Here are some wedding photography tips to ensure you get amazing pictures that you’ll treasure forever!
Find the right style of wedding photography for you, and then find a photographer who offers it
Style is crucial. There’s no point picking a pure photojournalist to cover your wedding and then handing them a list of 25 group shots a week prior to the wedding, or booking a traditional photographer and then asking them for quirky coverage. So find the style you like, and then find a photographer whose work you like. What you see in their portfolio is what you are booking.
Make sure you have enough room in your budget for the best wedding photographer you can afford
Once the cake’s been eaten, the DJ has packed up and gone home and the cars are back in their garage, your wedding photographs are going to be the best reminder of your day for years to come, so photography is hugely important to get right. Don’t forget that your photographer doesn’t just turn up on the day, shoot the wedding and go home, there’s a lot of prep before the day, and then considerable time editing afterwards. Also you’re paying for a photographer’s creativity and talent, as well as their time.
Worry about products later
If you’re serious about getting great quality images with that ‘wow’ factor, always pay the most you can for the coverage and worry about albums afterwards. If your budget is £2,000, then you will get better pictures by paying a better photographer that money and then saving up for an album afterwards. Remember, photography is a service not a commodity – so you should be paying for a photographer’s expertise and skill, not for an album. Would you rather awesome pictures and an album later, or poor images but in a nice album?
Always meet the person who will actually shoot your wedding
Some wedding photographers work for companies who employ a number of people; the vast majority however are sole traders. You should always meet the photographer you are thinking of booking before you do. You will spend quite a bit of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so it’s vital to have someone you get along with! If you’re at all uneasy or tense, it will show in the pictures.
Check your schedule
Good photography takes time. Professional cameras can take 10 frames a second, but taking a good picture can take minutes – sometimes you might frame up a candid image and then wait for exactly the right moment of emotion to show before you take the picture. I advise at least the following timescales for photography:
· 2 hrs for bridal preparation
· 45 mins prior to the ceremony to capture the groom and guest arrivals
· 1hr 30 mins between the start of the reception and sitting down to your wedding breakfast allows time to capture group shots, bride and groom shots, candid guest shots and details of the reception room and to allow you both to enjoy this part of your wedding day
· 30 mins for bride and groom portraits – more if you want high fashion images, which can involve multiple flash setups on location!
Run through your schedule with your photographer in plenty of time before the day so everyone knows what they’re doing when!
Never assume anything
Double check with your photographer exactly what they will and won’t cover. Don’t assume for example they will get family shots that you haven’t explicitly stated in your group list. Styles of photography and of course weddings vary greatly, and have developed hugely since your parents may have got married, so it’s very important you and your photographer understand each other, and what is expected from the day.
Have a pre-wedding shoot
Your wedding may be the first time you will have worked with a professional photographer – and the thought of it can be quite daunting!
A pre-wedding shoot is a great way to settle those nerves and see exactly how your photographer works, how you might be directed and you’ll get to see the processing the photographer will use on your wedding pictures.
Pre-wedding shoot pictures make a fab gift also and great idea is to have one mounted as a signing board at the reception, in the place of the more traditional guest book.
Bride and Groom portraits
If any part of your day is going to involve bride and groom portraits, then it’s best to have a little practice. You’ll get some practice in at the pre-wedding shoot, but the ultimate secret is to relax!
Grooms have it easy – hands in pockets and look casual – but for brides, there is a bit more to think about! Think about celebrities on the red carpet – they are absolute pros – standing slightly at an angle with a bend in a leg and a hand on a hip, weight on the back hip is super flattering and will show your fabulous frock at its best. Most importantly, don’t worry – your photographer will know how to direct you, so your portrait shots will look absolutely stunning.
Go with the flow
Everyone has a dream of exactly how their day will run and what will happen when. However, things may have to change around a little depending on the good old British weather! Listen to your photographer, who will have your best interests at heart – getting the shots you want, in the best place with the best light may mean you have to change your plans a little.
And finally – enjoy yourself!!
Try to forget the photographer is there and just enjoy yourself – when my couples walk back down the aisle I encourage them to greet their family and friends and have a laugh, rather than ignoring everyone and looking straight at the camera!
I’m a contemporary Kent wedding photographer from Kent who accepts commissions throughout the UK. David is known for his style of relaxed bride and groom portraiture mixed with photojournalism.
If you’d like to contact me to discuss your wedding photography, then please contact me to talk through your wedding plans!
All content copyright David Burke Photography 2016