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10 July 2017

Weddings are conducted year round for the convenience of the couples. But summer seems to be the hardest time to rent a venue, get a church, arrange a honeymoon. It also seems to bring out the newest wedding photographers, all of whom make the same mistake.

A Wedding Photo. Not on the shot list but it tells a story.

They take too many pictures.

We understand the anxiety of missing a crucial moment. And, we smile, the only cure for that is experience, which teaches you to see those crucial moments coming before they arrive.

But taking a lot of photos, especially in continuous mode (which these days is like shooting movies), is not going to help.

Sure, you may in that stream of 150 shots over three seconds have gotten just the right position of the ring slipping onto a finger. But the trouble comes later when you have to scour through those 150 images to find that image.

The invariable outcome of taking too many photos is that post processing nearly never gets done. Thank you notes from the happy couple are mailed out sooner.

Which is saying something.

The job isn't to catch every poignant moment, after all. That's not possible. The job is to tell a story. That's essential.

The invariable outcome of taking too many photos is that post processing nearly never gets done. Thank you notes from the happy couple are mailed out sooner.

And part of that job requires you not to be part of the story. Two photographers with four Canon cameras outfitted with Gary Fong diffusers (you know who you are) with GoPro Heroes mounted on the walls and in a drone are distracting even when discrete.

But they're really annoying when they try to shoot every second of the event.

The solution to this is not, after all, years of experience. You've been to enough weddings by the time you're ready to shoot one. You know the drill.

The solution is a shot list. Memorized. What are the moments you need to capture to tell the story? Write them down. Commit to memory. Recognize as they occur.

The shot list will vary with each wedding because, well, no two are the same. You should review it with the couple before the event, of course, so they know what you can do for them and you know what's important to them.

It's a great time for family portraits because everyone is dressed up and looking their best and in the same place. But that can happen before the ceremony or after.

The ceremony itself may be conducted according to a variety of scripts. It's important to be at the rehearsal to know what's going to happen. Sorry, but true.

Then, too, there are ministers who are not entirely convinced that cameras can not steal what's left of their souls. Make friends with them before the ceremony. Ask their preferences and prohibitions. Nod knowingly.

And do, please, know the players. Not just the wedding party but the family. Those great group shots do have to be organized. You do want family units together, not on opposite sides of the group.

In short, do your research.

If you plan ahead and make friends, you'll require less shots to tell the story and actually get those images processed, uploaded and printed before the thank you notes go out.

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