I remember once being invited to photograph a friend of a friend’s wedding. I declined.
Why? At the time I had recently interviewed a number of pros who specialised in capturing that magic in the process of creating a magazine story on that occupation. Whew! Not for me I decided. Way beyond my skill set, patience, resourcefulness and energy levels.
So, it was with a sense of relief that I reviewed this book, safe in the knowledge that no-one, and I mean no-one, could or would ever put me through the trauma that wedding photography presents.
For her part, author Lorna Yabsley recalls how, when starting out as a wedding photographer in the days of film, life was so much simpler and consisted of formally staged shots made in an hour long session, the best of which ‘would ultimately be shown to the client for them to choose a set of images that would be pasted into a finished album.’
Today’s generation of wedding shooters mostly work in digital, with an endless number of shots, reviewed instantly … ‘now we have to do the job of the lab in the post production … a whole new skill base that photographers must understand and equip themselves with.’
The book heads off with a chapter entitled ‘Understanding Weddings’ and the advice that the photographer should not dominate the proceedings, be informal, develop an eye for composition, acquire a basic knowledge of photography and understand your camera.
Next we move into listing the skills necessary, how to deal with people, preplan, understand the plan of the day’s events, learn who are the most important people, etc.
And we haven’t taken a shot yet!
More ensues on getting the commission, establishing your rates, how to promote yourself, plan advertising and dealign with the couple.
You may be surprised to find that it is only when you reach the near end of the book that 12 pages are devoted to choice of camera, lenses, accessories such as flash, etc and advice is given on what computer and printer may best suit your endeavours.
While there is help on such matters as post production, editing etc that help deal with the digital nature of these images … but there are no hints on how to tweak the images, remove a boil on the bride’s bonce or a bald spot on the groom’s pate.
Aside from this there is much useful advice on securing the final print sale, album design etc. Missing is any advice on how to combine video shooting with stills work. Those brave souls who do combine the chores have probably got it all to themselves!
For those who see a business opportunity in wedding photography the book is a major helper but don’t come looking for a load of tech help.
Impressive, large photographs make the book an attractive read.
Author: L Yabsley.
Publisher: David & Charles.
Length: 160 pages.
ISBN 978 1 4463 0258 3.
Price: Get a price on An Introduction to Wedding Photography at Amazon.