If you and your fiance are a couple who highly priortize photography for your wedding day, (which I hope you are!) then the following wedding guide is just for you. I have compiled 10 helpful tips so that you can have the wedding pictures you have always wanted.
Relax & Have Fun!
I have found that the best pictures I have taken at weddings are with people who know how to embrace the moment. Wedding days are stressful; I understand that. And most likely, not everything on your wedding day will go exactly according to plan. But if you choose to let the little things go and focus on what really matters, then you will have the best day of your life!…and your pictures will show it.
Lighting is Everything
The literal definition of “photography” means “painting or drawing with light”. Without quality lighting, I become extremely limited in my ability to produce amazing images. I can’t emphesize this point enough to my couples: when you are choosing your venues, and even your “getting ready” location, it is so crucial to make sure that they have great lighting.
During the earlier hours of the day, having large windows will provide some beautiful natural light. For the evening hours, I recommend utilizing café lights, candles, or lanterns to set the mood and provide a romantic glow.
Traditionally, couples will wait until the ceremony before seeing each other for the first time, but if you are on the fence about doing a “first look”, here are a few reasons why I recommend it.
1. A First Look gives you the flexibility to get all your portraits totally out of the way so you can engage with the people you love the most. Otherwise, most of your pictures will have to be taken after your ceremony and your guests are forced to wait for you.
2. No matter who they are, most couples get very anxious before their ceremony. Doing a First Look helps calm the nerves, and couples are so thankful that they decided to do it.
3. After your ceremony, everyone will be demanding your attention. By doing a First Look, this gives you some precious time alone together, where you can reflect on the day and share a sweet moment.
One of the most beautiful times of the day to take photos is “golden hour”, when the sun is about to set. If time allows, I always recommend cutting out about 15-20 minutes to take some dreamy photos of just you and your groom.
One of the biggest issues I run into for weddings, is having to dodge people who are taking pictures with their phone. This can cause problems for me as your photographer because I move around a lot and I don’t have the time to wait for your Aunt Millie to take a picture before I can get the shot I want. You are paying me to give you amazing photographs from your wedding day, so I take this very seriously. Please kindly ask your friends and family to put their phones away and give me the space I need to do my job well for you.
Your first kiss should last at least 3 secconds! I’ve seen quite a few first kisses that are easily missed by everybody, including me. If the light in the venue is dim, even the best cameras have a tendency to “hunt for focus” (it takes them a bit of time to focus), so an expedite first kiss can be missed.
When I arrive on your wedding day, the first thing I will do is get detail shots. To help save time, please place your wedding rings, jewelry, shoes, garter, perfume, bouquet, wedding invite, programs, veil, dress, or anything else meaningful to you, in one spot so that I can easily locate each item.
Makeup & Hair
Every bride wants to look perfect on her wedding day. I highly recommend doing a trial with your makeup artist and hair stylist, because something that might look amazing on Pinterest, may not be the right look for you. (Tip: schedule your trial on the same day as your engagement session!)
If you’re the “do it yourself” type of bride, I recommend doing a hair style that keeps your hair out of your face. For makeup, I encourage you to define your eyes well and use a bolder lip color. This will translate well in your pictures.
Have a pair of flats handy. I know your high heels look amazing, but walking on grass can be a bit problematic and uncomfortable. The last thing I want you to do is break an ankle. I will have you moving around quite a bit when we are taking photos. If your feet are hurting, it will show in your face.
Get closer than what feels natural when posing with your groom. Gaps that might not feel awkward during the shoot can be amplified in photos and look like there’s a lack of intimacy. Don’t be afraid to snuggle up to one another!