After the your wedding day you’ll have the rest of your life together to look forward to and of course you want the best visual reminders of that amazing day – so here’s how our guide on how to make the most of of your wedding photography and ensure you capture the mood, the emotion and sheer happiness of it all in print.
1. Set aside as much money as you can
It’s really important that you get an excellent photographer – one bride hired a page three photographer from the Sun who was friends with one of her mates – disaster! In the Confetti forums it’s one thing past brides mention time after time – they wished they hadn’t left it to an amateur. The budget is often stretched but make sure this is one thing that has maximum allocation. Make sure you know how many prints you get in your album and the cost of these in advance as it can be a shock after the event.
2. Research the best in your area
Make sure you set aside the time to visit local photographers, ask them for samples of their work (bearing in mind they’ll only show you the best!). A good place to look is real wedding sections on the web. Find the style that you think suits you – do you like sassy, classy or just plain dreamy….think what suits your style from what you see there.
Often Real Wedding sections have the name of the photographer. Use directories on the web to find lists to make life easier rather than trawling the high street – quite often now the more cutting edge photographers are out of town as they know people will find them on the internet nowadays.
3. Don’t assume your best friend knows best
This might seem catty but, just because your best friend had a photographer doesn’t mean they are the best, and just because she recommends him or her doesn’t mean she’s happy with the results. Do ask around though, and make your own judgement about their work. Make sure they are a wedding photographer – obvious as it sounds, great landscape shots don’t mean that guy will take great shots of you.Above: image courtesy of Amrose Photography
4. Let them do their stuff
Although it’s important to show them photographs of the type of shots you feel are going to make you happy, remember that they have years of experience and your setting might not translate that photo into the best for your wedding album. They know how to light a room but make sure you consider the conditions for them, if possible take them with you to your reception and ceremony venues if they are different. Be creative yourself though and think about what will make your day stand out from all the other weddings you’ve seen or what’s important to you as a couple and let the photographer know in advance what you want to do so they’re not caught unaware on the day.
5. Research your venue in advance for best place for photographs
Very often the wedding events managers at the venue or the celebrant if your ceremony is in a different place will know the places that photograph well so make sure you ask the question but try to look for that little nook that will make your own shots stand out, be aware that outside shots can damage shoes and dress if the ground is soft so make sure you factor that into the equation. Time of day is important, particularly if you’re having a winter or autumn wedding so if you want outdoors make sure your ceremony allows time for photographs before the light of day fades. Look out for where the photographer can take a shot if you want a balcony shot from above – as we said before see if they can come along with you in advance to plan the order of how and where they will take the photographs. Think about the weather – make sure you have contingency plans for outdoor shots if it’s raining.
6. Get a photographer’s assistant!
The last thing the bride and groom want to do is to have to mess about finding Aunty Mary when it’s time for a family shot when she’s gone off to have a sneaky G&T! Delegate the task of rounding up the guests for each type of shot you plan to either a bridesmaid or usher – make sure you’ve prepared a list in advance of which wedding guest is wanted and that they know who they are. Give that same person the responsibility of making sure the photographer has is offered food and drink – the day is often very long for them, starting with the bride getting ready in the morning and by mid afternoon they could be growling with hunger and thirst and that won’t lead for a great relationship.
Above: Digital Weddings UK
7. Tidy up
Often some of the most warm and casual shots are when the bridal party if getting ready, the bride with her mum beaming with pride looking on as she buttons her dress, the bridesmaids with their roller in…. if you’re planning to do all this at home make sure the room looks good in advance, if you’re doing that in a hotel and you’ve stayed the night make sure the bed is made and the room looks pretty tidy and that you’ve somewhere photogenic to hang that all important dress. Again delegate the task of keeping bridesmaids, mums etc clutter free whilst they’re having their hair and make up done. It might seem obvious but often gets overlooked even by professionals. Make sure you book the time slot with enough time to do the getting ready photos and that the photographer can be there at the same time as your make up artist or hairdresser.
8. Look fabulous
OMG – is someone really telling me to look gorgeous on my wedding day! What we mean here is practise – it’s great to have a professional do your hair and make up, make sure you do it all in advance and try out with your headdress, a good idea is to try and get an Engagement shoot done with your fiancé with the same make up you’ll have on your big day, but if that’s not possible have a good amateur take your picture in advance to make sure it looks great. If you can’t have a professional then it’s vital that you try out before the wedding day, no-one wants to look like a wooden doll with painted cheeks in their wedding album.
Above, Jenny Martin Wedding Photography
9. Practice your pout
Knowing how to pose is an art in itself – you don’t want to look like a parody of yourself on the day, so research how to pose – not everyone has supermodel experience and is a natural in front of the camera, often even on such a happy occasion the bride and groom can be tense. A good photographer will put you at your ease and they’ll know what the best position is for you to look good so trust them, but you can help a lot by having read up and tried in advance so you look as good as it gets.
10. Don’t forget the amateurs
If you don’t want people snapping you as you walk down the aisle ask the celebrant to make an announcement, but quite often people want every single record of their big day and friends love to photograph– create your own website, create a drop box, have them load on social media, create your own Pinterest board for posterity, make sure not a single picture goes missing so it’s there for you forever. Frame the best of these as well as your professional photos and your friends will be flattered that you think their snap is good enough to display.
Above: Alistair Cowin Photography