A no BS, to-the-point post on straightforward things you can do to get stunning photographs on your wedding day by Elena Popa Surrey Wedding Photographer.
1. Switch ALL the lights off and get your hair and make up done near a window (and explain this to your make up artist and hairdresser so they don’t ask to switch it back on!) – two reasons for this. Firstly, yellow overhead lighting is just plain ugly and unflattering; secondly, mixing it in with other sources such as lamp or window lighting makes for a really yucky mix on your face. Natural window lighting is much kinder to your features and sculpts your face in a very flattering way. A good photographer will make this clear when they arrive at your getting ready location, but it’s always good idea to prime the hair make-up artists as soon as they arrive.
2. Get yourself and your bridesmaids matching kimonos to get ready in – this eliminates the clutter factor brought in by different colour and pattern outfits and makes for harmonious visuals. Plus it’s a great little gift to your bridesmaids!
3. Have a designated bridesmaid to keep mess in check – you don’t want that plate with leftover food from earlier starring in your pics!
4. Gather all your items to be photographed (dress, shoes, accessories) and put them in one place before the photographer arrives. This will save your photographer time and ultimately give you more coverage of the action happening around you.
5. Ask your officiant what the regulations are regarding photography during the ceremony. Some venues can be really strict – especially churches, it is worth finding this out before you book to avoid not being able to photograph your first kiss!
6. Consider asking your guests to put away their phones and tablets (yes, they bring those too) and cameras away during your ceremony. This is a really intimate moment and your guests should be feeling privileged to have been invited to take part in it. They should savour every moment of it in without unnecessarily filtering it through tiny screens and truly be a part of the day, making memories with you. Just imagine your kids looking at the forest of iphones surrounding you walking down the aisle when they ask to see your wedding photos years from now. I recommend you ask the officiant to convey the message before the ceremony starts.
7. If you’re keen on family portraits, it’s honestly best to try and keep them to a minimum – I recommend no more than 6 to 8 groupings. As a wedding photographer who prefers hiding in the bushes to capture your guests in their most natural state, I believe posing for portraits for longer than 20 minutes is a waste of time and can make you and your guests frustrated and feeling like they’re missing out on the party. To speed up the process make sure you send your photographer a list of these groupings before the wedding day so that they can get familiarised with names. Also give a copy to a member of the bridal party with a good set of lungs – helps to round up people like stray uncle Bob. Plus, less time spent on formals, more time to party!
8. Try to get used to the idea of being photographed before the day arrives, so you feel and look yourself in front of the camera. Things that aid to ease the awkwardness: meeting your photographer for a coffee a few weeks before the event – helps if both bride and groom attend. After all your photographer will be with you for most of the day, getting to know them just that little bit will help to create a stronger emotional connection with them; this will ultimately lead to you feeling a hell of a lot more comfortable around them and their camera on the wedding day. If your budget allows, consider booking an engagement shoot with them – this way you can find out what works for you before the big day arrives. It’s also a good idea to let your photographer know you’re not comfortable in front of the camera in advance, they might have a few tricks up their sleeve to help you out.
9. On the day, make sure to schedule in a little bit of time for couple’s shoot as well. The best light for portraits happens just before and immediately after sunset – take 20 minutes around that time to escape the hustle and bustle of the party and enjoy some more relaxed and quiet time with your new husband/wife. Bonus tip – Your photos will look amazing if your mind is set on enjoying this session!
10. Make sure to send your photographer the schedule of the day so that they are aware of where they need to be at what time. Don’t have a schedule yet and aren’t sure how to go about making one? Ask your photographer to help – they are super knowledgeable and will be happy to lend a helping hand!
11. Make sure you tell your photographer when significant moments are about to happen, such as tossing of the bouquet or first dance – especially if you missed these on the schedule. If you’re about to put on some crazy moves on the dance floor, let your photographer know so that they’re ready for action!
12. What kind of pictures do you identify with the most? Do a little bit of research before you book, you’ll be happy for it later. What kind of photography do you think resonates with who you and your fiancé are? Are you into colourful, bright imagery? Traditional or candid? Natural or posed? Do you prefer moody subdued colours? If you’re getting married on the beach or near a cliff edge, does your photographer have prior experience in those kind of conditions? A good way of determining what you like if you’re unsure, is to browse through your Pinterest boards. A trend will soon start to emerge which links most of your pinned pictures and you’ll be able to tell which direction you’d like to go with the style of your photography. When you invest a good chunk of your paycheck in wedding photography it is really worth taking some time to reflect before you book.
13. Do you think you and your photographer will have a good time together – do they like similar things to you? If you’re both dog people and enjoy long walks by the beach, you’re likely to have good chemistry on the day and this will definitely show in your photos.
14. If you’re worried about the weather, there really is no reason to. If it rains don’t let it put you off. Make sure you have a couple of clear umbrellas and follow your photographer off the beaten track for that magical woodland photo session. Cloudy days are actually fantastic for outdoor photography, as the clouds act as a massive lightbox that filter sunlight evenly on your features. So if the sun don’t shine on your big day, there’s no reason to be sad about it.
15. Trust the photographer. You hired a pro, you know they’re the right person, you get along, the weather is irrelevant, the lamps are off and you and your maids are looking amazing. So it’s likely that things will go pretty darn good from then onwards. So just go with it, don’t overthink it, and have fun!
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Want to book me for your wedding? I’d be real excited to hear from you – get in touch here so we can get cracking!