Today I read, at a photo forum, a discussion about wedding photography.
Someone told that he was asked to do the photography at the wedding of the sister of his best friend. He was pretty excited about it and he wrote about it while he wanted to know some helpful hints.
I must say, the poor guy it is!
The thread soon did split into two camps.
One camp were the people that were telling him not to do it, and leave it to a professional. Basically the reasons were, that professionals can do it better, have better equipment and experience. A few were suggesting that he should ask to come with the professional, to learn a few of his skills and get experience.
The other camp were the people that said, nice, why not! The ideas that came from there were, watch how others did it, look at the location, be sure that your camera is okay, if possible take a 2nd camera, or a 2nd person, as a backup.
It all became a huge discussion in what none of the camps were willing to see what the other was suggesting.
When I read it, I shook my head, and agreed with a posting that told, geesh, it is not a surgery or so, no life essential things are involved. Okay, a wedding is not a thing that happens so often, so it is bet to be well prepared, but hey... come on, the wedding is more important than the photography.
You can guess what camp I support. Everyone who makes photos, now and then gets this question, and should consider if (s)he is willing to do this, or not.
I should say, when you feel insecure and not sure you can make it, then leave it to others.
When you want to be the 2nd man, behind a professional, then ask yourself what a professinal should do. Should he want an unexperienced person, that looks behind the scene and then, eventually, later takes over the shootings that he now so hard worked on to get?
And when you say, yes, nice, I love to do it, let's hope at good weather, then go for it. Prepare, try to see examples and get ideas in your head what you want to do. Talk with the people involved, also the wedding couple, and eventually your photography parner. Find out as much as possible about the location. I know from experience, that such will be a long and intensive day.
When people ask me, would you photograph our wedding, I definitely would say yes, why not! And then talk, so that both parties know what they are up to. They should know that it is me, making the photos, and therefore as well know my thoughts and ideas.
Often people make it too difficult and too complicated. Photography is wonderful, and no, not everyone is as good as others, that is a fact. But I think that counts for both professionals, as well as for hobby photographsers.
The photo, here, is from my first wedding shoot, what was a very good experience, and a beautiful day.