It Takes More than Luck to get Perfect Wedding Photographs! 5 Simple Tips!!!

After your wedding day, you will have each other, your memories, your ring and your wedding photographs!  Everyone deserves amazing wedding photographs and it takes more than luck to get amazing wedding photographs!  Your wedding day is probably the first time you have worked with a professional photographer and it such an important day and you want to get it right.  

How will you share your story?  Ensure your wedding photography investment will tell your love story by following these (5) simple recommendations . . .

(1)  Book a Photographer you Love and Trust!  
It's easy to obsess over wedding photography price points and packages, but do yourselves a favor and start your research process by nailing down the wedding photography style that you like first.  Start to find out what style or photography you like.  Do you like more traditional, clean, straight-on shots to creative angles and more artistic style?  Do some research and start looking through weddings with your favorite blogs, check out the photographer’s sites and make a list of your top choices.  Find the photographer you like based on the style you love and then talk with them to ensure you like and trust them.  When you need recommendations, rely on your wedding vendors to give you recommendations, advice or confirmation to your choice on your photography as well.  Yes, you can luck out by getting a talented newbie to the business, but that is certainly the exception and not the rule.  Spend as much as you possibly can to get the very best photographer.  You will only regret it if you don’t.  When it comes to photography, you really do get what you pay for.  You don’t want to look back at your wedding day and say, “I wish I could do it over again and put photography at the top of the priority list.”  You don’t want to have regrets and make sure you find a photographer you love for all the right reasons.

(2)  Have an Engagement Photography Shoot!

If your photographer offers an engagement shoot as part of the package, then take it!  The engagement session is a great way to not only practice in front of the camera, get some great shots to share with your friends and family as well as getting to know your photographer better before the wedding day.  It will make a difference to already know your photographer, their personality and already having an amazing relationship established.  There are so many things going on that day and you should find someone that is fun and passionate about capturing the essence and uniqueness of the day. 

(3)  Look and Feel Your Best!
When you look and feel your best, it shows!  Book a makeup artist, get a subtle spray tan, get your hair professionally done, etc.  You should look your best on your wedding day.  Don’t try any new treatments, creams or get a facial that week of the wedding as you don’t want to risk the red face or bumps.  Most professionals will do a trial run of their service, so you can ensure you will love it and get for your big day.  A great photographer will also offer positions that are the most flattering or adjust you to a more flattering light, so make sure you listen to them.  You want to be the best you can be.  When you feel great and are happy, it will show and shine through on your pictures! 

(4)  Trust the Vendors you have Hired!
Talk with your photographer about photos you may like.  Tell them about a special family heirloom, a must-have photo that you always get when your family gets together, your family dynamics, a DIY project that you spent days on, etc.  But know that giving them a list of every single shot that you want photographed that is pages and pages long may lead to less creative and candid moments.  You need to tell them those unique shots that you want to make sure you capture and give them a small list, but at some point you do need to trust the person you hire.  And if you don’t trust them, refer back to recommendation #1 and book someone else!

(5) Think about the Timeline!
Go through your timeline with your vendors (venue, photographer, caterer, etc).  Having the plan for the day and how it will be executed will show.  Consider or ask about lighting to know when it will be best.  For example, with a winter wedding, you should know when it is going to get dark and consider those details when you are figuring out the plan for your day.  Remember to allow time in the day for creativity and set aside as much time as possible in the schedule for this part of the day.  The more time the photographer has, the better the results will be.  The fun, candid and in-the-moment photos often result in the most amazing photographs!  Each wedding is unique and needs a timeline that works for the day.  However, when it comes to timing in an ideal world, this is what would be pretty much perfect for most weddings:

  • Getting ready: I usually suggest two hours with the bride before the ceremony as it would give my second photographer and I enough time to photograph some of those getting ready photos . . . all the details of the dress, shoes, jewelry, etc. as well as take some informal photos of everyone getting ready.  (if the bride and groom prefer to see each other prior to the ceremony with their special first look, then we would need a little more time built into the timeline prior to the ceremony).  There is typically a mad rush before the dress has to go on and I prefer to have about 30 minutes after the dress is on to do portraits of the bride with bridesmaids and mom before the ceremony.

  • Group shots: I usually would recommend (30) minutes for those more formal portraits with 5-10 minutes per group shot. Taking the shot doesn’t take that long but you would be surprised how time can go by… and you would be surprised how easily people can vanish even if they know they will be needed for photos.  After taking those group shots, usually trying to then get a few creative or fun photos.  Then you want to have some time to spend with guests!  

  • Bride and groom portraits: I like to have at least 15 – 30 minutes with the bride and groom.  This is where building more time into your timeline would allow for more creative photos and more amazing photographs.  If there isn’t a huge amount of time after the ceremony before you need to be at the reception, I suggest using that bit of down time between dinner and the evening reception festivities too. This is a good time to get a few extra photos and the light is usually yummy as the sun is starting to set. 

Remember that it takes more than Luck to get Fantastic Wedding Photographs!  Ensure you get the amazing wedding photographs that you deserve.  Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day!  XXOO, Kristin 

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