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When I talk to brides and grooms-to-be, one of their biggest pre-wedding jitters is how they’re going to look in their wedding photographs. For most of you, your wedding day is the first time you have worked with a professional photographer and what with it being a pretty important day you want to get it right. Not being shy to a camera or two, here are ten simple tips from me to you which will ensure you get the very best results possible.
Choosing the right photographer can be a minefield. How do you know who’s good and who’s not? How much is right to spend? Will your friend or Uncle Bob who’s great at taking photos of cars be good at shooting your wedding? Well we all know the true answer to that!!
Do your research. Photographers Facebook Pages are a great place to start. Look through the REAL WEDDINGS, check out the photographer’s website and make a shortlist. Pricing fluctuates massively depending on the photographer’s location, experience and what kind of coverage they offer, but as a rough guide I’d certainly never recommend someone spend under £1000 unless they are getting a Image Package without an Album.
Yes, you can luck out by getting an enthusiastic and super talented newbie, but finding someone like that is certainly the exception and not the rule. The average in the UK for a wedding photographer is somewhere between £1200 – £2500. Spend as much as you possibly can to get the very best photographer. You’ll only regret it if you don’t. The number one thing people tell me again and again when we speak about what we’d do differently if we were to get married now is that they wish they’d prioritised the photography and videography more.
They are a great way to not only practice in front of the camera but to get to know us before the wedding day. Check out the engagement section for special offers on Engagement Shoots by Emd Media.
This is another thing that couples tend to not consider (or not even know they have to consider) but be aware that the light changes throughout the day and different light will result in very different photographs.
For example, if you’re having a winter wedding it will likely start to get dark around 3.30/4pm, therefore you really need to have your ceremony early in the day to give us a fighting chance to get some great portraits and your group shots done before the light starts to fade.
When looking at venues think about the light in each room. Is the bedroom you’re getting ready in small, pokey and cramped? Are the ceremony room walls covered in dark wood with small windows? Remember, photography is essentially painting with light and if there isn’t any, there’s only so much your photographer can do without using a flash.
Your ceremony photographs will undoubtedly be some of the most important shots of the day. Most couples I speak to after their wedding say they were surprised just how much they cherished this part too. It also flies by in a nervous blur and you’ll likely not remember a whole lot about it, so these photos are doubly important. However a lot of vicars, priests and registrars won’t allow ceremony photography, or will insist that the photographer stands at the back of the room the whole time.
As a photographer this is gutting to hear the morning of the wedding so if you really value these images, make sure you speak to whoever is officiating your ceremony to find out if there are any limitations beforehand. Another thing to consider is to politely ask your guests to not take photos during the ceremony (you can do so in the order of service). Guests holding up mobile phones as you walk down the aisle or flashes going off throughout the vows are only going to be distracting for you and other guests (and/or ruin the professional shots).
You want to look your best on your wedding day and a professional make up artist will help you do that. Don’t go mad on the spray tan (the oompa loompa look is never attractive) and don’t try any new remedies that could likely cause a reaction or break out in the run up. Similarly, if you’re having a pre-wedding pamper session like a facial, do it at least a week before the big day. Post-facial spots are never fun. Make sure you have powder and lipstick in your bag (or give it to a bridesmaid) for little touch ups throughout the day too.
Your photographer is not just there to snap away aimlessly. Wedding photographers are a super creative bunch so be open to their ideas and again, trust them! For your portraits, listen to their ideas and don’t be afraid to walk off that beaten path a little bit. These often result in the most amazing photographs! Set aside as much time as possible for this part of the day. The more time we have, the better the results will be.
Getting ready: “Having about an hour and a half with the bride before the ceremony would give us enough time to photograph all the details of the dress, shoes, jewellery etc as well as take some informal photos of everyone getting ready.
Group shots: “Allow 10 minutes per group shot. Taking the shot doesn’t take that long but you would be surprised how time can go by… and also, people can vanish for ages even if they KNOW they will be needed for photos. Ten minutes each means that they can actually have some time to spend with guests and we have a fighting chance of getting some candid photos of this time too.”
Bride and groom portraits: “For a couple shoot I like to have at least half an hour. A good tip is that there is usually a bit of down time between dinner and the evening reception too. This is a good time to get a few extra photos and the light is usually yummy as the sun is starting to set. The couple have often had some wine and are a lot more relaxed by this point too!” So have a think about all the above and plan it into your day as you see fit.