If there is one occasion that everyone wants to celebrate with photographs, it is their wedding. It is an occasion that every one wants a degree of professionalism, and many people want to ensure quality. Therefore there are many opportunities for a photographer to make money, if they are willing to cover weddings.
A contract for wedding photography is very important, go to your local library and have a look at sample wedding contracts and do not forget to include a disclaimer. Your disclaimer should clearly state that you are not responsible for photographs that do not come out for equipment failure, which is not your fault. You should also use a disclaimer to say you are not responsible for photos misplaced as a result of sending the film away to be processed. You definitely do not to be sued for breach of contract on your first job.
Before the wedding has started, you should have in writing how many photographs need taking, and be aware of the cost of processing, and the cost of the albums. All that is necessary is that you estimate how long the session will take and add your hourly rate to the figure. Pay special attention to specific requests of the families, they may have a long lost cousin, coming, and they particularly want separate photos of them. It is important you can talk with each family well before the ceremony and establish exactly what they require. Remember that a lot of the guests will also be recording the ceremony, or aspects of it, so avoid unnecessary competition, get as many of the photographs done before the ceremony as you can. Be aware that some venues restrict the places that you can photograph from, so make sure that you are fully aware of this before the ceremony. It is important that you pick the correct vantage point before the ceremony. Do your homework properly, because verbal referrals will be very important for you from this type of business.
Before the ceremony make a complete list of all the photos that will be required. Here is a fairly standard list PRE-CEREMONY: Bride with her mother Bride with her father Bride with both parents Groom with both parents Bride with her immediate family Bride with grandparents Groom with grandparents Bride with maid of honor Groom with best man Bride with flower girls, etc. Groom with ushers The flowers Any other special requirements. JUST PRIOR TO CEREMONY Groom's mother entering church with usher Bride's mother entering church with usher Groom's father entering the church Bride with father, about to walk down the aisle Any other special requests. WEDDING CEREMONY Bride's and groom's attendants as they walk down aisle Bride with father walking down the aisle Bride with father approaching groom at altar Shots of wedding party at the altar Shots (if permitted) of bride and groom at altar Bride and groom kissing Bride and groom leaving altar Any other special requests. POST-CEREMONY Bride alone at altar Bride and groom at altar Bride and groom with bride's family Bride and groom with groom's family Bride and groom with minister, priest, rabbi, etc. Bride and groom with wedding party Bride and groom kissing A photograph of the bride and groom’s hands, entwined with the wedding ring. Bride's attendants (all) alone Ushers alone Any other special requests. RECEPTION Entry of wedding party Different shots of guests (table to table) Different shots of guests not at tables Bride and groom dancing Parents of bride and groom dancing The wedding cake Bride and groom cutting the cake Bride feeding groom Groom feeding bride Best man's toast Bride and groom kissing Bride tossing the bouquet Groom removing bride's garter Groom tossing the garter The band The servers The "getaway" car, especially if decorated Bride and groom driving away in car Any other special requests.
Not every wedding you cover will want every type of photograph, but it will be a good idea to write down a list of what is required, for your first few weddings, because if you forget, you cannot organise a re run. Also you must remember that it is a sentimental day for many people, and there will be opportunities for unusual photographs, keep a watchful eye out for the child guests, at some point the possibility of an unusual photograph is going to present itself. Weddings are all fairly standard, but most people like to add a reminder of poignancy or humour. It will be a good idea to get yourself invited to the wedding rehearsal, that way you can meet the guests, and be more comfortable with them on their big day.
The film is a large outlay for a wedding, but most people will be prepared to pay up to 50% before the day, which will be sufficient to cover your expenses. Do you use digital or film, for the big day. Digital photographers can use Photoshop to enhance your wedding photographs with such techniques as hand-tinting, flaw removal, montage, changing images from color to sepia and black and white, and much more.