In the days, weeks and years following your wedding, your wedding photographs will become one of your most treasured possessions. Alongside a video (if you choose to have one), your photographs give you the opportunity to look back on a special day, at you and your guests, and also at the style of your wedding, your wedding cake, flowers and all the other details. A great wedding photographer will also capture the atmosphere of the day, from happy moments as you get ready with your bridesmaids all the way through to lively dancing at the end of the evening.
Needless to say, it’s important to get the best from your wedding photography budget, and we hope these ten wedding photography tips will help you on your way.
1. Choose the right photographer
Perhaps the most important tip of all… finding a great photographer that suits your budget, your personality and your style is crucial. Begin by looking online at photography styles and find a selection of photographers whose work you like the look of. When you’ve narrowed your selection down to three or four photographers, the final decision comes down to cost and personality. Always arrange to meet with a photographer before making your booking. On such an important day, you want to make sure that you get along well with him or her. A good relationship will help you relax when photographs are being taken and make the whole experience more enjoyable.
2. Plan around your venue
A beautiful setting can make all the difference to a photograph, so take a walk around your wedding venue and consider the best spots for photography. There might, for example, be a particularly lovely tree or a walled garden outside, or a magnificent staircase inside. Think of your venue as a photographic location and think about the perfect areas for your portrait shots. If your photographer is familiar with the venue, that’s great. If not, a good photographer should always visit the venue beforehand.
3. Book an engagement shoot
Having a photography session with your chosen photographer before the big day is a good idea. As well as getting to know the photographer, it gives you the opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera, to practice your ‘pose’ and take a few tips from the professional in advance of the big day. It’s better to combat any camera shyness now and feel comfortable on your wedding day.
4. Have a wet weather plan
While there might be an abundance of beautiful settings for photographs in the great outdoors, you need to have an indoor plan in case the weather isn’t on your side. This might be a magnificent fireplace, staircase or even a stunning piece of furniture around which you can base a few posed photographs. Of course, it is also worth buying some fabulous umbrellas – they make great props and can stop a few spots of rain from wrecking your outdoor photos.
5. Practice your pose
Yes indeed, while many of your photographs might be informal and ‘reportage’ in style, you are also likely to pose for a few official family photos, and some lovely shots of ‘the two of you’. Unless you’re a complete natural in front of the camera, it’s a good idea to consider your pose in advance. If you have a ‘best side’, now is the time to find it! Angle your body slightly, stand up straight… and relax.
6. Write a shot list
All too often, couples receive their wedding photographs after the big day and realise that they don’t have a couple of key shots – perhaps there isn’t a photo of you with grandma or a single snap of Great Aunt Betty. If you don’t tell your photographer what your essential photographs are, they won’t know to take them. Write a list, point out key members of your family and friends to the photographer and leave it in their capable hands.
7. Allow enough time
Photographs should never be an afterthought, and they should never be rushed. While photographers can capture moments, they also need time and space to capture the mood. Allow plenty of time, for example, to take photographs before you leave for the ceremony, giving yourself half an hour to relax and smile before you set off for your ‘I do’ moment.
8. Consider having a makeup artist
While it seems like something of a luxury, every bride is allowed a little pampering on her wedding day. Having a makeup artist isn’t essential, but it leads to a relaxing morning and means that your makeup stays looking great throughout the day, and in all of your photographs! Always ask your makeup artist what you should carry in a handbag throughout the day to keep your makeup fresh – your ‘touch up’ kit – it might be nothing more than some powder and lipstick.
9. Set your social media do’s and dont’s
If you would prefer your guests not to add their wedding snaps to social media before you’ve posted the professional shots, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them politely. You might put a note in the order of service, or even ask that they don’t use the flash on their cameras during the ceremony. While it can be a lovely idea to share amateur photos, if you’d like some control over it, set up a designated private account on something like Flickr. More and more couples are requesting an ‘unplugged’ wedding and ask that their guests refrain from taking photos or using social media… if you ask nicely, it’s no big deal.
10. Relax and enjoy your day
Your photographer is a talented professional, experienced in capturing fantastic photos throughout the day. Don’t look for the camera or worry about whether a rain shower is going to force a photo relocation – it’s their job to sweat the small stuff, and the most important thing for you to do is relax and enjoy every moment. That way, your photographer will be able to catch those special shots of you laughing with your bridesmaids and sharing a quiet moment with your new beau.
View our wedding gallery for more ideas and inspiration, full of our favourite Mythe Barn photography moments.