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5 Things to Always do Before Photographing a Wedding

5 Things to Always do Before Photographing a Wedding

So Let's talk about 5 things you should always do before every single wedding. We are now at the beginning of peak wedding season. If you're a wedding photographer like myself or you're new to wedding photography I want to share as much of my 5 years of wedding photography knowledge that I have with you to get you on the right foot in your first ever wedding season.

1. Charge your gear

One of the most obvious but sometimes forgotten to charge all of your gear. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen photographers who have forgot to charge all their batteries end up on a long 10 hour day and not have the juice that they need. You should not be at your wedding day having to charge your gear so make sure you do it the night before. For me, this includes charging my battery grip additional battery, flashes, and the cameras themselves.

Seriously again you do not want to be at a wedding day and be half juiced and half to charge. While there are many ways that you can do that at a wedding day you need to always come 100% prepared so make sure you charge your stuff fully the night before.

2 Format your SD cards

I format my SD cards before for every single wedding and this is 4 whole cards so 2 for each camera. Generally, I keep the exact same SD cards in each so 128 gig cards in each camera so I can shoot and back up. And the reason I format them is so that they're all clear and ready to go. And I know how many photos I'm getting in total. My Fuji XT3s is I usually shoot and compressed raw.

This gives me around 4000 or 5000 photos. And also if you're going to bring extra SD cards with you make sure you format those as well. If for some reason something happens to the SD cards you need to swap really quickly. You don't want to be shooting on a half-full SD card and then have to figure out how you can save yourself space later. So format your main SD cards.

That will be the 4 to fill both your double slots in both your cameras. If you shoot like I do and also format your extra backup cards so that they're ready to go and you don't have to worry about anything at all except for taking great photos.

3. Pack your bags the night before

After that, we want to make sure that we load up our bag the night before. You should never ever be packing your bag the day of the wedding. That is the best way to forget something so usually do it the night before and then double-check your work the day of the wedding. But generally, again this is packing my cameras packing my additional batteries packing my flashes, and my flash modifiers, and all the lenses that I will be using for some extras as well.

I usually bring some additional SD cards as well as a little white for my lenses because sometimes I touch the front of the lens somehow by accident and I need to wipe off my own fingerprints.

Some other stuff I pack as well include flat lay mats which I'll use sometimes for my flat lay photos. And if it's a really bad day where I know the lighting is gonna be horrible I usually bring a softbox and a light stand with me as well.

Now that we've gotten through all the gear stuff Let's talk about the last two things that I think you should always do before a wedding that's not so focused on the gear.

4. Eat a heavy breakfast

Make sure you eat a heavy breakfast before your wedding. Now if you've ever shot a wedding before or if you're not familiar basically on a wedding day you're not eating and barely drinking from the start of the wedding day all the way up to the reception until everyone starts eating. That's at least a 6-hour fast from breakfast. So if you're not used to fasting you definitely need to make sure you eat heavy in the morning.

If I can I usually eat something that's heavy in protein. And also I'll eat a little bit more than feels comfortable for me because yet again I know I'm basically not eating for the whole day and I know some wedding photographers will pack little snack bars with them and stuff which is great but I found that I don't have the space to carry it because I like to travel light.

And also I just don't have the time to eat one. I don't want to be somewhere where there's guests hanging around trying to open a little bar real quick and I don't want to do that because what will happen is I'll be in the middle of trying to fit that in real quick and someone always has to come and ask me a question. And here I am. Mouthful like. So again just go ahead and eat heavy.

Eat heavy so that you can last up until the reception when you get a break and you get your vendor mill.

5. Get to your wedding early

I know everyone has a big issue with this because a lot of photographers are like well I'm getting paid for 8 hours so I'm gonna show up for 8 hours. Y'all it's your business. Put your best foot forward at all times. You should not care about the hourly rate. That hard. You will be making your money and you'll be making a better name for yourself. Now obviously don't just give away hours for free to couples and let them run you and your own time.

But on a wedding day from my experience of 5 years of doing weddings, I'm waking up and going to the wedding anyway. You know what I'm saying? So saving myself one extra hour in the morning to sit around and do nothing is not helping me. It doesn't really give me much to do because that whole hour I'm sitting around thinking about the wedding anyway. So for me, I like to show up an hour early.

This gives me a chance to start on details early. This gives me a chance to look around the venue. This gives me a chance to show up and speak to the bride speak to the groom meet the family earlier in the day to see how everyone's mood is and how everyone's feeling. This is especially important on a day when it's like rainy and the weather's not great.

There's so much more you gain from showing up early than not in being like well I'm not getting paid so I'm not showing up. So really show up early to your wedding days. 30, 45 minutes an hour early. Really Just do it. Yes, the day will be long but it will be worth it. Your clients will love you for it and you will get much more word of mouth for putting your best foot forward at all times.

And Let's not forget the number one most important thing to do before any wedding which is setting up a website Squarespace.

5 Things to Always do Before Photographing a Wedding

If you don't have a website yet and you're looking for a way to build one quickly and easily Squarespace is the way to do it. Squarespace is an online platform that will walk you through building your own website with templates, analytics and so much more to help the process so you can get back to taking photos and running your business. I've been using Squarespace for my own website since I started photography.

And honestly, I don't think I can use anything else because I just love the way the system works. And on top of all the features, I talked about before they also have amazing customer service.

Last words

So if you have a hard time or have a problem while you're building your website you can just hop on their live chat and chat it up with them and get that all taken care of. Set your website up show off your photos and get more wedding photography work. So those are the 5 things I feel like you should always absolutely do before every single wedding. Also, things to must do after photographing a wedding. If there are any other things that you feel like you always do before the wedding let me know in the comments below.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts and also Let's all just share and help each other out as wedding photographers. Again the better wedding photographers are. It only helps the whole industry. So Let's get over competition and just learn together and grow together.

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