Wedding Day Photography Tips & Tricks
Getting the Most From Your Wedding Photography
Wedding Day Photography Tips & Tricks
Ideas we’ve learned along the way to help you get the very best results from wedding photography on the biggest day of your life.
Engagement shoots can be a fun addition to your wedding package. During this two hour shoot you can begin to get comfortable with each other, myself and being in front of the camera. At this session you have the opportunity of capturing lovely photos of you two together in a different location and wearing something other than wedding attire. For the bride, this is the ideal time to schedule your makeup trial to get an idea of how the final product will look on your wedding day.
Hair and Makeup
To ensure great photos of your makeup application, have your artist position you in front of a natural light source for the fresh and flattering light. The natural lighting will also allow for even and gorgeous makeup coverage. Ask for an estimate of how long the entire process with take and then add an extra thirty minutes just in case things run over.
The pre-wedding bridal festivities are wonderful moments to capture not only between the bride and her family, but also close girlfriends. My goal is to capture the natural moments and any intimate details. This includes makeup application, hair configuration, champagne toasting and finally putting on the most important dress of your life! If the groom is prepping at the same venue as the bride, I split my time between each, capturing specific moments determined beforehand by the couple. I highly recommend a second photographer if the groom and groomsmen are getting ready offsite and the moments don’t want to be missed. The photographer dedicated to the groomsmen can also travel to the pub for lunch and capture those unforgettable moments of male camaraderie. I aim to leave twenty minutes before the bridal party to capture the groom and guests arriving at the ceremony venue. This ensures that if I am photographing alone I have ample time to park, capture those moments and be ready for the bride’s arrival.
If the venue has limited parking, I recommend that I accompany the bridal party or a family member who leave a little early to ensure there are no gaps in memories. My focus is capturing the experience of the day and would not want to risk any moments due to lack of parking.
Send your photographer a wedding invitation
Sending out an invitation may seem silly, but it ensures that I have all the same specifics as your guests. Having the invitation on hand also allows me to photograph it in advance or have it available as a prop in the days’ photographs.
The Wedding Breakfast
Seating me amongst your guests will mean I will never miss a moment even whilst people are enjoying your lovely food choices. If I am seated in another room it can mean that I am the last to receive a meal or go without if the speeches are scheduled immediately following dessert.
Capturing those intimate moments post ceremony are very important to couples. If you would like images of just the two of you, I recommend scheduling at least thirty minutes or more into your day. My aim is to keep these images as natural as possible, with very gentle direction from me. The goal is for me to simply be looking on and capturing the gentle interaction and loving smiles between the two of you. My best recommendation on time of day would be immediately following the ceremony, while guests are traveling to the next venue. You don’t want to feel as if you are missing interacting with your guests and tucking into canapés. Another beautiful time to capture the couple’s portrait is fifteen minutes prior to sitting down with your guests at the wedding breakfast. Usually the sun is setting at this time and we can really make the most of the beautiful golden light whilst guests are finding their places and waiting for your entrance.
A Photo for the Mantle
As much as I love the creative portraits I always like to take an image of the more traditional smiling shot to camera. These images will find their way onto your parents or grandparents mantelpiece and will last for many years to come.
Family Group Shots
I recommend any group shots to be taken immediately following the ceremony before everyone heads to the next venue and before the couple photos. Place the responsibility of rounding everyone up in the hands of an usher or someone who is familiar with your families. In terms of timing, allow at least five minutes per photo. Keeping these photos to a minimum will ensure that you will return to the celebrations as soon as possible. A solid recommendation is to schedule pictures with friends at the reception venue. This will not only provide a change in scenery but also break up the time spent standing in line. 8-10 Group photos is ideal number.
When deciding on a formal religious ceremony, keep in mind that many churches do not allow photography during the vow or ring exchange portions. On many occasions I have been asked to stay towards the back of the church, placed on the balcony or to remain within one area for the entirety of the ceremony. Whilst this can place a damper on my creativity, I will always respect the decision of the church. However, if your church is relaxed in regards to photography, I will be as discreet and respectful as possible. I achieve this level of discretion by limiting myself from moving around so as not to cause any distraction to your guests or yourselves. I refrain from the use of flash and will depress the shutter sparingly. If you would like images from both the front and back of the ceremony, I would highly advise to enlist a second photographer to ensure all areas are captured as envisioned.
Most registrars are pretty relaxed when it comes to photos during the ceremony, but it doesn’t hurt to verify. I have had a handful of occasions where photos could not be taken at certain points and this knowledge can aid in my plan for capturing the ceremony. In most cases they will ask me to refrain from taking pictures of the signing of the register until the end, when they will place a “dummy” book out where they are happy for photos to be taken.
If you are planning to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony, it’s always best to consider the time of day. Generally, two to three hours before sunset is the ideal time, as we can avoid harsh shadows, squinted eyes, and have an even and ideal natural light. If this time is simply not possible then think about providing a covered area to produce shade from any harsh light.
Creating the perfect atmosphere for your marquee can very exciting and the possibilities are endless to create a beautiful atmosphere for your images. Take careful consideration of uplighting placed along the walls, along with accented lanterns, fairy lights and natural candlelight. Coloured lighting can be grand, but steer clear of green as it can cast an unnatural tone on skin. Layering different lighting options can add an extra depth and sparkle to the photographs.
Outdoor Reception Lighting
To brighten those romantic dimly lit outdoor receptions, using as much atmospheric light as possible, will really make your images pop. A mixture of candles, lanterns, fairy lights, hurricane vases will all help create an interesting backdrop, texture and aid in creating contrast to the depth of the night sky.
The Dance Floor
Upon meeting with the DJ, confirm what kind of lights he/she plans on providing. Ensure that laser lighting will not be used as they can cause odd and distracting multi-coloured spots over you and your guests.
Winter Wedding Photography
The natural light in winter can be absolutely stunning and planning the ceremony around the available light is ideal in creating incredible photographic memories. Try to place the ceremony around the hours of 12-1 p.m. This will allow for plenty of natural light in the afternoon for any photos you may like to capture outdoors. Bring along a warm and snuggly stole, or blanket to keep you warm for any shots outside. For ceremonies scheduled later in the day, a First Look and a portrait session beforehand can really work well and free up your evening to spend with guests.
Rain On Your Wedding Day
The weather is never guaranteed no matter where the wedding is taking place. I always suggest having a pair of wellies to hand, and some nice umbrellas in case mother nature decides to water the plants. Rainy shots can be fun and romantic, as long as we embrace it – really creative and amazing photos are the lasting result.