In an ideal world, all brides would get ready in a pristine room with big windows, get married in late afternoon golden sunlight and have their wedding breakfast in a large bright room with white ceilings.
But for most of us, life doesn’t look like a photo shoot – even if it is our wedding day. If you are getting married in England, the sky is likely to be grey (even if it is July) and you may well be getting ready in your tiny, messy flat in London rather than in the suite of a country hotel.
A good photographer will be able to deal with all these not-so-perfect situations – tricky light, chaos, rain, a camera shy Mum etc. etc. – and still get you some amazing photographs.
But there are some things you can do to make our job easier.
Here are 5 top tips for getting the best out of your wedding photos:
1) Keep your wedding photographer in the loop
Meet up with your wedding photographer to give them a chance to get to know you. Catch up with them regularly in the lead up to the wedding. Make sure your photographer has the wedding timeline and knows about any surprises you have planned for the guests so they can be at the right place at the right time. Also let them know if there is anything or anyone that is really important to you.
2) Get organised for the group shots
Make a list of the groups you would like to capture and share this with your wedding photographer.
Allow around 5 min for each group and build this in to your wedding timeline.
Think about limiting the number of group portraits so give yourself enough time to spend with your guests during the cocktail reception.
To help things run smoothly, choose someone in your wedding party (with a loud voice) to gather people up for the group shots. It is a good idea to let your friends and family know beforehand that they will be in the pictures and when the pictures will be taken. They will then know what to expect and hopefully won’t wander off to the bar at the key moment.
3) Speak to your wedding officiant about wedding photography
Check with the person performing your wedding ceremony whether there are any limitations when it comes to photography. It can be very disappointing for couples to find out that no photos are allowed during the ceremony or that the photographer is only allowed to stand at the back. If that’s the case it’s best to know in advance. You might be able to negotiate for the photographer to be there for at least a few minutes of the ceremony or take photographs during certain aspects.
4) Prepare your friends and family
Let the people in your wedding party know what to expect. If you have hired a documentary-style photographer like me, let your friends and family know that they don’t need to pose for me. Not everyone is familiar with reportage wedding photography. People sometimes feel they have to stop doing what they are doing and look at the camera. But really the best thing to do for them is to enjoy the day and ignore me as much as they can. I won’t be offended! It will make it a lot easier for me to get some genuine and candid photographs of your wedding day.
5) Relax and enjoy the day!
Most importantly – forget about the camera and have fun. The best photographs are those where people are unaware of the camera. Reportage wedding photography is all about capturing real emotion and genuine moments.
So ignore the camera as much as possible and just live this very special day – and enjoy it!
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You can find heaps of inspiration on the internet, such as these Creative Wedding Photography Ideas.