12 Top Photography Tips For Brides & Grooms
So you’ve looked at wedding photographers, you’ve got your shortlist; maybe you’ve even booked your photographer… Now what? Here are some tips to give you an insight into the wedding from the photographer’s perspective, and will help you get the best photos possible!
1. Light – Light is the key most important thing in creating a photograph. It literally makes a photograph – bad light means bad photos. Yes, experienced photographers know how to work with light to get the best out of a situation, but good light means the very best results. You may think that a bright sunny day will be great for photos, however it causes harsh shadows and if people are facing into the sun, they will be squinting. Because of this, we may turn you to a different angle than you imagined, in order to get the best shot with the available light. With winter weddings, lighting can be an issue as the light fades early – an early ceremony will help a lot with getting those group shots before it gets too dark.
2. Bridal Preparation – When the bridal party are getting ready, it’s difficult to keep things tidy, right? Hairbrushes, make-up bags and shoes tend to end up all over the place! However, you should keep in mind that if the room we are photographing you in is messy, it will look messy in your photos too. Try to keep a fairly spacious room tidy (preferably a room with a full length mirror, and maybe a bed) that we can photograph you in. It’s best to allow half an hour to take photos when the entire bridal party is ready before you need to leave. Otherwise, we have to choose between missing those finished shots of the bridal party or missing the shots of the groom and guests arriving.
3. Ceremony – Lots of vicars, priests and registrars have limitations on photography or do not allow photography during the ceremony at all. If these shots are important to you, please talk to your officiator about any limitations.
4. Group Photographs – This takes some organisation, and it’s best to arrange it in as much detail as you can beforehand. Make a list of the group shots you would like, and who needs to be in each. Enlist a family member or two with the role of getting the right relatives in for each shot. We don’t know your families and we wouldn’t want to miss out Uncle Ernie! We can’t be responsible if someone has wandered off to the bar and is not in a photo (but of course we will do everything we can to avoid this). Bear in mind that it could be a wet day (this is England after all!) and think about possible undercover locations for photos at your chosen venue. Allow good time for these group shots – 10 minutes for each large group, 5 minutes for each smaller group.
5. Couple Portraits – The key here is to allow as much time as possible. The longer we have, the better your couple portraits will be. These are the ones you will want in a frame on your wall, so take the time out to get some lovely shots. Be aware that we can only work with what is there – we can’t create the sunny meadow shots you’ve got on your Pinterest board if it’s an urban setting on a wet day. That being said, we will always get some beautiful shots – just don’t have too specific expectations.
6. Surprises – We think surprises for the bride, groom or both create the best reaction photographs! However, please let us know beforehand so that we can have the right kind of equipment prepared. We won’t spill the beans, we promise!
7. Smile! – Lots of people are so nervous and have so much on their mind on their big day, that they forget to smile for their photographs! Try to relax and get in the flow of the day as much as possible, you will be so glad you did when you see your photos. Again, the first dance can be quite shy, which is totally understandable – for most people, it’s not everyday you dance with everybody watching. But gaze into each other’s eyes, have a cuddle, and the emotion will translate beautifully in the photographs.
8. Down-Time Shots - It’s a good idea to do some extra couple shots during the down time between dinner and the reception. For summertime weddings, the light is usually lovely at this time, and you’re probably feeling much more relaxed with some food (and wine) in your belly!
9. Editing Requests – Please talk to us about any editing requests you have, but be realistic. As powerful as Photoshop is, it is very time-consuming and if you have 400+ photographs, we can’t do a full edit on every one. However, if you have a couple of shots that you would love to have up on the wall except there’s a blemish on your skin or a flyaway strand of hair, we can sort these things out for you. Chat to us about what you would like done and we will let you know what is possible.
10. Trust Your Photographer - Remember to be open to your photographer’s ideas and trust them – although we do the standard ‘must-have’ shots, we are also creative by nature and the results can be amazing and different. As recent bride Elizabeth puts it, "Every idea she suggested no matter how silly or weird has produced our favourite photos by far!"
11. Pre-Wedding Meeting - We like to meet with you before your wedding to discuss details. As well as talking about the photography, we’d like to know as much about your wedding as possible. The schedule and a copy of the group shots list are particularly helpful, but the finer details also help give us an overall sense of your day and who you are as a couple. Let us know if there are any particular shots that are especially important to you to capture. We of course try not to miss a moment of your day, but it is possible that we might not get everything if two things are happening at once, or we were unaware that something was happening – unfortunately this is just the way of it. This is why it’s best to give us as much information as possible about the day so that we can try to cover every aspect.
12. Engagement Shoot - It’s a great idea to have an engagement shoot with your photographer, as you get to know us and we get to know you. You’re probably not used to being posed or kissing in front of a stranger, so it’s a good warm-up for the big day. Plus, you can display your engagement shots at your wedding.
There you have it, folks – our top tips for your wedding photography! If you would like some information about our weddings (or would just like to tell us all about yours!), feel free to give us a call or send us an email. You can also check out our wedding gallery here and our price lists here.
- The Ph2o Team