If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve no doubt checked out a variety of wedding photos on Pinterest and various other sites. You’ve developed a vision in your head for what you want your photos to look like, now it’s time to figure out how to make it happen. Over the years that we’ve photographed weddings, we’ve developed a rhythm with our couples to help them to get the most out of their wedding day photography. Here are a few tips that you can use when working with your photographer to ensure you end up with the best wedding photos possible!
1. Connect with your photographer
You are going to be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day. Take the time to meet with your photographer before you book and make sure this is someone that you really connect with and that makes you feel comfortable. That connection is key because it will make you feel more relaxed having your photos taken on your wedding day.
2. Share your ideas
As photographers, we strive to make each wedding unique and tailored to the couple. Don’t expect your photographer to copy a photo exactly because each couple is unique in their love, expression, personality, and body style, but by sharing your photo ideas with us we get a sense of what you love and it allows us to be on the same page with you.
3. Communicate what you love most about your venue
Are you envisioning having your bridal portraits taken in the garden? Or perhaps the bridal party being photographed by the lake? Maybe you’ve been eyeing a gorgeous bridge or door. Every venue is unique and we understand that you picked it for a reason. By letting us know what your vision is, we can help you plan your day out to make sure we have the best light for each part of your day.
4. Have an engagement session
Engagement sessions are one of the best ways to get more out of your wedding photos. Most people have never had professional photos taken and are understandably nervous the first time. Engagement sessions are a great way to get some practice photos in before the big day. You’ll get to see what it’s like working with your photographer so you’ll know what to expect on your wedding day. From your photographer’s perspective, we get a feel for how you interact together in front of the camera. This allows us to have a tailored plan for photographing you on your wedding day.
5. Create a custom timeline with your photographer
Most photographers will work with you to create a custom timeline based on your vision, the light, family availability, etc. This will help you to plan all your different appointments during the day and to know who needs to be where at what time. You can check out our timeline guide to get an idea of how long your photos will take.
6. Add extra time for hair and makeup
This is what will normally cause your pre-wedding photo timeline to run late. There are almost always unforeseen circumstances that cause the hair and makeup appointments to run late. It’s a good practice to budget at least an extra 30 minutes of time to keep things relaxed and on time.
7. Getting Ready Photos
There are so many amazing options for getting ready photos and it’s really up to you to decide what’s most important for you. Consider having your bridesmaids help you get ready and do a big reveal with mom and dad. Or perhaps you’d like more intimate moments with your mom helping you get dressed while your bridesmaids wait outside for the big reveal. What about doing a first look with dad? There are so many options to consider but taking the time and planning things beforehand with your photographer help to create intimate and emotional moments during your big day.
8. Consider a first look
We completely respect it if you’re more traditional and want to wait until you’re walking down the aisle to see each other. If you’re open to it, there are so many great reasons to consider doing a first look. First, having an intimate moment with just you and your partner is an amazing experience you won’t ever forget (and you’ll have the pictures too!). Second, it allows us to do your full family and bridal party photos earlier. This means that we’ll have more time to take photos of just you and your spouse following ceremony which gives us more time to be creative and to get the magical shots you’ve been dreaming of! Finally, once you see each other on your wedding day, the intense nerves you’ve been feeling all day will vanish and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your day even more.
9. Family Photos
Family photos are one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. For a lot of families, this is a rare occasion when everyone is together and we want to make sure we capture these amazing photos. The best practice is to provide us with a list of all the family members you would like to include in your formal photos. We usually recommend capturing photos with your immediate family during your getting ready coverage after everyone is dressed. Large family photos are best captured right after the ceremony when everyone is in one place. If you have a very large extended family that you would like to include, consider doing these photos a little bit later during down time at the reception. This ensures that you have the most amount of time with the best light for your newlywed photos.
10. Consider making time for a “Wow” shot
One of my favorite things to take 15 minutes during your reception to step out and get an amazing “wow” shot. Nighttime photos always have a different kind of impact and look amazing in your wedding album!
11. Be in the moment
Your wedding day will go quickly so It’s important to be in the moment and take it all in. Trust your coordinator, your photographer, and your maid of honor to help take care of the things that need to be taken care of on your behalf so that you can focus on what’s most important – getting married and enjoying your day!
12. Purchase a wedding album
Yes, we know everything is digital these days but you can’t beat the feeling of a physical wedding album that you can hold, touch, and connect with over again and again. I would love for all of my couples to share a bottle of champagne and relive their wedding day together on every anniversary. What’s more, this will be your very first heirloom that you can show to your children one day. Wedding albums are the most powerful way to share your photos together over and over for the rest of your lives!