Today, I wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve found will be helpful to make your wedding photos really shine – showing the best details of your day.
I’ve had good wedding experiences where things went really well, all going according to plan, and I’ve had bad, where things went so poorly I wasn’t sure I could recover (not due to anyone’s fault in particular) yet by some miracle came through by the skin of my teeth with the photos I needed. Let’s try and make sure your wedding is the first.
So first, let’s talk timeline.
Timelines let your crew know where to be at what times
I LOVE timelines. They tell me what time and order things will be. The reality is, things never end up happening at the right times, but they do happen in the right order. It lets me know how you want things documented and what I need to be expecting next, rather than trying to find someone who might know what the heck is going on. Whether you make one, the DJ makes one, or you ask your photographer to make one, HAVE ONE. It’s SO helpful to have a schedule to follow.
P.S. Don’t expect your photographer to consult it all day long, we really don’t have time to carry around and look at a piece of paper every 5 minutes to make sure we’re doing everything exactly right, we will just glance at it when we don’t know where to be or what is going on next.
Next up, details!
Details are some of the most important images from your day
Now, I think a lot of people would argue differently, but to me, your personality is in the littlest details. They show who you are, the style you love, and let’s be honest, you spent a ton of time (and money) figuring them out. Why would you not want those beautifully documented?
My best suggestion for detail shots is to have all your little things together in one place, ready to go for your photographer. If they’re not, usually when it’s time to do details, you’re in the middle of getting hair or makeup done and we have to bother you to find them. Then you direct one of your bridesmaids to get such and such thing out of your bag, they can’t find it, you have to get up to dig through and find them, etc. Then we have to go find the rings from a groomsman (whom we don’t know one from another) or Aunt Sally (whom we also don’t know) because she brought them in the first place.
Keep your shoes, jewelry, perfume, garter, rings (including groom’s), dress, veil, an invitation suite (these are GREAT for ring shots, so try to bring one if you can!), etc in the same place. EVEN BETTER, have all the little things (anything that isn’t the dress/veil) in a baggy or box ready for us to grab and go. That will save so much time and effort, it makes taking those detail shots a breeze.
Getting ready photos
These are the candid photos everyone wants and loves so much of you and your crew hanging out before you become a Mrs. (or Mr.)
We all love these beautifully candid images of you and your girls (or guys) getting ready and having fun before the big moment. Obviously these aren’t images that are posed, and I have no intention to tell you to pose, I love just sitting back and capturing little moments as you share jokes and memories between one another. What I do have to say though, is PLEASE clean up your trash. The day is so fun, you get to dress up together, have a few drinks, eat you some yummy snacks….and then leave trash all over the room.
As a photographer, obviously photoshop is a good friend of mine, BUT I’m not a wizard and that trash doesn’t disappear from the room on its own. We all want clutter free photos, but that is really hard to get when there are water bottles, wine bottles, cups of coffee, papers, bags, etc spread from one end of the room to the next. That is one of the reasons it takes SO long to get your wedding photos back from your photographer. We spend HOURS cleaning up photos that could have been cleaned up in 30 seconds in real life. Sometimes we CAN’T clean up the trash.
Keep the trash to a minimum, all clutter/bags in one corner or closet, and all will be well.
Time for that ceremony talk
The time has come for the walk down the aisle and you couldn’t be more ready
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. The time to become a Mr. & Mrs., two people who share one life. It’s the happiest moment of your life, so smile! Smile as you walk down the aisle. Smile as your friend comes to take their vow to the one they love. Smile as your bride comes toward you, ready to pledge her love to you. SMILE!
You would think this was an obvious one, but sometimes you get so caught up thinking about how you’re walking, where you need to stand, the timing of everything, that you LITERALLY FORGET TO SMILE. All too often, I have to remind bridesmaids and groomsmen to smile. Crazy, huh? Don’t overthink it. Just feel those feelings of joy and give all the smiles.
Those portraits. The ones where you have to look at the camera. You know what I’m talking about
Just look at the camera, dang it!
Whether it be bridal party photos, family photos, or even bride/groom photos, ALWAYS look at the (main) photographer. It doesn’t matter if someone has their phone out and wants to get their own shot of your photographer’s pose, look at the photographer. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to be culling through a wedding and ONE person is NEVER looking at the camera in any of the shots. To be honest, it makes us photographer’s look bad. Like we just threw that photo in the gallery without checking to make sure everyone was looking at the camera. Here’s the thing, we did check. We didn’t find. I had one wedding where I took several poses of the bridal party and one person in particular looked at me in TWO of the 100 shots I took. I cannot fix that, especially if they’re not looking at me more than once in the same pose. PLEASE look at the photographer, not at Uncle Bob’s iPad.
Speaking of phones…
This is a huge day for your daughter, son, brother, sister, friend – Please be in the moment, put your phone away
You have spent a lot of time and money on your day, you want guests to see it with their eyes, not through their phone. Please ask them to unplug for your wedding, keeping their phones in their pockets or purses. I’m not saying you can’t take photos at all the whole day, but when it’s important, please just put it down and enjoy the moment as it is. It’s my job to capture those big moments to look back on later, it’s your job to support the bride and groom as they vow to love one another for better or worse. As with the trash in the getting ready photos, I can’t always edit phones out of the image and make it look natural. Definitely can’t do that with an iPad. Leave those at home.
And with that, I am done
This seems like a lot, and I’m sure there are more tips out there, but these are all small things that can really change how your photos turn out. I promise each of these tips are SO helpful to make sure you have the best images we can possibly give you! We want you to have amazing magazine worthy images every time, and these are ways you can make that happen! Until next time, friends.
— Lauren B.