It’s a fact of life that most people don’t like having their photograph taken and some people can actually find it really stressful. Whilst things are going to be different on your wedding day – let’s face it, you’re going to be dressed up and looking your best, marrying the love of your life and feeling probably more fabulous than the average day – it can still be a source of anxiety for some folk. So here’s some tips for making sure you maximise your photography investment, get the best possible photos and have it cause you the least possible pain.
- Trust your Photographer. Bit of an obvious one but you’ve done all the work you need to before you selected who to book to capture your wedding day and you’ve picked the person who’s work you like and who fits with your personalities. So on the day, just trust them to handle things. Let them lead you, even if it takes you a little off the beaten path – we’re a creative bunch and we do have a vision of what we’re trying to achieve. PS. we really don’t like pages and pages of shot lists (said with love).
- Think about the Light. When you’re making plans for your wedding, there’s a lot to think of but don’t forget to think about how the light will be at the time you get married. This is particularly true of your ceremony room as your photographer will be at a fixed point so you want to make sure that they have the best possible options in terms of capturing wonderful images for you. It’s also the time that is the most likely to get blurry in your memories of the day so the photos really are doubly important. So often, I arrive at a wedding and the ceremony room is set up so that the light is behind the bride and groom (backlighting them – which is always going to compromise your photograph quality), the ceremony table is set up in the darkest corner, the bride and groom are positioned under unflattering downlights, or the registrar will take centre stage and move the bride and groom off to the side. Ideally you want natural window light hitting you straight in the face and you want your ceremony table a decent distance from the window so the photographer is not crammed into a corner (that’s not because we don’t like to be uncomfortable, it’s just that we want to avoid having to use a wide angle lens to get you in the frame – trust me, it’s never good to be at the edge of a wide angle photo). A tiny bit of thought about this at the planning stage will mean that you reap the benefits of wonderful photos on the day.
- Check Out Ceremony Photography. It’s a lot rarer than it was in the ‘bad old days’ but it’s not unheard of for churches not to allow photography during the ceremony. While I fully appreciate that this is often because there were some amateurs who leapt around, firing off flash and generally making a show of themselves that ruined it for the rest of us, your ceremony is important (natch) and you’ll want some photos. OK, if it’s in a church it’s a ‘their house, their rules’ kind of situation but it’s worth trying to talk over any issues and give reassurance so your photographer gets a good spot on the day. At least you’ll know what’s possible in advance so you won’t be disappointed.
- Timing is Everything. If you don’t leave much time for your photographs in between your ceremony and sitting down to your wedding breakfast, there’s a chance you’ll feel a bit rushed and you won’t have time to relax with a bit of champers or enjoy some of those canapes that you chose. A couple of hours can seem like a lot but honestly it will fly by and folk will have plenty to do catching up with old friends and enjoying your venue that it won’t feel long. Check with your photographer on how long they estimate it will take to get through the photos that you want – we’re pretty good at estimating times – a little extra is never bad and venues (and their chefs) will thank you for not running late!
- Relax. You’ve planned, you’ve budgeted, you’ve scheduled. You’ve handed off jobs to bridesmaid and ushers and you’ve booked a professional photographer with a ton of experience and a lot of creative ideas on how to get you wonderful photos. So on the day, trust all of those around you, let them guide you and have fun!