Everyone wants great photos of their wedding day, so I’ve compiled a series of tips, breaking this momentous day down into smaller parts, and providing you some tips to get the most out of your wedding photographer. Part one of this series will look at the time leading up to the actual wedding day.
So much is being planned in this time, it’s important to remember to put enough thought into the photography side of things as well.
1. Decide on the type of images and style of photography that you want
What style of shots are you looking for on your wedding day? Do you only want candid photos? Or perhaps something a little more formal? I find that most brides want a combination of both posed and candid shots, to get a good mix of photos without spending all day smiling at a camera. Spend time looking at photographer’s websites and other social media like Pinterest, to see what style you prefer. That way you can find a photographer that matches the style of photography that you prefer.
Most photographers understand what are the really important shots to get. These include the first kiss, exchanging of rings, cutting the cake, and the first dance. It is important to spend time thinking not only of these images but also any family photos that you want captured during the day. Keep in mind the family photos on a wedding day can be time consuming so be careful aiming for too many photos. As a general rule I tell my brides to allocate 5 minutes per family photo. This time allows the photography team to find the appropriate family members, organise them, and snap the best photos.
2. Carefully pick your wedding photographer
Spend time choosing a photographer with a style of photography you like. It is important to meet your photographer to ensure that you are happy to spend your entire wedding day with them. Just remember that you and your friends and family will spend most of one of the most important days of your life with this person.
3. Book an engagement session
An engagement session will allow you to relax in front of the camera and give you a great opportunity to get some more casual relaxed images of you and your partner. This allows you time to get to know your photographer and for them to get to know them.
4. Have a hair and makeup trial
Ensure you are happy with the result and determine if the makeup will run if you end up with tears of happiness streaking down your face. This is always a possibility on your wedding day!
5. Test out your spray tan
If you are getting a spray tan for your wedding day, test it ahead on time. Do this in conjunction with the makeup trial. Then have a friend take some photos of the final result. You do not want your face and body to have completely different colours. Orange brides are not easy retouched in Photoshop.
6. Consult your photographer to assist you with your wedding timeline
Choose a good time for your ceremony. Great light is at the heart of all good wedding photos therefore the time of day for an outdoor ceremony and your wedding photo shoot is vitally important. The best light of the day is in the hour prior to sunset. Due to the practicalities of a wedding day, an outdoor wedding ceremony is often best timed to commence 2-3 hours prior to sunset. Harsh midday sun causes harsh shadows and makes most people look like they have raccoon eyes and big wrinkles.
Spend time discussing the best times for your ceremony and your wedding photos with your photographer prior to confirming any times for ceremony and reception venues.
7. Be careful in your choice of venues for the wedding ceremony
For indoor venues: Try to find a venue that has a large amount of natural light. Wedding photographers generally will not use flashes under any circumstances during an indoor wedding ceremony. If your church or ceremony venue is dark, it will be difficult for your photographer to get those magic moments during the ceremony. Also watch out for awful fluorescent lighting (which can leave a green tinge on skin), or lighting with weird colours inside the venue.
For outdoor venues: Shade is recommended, both for photography reasons and for guest comfort. Under a large tree or in the shade of a tall building is ideal. If you have a location in mind but you are not completely sure if it’s the best choice, contact your photographer and ask their option. Just keep in mind that a venue will look completely different at different times of the year in terms of where the shade is falling. A good tip is to look at other wedding photos from your desired location that were captured at the same time and date that you are getting married.
8. Get your photographer to show you how to pose prior to the wedding day
This is great to practice during an engagement shoot. Ladies the general piece of advice I give my bride’s is that the closer a body part is to the camera the larger it looks in a photo. So if you turn on a angle, stick your bottom back away from the camera by placing your weight on your back leg and bending on front leg you will minimize the size of your backside. Additionally, if you lean forward and crane your head forehead forward you will emphasize your chest and make your face appear more slender.
9. Use Pinterest for inspiration
Talk with your photographer about the styles of photographs that you like. These should be similar to the same style of the photographer that you have chosen. Don’t use Pinterest to copy but rather to inspire. If you want some inspiration check out all the wedding photography inspiration boards here:http://www.pinterest.com/ohlsen0087/
10. Discuss with your florist
Discuss the colour scheme for your wedding. In particular, you need to consider the bride and bridesmaids dresses, and how these match with the flower arrangements.