Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks
To the bride that can’t stop staring at her left hand, welcome! I designed this page of wedding photo tips and tricks to help make planning your big day just that much easier, and it’s the #1 question brides ask: What can I do to get the most beautiful wedding photos on my wedding day?
While some of the wedding photo tips and tricks below may not be what you envision for your wedding day, these suggestions are geared to create the most optimum conditions to create breathtaking images.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #1 – Do a practice run
By this I mean have an engagement session. Engagement sessions provide so much more than just images to share with family and friends over social media. It’s ESSENTIAL to spend some time with your photographers taking photos before your big day. This is an opportunity to CONNECT and get COMFORTABLE with your photographers personally and gives you both an opportunity to get comfortable posing in front of our cameras. In fact, engagement sessions are so CRUCIAL that James and I include them in every full-day wedding to ensure your photos reflect who you are as a couple.
Engagement sessions are also a great way to get professional images for your wedding invitations, wedding signing book album or enlarged image, and for use in wedding slideshows. Click here to see more from our Engagement Session Gallery.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #2 – Plan a good timeline
We’ve never experienced a wedding that didn’t have at least some delays. It’s a natural part of the process and to that end, we always advise keeping some FLEXIBILITY in the timeline between all of the major events during the day (even if that means starting hair and makeup an hour earlier to provide that flex time). Building this flexibility into the timeline will prevent undue stress on your wedding day and provide a much more RELAXED atmosphere that will reflect in your images. You don’t want to spend the time during your photography creatives worrying about getting to the reception on time!
Photography creatives is normally a 1-2 hour time window in between your wedding ceremony and your reception when you and your wedding party head out and take creative shots in a more controlled environment and allows your photographers to capture stunning images. We always recommend building this into your timeline as these photos will be the showcase for your wedding day and are, more often then not, the images gracing your walls.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #3 – Don’t settle with one photographer
Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event with no mulligans to fall back on and having only 1 professional photographer will not be able to do your wedding day justice. There is A LOT going on during your wedding day with many details you spent days and weeks deciding on and some of the biggest moments occur over a few seconds of time.
Having two professional photographers will ensure that all of your wedding details and your big moments are captured from different angles, providing you with a larger selection of images of those moments from different perspectives. That’s why ALL of our weddings include 2 professional wedding photographers, James and myself, to cover every angle.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #4 – Make your locations clean and bright
Be mindful of your surroundings. Selecting a location that is clean and bright over a dark, cramped, and/or cluttered space will make a HUGE difference in the quality of your getting ready shots. Keep in mind that half of your entire wedding party, parents, hair and make-up stylists, and photographers will be sharing the space. Many brides will opt for a spacious hotel room to get ready in which is always a great option – if this is what you are planning, ensure that excess bags, clothes, and other miscellaneous items are stored in the closets and not all over the beds for clean, clutter-free images.
If you’re planning to get ready at your or your parents house, make sure the space is well lit with natural window light as much as possible.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #5 – List your details and must-have photos
James and I want to ensure we capture all of your wedding photo must-haves on your wedding day. Make a list of all your details and must-have photos before the wedding day to share with us so you don’t miss out on any meaningful images.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #6 – Have a “first look”
While not for everybody, first looks have become a much more popular option for wedding couples over the past few years. First looks are incredibly romantic and really capture the emotion between you and your husband-to-be in a more intimate setting as he gets to see your stunning self in your beautiful wedding dress. James and I LOVE taking intimate shots showing true emotion and this is often one of the BEST times to capture those feelings without the pressure of an onlooking audience.
First-looks also allow us to choose great locations for the most optimal images that may not always be available at your wedding ceremony venue.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #7 – Tell your family to wait around
James an I have found gathering key family members together after the wedding ceremony for family photos can be a large drain on your wedding timeline. Refer to wedding photo tips and tricks #5 and make a list of all the family photo combinations you want to get after the ceremony and tell those family members to stay close by after the ceremony. We have found that using a member of the family or one of your organized bridesmaids to be in charge of keeping those family members close by works very well.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #8 – Use professional lighting at the reception
Ideally every wedding would take place outdoors under a late-setting sun. There’s nothing quite like the feel and dimension of natural light in photographs. That being said, we live in Vancouver and outdoor weddings are often weather permitting. To get the most out of your reception wedding photos, use a professional lighting system. Keep in mind what lighting you want during your first dance (ex. do you want to be highlighted in blue or green lighting from the DJ’s lights?), cake cutting, and speeches.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #9 – Don’t stress the dress
Your dress is going to get dirty – we’ve heard all sort of stories of wedding dress debacles from spilt drinks to gum. If you’re planning to wear a full-length dress, there is no getting around getting the bottom of the dress dirty as you go from location to location. Creative sessions are often photographed outdoors and will be exposed to open fields, gravel pathways, and the occasional drop of rain. James and I had our wedding photos taken in Florence Italy – an absolutely beautiful location full of culture. Bu as we walked the streets, the bottom of my dress became absolutely filthy (my mom was carrying around the hem and her hands were black by the end of the photos). Rather than worrying about it, we accepted it and ended up having the BEST time and getting some amazing shots!
Worrying about keeping your dress spotless will only make you look tense or nervous in your images. James and I always bring items for you to sit on and post-editing will ensure your dress will be as white at the end of the night as it did when you first put it on in the morning in EVERY image.
Wedding Photo Tips and Tricks #10 – Have fun!
A common theme in the above wedding photo tips and tricks but worthy of it’s own category. If you’re not enjoying yourself, it will show in your images. Let go of all the planning and any drama and understand that this day is about you and your best friend – have fun with each other and we will capture some AMAZING images!!