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Tips & Tricks

12 Wedding Photography Efficiency Tips

By Michelle Ford on November 1st 2013

We know that as photographers we have a lot to do to prepare for a wedding shoot. We’ll cover ways to help you be more efficient for the wedding day.

Check out our video down below giving tips on how to be more efficient for a wedding shoot.

Wedding Efficiency Tips Video

Wedding Efficiency Tips Article

1. Use Wedding Photography Checklists – Having a checklist helps with your preparation, and sometimes the most obvious things can be left at home. Things that you don’t carry around in your camera bag tend to be the more forgettable items.  A checklist helps us avoid leaving that all important cable, tripod head, or other small item in the studio.

2. Use Springpad (or evernote) – Springpad App is an app to keep a checklist on your phone or tablet. It’s simple to use, and a great way to organize your thoughts and things that you need to check off. Some people use Evernote as well, but it really depends on your preference. You can have a checklist for multiple uses, or just use the apps to jot down notes for reminders.

[Rewind: Join us in the Bahamas for our Wedding Photography Workshop]

3. Set Alarms for Critical Wedding Times – Setup alarms the night before for critical parts of the day.  For example, when you’re doing the bride and groom prep shots, it helps to have a warning when you have to move on to the next part of the day.  Of course turn your phone on silent off during the ceremony.

4. Bookmark Wedding Venues – Bookmark and save all of the venues as your favorite locations on Google Maps or put it on your calendar so you can easily access it when you need to get somewhere. Since each minute counts, so it helps save time and gets you there faster.

5. Print Out Hard Copies of Wedding Info – Despite having your phone to do everything you need, it’s best to also have a hard copy written down somewhere, whether it’s a notebook or a piece of paper, just in case your phone dies on set. Have all the phone numbers, addresses with directions, the timeline of the wedding, all written down for easy access for when you need them.

6. Use the Triplog App – We travel many miles going to different locations for a wedding. Sometimes we even need to keep track of them via the Triplog App. The Triplog App helps you record your mileage sp that when tax season rolls along, you’ll have them all recorded and ready to go. This app has functions to let you record specific details of your trip. For instance, how much fuel, miles, and other expenses have been made towards your trip.

The Night Before The Wedding

7. Sync the Night Before- Our photographers sync their cameras at timeanddate.com. Of course we can always sync with each other when we meet, but it’s a good way to do this before hand to save time when we arrive at the location.

8. Organize Equipment & Batteries – The night before the wedding, put all the batteries into all of your necessary equipment, so you won’t have to worry about them the morning after. While you do that you can format all of your cards so that it’ll be fresh and ready to go the next day.

The Day Of The Wedding And After

9. Bring a Ziplock Bag – In your camera bag, carry around a gallon sized zip-lock bag to store all of your lens caps into your camera bag. It’ll help you keep track of them and prevent you from accidentally leaving them somewhere. It’s best to take off all of your lens caps once you’ve arrived at the location and store them in your zip-lock bag, so that all of your lenses are ready to be used. Then at the end of the day, before you leave the venue, you can recap your lenses so that you can make sure that they are all present and accounted for.

10. Start Prep For Your Next Shoot – As soon as you get home, take out the batteries from your equipment and upload all your images onto your computer. Then the cycle can repeat when getting ready for your next shoot.

Bonus! Camera Efficiency

11. Set White Balance with Live View –  Setting the correct white balance in-camera will help save you time in post production .  Use Live View can make adjusting to the right Kelvin a breeze. Check out our White Balance Tutorial Here.

12. Customize Your Settings – On most cameras, you can customize your buttons to your liking. If you don’t use the Depth of Field button, then you can change it’s function to be the AI Servo so that when you hold the button, the AI Servo is turned on. The Nikon also has a button on the left side, where you can toggle the AI Servo on and off.

Conclusion

I know we threw out a lot of info here, but follow these tips and it’ll make your life a lot easier in the end. Besides saving time, many of these will help you prevent errors and potential disasters like forgetting critical equipment or being late for the wedding. Do you have anything else to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Michelle is a Southern California Portrait and Wedding Photographer. When she’s not geeking out with a camera she’s nerding out in her IT world. All other moments in the day are spent with her two wonderful children.

See her work on The COCO Gallery
check out her blog at frexNgrin

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Caryl Anne

    These are excellent tips! Wedding photography can usually be stressful and exhausting to both the photographer and the couple. With these tips, I believe it will help any photographer become more efficient, which can help make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Brett

    Hi Michelle, love your tips and presentation style. Question regarding you taking off all your lens caps before the shoot and seemingly leaving them off until the end of the night. Do you have issues with scratching the rear elements of your lenses? I worry about that, so when I change lenses, I still keep the rear caps on at all times for fear of scratching the rear element. Thanks! Brett

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  3. Scarlet Brown

    I have heard about Triplog App first time and i will be use this app now. You have shared good and real practical tips.

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    • Christopher

      Thanks for the comment Scarlet! We’ll try to keep on providing useful info here.

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  4. Chelsea Higgins

    These were very useful tips. I always lose my dang lens caps!

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