Tips for better wedding photos.
You’ve put a lot of work into your wedding, not to mention having spent a lot of hard earned money to make it perfect. You carefully selected the perfect photographer, one that’s professional, reliable, experienced and creative. So here’s a simple list of things to help you get great wedding photos from your very special day.
Schedule an engagement portrait session. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with wedding day images. Truth be told, an engagement session not only results in some great images that you might want to use to build a custom guest sign-in book out of, but it allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It also gives both you and the photographer a chance to learn how to work together. When the big day comes around you’ll be more at ease while having your photos made.
Consider including a “first glance” session. While tradition often insists that the bride and groom don’t see each other prior to the ceremony on their wedding day, “first glance” sessions are becoming increasingly popular. These sessions are a short, private meeting between the bride and groom before the ceremony. It gives the groom the chance to truely enjoy how beautiful his bride looks in her wedding attire and often results in even the toughest of guys tearing up a bit. The sessions also frequently result in some of the most emotional and meaningful images of the day. During a typical “first glance” session the photographer will be on hand for the initial meeting, then stay a bit longer, finally departing to give the couple a few special moments alone. It is also a great way to release a lot of the emotions of the day. It is a lot better than seeing eachother for the first time that day from a distance in front of all your wedding guest. The tradition of not seeing eachother is from the days of arranged marriages and the didn’t want one of the parties to run away!
Allow a realistic time frame for getting hair and make-up done. Between the bride, bridesmaids and mom’s, plan plenty of time. If you run late, you’ll be running behind and playing catch-up the entire day. Nothing causes more stress at a wedding than being off schedule. Depending on the coverage you’ve selected you may want your photographer on hand for at least part of the hair and make-up session. If not at the salon, you’ll definately want them on hand early enough to capture some of the hair and make-up tocuh-ups prior to the ceremony. Getting ready shots really help with the story telling aspect of your wedding album.
Don’t get carried away with your make-up. Your photos will look best if you have a fairly clean, fresh and natrual appearence. This is especially true for ladies that don’t normally wear much make-up. You probably want to avoid suntanning the day before your wedding as well. And most importantly, don’t opt for the spray on tan. It will make you look orange in your photos and is virtually impossible to “fix” in photo shop. Glitter will also look like white dots all over your skin in photos.
Try to be on time. When weddings get far off schedule stress levels climb. Very few weddings run exactly on time, but they can be pretty close. A little pre-planning is all it takes. However, if things do run a little slow don’t get too stressed out about it. Everything will work out fine. Part of my job is to help thngs run smoothly and stress free.
Plan sufficient time for group portraits. Weddings are one of those special times when entire families come together. Not surprisingly, everyone wants to take advantage of the opportunity to make some family portraits. But you need to plan accordingly. If you’re not careful these sessions can eat up way too much time and put you off schedule. As a general rule plan on about five minutes for each grouping you want shot. Keep in mind that the photographer has no idea who everyone is. Be sure to put someone in charge of getting the groups together that knows all, or at least most of the primary people. That way the photographer can concentrate on what they do best, making great images and arranging the groups, rather than trying to gather everyone together for the shots.
Drink in moderation. You don’t want to get so drunk that you can’t remember your day or, even worse, that you look sloshed in your photos! Have fun and enjoy a few drinks if you want, but be sure to eat throughout the day to help keep up your energy levels and because it will help you to “hold” your alcohol.
Relax and have fun. It’s your day. It’s your party. Don’t obsess over seeing every guest at your reception to the point of missing it all yourself. Also don’t be afraid to delegate tasks throughout the day. After all, that’s what bridesmaids are for. It’s their job to “attend” to the bride. The less you have to worry about and the more you relax and enjoy the day, the better your photos will look.
During your first dance LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Relax and enjoy each other. Forget about the photographer, the videographer, the guests… be as romantic as you please. The same applies to other special dances… father/daughter… mother/son. These are special moments too. Don’t hesitate to look at Mom or Dad.
Coordinate key events with the photographer and your Master of Ceremony. If you’re planning any special events such as a bouquet toss, cake cutting, garter toss, etc., make sure your photographer gets a “heads-up” at least five minutes in advance. They’ll need to be sure they may need to load a fresh memory card/film before the event or want to put in some fresh batteries. Also give the photographer a chance to provide some input about positioning and timing. You want these images to be as great as possible. Timing and positioning is everything for these shots.
I’m sure there are a lot of things that could be added to this list, but I think these are the most important. As a wedding photographer I’m there to make you look your best and to create a nice documentary of your wedding day. While I may be an artist, I’m certainly not a magician. Great photos take teamwork between the photographer and the client. Following a few simple guidelines can help insure your wedding day photos are the best they can be.