Tips on how small changes can vastly improve your wedding day photos
After shooting many weddings there are a number of things I have come across that I try and make sure my clients understand leading up to the day. Sometimes just the smallest little details and changes can greatly improve the photographs - again I hope this helps with your planning and feel free to share with your bridal/Groom party.
Tip #1: Fake-up photos
Most of my clients often elect to have preparation photos i.e photos of the bride/bridesman/groom etc getting ready in the morning. From experience i generally arrive halfway through make-up/prep time as quite often people don’t want to be photographed with that “just out of bed look”. If prep photos are important and you want that captured look but with your make-up complete then let me know and i can work with your make-up artist to simulate make-up being applied whereas it is already finished.
Tip#2: Photos in robes
This is quite a common photo request - for the girls! If this is something you want photographed then the best time is normally after hair and make-up but before dresses are put on. If this is an important photo then make sure you let me know so I can build it into your timeline, but secondly make sure you let all your bridal party know - you will be surprised at how often a bridesmaid/mother of the bride starts getting dressed before this photo is taken.
Tip#3: Exchanging gifts
This has become increasingly popular during the preparation stage for gifts/letters to be exchanged. They are often incredibly heartfelt gestures that are incredible moments to photograph as your partner will not be there to witness you opening/reading it/crying. So if you plan on both (or one of you) providing a gift for your partner - let me know in advance so i can make sure we build it into your timeline and i am there to capture those moments
I often find i ask my brides and grooms whether they have any details they want photographing ie rings/shoes/jewellery - if you do then try to gather them all together in one place so we know they are important to you - we can then arrange and photograph in a memorable way for you.
Tip#5: Bridesmaids/Flower girls/Paige boys walking down the aisle
Smile and look up! You will be amazed how many photos i take of the processional where people look towards the ground - I get it maybe a bit nervous and daunting to walk into a room full of people looking at you - but just by looking up and smiling means you will look fantastic in the photos and also creates a positive reaction whereby everyone looking at you will also be smiling. Smiling breeds smiling! trust me!
Tip#6: Bridesmaids/Flower girls/Paige boys walking down the aisle - number 2
If you are not having a practice of walking down the aisle then make sure you let your bridesmaids know to give a bit of distance between themselves and the person in front of them. Count to at least 10 before walking. The reason being is that you will commonly be walking in a line down the aisle so it is very hard to photograph the person behind until the person in front has moved off to the side. Worse case is everyone is so bunched up that i can’t even photograph the bride walking down the aisle until the last moment. The best photos (in my opinion) are where i can get photos of each and everyone in their own with all the guests focusing on you - and of course everyone smiling!
Tip#7: Ring exchange/lighting candles
If you have arranged for any activities to take place during the ceremony (ring exchanges is a bit of given) but activities like lighting candles, filling up vases with sand etc then try to keep yourself open to the audience so they can see whats happening - this often helps the photographer out as well.
Tip#8: Hold that first kiss
Sometimes the first kiss is more like a quick peck. Hold that kiss for at least 2-3 seconds, it’s the moment that everyone cheers and is waiting for - so embrace it.
Tip#9: Walking back down the aisle as a married couple
Some of the best photos are when the newly married couple dont just walk down the aisle after they are married but engage with friends and families, go for the fist pump, raise those flowers high in the end, go for a kiss or a dip at the end of the aisle. Have fun, it’s a fantastic moment to be excited.
Tip#10: Arrange for someone to help during family portraits
Family portraits can take anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes a photo depending on how many guests you have in each one. If you have asked for ten photos then that could be the best part of an hour. Something i find really helps to speed up the process (so you can get back to the party!) is to have a Usher/Friend/Family member who knows a lot of people, who is (how do i say) quite persuasive, whose job it is to get the people for the next photo. I cant tell you how much time this saves for you on your wedding day.