Pobody’s nerfect, right? (The Office, anyone??). Myself included. Wedding days are crazy, fast-paced, hectic and you are going to make mistakes! Period. Hopefully these won’t be detrimental mistakes that affect the final product, but even if they are- there are always lessons to be learned!
I’ve made a fair amount of mistakes in my years as a wedding photographer, which is to be expected. My second shooters can vouch for these mistakes! But with each one, I learned my lesson and moved forward better for it. So I thought I’d share some of my biggest wedding day mistakes that I’ve made, not only so you can have that “Glad I’m not the only one!” moment, but also so you can learn what I learned without having to make the mistake yourself! So these are my confessions!
Let’s start with the worst mistake. I was doing bridal details and switching between lenses as I was shooting. In my haste, I set my 85 on the table without the butt cap on. Cue the daunting music. It then got knocked onto the floor… a concrete floor… bare butt down. As soon as I heard it hit the ground, I knew it was a goner. I tried to put it on my camera and no luck. R.I.P.
The lesson: There’s actually 2 lessons here. Lesson 1. The obvious- don’t set a lens on a table without a cap where it can get knocked off! I’m definitely guilty of taking the easy versus the safe route when it comes to handling lenses on a wedding day. But after this, I’ll take the safe route every time! Lesson 2. Make sure your equipment is insured! When I broke this lens, my panic was over the fact that I would have to shoot this wedding without an 85 (I mean, how??), because I knew that it was insured and I would be able to file a claim to get it replaced. Phew!
A few years ago, I did an out of town wedding and right when we got to the hotel room the night before a wave a panic came over me. I left my light stand bag (with stands and modifiers!) at home… 6 hours away. I cannot fathom shooting a wedding without OCF, so how was I going to do this?? It was a small town so there was no Best Buy or camera store to be found. We literally bought duct tape at walmart in hopes of taping the flash to a speaker or pole or something! In the end, the videographer had a spare microphone stand with a hot shoe that I could put the flash on! Praise!!
The lesson: Have physical checklists that you print before every wedding! I print the same checklist before every wedding that list all the equipment I need and things that need to be done before a wedding day. And I don’t physically cross them out until I’ve actually done it or packed it!
I use 32gb memory cards and I usually run out of space on my first card right around the ceremony. Which is literally the worst timing because I actually ran out of memory once right before the kiss! No time to get a new card! Luckily my second shooter got the shot, so we were all good!
The lesson: Keep an eye on your memory card usage! I now change my memory card before the ceremony no matter what just to be safe!
I use an Apple watch now, so this isn’t an issue anymore. But back when I was using a regular analog watch, I went into a wedding not knowing that the battery was dying and it was an hour behind. So when I walked the couple down the street for portraits thinking we had a whole half hour, turns out we were a half hour behind! Yikes! In my calmest voice “Ok, we’re going to go ahead and head back now…”
The lesson: Add checking your watch battery to your checklist!
Like I said before, wedding days are hectic and crazy. And when I’m also carrying a bunch of equipment around, there’s a chance I may set something down and forget about it. Like the time I left my think tank in a pew of the church and didn’t realize until we got back to the reception…which is 30 minutes away. Yeah. My poor second shooter had to drive back to get it!
The lesson: Be mindful of where you’re setting things! I am now very conscious of where I set everything and try to keep it all together. I know that if I switch out a lens, set it on a table and walk away- I’m definitely going to forget I put it there and leave it behind! This is especially important in the bride’s getting ready room as there is stuff everywhere and it’d be really easy to lose something!
So there you have it! Hopefully you guys don’t think I’m super irresponsible for having made all these mistakes! Just human! But hopefully you can learn from them before you make these mistakes too!
Here are some past posts you may also be interested in!
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