Surefire tips to make your wedding photos, perfect!
You all want great wedding photos, right? It’s such an important part of your lives and seeing all these beautiful photos online you raise the bar and your expectations to have the best photos of your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I feel responsible for my couples and the vendors I’m working with to make sure everyone has the best outcome. I understand you are investing lots of your precious time and money to plan a destination wedding and you want everything to be perfect.
TIMELINE & GOLDEN HOUR
Together with your wedding planner, you have thought of all the gorgeousness down to the smallest detail. Is there any chance you’re leaving something out? One of the ways to ensure your wedding will be captured beautifully is to consult your wedding photographer. Light is the main tool a photographer has to use. The wedding photography timeline is one of the most important factors that will determine how beautiful your pictures will be.
Having a call with your wedding photographer in the early stages of planning, is important to figure out the timeline. A good start would be to decide if you want to opt-in for a first look. You can read more about all the benefits of a first look has on my other post.
More things to consider is if there will be any direct light in the ceremony area. We want to avoid direct light as it’s harsh and will most probably have you squinting. If you’re planning for an outdoor reception, your photographer would ideally want to have about 30 minutes before the start of the reception to take photos of the setup. The setup of your reception is something that you will most probably won’t be able to see without people on the day, you will only see the pictures of it. So consult your photographer, which timeframe would be the best to capture these precious photos.
Of course, you must not forget about your couples portraits! In a recent study, most couples are interested in these at 85%! The best time to have your pictures taken is close to sunset, half an hour before sunset actually. It’s what we, photographers, call the golden light. At certain times of the year and locations, the golden hour extends half an hour after sunset. You really need to ask your photographer’s advice on that matter.
A common mistake, lots of couples make, is to google the sunset time at their date and location and think that’s that. Beware, all online sunset times are set for the sea level. So if your venue is not oriented, looking to the west or there is a mountain, hill close by, the actual sunset time might be totally different. That’s why your wedding photographer is responsible for location scouting your wedding venue and providing you with this information.
Imagine for just a second that you’re receiving the email from your photographer, that your wedding photos are ready. You’re opening the gallery eager to see you, your friends and family and what do you know? Everyone’s faces are hidden behind a cell phone or the occasional ipad (sorry, older people). You’re looking at the pictures where you’re walking down the aisle and no one is applausing. Just holding their phones and trying desperately to grab a decent photo of you. We all love our iPhones but please ask your guests to let them off their hands for a little. Just enjoy the moments, be present in these moments they’ve traveled so far to witness and your professional wedding photographer will provide you and them will all the beauty they need. Personally, the online proofing galleries I share with my couples are so user friendly, you just send the link to your friends, they have access to all the photos and they can even order prints, delivered straight to their front door. (You do have the option marking any pictures you don’t want to share as private. Easy peasy, right?) The worst thing that has ever happened to me is being pushed by a guest as they wanted to have that angle. It was awkward. Please rethink of the use of cell phones, there are some very innovative ways to politely ask them too.
Very close to the theme of cell phones, is the issue of other large equipment like speakers or giant poles. Not everything can be photoshopped out, sorry. Please consult your wedding planner how the ceremony and reception areas are going to look. As all vendors to respect the space and hide as many of their equipment as possible.
Maybe I’m stepping a bit out of my turf and area of expertise here, but just sharing my opinion as I’ve been in many weddings. My strong advice would be to avoid meaningless trends. Your wedding should reflect your personalities in a timeless style. It’s something you want to look after years to come and feel beautifully nostalgic with.