Digital Wedding Photographer’s Planner – Book Review

Digital Wedding Photographer's Planner

Digital Wedding Photographer’s Planner is a book by photographer Kenny Kim.  The book has an apt title.  It really is a “planner” for wedding photographers.

What the book doesn’t do is give you a bunch of technical how-to’s for shooting weddings.  Instead, Kenny Kim provides a walk-through of shooting a wedding – from meeting the client, to shooting the engagement session, to all the parts of the wedding itself.

To give you an idea of the ground that the book covers, here’s the main chapter list:

  1. Meeting the Clients
  2. Engagement Photos
  3. Equipment
  4. Preparation
  5. Rehearsal / Rehearsal Dinner
  6. The Bride
  7. Don’t Forget About the Groom
  8. Images Before the Ceremony
  9. The Ceremony
  10. Images After the Ceremony
  11. Reception
  12. Post Production
  13. Delivery of Memories to the Couple

The book is geared toward those who haven’t shot weddings before, or at least, haven’t shot a lot of weddings.  And, considering that audience, it does a great job of familiarizing the reader with the art and chaos of shooting a wedding.

Throughout each chapter, you will find short (or some long) lists that provide a bullet point-style summary of the preceding segment.  You’ll find the shot lists in these segments as well. Kim also talks a little more in detail about how to approach these shots in the actual text, but the bullet points give you the concise info that you need to know.

In my view, the low point of the book is the chapter on equipment.  This chapter is basically Kim glossing over the gear in his camera bag and talking about the low light capabilities of modern DLSRs and fast aperture lenses.  This chapter is an odd fit in a book that otherwise flows pretty well.  While there is some substance to his equipment summary, it is rather basic and should be left to other texts that focus on shooting techniques to deal with in greater detail.

Additionally, there’s probably not a lot in the book for experienced wedding photographers who have their own system and style.  However, for all of those who flock to the online forums seeking tips for shooting a wedding or the “shot list” that so frequently comes up, this book will serve you well.

Of course, nothing beats the experience of shooting a wedding with an experienced photographer.  In reality though, not everyone will follow that path in their wedding photography experience. However, photographers who are learning the ropes under the tutelage of an experienced wedding photographer, or those going at it alone, will both benefit from this book.

Although the book is 270 pages long, it’s the first book that I’ve read in a single sitting in a couple of years or so.  Part of that is because the book is an interesting read, and the other part is that Kim provides lots of photos to go along with his text.  As a result, there’s a whole lot less than 270 pages of actual text in there. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

Digital Wedding Photographer’s Planner accomplishes the task that is expected of it.  While Kim could have stuffed a lot more info in there, it may have killed the readability.  For the most part, the included photos are relevant and provide context to what Kim is talking about in the accompanying text.

In sum, Digital Wedding Photographer’s Planner gets my recommendation for those new to or still uncomfortable with wedding photography.  While you won’t learn a lot of techniques and camera settings for actually taking photos, there is a great deal of knowledge to gain about how to approach the wedding and work your way from client intake to delivery of images.