Wedding days are non-stop, one-shot opportunities and your photographer needs to be alert and prepared to captured the moments as they happen. Although there will be a few instances where poses and scenes are staged, the majority of the day is taking place at a quick pace.
Keeping this in mind when I am photographing a wedding requires me to keep a Plan B in place during the entire day. Being prepared with tons of batteries and memory cards is a no-brainer. I have extra cameras, lenses, and accessories, and a second person to help carry everything. As I have mentioned during many conversations with future Brides-to-be and on another page of this site “Electronics can quit working in an instance, and I will not be a photographer that cannot complete a job because of not having sufficient equipment.” I stand by this comment 100%.
One of the most unpredictable failures that can happen is when a memory card ceases to record or download data. This has happened to me during the beginning of a wedding ceremony. Without warning, I received an error that my memory card was not saving data. The bridal party is walking down the aisle and the bride is just minutes from making her entrance. There is NOT an opportunity for a re-do and I don’t have time to feel around my pockets for a replacement card. The second camera on my shoulder has a zoom lens and will work for a few shots as the party enters the sanctuary, but this is a small church and I need the wide lens camera as the bride is walking in. Changing lenses will take too long and I do not want to miss one of the most important shooting opportunities of the day.
There is good news! My cameras have two memory card slots! Both cards capture the same photos. If one fails the other remains active. Having this part of Plan B is important to me. I am able to complete the job as planned. I was able to pop out the bad card and continue shooting the wedding ceremony without any hiccups. The first break in the action allowed me to insert another card in the open slot to continue dual coverage.
When meeting with a wedding photographer, ask about backup plans. It could be one of the most important conversations that you have during wedding day planning.