Last month, I shot my first wedding.
I wanted to use this as an opportunity to write up a three-part series, starting with an instructional post about how to prepare for a big photo shoot. The second post was going to be a raw, stream-of-consciousness reflection written the day after the shoot. The final follow-up post explaining what I had learned was going to come a month later, when the job had settled in and behind me.
But, things didn’t quite work out that way. It’s a month later now and that first post was never written. Instead, you are stuck with one long, meandering, disorganized post covering everything.
Before I begin, I will give you some of the relevant details:
1. Some of my very close friends were getting married.
2. I’ve never shoot a wedding before, and I don’t have all the fancy gear.
Because of these two factors, I’m obviously going to cut them a deal.
A meeting between myself and the Bride is arranged.
I talk with several other wedding photographers about rates, work-flow, gear, expectations, etc. So I can walk into the meeting with honest industry rates in my area.
Weeks before the big day, The Bride and I work out the details: The shoot is going to be done for next-to-nothing, but the prints will be sold at the regular rate.
In addition to prints, I will design a wedding photobook, and make it available through a print-on-demand service. Information about the book will be given to all of the guests. Hopefully, all of them will buy 300 copies each and I can retire.
We have a deal we are both happy with.
As the wedding draws nearer, I realize that having some sort of plan is probably a good idea. Ignoring my own advice, I make plans going forwards, rather than backwards (meaning I started with ‘step 1’ and worked my way forward. Planning backwards, starting with the final step and asking “what do I need for that to happen?” always seems to give me far more reliable and realistic results).
Research “how do I shoot a wedding” (1 day)
Shoot wedding (1 day)
Sort photos. (1-2 days)
Edit photos (3 days)
Design book (1 day)
Estimated turnaround: one week
I’ve got my plan! I’m all set.
“This is going to be easy.”
I will take this opportunity to make a little digression: Whenever the phrase “this is going to be easy” is uttered, that person is just minutes away from being spectacularly wrong.
“This is going to be easy…”