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Top 10 Rookie Mistakes on my first Wedding Shoot

JonLloydJonLloyd Member
edited May 2014 in wedding photography
I was going to write a review on the experiences of my first wedding shoot - but they were many and it was going on too long, so instead, and more concisely - here is a list of what I have deemed "rookie mistakes" for my first wedding shoot. Despite these mistakes, the results were quite acceptable and in most instances "recoverable" but as Neil often points out - it's not ideal to have to correct in post.

The mistakes creep in due to a number of factors, not least of which is the pace of the events and all that goes on in your head, but it also highlights the fact that you must be confident and aware of the application of your camera settings and how they affect the outcome - but also that the direction and posing of your subjects is just as important.

Here they are - in no particular order:

1. Shooting smaller group shots at 24mm instead of moving back. Edge distortion.
2. Relying on the Bride and Groom to pose themselves and their family. Not every shot but more than necessary.
3. Shooting at 1/60th in the Church with bounce flash. OK for static shots but for the processional and second processional - not ideal! Often pointed out by Neil.
4. Not putting enough faith in higher ISO when adjusting exposure (see 3. above)
5. Not reviewing the histogram regularly
6. Not checking the shots in the LCD for sharpness (I don't mean chimping, I mean actually checking)
7. Not utilising FEC enough - (refer to 3. above)
8. Relying too much on ETTL and not thinking through in Manual. Lazy.
9. Leaving camera gear in shot. Lens on Church steps for example!
10. Forgetting to change settings when coming back in to Church from bride arriving in Limo.

Independently they are things we would have all done at some point in different circumstances, but collectively it can have a huge negative impact on the day. I am pleased to say that none of the above have detracted from the end result that the Bride and Groom love.

What the above list serves to do is reinforce everything Neil puts on Tangents. For me it was a huge learning curve - those things won't happen next time. Rest assured.


  • TrevTrev Moderator

    A nice self analysis of your shooting experience Jon.

    Yep, 1/60th bit slow, when they are moving I am shooting at least 125/160th in Continuous Mode [A1 Servo Mode for Canon] and that way you are bound to get 3/5 sharp shots from around 10-15 I shoot.

    And no matter how 'slow' they walk, it goes by very very quickly, no time to muck about.

    I have seen some of the shots Jon did and I would have been damn happy to have shot them myself. :)
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    1-10. "I told you so!" :)
  • Yeah - I know! Important lessons. I have to say though - there was a whole swag of stuff I did do correctly and one reason it all turned out OK. Those things were in a lot of cases, lessons learnt here.

    I need to add point 11 too:

    11. Wear pants that the fly doesn't come down on all the time. Discretely pointed out to me be none other than the bride!! I can't find that in your Tangents Neil. :)
  • TrevTrev Moderator


    Off to Menswear this week then Jon?
  • ZenonZenon Member
    Went through all of those to some degree. No matter how much I prepared #2 was the most difficult and still is to date. You need to do this every week to develop your style and comfort level. There are so many things to think about.

    I found #8 the easiest. I prefer ETTL when I'm on the go shooting and rely on the histogram according to Neal's teachings. It saved me. I will always choose manual first if I have time to set up.

    In summary nothings irks me more than when I hear someone say or read "why do these wedding photographers charge so much, all they do is press a button".
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I just want to mention that if anyone wants the complete list of wedding related posts on Tangents:

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