5 tips for getting memorable photos on your wedding day
Almost all the couples I speak to looking to book me as their wedding photographer have never worked with a professional photographer before. One thing they all have in common is they want memorable wedding photos, but perhaps they've never really thought how they would achieve this. Sure, you can leave most of it to the photographer on the day, that's what we're getting paid for, but, to get the best out of your photographer, you may want to consider these tips for better wedding photos.
1. Choose a good photographer (don't cut corners here..)
A bit of an obvious one to get you started but a very important tip all the same, book a good photographer. Yep, spend as much money as you can to get the best photographer. You don't want to skimp and save money on this part of your wedding by getting a friend who has a good camera to shoot it as a favour (not a good idea). This is one area of your wedding day you should prioritise. You may think I'm biased saying this as a wedding photographer, but I got married a few years ago and I am glad I spent money on a good photographer. You have been warned!
2. Go on, have an engagement shoot (you know it makes sense...)
If you book a photographer who has the option of an engagement shoot as part of their packages, go for it, even if you're not entirely convinced you really need one. Why? There are many reasons for having an engagement shoot including the opportunity for us all get to know each other a bit more before the wedding day.
The photographer will use the shoot to take mental notes on how you 'perform' in front of the camera, how you interact as a couple and what makes you look good in your photos. In turn, you'll build trust with your photographer and get comfortable having your photo taken by someone who will be around you for most of the wedding day. Perhaps you could even 'throw a few Hollywood poses' for good measure to see how good you'll look on the day! Treat it as a kind of dry run before the big day if you like. The confidence you'll gain from the whole experience will really show through on your wedding photos when it really counts. Oh and did I mention, you'll also get some lovely photos from the shoot to boot, so whats not to like?
3. Try and relax (just smile....)
I know you may be a little anxious on the day, but honestly, try and relax. One of the best pieces of advice I can give for anyone on their wedding day is just try and enjoy the experience and have fun. It'll all go past in a flash, trust me. Don't get caught up in every little detail of the wedding, let others take the strain! You don't want all your wedding photos to show you looking anxious and tense do you? One way to help you relax and let go, is to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and just smile. Not a forced, face aching grin, but a natural, let your face relax type of smile. Smile when you walk down the isle, during the vows, even laugh a little to relieve the tension. If you smile, you'll make everyone else smile too. If there's one thing to try and remember throughout the day, it's to have fun. Your entire set of wedding photos will look better for it.
4. Think outside the box (try something a bit different....)
Sometimes thinking outside the box is a great way to get amazing photos. Trust your photographer if they suggest a shot you might think is a bit barmy, they know what they're doing! When you have your bride and groom shoot after the ceremony, this is usually a good time for you or the photographer to get a bit creative and try some unique or different photo ideas. You don't want every photo of you both just smiling at the camera or held in the same old boring, done a million times pose. Try and allocate as much time as you can into the itinerary for the bride and groom photos on the day, so the shoot isn't rushed in any way. The more time you give the photographer the better the photos will be. There's nothing worse for a photographer when things are running late on the day and the planned 40 minute photo shoot is reduced down to about 10 minutes! Look up some ideas for creative photos on a site like Pinterest and don't be afraid to present them to your photographer before your wedding day as suggestions. A good photographer will have plenty of creative ideas of their own but should also be open to yours too.
5. Don't have too many family and friend formals (keep it down....)
Back in your parent's day, a typical wedding album consisted of mostly posed group shots in a million and one different configurations and quite a few embarrassing hairdos too! Every photo in the album had one thing in common, the bride and groom where in each one! Imagine giving your wedding photographer a list of formal photos you require with 30 different groups to shoot. Thats a lot of standing around waiting and a tonne of smiling for you to do. You'll get face cramp after the first 40 minutes and by the 20th photo your patience will be wearing thin and it'll show in the photos.
Of course you'll want some family/group shots captured and your photographer will be more than happy to do these for you, but try and keep it down to no more than 12 or so. It'll give you and your guests more time to do important things on the day, such as eating, chatting, drinking, partying and having fun!