Every photographer is different. Once you choose the artist who will be photographing your day, the number one thing you can do to get the best out of them is *trust them.*
But, here is one photographers personal guide to what helps create the right environment for FABULOUS wedding photos. It goes without saying that some wedding days are easier to shoot and achieve magnificent results than others. Some of those reasons are outlined below. It is the professionals job to create professional results, no matter what the shooting conditions but remember they can only shoot what is already there.
If you’re unsure ask *your* photographer. What you read here is opinion, not gospel truth.
- Light is EVERYTHING when it comes to photography. Don’t get ready in a house with no natural light. Choose a spacious well lit room or better yet, a fabulous hotel room. It will make such a difference to your photos
- Natural light coming from open windows or doorways creates pretty soft FLATTERING light. Thinks lots and lots of soft pretty natural light. Your skin will look better, your details will look better, *everything* looks better in soft pretty natural light.
- Don’t hang your dress in some dark spare room with mess, boxes and crap everywhere. Before the photographer arrives, hang it somewhere dramatic with lots of natural light. Maybe hang it from a ceiling hook, ceiling fan or a light fitting or a pretty doorway. If you want to see your photographer pass out with excitement, be brave and hang it from a tree in the garden.
- Have all your details — like perfume, earrings, garter, shoes, brooches etc etc somewhere so the photographer can find them easily without disturbing you each time for a new item. Most likely, the photographer will want to start the coverage by shooting details. make it easy for them to find everything
- Your bridesmaids might be really protective of you and get frantic about getting your dress dirty. Tell them to trust the photographer. Fussing bridesmaids can be annoying. Yes, your long white dress will probably get a little dirty during the day. You only wear it ONCE, so make it count.
- A co-operative bridal party makes the day flow SO much better than a bridal party who doesn’t want to co-operate with the photographer. Ask them to be courteous to the professional who is putting their heart and soul into creating beautiful images for you.
- Reconsider having a fake tan. Orange, orange, orange.
- Veils are wonderful “props.” Consider having a more daring veil for the photo session. Less traditional and more “out there.”
- Think about props. They don’t have to be cheesy. Bocce, bow-ties, braces, wellington boots, a bike, basket of flowers, cupcakes, vintage books if you love reading, chairs in the middle of a field – anything that is really you and portrays your personal style. (ETA: 2.5 YEARS DOWN THE TRACK AND YEAH, MAYBE THIS HAS BEEN DONE TO DEATH NOW. Leave the props at home. They were fun, now everyone has done it
- Think about being unique. Don’t do what your friends did, or what people tell you to. It really is true when they say, “It’s your day!”
- Your priest may hate photographers. Your photographer may not be able to choose where they can stand in a church.
- Dappled light (uneven light coming through trees) can create some very dodgy looking photographs with a mottled effect. So can gazebos where the backdrop with be very backlit and the foreground very dark. There are ways of means of getting around this but do consider the lighting at your ceremony. Ask your celebrant to place you out of dappled / mottled light. If you are standing in full sun, squinting in real life, you will be squinting in your images. Remember the photographer can only shoot what is there already. The BEST light for shooting an outdoor ceremony is even shade.
- Don’t feel you have to smile in every image as soon as you spot the photographer. You don’t! Be yourself. And pretty please don’t tell kids to “smile!”
- Wear shoes or accessories in colours other than white!
- Some photographers prefer a lot of time for the photo session. Other photographers (like me) like less time — it’s all about STYLE and APPROACH and every photographer is different and there is no right or wrong way. Ask your photographer how much time they prefer in order to achieve their photographic style.
- Ask your photographer to recommend a videographer that matches their shooting style. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
- If you are OUTSIDE your hair might be windblown. Not a bad thing, just be aware of it.
- Think about having a pretty pair of flat shoes for the location session (or the whole day if it’s your style). Your feet will thank you.
- In terms of locations think (in my opinion) quality over quantity. Do you really want to spend the majority of your wedding day in the back of a car?
- Do your first dance as soon as you enter your reception. Don’t sit down, just start dancing! Guests love it and your photographer is usually still there to capture it.
- Get your DJ to really get everyone in the party mood before you enter your reception. I have seen brilliant entrances and super quiet ones. The great ones are usually where the DJ has pumped up the audience.
- Choose a dress that suits and flatters your body type. Not one that makes you feel self-conscious and shows off areas of your body that you feel embarrassed of. If it’s a strapless dress, consider a bolero or a shrug. Add a sash in a bold colour. Select a dress that flatters your figure and makes you feel comfortable inside yourself. Consider a gown in a colour other than white.
- Even the fittest, skinniest supermodels GET BACK FAT WHEN THEY WEAR STRAPLESS DRESSES. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, strapless is not for everyone!!
- If you choose the beach as a location it might be windy / sandy / hot and uncomfortable. It might be beautiful but it might be “the worst location in the world.” Ask your photographer and go by the weather conditions and light on the day. Sounds obvious, but if it’s hot and windy and you’re uncomfortable, this will affect your images.