Guides for Brides | Getting the best photographs
There are hundreds of resources out there designed to help you look for a “Wedding photographer”, Thankfully, this particular article is certainly not one of those. Below, you will find some small but useful pieces of advice that many couples planning their big day might have previously given little consideration to. They could however significantly enhance your overall day, in both real-time and in the photos taken to document the special occasion. They are simply a guide on exactly how, along with a little bit of planning, you can easily assist your photographer to do the best possible job for you.
For most couples, their wedding day is an occasion filled with many firsts so getting it right is a must. You spend months, even years thinking about and planning every moment in meticulous detail to make sure your day is the definition of excellence. In my profession as a wedding photographer, I have acquired substantial knowledge that has now enabled me to offer you a number of beneficial tips and tricks which will hopefully help you get the most out of your wedding photographs.
You may require it, for the majority of couples, the legality and commitment of the actual wedding ceremony is the most important and unique part of their wedding day. Unfortunately, it is a relatively typical, but unidentified, practice that some venues do not allow photographs to be taken throughout the ceremony, if at any point at all. Oddly, there does not really appear to be any set pattern or rules regarding this and it generally seems to be strictly down to your Priest/Vicar/officiates views. When choosing your venue, this might be something to think about. Ensure to ask your Priest/registrar if you have photographic permission throughout the ceremony (not just the start or end) or if there are any restrictions to be adhered to prior to the wedding day. This will avoid any eleventh-hour problems and any negotiations ahead of time will avoid your poor photographer from being eradicated to the back of the church or out of it totally!
Read your contracts from every supplier, not just from your venue or photographer. In certain cases, all be it quite unusual, some ‘Makeup Artists’ have added clauses into their contracts to prohibit any photography or video during the bridal preparations which has lead to no record being made for that part of the day. This is certainly quite extreme and you should not use any makeup artists that stipulates this, but it illustrates the need for meticulous attention to detail.
THE BEST POSITION
Every bride or groom desires to see the reaction of their soon to be spouse when they spot them either walking down the aisle or waiting at the altar so make sure your photographer will have adequate access to a good position so it’s possible to capture both of you clearly. It might be advisable to inquire if your Priest likes to stroll down the aisle ahead of you and if so ask them to make sure they are some distance ahead of you. It’s likewise great to be able to get pictures of your bridal party as they walk down the aisle, so leaving a good-sized space in between yourself and your bridesmaids will make this possible. Make sure that the aisle is free of guests with cameras so your photographer will have a clear shot of the bridal party.
MOBILE DEVICES OFF
One of the current trends to hit wedding events is to ‘Unplug’ your day. This involves asking all your guests to leave their cameras and mobile phones at home or at least avoid having them turned on during the ceremony. It is likewise common for the couple to ask that no photos are uploaded to Facebook until they have seen the professional photographers photos. This allows your visitors to totally enjoy their day with no distractions. It also avoids you posing for images all day long and leaves the professional photographer to do their magic with as few obstacles in their way as possible. This ensures that no crucial moments, such as the all-important walk down the aisle, get missed due to guests blocking the way attempting to get their own pictures. As a Wedding photographer, I have unfortunately come across this all too often and it can ruin documentation of the day.
THE FIRST KISS
At some time during your wedding day, you’re going to hear those words: “You may kiss the Bride or Groom” this is quite special and your photographer will obviously be poised to capture it, so please let that kiss linger just a little longer! A micro kiss or a peck is tough to capture at the very best of times so doing it behind a bench, a vicar and a huge screen of flowers generally will make it hard for your photographer to get the shot. Let’s not forget, this is your very first kiss as a married couple.
Kiss with love and passion. Your guests and your wedding photographer will certainly thank you for it.
THE CONFETTI SHOT
The confetti shot always makes an incredible wedding photo, typically revealing the laughter and joy, not only of yourself but of all your guests too! So do not simply stand there, let yourself go while your visitors shower you with love. Kiss, hug, fist pump each other, even punch the air, simply do something to reveal exactly what you’re feeling at that moment. Something to keep in mind here, not all guests remember to bring confetti so you might consider to include some on your shopping list. You can purchase big amounts from online shops like Ebay or Etsi, however, remember to purchase the biodegradable confetti as many churches and wedding venues will not allow the non-biodegradable kind.
Little things, such as the time it takes to travel in between the church and reception venue are typically ignored and therefore missed out on the timing schedule. Things like this can truly add up. Keeping this in mind, be prepared for the possibility of shaving off time from someplace else to keep things on track.
You spend a lot of time and effort in preparing your tables and seating plans so that they look amazing. If you wait until after your meal to have the speeches think of the glasses and empty bottles that will be on the tables. It is advisable to have your speeches before the meal so your tables look just as they were intended too, beautiful.
Also if you are nervous about the speeches you can get them out the way and enjoy your meal without the butterflies in your tummy!
DONT SHOUT KEEP CALM
You might or might not need pictures of your relatives, like Dad, Mum, Aunty etc, AKA “The Official pictures”.
While these are memorable photos it’s worth bearing in mind they can be rather time-consuming. Most of the time it can be compared to herding sheep, someone might be in the toilet, others away talking to other quests and more often than not most will be at the bar! No photographer will be keen to yell out to your visitors and be known as “the photographer that shouts.” If possible appoint the gathering of visitors to somebody in your wedding party who knows everybody or as many individuals as possible, one person for each side possibly? Try to keep the number of photos to a minimum, each image can take around 3 minutes consuming important schedule timing, so if you do need a photo with each specific person bare this in mind.
Not a requirement, but it will be much appreciated by your photographer if you provide them with some food. Some venues will feed your photographer, however, others won’t. The absense of food will likely force your photographer to search out his or her own, with them possibly having to leave the wedding venue, you may then run the risk of them missing out on a particular photograph you really wanted.
A basic sandwich would perform in many cases simply to keep their strength up and make certain they’re shooting on all cylinders to record the rest of your day without leaving the wedding.
MESSY DRESS DONT STRESS
Let’s face it a nice clean dress will not stay completely clean. The truth is it’s going to get a small amount of dirt on it throughout the day. But please don’t let this upset you. Don’t worry about walking over grass or in fields to get the best shots, it’s going to get dirty so let it go!
On a cold day, and this especially is true with winter weddings, it can get a little uncomfortable being outdoors for photos (although certainly, it’s worth the outcome!). To make things a bit more comfy for you, it’s always worth bringing a warm coat or a blanket to wrap around you between shots to keep warm. You will not win any awards for the most attractive brides, however, it is useful and no-one will ever know!
LOOK INTO THE LIGHT
Unless you’re restricted with space it is vital that you do not have a large source of light behind you for the ceremony and the speeches. Large light sources like windows backlighting the subject can make photography extremely challenging. Some venues have blinds and it should be an option to close them if needed. Another problem I have come across is when a venue has mixed colour temperatures of lights. Mixing Tungsten (yellow) lights with Daylight bulbs (white) is a recipe for disaster!
LET THERE BE LIGHT
When a professional photographer states that they are “a readily available or natural light professional photographer” this normally suggests that they do not use flash or any extra lighting. Any excellent professional photographer will constantly make use of the readily available natural light to its max, however for those situations when the light is bad or simply non-existent, it is vital that your wedding photographer can use all lighting methods to capture images in all conditions. Particularly throughout the cold weather, you might even require a professional photographer who specialises in low light conditions, as in winter season the sunset falls early in the afternoon. Do not be put off by the cold or the darkness, if your professional photographer approaches you and asks you to step outdoors for a couple of night photos, I’m sure he has something special mind!
LETS WORK TOGETHER
If you are having both a photographer and a videographer make sure they are happy to work with each other. Some photographic styles may not be compatible for the videographer such as a photographer who uses flash a lot of the time. Try to book a videographer that is of similar style to the photographer and maybe even one that has worked with the other before. I am lucky as I offer both photography and wedding films as one package.
I totally understand that your very first dance as husband and wife can be a nervous experience, all those eyes on you with the worry of messing up your dance moves, however, try to resist the desire of welcoming your guests up with you too early. Offer lots of time for the photographer to capture those unique minutes of simply the two of you. Photos of you both having a good time with your guests will most definitely follow as you boogie the night away, so fight the nerves and the photographs will be a valuable memory.
The finest photos are always produced from the couples who are brave and ready to attempt something brand-new whatever the wather! You get out exactly what you put in.
TRUST ME IM A PRO!
One of my biggest tips for any bride to be would be to trust your photographer. They have done this hundreds of times before and most are experts in all things wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask your wedding photographer for advice they should always be willing to help.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
At the end of the day, your wedding day is precisely that, a wedding day and not a photo shoot. Of course, it is essential to get lots of pictures of you both as well as your wedding party enjoying your big day, images that you can look back on for years to come, however, it is likewise crucial to enjoy your wedding day and unwind.
Keep in mind, this guide is precisely that, an easy overview to help you get the most from your photos. Do not aim to stuff a lot of things into your day. The most essential thing is …
HAVE LOADS OF FUN!!!!!!