Dress? Check. Hair? Check. Makeup? Check. Shoes? Check.
Taking great wedding photos can become stressful with the chaos of everything else happening around you. Many people have confessed that the thought of taking wedding photos got them a little bit jittery and didn’t have a clue about what was going to happen.
For a large portion of us, our wedding day is usually the first time we work with a professional photographer and it can be intimidating. Here are a few tips on how to get the best wedding photos to help you get the best results possible.
1. Hire a Good Photographer
We know what you’re thinking…”DUH!” However, we can’t stress this point enough. Hiring a great photographer is more than just hiring your friend who takes good pictures of his car (is he going to be good at taking your wedding photos? We wouldn’t suggest it). When couples were asked “what is one thing you would change about your wedding day?”, many of them wished that they had invested more time into finding the right photographer to capture the moments from their big day.
Before you start looking for a wedding photographer, make sure you’ve decided what photography style you’d prefer. Do you want more candid shots? Or more fine art, portraiture style? Or maybe more of an artistic style with unconventional framing and tilted angles? If you’re not sure, check out our post on wedding photography styles for some ideas and inspiration.
Once that’s decided, get started by doing some digging and look through recent posts from your friends’ weddings to see if they can refer you to someone. Search for photographers in your area and look through their sample work with a critical eye.
Once you find a few candidates, sit down for an interview and make sure your personalities mesh. It is important to hire a photographer who makes you feel comfortable, but is still firm enough to carry out his vision where he sees potential.
2. Embrace the Unexpected
Accept your wedding day as it is. Whether it’s bad weather, or that bracelet you forgot to wear, or things not going as planned, embrace the moment and accept it with a positive mindset. Rarely do things go as planned in this life, and the whole fun of it is finding out what will happen next. Besides, when you look back on your wedding photos you’ll have long forgotten about that one necklace you wanted to wear so badly.
Keeping an open mind will allow the spontaneity and energy to flow and result in amazing photos.
3. Include Your Photographers on the Guest List
It’s crazy how this one small tip can save you so much time and headache. Putting your photographers on the guest list will do two things:
1)It’ll reserve a seat for them at the ceremony.
2)It’ll ensure that they have a meal to eat.
Having a seat reserved for the photographer will allow for them to always be close to you and get those beautiful shots that you see in magazines. As for the meal, photographers are humans too and get grumpy when they’re hungry. Instead of scarfing down a cold sandwich in the back somewhere and missing out on important speeches and moments, give them a hot meal so that they’re present at all times and have the energy to take photographs for the rest of the night.
4. Take Your Photographer for a Ride
Some of the most intimate and candid photos can be shot in the car on the way to the reception, or in the limo on the way to the ceremony. Let your photographer tag along for the ride in order to capture these tender moments in all their beauty.
5. Get Your Hair and Makeup Ready
Ask your hair and makeup artists how much time it will take to get ready and tack on an extra 30 minutes on top of that to make sure you’re not in a rush. Also, decide whether you want to get ready in a room by yourself, with a few of your closest friends, or in a room full of people. Each situation will give you a different energy and you need to make sure that it puts you in the right mindset for the rest of the day.
6. Consider the Lighting
This is something that most people don’t even know they need to consider before the wedding. Think about what time your ceremony is taking place. If it’s during the evening, maybe it’s better to take some photos earlier during the day. If you’re having an indoor wedding, make sure the venue has plenty of light sources to give photos more of a warm tone. Having an event during the evening or in a dark venue can make it hard to get the right amount of lighting, and there’s only so much your photographer can do.
7. Keep Your Head Up
Sometimes couples get so nervous that they end up shuffling down the aisle with their heads down. Take a breath and lift your head up, even if you’re not smiling. A thoughtful or content look on the bride’s face is better than the top of her head!
8. Enjoy the Day
This is the biggest party of your life, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the company and appreciate the beauty of every moment. Instead of searching for the camera, chat up your friends, whisper something to your spouse, and take the time to sit down with relatives that you haven’t seen in a while. Your photographer can take care of snapping the perfect shots – not you!