HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
1. ALLOW ENOUGH TIME
Let's face it, your wedding day is most likely going to go a lot faster than you expect it. Before you know it, you're married and you're making a grand exit from your reception. There is a lot that goes on throughout a wedding day,and because you are in the moment all day, it seems to all just fly by before you can blink an eye.
Allow yourself plenty of time throughout the day to do each part of the day, the last thing you want to do is get behind and spend your day feeling like you are rushing everything to catch up on a day that already goes quick enough.
It all starts at Hair and Makeup. Allow more time than you think you need for Hair and Makeup keeping in mind that it will usually goes a little overtime. It can happen very easily, if you have 5-6 people having hair and makeup done, and each person take 4-5mins longer than expected, that adds up to 20-30mins you have gotten behind before you even realise the day has started.
I recommend allowing at least 60-90mins from when your hair and makeup finishes to when you need to leave for your ceremony and take into account that your hair and makeup may go overtime. There is only so much that can be captured while you are sitting in a chair with your hair pinned up. Allowing plenty of time will ensure you are able to get photos of you and your bridal party in bridal rhobes (if applicable), getting into the dress, family photos (see below for more tips), portraits of yourself, group photos with your bridal party etc.
If you happen to end up in the amazing position of being ahead on your wedding day, then you actually have the luxury of stopping for a moment if you want to, having a champagne and actually pausing to take it all in for a second rather than freaking out every time you look at the clock.
Allow breathing space in your run sheet, It may mean a slightly earlier start, but your day will be a lot more enjoyable and smooth.
2. LOCATION PHOTOS
Time for your location photos, these are generally the photos which will end up on your wall, displayed in your home, become your phone background, heck maybe even become your profile pic- so these are a big deal!
With this said, in order to make the most of this time and get the best photos possible, it's sometimes better to prioritize just a couple of the best / your favourite locations for your photos rather than dashing around trying to get to as many as possible.
The more time you spend moving around to different locations, whether it be driving, walking, golf buggying or however it may be, the less time you are actually spending capturing photos. Picking just a couple of locations to spend more time at, means you will be able to slow down the pace of the day and capture more quality photos that you will likely end up loving even more.
Many photographers, myself included, usually end up with the "best photo" after a few photos have been taken and then different moments start to appear which inspire a new even better idea than what we had originally planned. So if we were in a location to capture only one specific photo that you saw on pinterest and then move on, there is less time to get our creative hats on and be able capture the next pinterest photo that everyone wants.
3. FAMILY PHOTOS
Family photos might one day be some of the most precious photos from your wedding day but can sometimes be overlooked amongst the planning of your wedding.
Yes, there is usually a dedicated time for the "formal" family photos which is usually set after the ceremony however the photos from this time are generally just a standard smiling at the camera photo. I find it's the special moments with family that become some of the most cherished memories to have.
A lot of these moments seem to happen in the morning before the ceremony - whether it's mum helping you out with your veil or dad seeing his daughter for the first time on the day all dressed as a bride or just a family laughing and having a fun time together. There are a lot of beautiful moments to be captured with families.
So to ensure that these photos are able to be captured, I recommend simply having your family dressed and ready by the time your photographer arrives. This means no one is not worried about what they're wearing or don't want to be on camera because they aren't ready yet.
Having everyone ready beforehand will allow the special moments to happen naturally without anyone worrying because there is a camera around. Don't let pyjamas be the cause of missing out on some of the most special photographs you may ever hold of you and your families.
4. GET A PHOTO IN YOUR RECEPTION ROOM
You are probably going to spend a good chunk of time and money during the planning of your wedding on styling and setting up your reception room to look incredible. But then your wedding day comes along and you don't actually get to to see the final product of all your time and effort because guests have beaten you to the chase to get inside and the room now has jackets / handbags on all the chairs, beer bottles on tables and guests all around.
With the amount of time and effort you go into creating a room that looks incredible, why not use that as one of your photo locations as well before guests get inside? This is a great chance for you to see the room in all its glory before guests take over and also have a beautiful photo of yourselves in the wonderland of all your hard work.
This photo will probably end up being a little more special to you knowing that the set up was your hard work and planning behind it as well.
5. FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER YOU LIKE AND TRUST
This one is probably pretty self explanatory but a super important one. Your photographer is probably going to be one of, if not the only vendor that you will be spending the entirety of your wedding day with. They will be around through all of the moments and alongside you each and every part of the day so if you don't have photographer that you like and get along well with, then it's not going to be a pleasant experience for you to have to spend one of the most special days in your life with them.
Once you have shortlisted a photographer/s whose work you love, the next step is to take the time to meet them. If it's not possible to do so in person, then at the least a Skype/ Facetime meeting so you can spend time to get to know each other. Make sure the person you are meeting is also the photographer that is going to be there on your wedding day. No point getting along really well with a "salesperson" if they aren't going to be the ones taking the photos as well.
Ask plenty of questions you may have and about how they work on the day and what they need in order to get the photos that you have fallen in love with on their website. Don't assume anything, if you are unsure, never be embarrassed to ask. About 90% of my own clients have never had professional photos done themselves either so you are not on your own.
You want to feel like the person you are hiring is going to be able to create the photos you love without you having to think about it on the day. The less you have to think about on your actual wedding day, the more you will enjoy it.
If you all get along well and everything you have spoken about you can picture yourself being a part of on your own day, then you are going in a good direction to finding the right photographer for you.
Trust your gut when it comes to this decision, it is usually right!
Jashan is a Wedding Photographer based in Brisbane/ Gold Coast covering weddings both locally, nationally, and internationally.
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