These tips are aimed to give you, the bride & groom a greater understanding of what should be prioritised when it comes to your wedding photography. For many of you it may be the first time you have really thought about your wedding photography. Here are my 5 personal tips for getting the best from your wedding photographs.
1. LEAVE ENOUGH TIME
“We are all really relaxed here, is this the most relaxed house you have ever been to?” Car has arrived and bridesmaids aren’t in their dresses. Dad can’t get his flower on, “which side does it go on?” This is a notorious scenario. Never think you have too much time. By all means DO NOT PANIC, but better to be ready a little early, than late. From a photography point of view, it is important that we photographers have at least 15 minutes with your family and bridesmaids before you leave your house.
Group shots: I really advise to make all your family aware when the family photographs will be taken. This should be talked through with your photographer prior to your wedding day. You will not have time to round up your family and your photographer won't know who everyone is on the day. This is why it is important that they are aware of what is happening and ideally someone helpful who can round them all up!
Bride and groom portraits: If you think about your wedding album, the images taken of you the bride and groom will take up 90% of the album. Priority should be to allocate 30-45 mins with your photographer, bride and groom only. This is where we can be creative, wander and get those special shots that after all, you booked your photographer for!
2. BOOK A DECENT PHOTOGRAPHER
This is the most obvious one, but well worth a mention. You have now booked your venue, the date is set and the search is on. You may go with the photographer that did your sister / friend / cousin's wedding. You may have your heart set on a photographer, who's images you have seen from other weddings. All of these are perfectly good ways to find the photographer that suits you. A good tip is to visit the photographer’s website and look through a few real weddings, from the beginning to the end. There are so many different styles of photography today, from the traditional, to the documentary style, to a bit of both style.
How do you know who’s good and who’s not? How much should you spend? Will your friend who is great at taking photos of landscapes be good at shooting your wedding? (maybe, but maybe not…) Do a little research and make a short list of photographers you like. I understand every couple has varying budgets for photography and that’s understandable. Some people are just happy to have a few photos of the day and that’s ok! As photographers, we understand one of the first things a bride & groom want to know is how much is it going to cost. A full-time professional photographer has a limit to the number of weddings they can cover in a year and depending on their approach some will book 20-30 weddings per year and some will aim to book 50-70 weddings in a year. A rough guide on what you would expect to pay for a wedding photographer is no less than £1000. After all, other than the rings, it is the only tangible item you will have forever from your wedding.
3. TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Trust your photographer. They understand that you want to be sure they fully complete the task of shooting your wedding. The photographer has been shooting weddings for years and will generally know how to get the best out of each and every situation. After all, their role is to be creative, so no wedding should be the same.
4. THE MORNING OF THE WEDDING
I completely understand the night before your wedding, the last thing you think is have we prepared a room for the photographer to take photographs in. I recommend you have a room (a bedroom if possible) that is bright and airy, with neutral walls and plain white/neutral coloured duvet, or a plain duvet throw on the bed. Personally I do not mind re-arranging furniture etc to get the best set up for your photos.
5. THINK ABOUT THE LIGHT
I am writing this mid-November and as we know in Ireland the light drops rapidly from 4pm on wards. If you want your family photographed outdoors, this has to be done before you arrive at the reception venue. I recommend photographing your family right after the service, for many reasons. Firstly, they are all looking and feeling their best (not so good shooting family photographs straight after the meal…..for example) Secondly, they are all there gathered and can be easily captured! Having said that, I would recommend having a assertive friend or family member, who can break up very important conversations between your Dad and an old friend. Finally, its nice to have it complete, for the photographer and your family. Now your photographer will have the entire day to focus on you both!
For a winter wedding, I recommend booking your wedding service as early as possible. This simply gives the photographer more time to photograph while daylight is still available. Wedding photography in Ireland gives such a variety of seasons and the colours that go with this! We are very luck and if it ever rains on your day don't worry we can always improvise! (see image below)
This list of tips and advice could go on and on. This post was based on my personal tips & suggestions from my own experience. One rule doesn't fit all. To conclude, like everything in life, over thinking can make things more stressful than they actually are. Your day will no doubt run smoothly and a good photographer will ensure to guide you through your day with ease.
Thank you for reading and if you feel these tips could help anyone who has an upcoming wedding or is still organising, give it a share! Also if there is any other wedding photography advice you would like to receive, just leave a message in the comments.
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