WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
9 Things Your Photographer Wants you to Know
START WITH A CLEAR VISION
Whether consciously or otherwise, most couples think about building a vision for how they want their wedding day to look. But how do you go about building your vision? First, decide if the aesthetic of the images you want is light and airy, pastel, dark and moody, bright and vibrant, artistic, dramatic, classic, etc. Then you might think about selecting your photographer based on their photographic style.
Next, you’ll decide how involved you want your photographer to be on the day. Other than your soon to be spouse, your photographer is the only one who goes through the entire wedding day with you. Who you pick to document your day is an important choice. Photography is an investment. The images will be a lasting record of your wedding day. They will also have an impact on the ‘feel’ of the day. So choose wisely, someone who you feel could be a part of your ‘tribe’.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WANTS TO KNOW YOU AUTHENTICALLY AS A COUPLE
A good photographer will try to truly get to know their couple. We want to capture who you really are in natural lighting. We want to photograph you and your love’s quirks, in laughter and tears. We want to see the way you light each other up or laugh so hard you snort. Because THOSE moments are the real, authentic, wonderful moments of your engagement or wedding day. They are the ones you’ll want to remember.
For any great photographer it should be all about the relationship. One thing we want you to know is that we don’t want to be treated like a typical vendor. We want to get to know you as a friend so we can capture you in the most authentic, real, way possible.
PINTEREST IS GREAT FOR INSPO BUT TRY NOT TO COPY
Most photographers wish we could tell couples to avoid recreating things they saw on Pinterest. It tends to hinder a photographer’s creativity if we are focused on recreating someone else’s pictures. We’d rather highlight what is unique about you and your big day. After all, professional photographers will be able to recognise and work with the couple’s personalities and interests.
Discuss your hopes and vision, with your photographer, during the planning and then trust them. You hired them because you love their work, right? Trust them to do what they do.
TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
This one is vital so I’ve given it it’s own special area!
As experienced photographers we know that weddings are very special events to photograph. We know that shooting a wedding requires knowledge of all different types of lighting and equipment. So when you hire a photographer, hire one with a good reputation. Choose one with a portfolio you LOVE. Make sure they have a great personality and lots of experience. And then when your day comes, and you’ve paid the big bucks to have them there, you can trust their judgment 100% … they will still want your input and opinions but they will have it all nicely under control.
If the communication is there, prior to the wedding, you’ll be very happy with the results. The last thing you want to be stressed about on your wedding day is what your photographer is doing. You’re going to be preoccupied, enjoying yourself. If you have to worry about what photos they’re taking or whether they’re missing moments, you aren’t truly present and enjoying your day.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Use your photographers experience when putting together your timeline for the day. We have a wealth of knowledge, hints and tips on how to get the most out of it and to ensure things run smoothly. Amidst the hectic whirlwind of your wedding day, one thing to not forget is time for portraits. It can be quite stressful for you and your guests if you have to squeeze numerous family portraits, bridal party and couples photos (as well as some time to actually hang out with your guests) into a narrow time window. So give yourselves plenty of time to get all the images you want as you only get to do this once.
That said you don’t want to spend all your time being photographed. It’s a celebration not a photo shoot after all. Just be sure to discuss your priorities with your photographer well ahead of putting the timeline together. Experienced photographers will have photographed dozens ,if not hundreds, of weddings and are a great resource for ideas and tricks on making the most of your time. Top tip, include contingency time! Always give yourself that little bit more time than you think you need for each stage as things inevitably run over!
DON’T FORGET THE FOOD!
After years of shooting weddings, here’s a great tip: Provide food for your entire wedding party during the preparation process. I’ve seen so many couples forget the food during the morning prep. Then you and your nearest and dearest don’t get to eat until you sit for the wedding breakfast. And even if we don’t like to admit it, we all get a little hangry.
There’s plenty of tips for avoiding hangry guests as the one thing wedding guests get angsty about is when they’re getting fed! All these little things will ensure you get the most enjoyment out of your wedding day…
- A 2pm ceremony is ideal, as people will have had a big breakfast or lunch before it starts. This also, means you only have to feed them twice.
- Canapes are a great idea during the drinks reception and whilst the formal photos are going on as it gives a focus and keeps the hanger at bay!
- If you’re having speeches before the wedding breakfast then make sure your guests know. manage expectations because if they sit down at their tables expecting food and then have speeches, they won’t enjoy them as much if they’re thinking about food.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
So if there’s a surprise happening, do tell your photographer. I’ve been to many weddings in churches that have more than one aisle, and we need to know which aisle you are planning on walking down and which one you are exiting through. It’s best to go over the time line together so that suggestions can be made and things can be altered if needed. It’s always advisable to get your formal group list to the photographer well ahead the day so they know roughly how much time will be needed. We would hate for you to have any regrets because of missed images after the day so let us know what’s important to you.
You might have special guests who have travelled a long way to be at your wedding? We want to know! Do you have a special heirloom piece that you would really like to have in photos, tell us! If you and your dad are planning a surprised choreographed dance during the reception, let us know ahead of time! It’s best to fill your photographer in on exactly what is happening throughout the day. This is so we can be ready and in position for when it happens! Super famous Photographer, Ansell Adams once said, you don’t ‘take’ a photograph you ‘make’ it so if we have a heads up we can create the perfect image of that moment.
THINK ABOUT THE AVAILABLE LIGHT
This is one of the most important things to consider when planning your wedding day schedule. I love when clients come to me for advice on locations and timings in order to get the best light – after all, great photography is all about great light!
Ideally, you should try to choose the largest, brightest room for getting ready. If you choose a hotel, make sure you get a room with a lot of natural light – believe me, it will make all the difference to your wedding photos. If you are planning on having an outdoor ceremony, consider where the sun will be at the time you will be getting married. For example, if you are getting married at 12pm in the middle of August, on a sunny day, the sun will be almost directly above you and will cast shadows and harsh highlights across you, your groom and your guests. This isn’t something that can be fixed in editing. But venue styling can be added to provide shade etc.
Winter weddings usually require an earlier start. If you want beautiful natural light images, consider that the light can be completely gone by 3.30/4pm. These are all things that need to be taken into account if you have a specific idea of how you want your photos to look. It can all sound a bit daunting but seek advice from your photographer, this is our area. We got this 😉
ENJOY THE DAY!
Your wedding day is only 24 hours long, and it will fly by in a beautiful, crazy, emotion filled whirlwind. We wish you knew just how fast the day goes. So, if you can take just five minutes together away from everyone to soak in the feelings, It’s totally worth it! It is okay to step away from the madness of the day and enjoy time together as a newly married couple!
I always recommend running and hiding immediately after the ceremony and taking a few moments just to yourselves. Take in every moment. Look around at all your friends and family who came so celebrate this day with you. Take the time to walk around, socialise, enjoy and don’t worry about if something didn’t go as planned. This is YOUR day. Do what you want! Make it your own!