Tips for better Wedding photos
I’ve searched wide and far for as many possible tips and advice that I can possibly give my clients to ensure they receive a collection of beautiful photos. Through the years I have gained a lot of knowledge but I also came across a few other photographers inside tricks to help make beautiful photos.
Gain inspiration, but don’t copy from Pinterest. Start following wedding blogs (The Pretty Blog & Wedding Friends are South African industry leaders. Once Wed, Style Me Pretty and Magnolia Rouge are amazing international blogs to follow) and pick up style hints and find good vendors. But don’t try to recreate; stay ahead of the curve and find your own style. By the time your wedding comes around, that Pinterest idea may be a fading trend anyway.
Practise getting into your wedding dress. This might sound silly but it will save you a ton of time on the wedding day. Have your mother or one of your bridesmaids with you while practising. Keep in mind that your hair will probably already be done by now, so you need to take this into account if your dress needs to go over your head.
Think about the details- like the hanger for your dress, a nice hand mirror, bring your invitations and any other printed material you want to have photographed. Have all of your details for your wedding (shoes, veil, garter, rings, jewellery, perfume, hair accessories, etc.) all in one place (like on the table) in the hotel room so it can be easily accessible and found.
Factor in travel time, even if travel time means walking from the hotel room to the lobby. Waiting for elevator with enough space for a wedding dress, bridesmaids, and a photographer with a suitcase of equipment, can take a while. Whenever we walk from one location on the grounds to another, I factor in 15 minutes.
Lighting is everything. Abundant natural light when you’re getting ready, scheduling the time we take portraits of you and your spouse an hour before sunset, lighting during the reception… all of these things can have a vast improvement in your wedding day photography.
When choosing a hairstyle, keep in mind what the weather might be like on your big day. I’m a big fan of long locks but they might not be the best choice on a windy day. During those days, hairspray is your friend.
False lashes looks amazing and I encourage my brides to use them. Just make sure you are comfortable with them during your trial. Sometimes the glue is very visible and it’s very hard to remove this during post processing without it looking unnatural.
Keep your room as clean as possible. Its really hard taking beautiful minimalistic style images with a suitcase or scattered clothing in the background, try to be as neat as possible while getting ready. Something that always works is to put all the luggage in the bathroom or any another room other than where you are having your make up done. Trust me, it’s something so small but makes a huge impact on your photos!
Getting dressed takes longer than anticipated. I’m photographing it as well so I may ask you to slow down for certain parts. Ask your bridesmaids to get dressed at least 30 minutes before you. This allows them enough time to get ready but most importantly they will already be dressed for the photos of helping you into your dress.
Your dress is going to get a little dirty during the couple’s session. It’s ok: it’s on the underside. To get great shots sometimes the train has to be on the ground and we have to walk through a field (even if it’s before the ceremony). I’ll take care to keep you looking great!!
Ask your bridesmaids to stay away from your dress from the moment you step into the ceremony. Usually there is a sweet moment where you give your husband-to-be a hug when standing next to him then a overeager bridesmaid or maid-of-honour is in the background on her knees fixing your dress. This is totally unnecessary because 90% of the photos will be from the waist up, then we already lost the first hug or “moment” you guys shared.
Shot lists are unnecessary if you hire a photographer that you trust, and who’s style you love. I’ll capture everything you want without you having to write it down. Shot lists stifle creativity, and that’s what you are paying a professional photographer for. For ethical reasons I also do not recreate any photographs you have found on the internet, nor do I want to. That being said, a shot list for formal family photos is crucial for keeping organised and to our timeline.
The best confetti is rose petals or old fashioned streamers. Believe me, we had tiny white paper confetti on our wedding and the stuff gets in everywhere, and it’s hard to get it out! Especially out of stiff hair-sprayed hair! They also make better images because they are large enough to see on photos. Herbs and other small things usually disappears into the background then the whole cheerful atmosphere gets lost with it.
Grab me if you want a picture of you and someone at the reception. Because I don’t know who the guests are and I can’t know who is special to you. I’m there to photograph the things you want, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
Make sure we eat at the same time.
This way, we’ll be sure to not miss anything. It’s awkward photographing people while they eat, so I use this time to rest my feet for a few minutes and recharge my energy levels.
I know you want to see your images soon, but doing it right takes a little bit of time. You can rest assured the gallery you share with your friends and family will include only shots that are the best of the best, make you look incredible, tell the story of your day, and are of the highest quality in professional photography.