How To Get The Most From Your Wedding Photography.
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
My guide for getting the best possible results from your wedding photographer...
Get to know your photographer
It is important that you get to know your photographer and that your photographer gets to know you. Your photographer will be there with you every step of the way on the day, so make it easier by getting to know each other in the lead-up to your wedding. You can set up Zoom calls, or even meet for coffee. The more your photographer understands you, the easier it will be for them to tell the story of your special day.
Another great way of spending time with your photographer is to organise a pre-wedding engagement shoot. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it lets your photographer spend time with you both and get to know you better. Secondly, if you are nervous about being in front of the camera, this is a great way of helping you to feel more relaxed, giving you an idea of what to expect on your big day.
Having an engagement shoot is also an excellent opportunity to get some amazing photos of you both to use for invitations, signing books/frames or even a great new profile picture for social media!
Communication is key
Spend time advising your photographer on every detail you have planned for your wedding day. Important information you can supply should include:
A list of any specific family/group photos you'd like.
Are there any guests with mobility restrictions? This could affect where certain photos can be set.
Are there any locations at your venue where you'd particularly like to be photographed?
Give your photographer a detailed timeline of your day. It is essential that your photographer knows where they need to be and when.
Make your photographer aware of any guests that you would like them to focus on. Be sure to point these guests out on the day.
Contact information for your other suppliers. This is very helpful when your photographer wants to coordinate events.
The more information you can give to your photographer beforehand, the easier it will be for them to plan your shots without intruding on your day.
Give it time
It is hugely important that you allow enough time for each part of your day. When considering your timeline you should try to think about how long each individual event will take. For example, starting early with your preparations will help you to relax as well as give the photographer the opportunity to capture all of the details that you have put so much effort into choosing.
Allow plenty of time after your ceremony for your photographer to organise any group shots you have requested. You'll also need time for your photographer to whisk you away from your guests to get those all-important portraits of the two of you as newlyweds.
I would suggest that you plan to have at least 1 hour 30 mins between the end of your ceremony and the start of your wedding breakfast/speeches.
Check the daylight hours for your wedding date well in advance. If your ceremony begins later in the day, it may not be possible for your photographer to organise pictures outside before the sun goes down.
Be mindful of your surroundings
When deciding on the areas you will be using on your wedding day, consider the available light and space. A light, bright and airy room will always make for better quality photographs. Choose the brightest and largest room available to you, open the curtains and put a chair by the window for your hair and makeup prep to make the most of the natural light.
It is always a good idea to try to keep your rooms uncluttered during the day. Think about keeping your excess belongings in a wardrobe or an adjoining room. A tidy room is a much easier place to get the best photos from all angles.
It's all in the preparation
A great way to be prepared for when your photographer arrives is to have all of your details at hand. Let's take bridal preparation for example. Have your dress, shoes, jewellery, perfume, flowers, all 3 rings (it is a good idea to have these all in one place) and anything else that is of importance to you easily accessible and ready for photographs.
You have spent a long time agonising over these details. Why not make the most of this opportunity, and have them all beautifully photographed to keep forever!
It takes two
It is easy to forget that your photographer cannot be in two places at once. So when you are planning your preparation locations, consider how far apart they are. Will your partner be too far away for the photographer to reasonably cover both locations at this stage of the day? If so, you may want to consider hiring a second photographer so that you have both parties covered. This service can usually be added on at a reasonable cost, just ask your photographer!
Make the most of your ceremony
The ceremony is the reason you are here, to marry the love of your life. After this, you'll be starting your happy ever after, so make the most of this part of your day!
Take your time walking down the aisle, pause at the top, take a deep breath, and enjoy this moment. Once your ceremony begins, forget about everyone else in the room, this is all about the two of you!
Many people are now opting for an "unplugged ceremony" where their guests are asked to put away their cameras and phones. Ask them to be present in the moment with you rather than watching on a screen. Trust that your photographer will be there to capture all of the emotion as it unfolds.
Make your first kiss a good one. Forget about everyone and everything else. When the time comes, kiss like nobody's watching!
Organisation is key
It is a good idea to nominate one or more of your closest guests to assist the photographer in organising your group photos. Having someone who is familiar with the guests at your wedding will make it easier to identify who is going to be in the next group shot. This organisation will save time on each photo, giving you and your closest friends and family more time to enjoy the rest of your day.
Don't stress about the dress
After spending months, if not years, dreaming about your perfect wedding dress, it is inevitable that you'd want to keep it looking immaculate. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to keep it spotlessly clean throughout the entire day. Even if you stay inside all day, you will still find that dresses pick up dust and dirt easily.
My advice is that you don't stress about the dress. Have fun, climb over that gate and run through the meadow. It'll make for fantastic photos!
Another top tip is to bring some flat, comfortable shoes with you. You can swap into these if you need to walk over uneven surfaces to get to your desired photo shoot locations.
Most couples feel a little nervous in front of a camera. You won't be the first, and certainly won't be the last to feel self-conscious. My advice is that you be brave!
This is your day. Together you have planned every detail, stressed, laughed, cried and waited. Now it's finally here so embrace each and every moment. Forget about the camera. If your photographer asks you to do something that may be slightly out of your comfort zone for the sake of an amazing picture, then let your inhibitions go. While some requests may seem a little quirky, trust that your photographer has an image in their mind that they know you'll love!
Are you looking for a Wedding Photographer in South Wales?
Take a look around my website and contact me today to discuss your plans. I will help you choose the perfect package for your special day!