| WEDDING PLANNING GUIDE - 5 | GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

How to get the most out of your wedding photography

This week I'm tackling exactly how to get the best, most wonderful, incredible wedding photographs possible. Hopefully you’ve read my previous posts on 'How to choose a wedding photographer' and you've invested in having a professional, but here are a few more tips to help you get the best out of your wedding photographs.

 

Think about the timings

Working out a timeline for your wedding day can be crucial to make sure you fit everything in that you want photography-wise. Next week my guide is covering how to design an Ideal Wedding Timeline so pop back for that!

Think about the time of day you’d like to have couple photos – are you after the golden hour glow? Or maybe the midnight blue sky you get just after sunset? Plan to have some time just the two of you and your photographer at that point then, even if it means moving dessert. If you want sparklers or fireworks, bear in mind these only really work when it’s actually dark. So if you’re planning on a mid-summer wedding that won’t be until 10.30pm at least, at which point your photographer might have gone home. Also think about how long the reception is if having candid photos of your guests is important to you. Quite often the reception can go very quickly especially if you have couple photographs and formals in there too. Make sure there’s enough time to capture some of the funny spontaneous moments among your guests too! 

Look for the light

The number one important thing with photography is the light. Think about where you’ll stand during the ceremony, where you’ll get ready in the morning and where the top table will be for the speeches. Always get as much natural light as possible and avoid bright coloured lights during the day, that are guaranteed to turn your skin a ghastly shade of pink/blue/purple.

Plan your group photos

If you want group photos (the formal friends & family ones) then make sure you know what you want before the day, so you don’t have to think of your feet and take up time deciding who to get. A good photographer will get them done quickly and efficiently so you can get on with having fun.

Get a second shooter

I recommend getting a second shooter to my couples if the wedding is big (100+guests) or if they specifically want coverage of both of them getting ready in the morning, or two angles during the ceremony. The shot above was captured by my second shooter when I was busy with the bride, and I love seeing the candid moments from the grooms in the morning too. Although I shoot 70% of my weddings by myself, I think second shooters can be worth their weight in gold and I always love shooting with someone else alongside me. 

Feed them

Photographers are people too and work best with a full belly of a hot meal.  It’s often not expected but extremely appreciated when there’s something for us to munch on while you’re having your food too. Sometimes a Sainsbury's sandwich doesn't quite cut it, and often venues have rules about outside food being brought in and eaten. 

Have an engagement shoot

You can read more about this in a later post, but I find that couples who have an engagement shoot before hand are much more relaxed on the day. It helps squash any nerves they have about being in front of the camera and makes them much more comfortable around me. happy couple = lots of smiling = natural photos.

Prepare the confetti shot

All those lovely confetti photos you see on the internet? They’re nearly all organised & staged. Without direction guests tend to go a bit mad with throwing the petals so plan when you want it, where you want it and ask you photographer to organise people in the best way so everyone does it at the same time. 

Trust them

Hopefully you’ve picked your photographer because you love their style and photos – so trust them. If they say the light is gorgeous and you should go outside right now – do it! Have fun with them, laugh, relax and enjoy the photos. When you enjoy yourself you’ll be looking your happiest so shrug off the self-consciousness and smile. 

Communicate

Photographers aren’t mind readers so make sure you tell them about surprises or things you’d like to do like a “First Look”. Tell them about important things they might not know about – e.g. an heirloom necklace you want a photo of. I send out a questionnaire couples to fill out before hand to jog their memory about an important item, moment or person to make sure I get a photo of it. 

 

Getting the best out of your photos is mostly down to the relationship you have with your photographer above everything else, so invest in this by meeting them before the wedding and following them on social media in the run up and establishing a rapport with them before the day.