Every photographer is different. Once you choose the artist who will be photographing your day, the number one thing you can do to get the best out of them is *trust them.* And you must remember that the photographer you have chosen has their own style, dont expect them to be something else, if you want something else choose a photographer that suits the style you are after.
But, here is one photographers personal guide to what helps create the right environment for FABULOUS wedding photos. It goes without saying that some wedding days are easier to shoot and achieve magnificent results than others. Some of those reasons are outlined below. It is the professionals job to create professional results, no matter what the shooting conditions but remember they can only shoot what is already there.
If you’re unsure ask *your* photographer. What you read here is opinion, not gospel truth, also some of the tips may seem blunt but trust me it will make your life easier:
- Light is EVERYTHING when it comes to photography. Don’t get ready in a house with no natural light. Choose a spacious well lit room or better yet, a fabulous hotel room. It will make such a difference to your photos
- Natural light coming from open windows or doorways creates pretty soft FLATTERING light. Think lots and lots of soft pretty natural light. Your skin will look better, your details will look better, *everything* looks better in soft pretty natural light.
- Don’t hang your dress in some dark spare room with mess, boxes and crap everywhere. Before the photographer arrives, hang it somewhere dramatic with lots of natural light. Maybe hang it from a ceiling hook, ceiling fan or a light fitting or a pretty doorway. If you want to see your photographer pass out with excitement, be brave and hang it from a tree in the garden.
- Have all your details — like perfume, earrings, garter, shoes, brooches etc etc somewhere so the photographer can find them easily without disturbing you each time for a new item. Most likely, the photographer will want to start the coverage by shooting details. make it easy for them to find everything
- Your bridesmaids (and mother of the bride) might be really protective of you and get frantic about getting your dress dirty. Tell them to trust the photographer. Fussing bridesmaids can be annoying. Yes, your long white dress will probably get a little dirty during the day. You only wear it ONCE, so make it count.
- A co-operative bridal party makes the day flow SO much better than a bridal party who doesn’t want to co-operate with the photographer. Ask them to be courteous to the professional who is putting their heart and soul into creating beautiful images for you. Bridesmaids worrying about how they look the whole time are annoying and require more photoshopping, maybe remind them that its your day not theirs.
- Reconsider having a fake tan. Orange, orange, orange.
- Veils are wonderful “props.” Consider having a more daring veil for the photo session. Less traditional and more “out there.”
- Think about props. They don’t have to be cheesy. A vintage bike, unique socks for the guys, bow-ties, braces, wellington boots, basket of flowers, cupcakes, vintage books if you love reading, chairs in the middle of a field – anything that is really you and portrays your personal style.
- Think about being unique. Don’t do what your friends did, or what people tell you to. It really is true when they say, “It’s your day!”
- Your priest may hate photographers . Your photographer may not be able to choose where they can stand in a church. Make sure you let your photographer know before hand if there are any restrictions, perhaps get the priest/celebrant to contact your photographer before the day to discuss any requirements.
- Dappled light (uneven light coming through trees) can create some very dodgy looking photographs with a mottled effect. There are ways of means of getting around this but do consider the lighting at your ceremony. Ask your celebrant to place you out of dappled / mottled light.
- Don’t feel you have to smile in every image as soon as you spot the photographer. You don’t! Be yourself!
- Wear shoes or accessories in colours other than white! Most photographers LOVE shoes (I sure do).
- Some photographers prefer a lot of time for the photo session. Other photographers like less time — it’s all about STYLE and APPROACH and every photographer is different and there is no right or wrong way. Ask your photographer how much time they prefer in order to achieve their photographic style.
- Ask your photographer to recommend a videographer that matches their shooting style. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Also make sure you let your photographer know if there are any other professionals like videographers they will be working along side of.
- If you are OUTSIDE your hair might be windblown. Not a bad thing, just be aware of it.
- Think about having a pretty pair of flat shoes for the location session (or the whole day if it’s your style). Your feet will thank you.
- In terms of locations think (in my opinion) quality over quantity. Do you really want to spend the majority of your wedding day in the back of a car?
- Do your first dance as soon as you enter your reception. Don’t sit down, just start dancing! Guests love it and your photographer is usually still there to capture it.
- Get your DJ to really get everyone in the party mood before you enter your reception. I have seen brilliant entrances and super quiet ones. The great ones are usually where the DJ has pumped up the audience.
- Choose a dress that suits and flatters your body type. Not one that makes you feel self-conscious and shows off areas of your body that you feel embarrassed of. If it’s a strapless dress, consider a bolero or a shrug. Add a sash in a bold colour. Select a dress that flatters your figure and makes you feel comfortable inside yourself. Consider a gown in a colour other than white.
- If you choose the beach as a location it might be windy / sandy / hot and uncomfortable. It might be beautiful but it might be “the worst location in the world.” Ask your photographer and go by the weather conditions and light on the day. Sounds obvious, but if it’s hot and windy and you’re uncomfortable, this will affect your images. Also be adventures some of the best images ive captured have been of bridal parties not afraid to hitch up their dresses.
- Don’t give your parents too many responsibilities on the day, they are the ones who will get flustered the easiest, you choose your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen for a reason so use them.
- Write a list of the family group photos that you would like after the ceremony, give a copy to your photographer and also someone who knows both sides of your families, it will make it quicker and easier on the day.