How do you deal with stress during your wedding shoots?

Wedding shoots can be stressful for everyone involved – the photographer, the videographer, the lucky couple.

Handling that stress effectively is very important in order to make the process pleasant and help for the production of an outstanding result.

Whether you’re a professional attending the event or a member of the wedding party, handling stress effectively during the shoot will be of utmost importance.

There are certain effective strategies bound to help you relax and take off the edge.

Some of the most experienced photographers and videographers rely on such approaches and their effectiveness has been tested time and time again.


Talk Things Through in Advance


Open and honest communication is the best way to build trust.

The lucky couple should feel confident in their choice of photographer or videographer.

Said professional should also feel they have enough of a direction to base the shoot upon.

Ambiguity and assumptions will always result in wedding day stress. That’s why it is important to discuss all important aspects of the shoot in advance.

What style does the couple look forward to?

Are there any venue specifics to keep in mind when attempting to capture certain moments?

How about the weather and the need to bring certain kinds of gear to the shoot?

Experienced photographers and videographers know what to ask and that’s why they’re always prepared for the wedding day.

If you don’t have that much know-how, try to work on the chemistry you have with your clients.

Do your best to be interested in their story, their vision for the wedding shoot.

Offer some input to see what reception you’re going to get.

Based on the initial information that you obtain during the first few meetings, you can come up with follow-up questions that will bring even more clarity.


Wedding Shoot Timing Is Everything


bride receiving ring

Do you have a wedding day agenda and a timeframe to base the shoot upon?

If the answer’s negative, you’re in for some pretty unpleasant surprises.

Having no concept of how long each phase is going to last will probably have you rushing through some aspects of the shoot in order to capture everything.

Make sure you’re provided with an accurate schedule. How much time will there be to shoot the preparations?

How long will the ceremony last and how much time will the bride and groom need to reach the venue?

Will there be a pause between the ceremony and the reception?

Will you have an opportunity to capture special family moments and create group shots during those precious minutes?

Timing is everything if you want a stress-free experience. Needless to say, some delays may occur and there could also be changes based on extraordinary circumstances.

You need to maintain a degree of flexibility in order to address such unexpected situations.

Still, more often than not, weddings will follow a certain timeline.

Being familiar with it in advance is the best way to prepare instead of keep yourself guessing about what’s going on and how much time you have.


When in Doubt, Prioritize


bride & groom throw rice

Sometimes, you’ll have to be quick on your feet during a wedding shoot.

You may think that you have 30 minutes to work with the bride and the groom when in fact you’re left with just five minutes to get the job done.

This happens an as a professional, you should be prepared to handle such situations gracefully and efficiently.

In order to keep yourself from getting too stressed out, learn to prioritize.

You’ll probably need to let go of certain shoot aspects to address such situations.

In order to do that, you’ll have to think about the moments that can be left out without jeopardizing the quality of the end result.

Prioritizing will put your professional judgment to the test but it’s something you can’t go without. In the beginning, you’ll feel scared about it.

The prospects of missing out important moments can be terrifying.

In time, however, learning how to prioritize will make the wedding day and the shoot much easier and less cumbersome for all parties.


Have a Backup Plan for the Wedding Shoot


videographer kit

Backup plans are best when they’re left alone and never used. Still, having one will give you confidence and peace of mind.

To bring down anxiety levels, come up with a plan B for some of the most common unexpected scenarios.

What will you do if the weather changes all of the sudden?

Are you prepared to handle an equipment malfunction?

How about having to deal with difficult clients or guests?

Are you ready to work longer than initially anticipated and what will you do to combat the fatigue?

Come up with a few feasible ways to overcome each of these challenges.

Some of them aren’t a big deal but others have the potential to ruin the wedding shoot if they’re not addressed properly.

So, instead of hoping for the best, be prepared for the worst.

The fact that you have a scenario to fall back on in the event of an emergency will reduce the stress during the shoot exponentially.

It’s a good idea to make sure that everyone is familiar with the plan B.

Wedding photographers, videographers, couples and members of the wedding party are all on the same team.

Again – good communication guarantees efficiency and there are certain aspects of the project execution you shouldn’t leave out of conversations.


Delegate Tasks


As a single professional, you’ll find it nearly impossible to handle all aspects of the wedding shoot.

That’s why you should learn to delegate some of the smaller tasks that are taking your attention away from the big picture.

Have a member of the bridal party dealing with props and helping you set up certain aspects of the shoot.

If you have a second shooter by your side, get them to do some of the technical stuff.

Even the wedding planner could become your assistant if you feel there’s just way too much stuff to do in order to get the shoot done.

Don’t be silent about your needs and get others involved. People will be eager to help in order to make the day truly special.

Enlisting a little bit of help will give you a lot of room to focus, get creative and deliver to the best of your abilities.


Take a Moment to Breathe


This one is especially important for everyone involved in the wedding shoot.

Caught up in the action, you’ll find yourself hurrying to get things done.

Feeling hectic and excited is great but it can get a bit too much after a while.

You’ll end up feeling overwhelmed, confused and worried about missing important parts of the shoot.

If you start feeling too overwhelmed, take a moment to slow down and just breathe.

Have a glass of water. Sit down to watch the guests dancing and having a great time.

Just being present and observing the celebration will serve as a reminder of what’s most important.

Don’t be afraid of missing something big if you just take a moment off. In fact, such an approach will give you a fresh perspective.

Count to 10, recharge your batteries and start over again. Chances are that you’ll tackle the shoot with a brand new energy after that.


Make Sure You’re Physically Comfortable and Nourished During the Wedding Shoot


Many couples, as well as photographers and videographers forget about their physical needs during the big day.

That’s a big no-no and it can lead to lots of stress.

A good shoot can be physically taxing. That’s why you need to feel comfortable and energized enough to get the job done.

While it’s not always possible for the couple, comfort is essential. Good shoes and clothes are a must-have.

The bride can put on her high heels for certain aspects of the shoot and wear sneakers for others.

The same applies to other people present during the experience.

Good hydration and a bit of food can also do miracles when it comes to handling anxiety like a pro.

A quick bite is all it takes to deal with the nerves and the discomfort. You can always ask someone to bring over a sandwich or a protein bar.

Having a bottle of water available during the shoot is another excellent idea.


Adequate Preparation Is Everything


To sum it all up, you should be prepared and you should keep the lines of communication open for a successful wedding shoot.

There will always be some kind of challenge to address and overcome.

While such moments do cause anxiety in the heat of the moment, they’re the ones that usually result in unique experiences being captured.

Try to view every anxiety-inducing episode as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Achieving such a frame of mind is not easy but the payoff will always be exceptional.

Try to not be too set in your ways. Work on improvising and seeing the good things hidden behind the challenges.

Finally, understand the fact that you’re all on the same team.

You can count on others to make the shoot fun, exciting and capable of producing outstanding results.


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