LOVE IS SWEET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Tips on how to get the most from your wedding photos as well as organsing a stress-free wedding day
As you will see from my photography style my approach on the day of your wedding is quite non-obstrusive except where it is required. In short, I’m not going to be little miss bossy on the day. However there are some things that I’d like to share with you to ensure you get the best out of your photos. There may be some shock horror advice in there as well as some annoying motherly advise (my daughter says I’m annoying so that’s ok!) but trust me they work.
The purpose of this is so every thing runs smoothly and is stress-free. Shooting a wedding is a mentally and a physically demanding job, so there are things that can be controlled, so I can perform my best and take awesome shots. More importantly a stress-free day allows you to focus on the things that are most important and that is to enjoy yourself and spending time with your loved ones.
- Try and choose a house/hotel room which lots of natural light and is quite spacious. If you’re getting ready in a hotel room, ask the staff not to give you a room which isn’t taken up mostly by a bed. You will need lots of room to get dressed and have your make up done etc.
- When hanging your dress, again find a spot with lots of natural light. Or even better still fit a spot outside – yes SHOCK horror but it works well.
- Have your jewellery, shoes, perfume etc. all the items you want photos of kept together in one spot so when I arrive I can ask where they are and take photos of them right away, that way I don’t have to keep asking you where each item is.
- Wherever you decide to get ready, please try your best to keep it clean. ie. free of clothes laying around, dirty dishes, water bottles etc.
- Buy yourself and your bridesmaids some nice silky dressing gowns for when you’re getting ready – they will look great in your photos and it’s a nice gift too.
- Be sure to have a hair and makeup trial at least a month before your wedding. This will give you peace of mind to know exactly how you will look and give you the opportunity to change things in advance if necessary. Make sure to bring all jewelry to the trial to see how makeup shades work with the pieces.
- Have food delivered to your getting ready location. It may be hectic, but take the time to have a bite before the wedding since it will be a while before you have the opportunity to nourish yourself during the reception.
- SENSITIVE ISSUE ALERT – Our parents can be pretty stressed on the day, probably more so than you. I’ve witnessed many times that when parents become stressed they fuss and that fussing can start to make everyone else stressed. So my advise is give them one job and one job only to focus on. Even if it’s just to help you get ready. That way they won’t be running around trying to do 100 things at once.
- Prepare an emergency bridal kit with clear nail polish, mints, a sewing kit, stain treater, Visine, safety pins, bobby pins, pain reliever and mini deodorant.
- When having your hair trial and in particular if you have a long fringe, speak to your hairdresser about trying to keep that long fringe off your face. Not only will it annoy you all day with the flicking of it but it makes it hard to get a nice photo of your beautiful face.
- Allowing 50% more time for hair and makeup than you originally anticipated alleviates the number one reason wedding schedules end up running late. Also leaving plenty of time to get into your dressed, especially if you have a difficult dress to get in to. I like to leave 10 minutes before the bride so I can set up at the ceremony. So if you’re dressed with 25-30 minutes to spare that way we can do some family photos, photos of the bridesmaids and some portraits of the bride. This is also to ensure that there isn’t a mad rush at the end.
- If your husband/wife to be has given you a gift, if you can, try and wait until I’ve arrived so I can get some great shots of you opening it.
- Try and avoid having a fake tan done, you will look orange. YES I KNOW SHOCK HORROR!! Speak to your make-up artist about achieving the right colour for your skin and something that will give you a glow rather than going the fake take route. In the photos we want to aim for nice creamy skin ones, no orange ones.
- When you are getting out of the car, walking down the aisle, getting introduced at the reception remember to keep your head up. I know it can be overwhelming when entering a room with all eyes on you and our first instinct is to want to look down, but I don’t want to take photos of the top of your head. Remember these a special moments, soak them up.
- Be daring, be different, wear some different shoes to add that bit of extra pop. Different coloured shoes or textured shoes are great. They look really cute in photos. An idea for the guys to get them some really groovy socks.
- Our lives are today are taken over by iPhones and iPads. I’m not opposed to having guests taking photos at weddings, but sometimes there are very special moments in life that happen once and you won’t get back. Consider asking your guests not to take photos when you are walking down the aisle and throughout the ceremony (in particular during the vows). They need to see you and enjoy the ceremony, not view you and the ceremony through the back of a camera. That’s my job! If this is of interest to you, let me know and we will put things in place to make this happen.
- Don’t walk too fast down the aisle , leave plenty of space between each of your bridesmaids so I can get a clear shot of each of you. The same when you are walking back down the aisle after the ceremony.
- Find out what the rules for photographs are at the ceremony location. All venues are different, some restricting the location of photographs and even the times in which they are permitted.
- Make sure you discuss a “rain plan” with your venue just in case Mother Nature doesn’t see sunshine in the cards.
- Ok annoying mother alert. I know nerves play a huge part in this, but please for yourself and your bridesmaids to try and refrain from fidgeting during the ceremony. When I say fidgeting I mean playing with your hair, playing with your dress etc. Not only is it distracting and annoying but it can be difficult to get good photos. So just stay still and enjoy what is happening around you.
- If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, try and avoid being out in the full blazing sun if possible. If you can hold the ceremony under a nice shaded tree, but be careful of that dappled light.
- Rain is understandably a concern for alot of couples on the day of their wedding. First thing – don’t stress! Photos in the rain can actually be quite nice. Naturally if it’s raining at a 90 degree angle I’m not going to make you stand in the rain. We can look at a nice bar or undercover somewhere, great photos can still be done indoors. However as my philosophy is to stay real to the day as possible, if it’s just spitting and the weather is bearable then I have umbrellas. Photos in the rain are pretty cool.
Portraits, Family photos and Reception
- Light – this is a main priority,then location. If a great location and pretty background is in full sunlight or the lighting is really dull then I’m likely not to use it . Photographing in full sunlight can cause harsh shadows and squinting. If it is a sunny day I’m more than likely to photograph you in the shade. It will look a zillion times better.
- The best time to have your portraits done is 1 hour before sunset. Check out the following site for sunset times. (www.timeanddate.com). In reality sometimes this doesn’t work for all weddings, especially during the summer months when the sun sets later and and your reception is in full-swing. If I see a killer sunset and am able to find an awesome spot to take advantage of that sunset, I will bring this up with you before your reception begins and take you out for 5-10 minutes to get some spectacular shots – It’s worth it! It’s something I play by ear and I will of course discuss this with you on the day.
- Family photos can be a tedious process if they are disorganised and if Uncle Bob keeps disappearing for a cigarette. So
- Notify each person that is required for family photos, they need to say close by and to wait for instructions from me.
- I will ask you for a family photos list. Please provide names of people so I can call them out when needed.
- Write the combination of the photos you want. Some ideas (but are not limited to) are: a generation photo eg. grandmother, mother, bride. Photos with each of your parents, parents together, both sets of parents, with siblings, with grandparents, with sibling family (if the have one incl. nieces and nephews), both sets of immediate family, any other VIP that has had a significant part in your life. Keep this list short as this is one part of the day we don’t want to drag on.
- If you’re after a videographer, let me know. I can recommend some great videographers that compliment my style, I’ve worked with them before and we work great together – this is quite important.
- Have some nice flat shoes that you can wear during your portraits and at the reception. Your feet will thank you for it.
- Don’t choose too many locations for your portrait photographs. You don’t want to be racing around in a car all day.
- If the time is right and there is some great light around, have some night portraits.
- Have a sparkler farewell.
Lastly, if it’s one thing you do take away from this and that is don’t forget to have fun, laugh, cry and be yourself!
LOVE IS SWEET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Tips on how to get great photos on your wedding day.