So, you’ve booked your first wedding or big event to shoot – yay, congrats! Now, in order to make the most of the day and to take amazing photos for your clients, you actually need to take care of you. Once you get your batteries charged and cameras/lenses ready, take a little time to get yourself ready, too.
I remember the first time I photographed a wedding, I was absolutely astonished by how much work it was. Sure, going into it I knew it was going to be physically challenging, but I really had no idea.
Below are just a few tips to get you started, and to help keep you going during your busy shoot.
I cannot stress enough the importance of wearing shoes with good support. This is fairly tricky if you are photographing a wedding, because you want to look nice, but you also want to be comfortable. Being the photographer, you can totally get away with wearing dress pants and low heels/flats/wedges, though! If you can handle moving around in three inch heels all day, more power to you! But, a lot of us just can’t.
Crocs makes cute, business-casual shoe styles now. I know, when a lot of us hear the name “Crocs,” we immediately think of Mario Batali’s bright orange Crocs on Iron Chef (sorry, Mario – those shoes just wouldn’t fly when you’re photographing a wedding) but they have quite a few styles that would be great for photographing an event. I really like their Grace Heel.
If you are going to be in the sun, I would definitely urge you to wear a sunscreen. I’ve been burned before when I was shooting, simply because I was so involved with what I was doing that I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I was getting a sunburn.
If you are like me and you wear foundation, you might find that you have little-to-no time to touch up your makeup during the day. I really like to carry a powder-dispensing brush with me, so that I can dust it on in just a couple of seconds. Peter Thomas Roth makes a really awesome product that is SPF 45, and will also help control oil/shine. So, it’s sunscreen and powder in one. Check it out here.
Food, Glorious Food
Chances are, you’re going to be doing a lot of running around all day, burning a lot of calories, with no time to eat. Granola bars, energy bars, and crackers are a great thing to have on hand to keep your energy up, and to keep you from passing out.
Most people will offer food to their photographers at events, and there is a lot of speculation about what is the polite thing for the photographer to do in this situation. If there is a sit-down meal, I usually use that time period to take a break to have a light snack away from the guests, because nobody wants to have their picture taken while they’re eating. But, you also don’t want to eat a huge meal and then get back on your feet to shoot in half an hour. Food coma!
Above are what I would consider to be the most important things for me, personally. Here are just a few other things that I always try to do:
- Get plenty of sleep the night before – at least seven hours, if you can.
- If you have bad knees/ankles, wear a brace on the day of the shoot. In general, being a photographer requires a lot of physical activity, so taking care of your joints and feet is a really big deal the older you get!
- Treat yourself – I like to do something fun the day before, like get a manicure, or anything that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself on a regular basis.
So, those are just a few of my own personal recommendations. I’d love to hear what you would recommend!