Here are a few top tips for great wedding photographs! Things that will help you when you are planning your wedding photographs! I do this a lot, you don’t, so I explain all of these things to couples that book me. I hope they help you to!
1 – Find the right photographer for you
Finding the right photographer can he hard. It’s a saturated market out there! My advice if you love a wedding photographers work? Book in a zoom or better still meet them for a coffee, cocktail or whatever you drink. You need to vibe, to get each other, trust each other and know that the aim together is to have beautiful photographs on your walls or in an art book! You don’t need to be best friends forever! But getting on and constant dialogue, exchanging ideas etc can help you so, so much in the build up to, and on your wedding day. Couples that book me, love a group chat, a DM and a cocktail or two!
Understanding their style, their edits, the way they story tell wedding days is really important. Do they really match your vision for your special day? Ask who inspires them? What films they watch? How do they invest in educating themselves so they keep evolving? Why do they shoot the way they shoot?
I ensure that couples understand all of the above because the photos I take, the way I use light, the shadow control not only make for great photos on screen, but also on the matte, museum quality paper that my art books are made on. The same with prints, my images only work on a matte finish. It’s like a science with the end goal being prints on your walls!
Remember they are the artist and you need to trust them as you would trust a tailor, dressmaker, florist etc.
2 – Plan, plan, plan!
This doesn’t mean plan or stage every photo, no way, but do have a plan with your photographer of key timings during the day. Your wedding planner will help if you need them to! There are literally zero rules! Times have moved on since you went to your aunties wedding 15 years ago so don’t play by those rules or let others tell you “you need to do…”, because guess what? You absolutely don’t!
Most photographers start the day at the end of the make up prep or when a groom is getting dressed. Here’s something, if you are going for a morning run, a bike ride, walking the dog, a breakfast somewhere with friends then your wedding day story starts there. Get this covered if you can. Events like this look a-ma-zing !
If you want individual portraits or portraits with your wedding party (keep them natural) factor that into your morning! So many people run from the make-up chair to the wedding ceremony (literally) but these moments can be beautiful. The last moments before you marry, the time for thinking, preparing for your big moment is where the emotion can be captured in a very calm and elegant way. Don’t miss out on these moments.
If you are having first look photos, plan who, where and when. Ask your photographer to help find the best spots.
Group photos? Make sure you get a list to your photographer well in advance of your wedding day. They will need to know who, the actual names of those involved and also they will need two of your friends (wedding party usually) to help round people up. Nail this and the group shots won’t eat into couple portrait time!
Enjoy the love
For those portrait shots, trust, trust, trust your photographer and their art. By this time they will have gotten to know you both and vice versa so now trust them to deliver their promise. The third wheeling stops for a bit as they let you two enjoy an intimate 30-45 minutes together being in love. Just being you. Unapologetically you. Showing your love, sharing your squeezes together as two and enjoying what happens as you hold hands and kiss now that you are married. These photos are the ones to go on your walls. Just relax, follow the direction and focus on each other. Your partners eyes are the focus here, don’t look at the camera unless they want you to. Enjoy it.
3 – Keep it tidy!
Without sounding too much like I’m parenting the teenage you, there are two things to keep tidy on your wedding day! Your room and your finger nails! I know right?
If you have a messy room that you are getting ready in, then the mess will be in the photos! Suitcases, unused clothes, plastic bags, bottles, cups, phone chargers etc, pack them all way. Nobody wants to see them. Another tip while we are here, if you are having those pyjamas for your wedding party then get them out of the packets the day before! Steam them, iron them and get the creases out before you are photographed in them.
Finger nails though?
You thought this was tips for great wedding photographs not personal hygiene right? Well yes, but there is so much emotion in your hands. So, so, so much! I take lots of photos of hands for this reason! I use a long lens which means I can zoom in on your hand holds and little squeezes without being invasive. If you are a keen gardener, love DIY or have a manual job then be aware that grubby nails and hands won’t look good in your weddings photographs. Keep them clean! Now go tidy your room and get to bed!!
4 – Please mind the gap!
Next up for the tips for great wedding photographs is all about “Walk don’t run”!
The moment arrives, your wedding party is about to walk down the aisle, wahooo!! It’s show time! BUT SLOW DOWN and WAIT!!! This moment can go really well or far too quickly.
Allow a gap (bigger than that) between each person walking down and walk really slowly! Mainly because you want to enjoy the moment and for each person to enjoy their moment in the sun. Take it all in, relax and smile! As a photographer we love getting these shots for you and to capture the anticipation. If you walk too fast or too close to the person in front of you though, we can’t capture everything! The last thing we want is a concertina affect as you all cram together. Each one of you should take your moment and be the star of the show. That is allowed and you want great pictures right?
5 – No phones
I’m back to sounding like your parents again, but seriously, if you can, then ask guests to refrain from using phones for the whole day until the evening antics, and even then after the first dance! Hire a photographer, a videographer and make sure people stay in the moment, enjoy the day and leave the photos to us lot!
Of course you should grab selfies and goof around with your pals, it’s your day, but just make sure those phones are away before, during and after the ceremony! You want photos of guests enjoying themselves, crying happy tears, laughing and living in the moment right? Not photos of peoples thumbs and the back of a Samsung or Nokia 3210? There are no gains in guests social media posts just for 17 likes and the validation of being at your wedding day! Zero!
Thank you so much for reading these tips for wedding photographs!
Stay in love and if have any questions you can ping me a message or fill out the contacts page here!
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