Tips for better wedding photos.
You’ve put a lot of work into your wedding, a lot of time and 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. Do not skimp on your wedding photography, this is your one chance when you look your best and all of your friends and family are in one place at the same time for a happy occasion. They aren’t just for you, wedding photos are an heirloom for future generations. An experienced photographer knows how to make your day last forever with treasured images that capture your wedding at it’s best!
Schedule an engagement portrait session. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with wedding day images. An engagement session not only results in some great images for a custom guest sign-in book, 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 and get to know each other better. On your wedding day, you’ll be more relaxed and confident during your photos.
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 truly 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. It is also a great way to release a lot of the emotions of the day. It is a lot better than seeing each other for the first time that day from a distance in front of all your guest. The tradition of not seeing each other is from the days of arranged marriages and they 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. When weddings get too 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 the photographers job is to help things run smoothly and stress free.
Don’t get carried away with your make-up. Your photos will look best if you have a clean, fresh and natural appearance. This is especially true if you don’t normally wear much make-up. Avoid sun tanning the day before your wedding and please avoid the orange spray on tan. It is virtually impossible to “fix” in photo shop. Glitter will also look like white dots all over your skin in photos. Beware that some lotions have glitter in them as well.
Plan sufficient time for group portraits. Weddings are one of those special times when entire families come together. Plan ahead for which groups you would like photographed.As a general rule plan on about five minutes for each grouping you want. 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 like you drank too much in your photos! Have fun and enjoy a few drinks if you want, but be sure to eat and hydrate throughout the day.
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’d like. 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.
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.