Updated: Jun 8
Wedding Photography Tips!
After a short holiday in Spain, I am back now and ready to approach a busy month photographing weddings. It is great coming back home full of energy and positivity. Whilst I was at the beach, under the brolly, covered in factor 50 and trying not to burn (and yes, I still burnt!) I reflected on the fact that often, when I meet with couples before their big day, a topic that comes up is whether I am able to give them some advice in regards with their wedding photography.
I hope you find this post useful. It is based not only on my experience as a wedding photographer but on my experience as a groom at my own wedding.
Have a pre-wedding shoot
Arrange to meet your photographer prior to your wedding to chat about your big day and do a pre wedding shoot. I think this is an awesome way to get to know each other and for me to show you that, despite not liking your picture being taken, I can still take great pictures and we can have some fun.
This doesn’t have to take hours, I can get great material in 20 or 30 min. Even less if we are short for time or if this is not included in your package.
Feeling at easy with your photographer will help you relax on the big day, which leads us to tip number 3.
Have a look at some photography ideas
There might be a particular pose or action shot you would like to try on your wedding day so I like to encourage couples to have a look on social media (Pinterest in particular) for some ideas. It is a one in life time moment so if you want to try something out, do it! Now or never.
(On this note, I love confetti and sparkle shots)
Chill out and relax
Documentary wedding photography is all about capturing things as they happen, as they are. This means that, if you are able to relax and enjoy the day, this will be reflected on your pictures.
Some people will find this easier than other and of course to experience some nerves on the most important day of your life is only natural however it is important not to let this take over. On the day make sure that you drink and you eat and perhaps set aside 10 minutes only with your husband or on your own to relax, take some deep breaths and to collect your thoughts.
Keep the room tidy (as much as possible)
The background of a photograph can either make or ruin a picture. Also, if the room is a bit of a mess I might have to move things slightly so I can get a clear shot, which is not ideal. From my experience, photographers and makeup artists always appreciate a clear space!
On this note about tidiness and organisation, you might want to put things that you want me to photograph aside- such as your shoes, jewellery, etc.
Church weddings and photography limitations
If you are having a church ceremony, speak to the Priest about photography limitations during the ceremony. I am afraid I have to go with I am told here and I will probably not have very much freedom of movement during the ceremony.
This is OK and I will still be able to take lovely photographs of you both but it might be worth discussing this with the Priest in advance so you know where you and I stand.
Mobile phones, iPads and other electronic devises.
I wish I had considered this on my own wedding. I had some guests ruining some pictures as they used their mobile phones, with flash!, during the ceremony, which interfered with the pictures my photographer took. Aaarggghhh!! You might want to think about asking your guests not to use their devises during the ceremony. You could include a polite note in the order of service booklet or ask key people (e.g. a few family members) to remind guests at the start of the ceremony.
It is not uncommon for couples to ask a special friend or a family member to be in charge of the video recording or to take additional photos. Please make them aware that I will be around.
From my experience, group pictures can take an awful lot of time if you don’t consider certain things previously. It will be easier if you limit your shot list to 10 group shots (e.g ‘bride and groom with both sets of parents’ bride and groom with bridesmaids’ etc.), ask one or two people to help me gather and call people out to make sure we don’t wait time in trying to locate people etc.
Bride & Groom Portraits
This is key and there are a few things to bear in mind here. One difficulty I often find with couples is not allowing enough time to get this done on the day. This can lead to photographs being rushed and couples being stressed. The key thing to consider here is how important are these photographs for you. If you are happy with the majority of the pictures being candid you may only want to spend 15-20 minutes with me. However, if you want a good selection of portraits of you and your husband you may want to consider allocating 2 slots to make use of the light.
Other things to consider are light and weather conditions, which may alter our plans. It is good to think about this and to have some flexibility around it. Personally I am not big fan of flash and I would much rather work with natural light so taking all pictures in a dark environment if you like natural photography might not be such a good idea.
As I have mentioned before, the background is really important. If you think there’s not much around or you don’t like your venue you may want to consider jumping in the car and heading off somewhere else (obviously it would have to be close by but a 10 min ride might be worthwhile!).
Communicate with your photographer
On my first year as a wedding photographer I remember walking into a ceremony room and finding out, there and then, that the bride and groom had hired FOUR videographers to record the wedding. Of course, they were tackling the ceremony from every angle possible and so it was hard from me to get clear shots.
Whilst this is not common, it is important to let your photographer know if you are having any more photographers or videographers involved so they can communicate with each other and make sure that they work together, not getting on each other’s way.
Similarly, if you are planning to do something special (for example, a surprise dance for the bride) it is a good idea to let your photographer know the details (what time, where, etc.) so they can get ready for it.
Thank you for taking some time to read through this. I hope you have found it helpful. I am planning to write another blog with some thoughts on how to choose your wedding photographer so keep your eye out for it ;)