As a woman, and as a photographer, there are many things you can do that men can’t. Compared to a man, a woman in a bride’s changing room, can make the bridal “getting ready” photos more comfortable and less stressful for the bride. Women photographers also offer a unique outlook and photographic eye.
These ten tips will help any new woman wedding photographer be more comfortable, productive, and happy at the end of a long day of shooting.
1. Wear pants. Wearing a skirt is not a logical option. Unless you’re only doing formal portraits, you’ll likely be up and down and moving around. Photojournalists are known for kneeling, standing on things. crouching, etc. Pants will free you and you will be more comfortable. Bonus: modesty; you won’t flash the world when you bend over.
2. Wear all black. This includes hair ties, shoes, purse, and your walking-around camera sling. This is particularly important for photojournalism because you ideally want to become as invisible as possible. Wearing any other color, including white, will make you stand out more. Unless it’s a beach wedding or has some other color requirement, a photographer in black at a typical wedding will fade into the background.
3. Wear a blazer. Not only will it hide your bodily imperfections (if you’re concerned about that), but it will give you immensely useful pockets to keep stuff such as a pen, business cards, lens caps, etc. It will also hide any perspiration. There’s a reason men wear those darn things to business meetings!
4. Do not wear anything low-cut. Cleavage is unprofessional and distracting. You will either be aware of your boobs falling out, or someone else will. Either way, skip the plunging V-neck. Basically anything that will make people look at you instead of the bride is a huge no-no.
5. If you have long hair, wear it tied neatly back. No pigtails, no hats. It gives you a more professional look and won’t blow over your camera in a strong wind.
6. Comfortable shoes. I cannot stress this enough. Wearing high heels is potentially dangerous to you and others, not to mention the issue of heel comfort. Spiked stilettos have no place on a wedding photographer.
7. Don’t wear perfume. You might be invisible to the eyes, but you need to be invisible to the nose, as well.
8. To your bag of gear, consider adding a laundry/stain pen. These are like markers filled with gentle detergent. Tide makes one, and there are surely other brands. It comes in handy for spills, stains, etc. A small travel sewing kit is also not a bad idea, if not for your sake, then for the wedding party’s sake. If you can come to the rescue of the bride when she gets a rip in her dress, you’ll be a hero and potentially increase your repeat business.
9. Also to your bag of gear, consider adding a pack of disposable facial “oil-absorbing sheets.” Carrying a clear powder is another idea for controlling oiliness on your bride or portrait subjects, but it can cause breakouts or other problems. Plus, it’s a sanitation issue to use the same brush to apply to multiple people.
10. Learn a few jokes. Short one-liners can make a posed group of people laugh. Use them while working with posed groups or the groomsmen before the ceremony to help loosen them up for photos. Keep it G or PG! Knowing how to quip while you’re taking those awkward family photos can make people laugh. Real smiles are nearly always better than fake ones.
Using these ten simple tips will help you as a female wedding photographer while you photograph your next wedding or event.
About the Author:
April Wright is the co-owner of an Ellicott City based photography studio ( http://www.ElusionPhotos.com ). She is a published, award-winning Ellicott City wedding photographer and portrait photographer in Maryland.
April is a member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). April loves weddings and sharing her passion for photography by providing wedding photography and portrait photography to the greater Baltimore-Washington DC metro area. She has extensive experience with portraiture and event photojournalism.
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