Look red carpet ready on your wedding day
I have spoken to so many brides who have tried to commission their own wedding magazine but unfortunately their photos have just not been good enough to make something we could both be proud of. Many of them hadn’t done an album at the time and were only just getting around to properly viewing their disk of wedding pictures but were hit with a large dose of buyer’s remorse as the pictures weren’t as they expected and alas, the day can’t be revisited. This piece will (hopefully!) help future brides to ensure that their wedding pictures are more yay than nay.
1) It’s obvious, but do your research
With Instagram being the modern photographer’s calling card, gone are the days when you had to mosey on down to their studio, or even trawl through their website to get a flavour of what they do. You’re now living in a buyer’s paradise where the spender is king (or queen) and thanks to time-stamps, another great thing Instagram does is show how current their workload is. Websites might not be updated in years, but an up-to-date Instafeed and hallelujah - client comments, is your best insight into what skills your proposed photographer has. If you want to get even more grimy with your research, you can google them and check out certain Facebook expose groups which warn you off unscrupulous wedding suppliers – but this is for the serious Inspector Gadgets only, as trust us – this can be a deep, dark, murky time-vacuum hole!
2) Avoid ‘generic’ photographers – like the plague!
Sure, you may have a relative who says they are a photographer, and you may even have a close friend who’s a maestro on Instagram, offer to take photos for free. Avoid at all costs someone who is not a wedding photographer. You need a master of lighting and angles to bring out your best you. Hubby-to-be more likely to cringe at than seduce the camera? (You knew those hours of selfie love would come in handy – look who’s laughing now!) Well a professional wedding photographer is highly versed in drawing out his inner Tyson Beckford. Not only will Mr Not-Weddings-Photographer be unfamiliar with what makes a great bridal photo, they won’t be able to compose group shots as easily or capture emotions in the same way as a photographer that solely focuses on weddings can as second nature. Amateurs can be ok, just be sure to view their portfolio and verify that it is actually their work, and definitely book a pre-wedding engagement shoot. They are your practice run with them and worth their weight in gold – oh yes and give them our unmissable shot list – more on this below.
3) Make your snapper your new bestie
Ok, this is an exaggeration, but you three have to ‘share a vibe’. You’ve done your research, figured out they’re not FB bandits and you love their work. Now you need to establish early on that you like their personality – and it’s actually someone you’d invite to your wedding! Styles can vary wildly and, of course, you have a unique vision for your wedding and how it will be photographed, so be sure you’re on the same page from day one. We like to advise our clients to present photographers with a recommended shot list. These are the must have images that every first time bride should walk away with in her arsenal. You don’t have to be Kim and Kanye to look front cover ready – just ensure you float this shot list to your snapper, he should be able to do the rest. Oh and P.S – do ensure you feed him! A happy photographer is more likely go out of their way for you and stay a few mins extra for free if needed.
4) Lighting is life
A good lighting package can be the difference between ok and great. Your photographer should be able to get fantastic photos in different lighting conditions, but be sure to discuss what they need before hand. If you’re taking night time shots (yes, you should) then ensure you see examples of their skills in manipulating late light. Photographers, venues, and DJs can all offer different lighting setups; so explore your options and choose what makes the most sense for your space and budget, but consulting your photographer first is always best. Also uplighting is your friend, it can transform a setting. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody!
5) Have a schedule, and stick to it!
Of course snags and snafus will happen; transportation issues, outfit problems, and many other variables will affect your day-of timeline, and are honestly to be expected. The best way to keep enough time in your schedule for all the photography you want, is to add some contingency space. By putting some buffers in your initial schedule, you can avoid the stress of wedding day delays,as well as hungry guests glaring out into the garden as you try to ignore them whilst posing with new hubby by the gazebo. Having an extremely tight schedule may seem like the only way to get everything you want; group photos, father/ bride photos etc. but mostly, you’re doomed to fail and no one wants that awful fear-sweat trickle from your left armpit to really cause you to question your life, at a time like this. So leave some breathing room and most importantly have fun. You are queen of this castle, (for today at least) so enjoy it!
6) Get guests to limit their screen time
Of course your friends and family are going to have their smartphones and maybe even tablets with them. They may even decide they need to capture the most special moments of your ceremony for their social media accounts, it’s natural in this day and age. However, try, try, try to get them to understand that the flash of their iPhone is not flattering lighting and that the glare from their screen can be just as obnoxious. You have a paid professional there to capture the special moments after all, so encourage guests to be in the moment – Namaste style.
Well that in a nutshell is my top round up for ensuring there are no nasty surprises when you excitedly take your first peek at your wedding day images. There are more, but let’s start small to avoid overwhelm! Things have changed drastically since this was written in terms of #CruddyCorona so to discuss your wedding ideas and how to best capture it despite the obstacles, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Krys is The Wedding Capture Coach and Editorial Director of It’s My Wedding Magazine which captures life and love stories within personalised luxury magazines. Their client’s childhoods, careers, proposal, wedding day and honeymoon are all documented within the new family’s very first heirloom. Similar to Vogue magazine in design aesthetic due to the use of professional graphic designers and copywriters with real magazine experience. In addition to stunning wedding images, these innovative love story magazines include interviews with the bridal party, family and friends, and articles featuring their dress, venue, guests fashions, passions, family history and tradition. Currently nominated for the National Wedding Awards 2020 - Best entertainment (non-musical) category - winner to be announced in June.