I thought with this post while featuring some images from the great wedding of Lauren and Darren I’d share some tips to getting the very best photos on your big day. These are things that I cover with all my couples but go such a long way to making the day a success as far as photography goes.
Before I get onto the advice I just have to say how great it was to be a part of this wedding. As you look through the images you will no doubt recognise some familiar faces from the recent wedding of Kirrilee and Phil. These guys are all part of the same amazing group of friends who all know how to party and have a great time. I always get excited when I’m asked to photograph one of this group and Lauren and Darren’s day was no different.
This wedding had everything that a good wedding has but the difference was this wedding had heaps of it – laughter, emotion, tears, great speeches, love, happiness, gorgeous people and a fantastic bridal party. Bring on more weddings like this one!
Ok, for the tips to getting some great images I’ll go in order of the day as I cover it starting with the guys. The number one tip is for the guys to be on time and for that to happen ALL the guys need to be showered and shaved before the photographer arrives – ALL THE GUYS.
It’s also important for all the groomsmen to have tried their suits on before the wedding day even if they have tried them previously and had any alterations done. This includes the shirt as well as all pieces of the suit. I can’t count how many times guys have had suit problems that could have been avoided by trying them on a day or two previously.
If you are having a videographer as well as a photographer, make sure the guys don’t suit up until they are BOTH there. Both shooters want to capture the action as it happens.
At Impact, we usually spend around an hour with the guys before heading to the girls so it’s not uncommon for the men to be ready a little early on the wedding day.
Don’t forget to have the wedding rings with you as it’s nice to capture a few shots of the rings beforehand.
Once we arrive at the Bride’s location, timing is everything. I like to time it so all the girls have their hair and make up completed when I arrive which means I can get started shooting. The number one hold up on a wedding day is hair and make up – for this reason I advise ALL my brides to never go last with their hair or make up. If you are running behind time here you will be missing out on photos no matter what your photographer says.
On the topic of make up, it is important to go with someone that you can trust and it’s a very good idea to have a trial before the day. Wedding make up is usually always heavier than what you may normally wear but is designed to stand up to a big day and look great in photos. If you are struggling to find someone we’ll be able to recommend some great make up artists on the Coast and Newcastle.
One thing that can throw a huge spanner in the works for us as the photographers and the make up artists alike is a “spray tan.” My tip here is to only have a spray tan if you usually have one and by the same person or company that usually does your tan. Never, never have a tan for your wedding if you haven’t had one before. I have seen some seriously bad colouring on some girls which is almost impossible to fix by us or the make up artist.
We have had quite a few brides to ask us to “fix” their tan in photoshop after the day and this is just not a practical option. Sure it’s fine for one or two images but not for a few hundred. The issue with a photoshop fix is if we alter the colouring of the bride, the colouring of everyone else shifts. Sure we can just work on one person in a photo but this takes much more time and is something that we would have to charge for – better to have the colour skin you are used to on the day.
Make up artists struggle with spray tans also, particularly if the bride didn’t have one when they came for their trial. Of course the make up will look different on the day of the wedding if you arrive with different colour skin to start with.
NATURAL IS BEST when it comes to skin colour on your wedding day and if you really want a spray tan, go for the lightest possible and have it applied at least a couple of days before the wedding.
On the topic of tanning – if you are sun baking for a tan in the lead up to your wedding and you have chosen a strapless wedding dress, please wear a strapless swim suit. Sounds obvious but tan marks aren’t always easy to remove from photos and if a lot of time has to be dedicated to removing these marks there has to be charges applied.
Once a time has been established for your photographer to arrive it’s important to let your make up artist and hairdresser know that this is the time that you and all your bridesmaids must be ready by.
Don’t forget to let your florist know that the flowers will also be required at or before this time.
Lastly, don’t forget to take some touch up lippy and or gloss with you.
Most priests or celebrants don’t like brides to arrive too late so allow plenty of time to make the ceremony on time and if you find you are early, it’s easy to do a lap around the block once you are close where you will be married.
During the ceremony there aren’t any tips from me other than to enjoy the moment. This is what the day is all about and we’ll capture the ceremony as it happens – laughter, tears, emotion, the guests, the action, the lot.
Many couples don’t allow enough time after the ceremony to enjoy the moment and feel pressured to leave for photos. My advice is to factor in a good half an hour after the ceremony as all your guests will want to congratulate and have a few words with you. These are great moments and shouldn’t have to be rushed. Once the greetings are done it’s a perfect time for group and family photos so don’t forget to allow a little time for these as well.
For the location shoot we ask for at least one hour not including any travel time and it doesn’t matter to me how many locations you want – if there’s time that’s fine with me.
To get the most out of your location shoot we’ll be able to recommend great spots no matter the light, weather or wind and we can work in with any ideas you may have. What is important though, is that you don’t get concerned or upset if the weather isn’t cooperative. No one can control the weather but with the experience and locations that we have available to us at Impact you will get great images no matter what the day holds.
Another aspect that will make this part of the day more enjoyable is some canapés and drinks for you and your bridal party. Our main aim for the shoot is that everyone has a great time and since not everyone in the party will be in every photograph why not make it enjoyable to be at the shoot whether you are involved in a shot or not. Often the car companies will include snacks and drinks with their package but in my experience it’s best to check exactly what they will be serving as it may not be enough or to your liking. If it’s not suitable, feel free to organise a basket or esky of what you’d like and the drivers will happily take it in their car.
I haven’t added any reception photos from Darren and Lauren’s wedding but this is still an integral part of the day and we’ll still be working hard to capture images of your guests, the table settings, decorations, the cake and details that you have put time and effort into. Usually at this part of the day, we’ll leave the two of you alone to enjoy the party as we go about photographing and if there happens to be some great light or sunset we’ll suggest a couple of photos if you are up for it.
Reception photos are a very personal thing and each couple has different ideas about what they’d like to include in their album so we’ll capture all the important things and work with you on a way to display these images once you return from your honeymoon.
Lastly, we usually find that couples can’t wait to see their photos and collect their proof album after the wedding so once you know your return date from your honeymoon, make sure you make an appointment come in and see your photos. This way we can have everything ready for you both before you get back to work.
That’s it for the tips for the wedding day, I hope they have been useful and you enjoyed the photos along the way. As usual, there are lots of other little things that we do and can suggest that will make your day run more smoothly that we are happy to discuss when we see you.
If you found this article of interest, click here for some more information on the importance of using a professional photographer.
Remember though that there are always little things that don’t go to plan at EVERY wedding and these are nothing you should worry about on the day – in fact, these are the things that will make your day memorable and that you’ll be laughing at in years to come.