whole wedding day of pictures that you cannot recover or reshoot.



Love & Be Loved



#weddingphotographer #behindthescene 

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