Tips to get the Best Wedding Photos

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So much can happen in such a short span of time on your wedding day!  Here are a few tips to help you get the best wedding photos to last you a lifetime:

 

11.  Rehearsal: Practice Makes Perfect

In the same way that most weddings have a rehearsal dinner before the big day, planning an engagement photo session with your wedding photographer is a must! Engagement sessions break the ice and get you more comfortable in front of the camera. It also gives you a preview of how your photographer works.  Engagement sessions are generally a stress free way to practice for the couples session at the wedding. 

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10.  Photo Checklist

A great wedding photographer will always make sure to find out exactly what the couple wants to remember from their wedding.  A photo checklist is crucial to make sure the your needs are met.  Getting ready shots, first looks, bridal party, cake cutting, and the bouquet toss are just a few of the many mini events and photos opportunities that take place during a wedding.  Knowing in advance what photos the couple wants will help the photographer hone in on the right subjects at the right time.  It also means your photos will be filled with the moments you want to remember!

9.  Crowd Control

Gathering people together for group photos can be a lot like herding cats.  Family members will wander, guests will get in the way, and small delays will add up fast.  Designating one or two people to gather individuals for the group shots can save time and reduce stress immensely.  Usually the best person for this is either the best man or maid of honor, who will likely know most if not all of the guests for group shots. 

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8.  Ring Shot

What makes for a great ring shot?  Asking your photographer if they have a macro lens can tell apart the good from the great.  Macro lenses can get shots at a much closer range, allowing for beautiful magnified photos of the symbols of your love.  While other lenses can get the job done, none can do it better than a macro lens and proper lighting. 

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7.  Mid Day = No Way

Photographing outside when the sun is at its peak, aka mid day, will always be the worst possible time to shoot.  Shadows are harshest at this time and backgrounds are brightest, meaning photos can easily come out unflattering.  If your ceremony is outside, make sure it starts later in the day, preferably a couple hours before sunset. 

6.  Golden Hour

The golden hour is the time of the day when the sun is producing optimal light for gorgeous photos.  Approximately an hour before sunset, the golden hour is the best time to schedule the couples photo session on wedding day.  Look up the sunset time for your wedding date and location in order to pick the perfect time to take photos as a couple. 

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5.  Location

When picking a location for your wedding, choose with your wedding photos in mind.  Are there multiple places on site to take good photos?  Inside and outside?  What does the location look like during the time your wedding will take place?  Are there any photo restrictions?  Knowing this in advance and communication with your photographer is vital to getting the most out your photos.

4.   Taking Photos vs. Telling a Story

Aside from the ceremony and reception, there are many moments throughout the day that will tell the story of your big day.  Making sure the photographer is aware of which moments you treasure most will ensure that your story is saved for the future.  An experienced photographer will know where to be for each moment, and how to guide the bride and groom to ideal locations for every event.  Does the photographer point and click, or is there more direction in creating the shot?  Portfolios will show you all you need to know.

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3.  Who are your VIPs?

VIPs are guests or members of the wedding party that you want to make sure you get photos of.  Examples of VIPs are grandparents, relatives that live far away, best friends, etc.  Letting your photographer know who your VIPs are in advance will guarantee you get photos of the people you love.

2.  Slow Down

Weddings go by so fast!  One moment you’re getting ready, the next thing you know you’re already cutting the cake.  Don’t rush through each event; instead, take a breath or two, smile, and take it all in.  It’s your day!  Take the time to enjoy it.  Give the photographer a minute or two in order to set up lighting and get angles for things like the bouquet toss or grand entrance.  You won’t remember the extra minute you waited, but you will be happy you did when you get your photos.  Slow down, and let the photographer direct you for optimal photos of every mini event.

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1.  Allocate more time for photos than you think you need

When it comes to weddings, things rarely start on time.  Makeup may run long, people may show up late, group photos might get pushed back while someone looks for Aunt Debbie.  When this happens, the first thing that gets cut short is the photography.  Where you may have originally planned for an hour of group shots before the reception, a late ceremony start has now cut that to 30 minutes.  Unpredictably long toasts, or a slow dinner service can lead to rushed couples sessions during golden hour and missed opportunities for telling your story.  Always expect the wedding timeline will get pushed back, and plan accordingly.