The big day is here! Your photos are the only thing that’s going to last after the wedding, so let’s do everything we can to make sure they’re the best they can be! Here are some tips.
1. Choose the Right Photographer
Choose a photographer who you feel comfortable with, whose work inspires confidence, and whose style matches what you are looking for.
2. Send Your Draft Timeline to the Photographers
Wedding planners and coordinators usually build the timeline based on the guests, not based on the photographers. We always ask the review the timeline before it is finalized to make sure everything is scheduled to give us plenty of time for great photos and the schedule is optimized for the most beautiful lighting. Getting your photographers’ input on the timeline early on in the process will help ensure you get the best photos on your wedding day.
3. Plan Plenty of Time for Portraits
If you had an engagement session, you probably spent 60-90 minutes getting photos taken of you and your partner in nice versions of street clothes. Now you’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on your wedding day attire, and you’ve only slotted 10 minutes for photos…does that make any sense? When planning your timeline, be sure to include at least 30 minutes for just portraits of the two of you. Those are the images you will want to print, frame, and display at your home. And those are the images your kids and grandkids will cherish as family heirlooms. (Sorry, your kids won’t give two shakes of a lamb’s tail about your centerpieces.) To not give yourself ample time on the big day for photos of the two of you is doing yourself a disservice. We always try to carve out as much time as possible for portraits, usually right before sunset, to make sure our couples get plenty of great options.
4. Backup Plans
No one wants rain on their wedding day. But please have a decent plan ready just in case. Praying for dry weather is not a good backup plan.
5. Keep it Clean, Bridesmaids!
Getting ready photos are a favorite of photographers and brides alike. To make sure you get the best getting ready photos possible you should do a couple things. First, limit the number of girls who are getting ready in the same spot as you. While you should probably have all of your bridesmaids getting ready in the same spot, try to avoid having your aunt, grandma, nieces, nephews, non-bridal party friends, coworkers, neighbors, that guy from the coffee shop, etc. hanging out in your bridal room while you are trying to get ready. Encourage everyone who is not in the bridal party to show up to the wedding already ready, and keep them out of the bridal room if at all possible. Stress increases exponentially depending on how many people are in the bridal room, so keep it to a minimum.
Second, don’t let the bridal room become an explosion of plastic bags, tennis shoes, and half-eaten sandwiches. For the best getting ready photos, the getting ready room should be as empty and open as possible. We encourage all of our brides to politely ask their bridesmaids to clean up after themselves while they are getting ready, knowing that photographers will be taking photos in that room. We don’t want plastic dry cleaning bags hanging in the background. Having a tidy getting ready room makes photos a lot prettier!
6. Ignore the Camera
As photographers who focus on capturing genuine expressions and “candid” moments, I’ll tell you what one of the worst moments is while photographing a wedding. Say the bride’s 6 year old nephew is all dressed up, looking adorable, and dancing with the flower girl. They are too cute, it’s a wonderful moment, and I’m all ready to capture it. These are the moments candid wedding photographers live for! So I check my settings, point the camera at them, and the moment changes. Suddenly, realizing they have a camera pointed at them, they do what they have been taught to do from as early as they can remember: they stop doing what they’re doing, they stare at the camera and give me the biggest “cheesiest” grin they can.
While most (not all) of us outgrow that instinctual reaction to seeing a camera, on some level we are all aware a camera is pointing at us. To that I encourage everyone to try to ignore the camera. We got your back. You don’t have to look your best, try to look cool, smile, or anything. We take thousands of photos, and we are not going to include a photo where you look bad. So just be yourself, have fun, and trust that we are only going to include the photos in which you look the most beautiful.