Couples spend an average of $2,679 for wedding photography.
Sounds like a lot, right? But think about what you get for that price tag.
You spend months or even years planning every detail of your wedding. The day arrives, and it’s over in a flash.
Guests consume the perfectly catered meal in minutes. The DJ spins the last song. The flowers wilt.
But the photos last a lifetime. They capture each of those meticulously planned details as they happen.
How do you make sure the photos are ones you want to display, share, and look through over and over? Keep reading for our tips for wedding photography to make them perfect.
1) Choose the Best Photographer
It all starts with the person behind the camera. Check out several professionals to find the best local photographer for your wedding.
Start with photographers who have a proven portfolio capturing weddings. Look through different types of shots to check on quality and artistic vision.
Quality is only part of the equation. You want a wedding photographer who shares your vision. Choose someone who “gets” what you want.
It’s also important to feel comfortable with the photographer. If your personalities don’t click, expect some tension and disagreements during the photo session.
If possible, meet with photographers in person before deciding. This gives you a chance to see how you connect. It’s also the perfect time to ask any questions you may have.
2) Know Your Style
What style of photos do you want? Don’t wait until your wedding day to share your vision with your photographer. The sooner you can share your ideas, the better your photographer can prepare.
One easy way to figure out your style is to create a mood board. Pinterest makes it easy to pull together samples of wedding photos you love. Share the board with your photographer to make sure you get what you want.
3) Pick You Must-Have Photos
Create a list of wedding shots you want to have. Give it to your photographer long before your big day to make sure you get it all.
A mix of formal posed shots and candid photos gives you a range of photo options. Think about shots you want at different times throughout the day, including:
- While you’re getting ready
- Before the ceremony
- During the ceremony
- Before your reception
- During the reception
- As you leave
Consider shots of your centerpieces, cake, dessert table, DJ, transportation, flowers, and other details.
4) Research Locations
You can make the best use of your time if you limit the photography locations you use. Moving to several different locations takes time and limits how many photos you can get.
Consider the look of the location since it’ll create the backdrop for your photos. Also, consider the lighting when choosing your photo locations.
Indoor photos need plenty of light for the best results. Large windows that let in natural light help. You can also supplement with candles, string lights, lanterns, and other romantic light.
Space is also an issue. Larger rooms are easier for your photographer to use. You can get all the photography equipment and wedding party members into the space comfortably.
On your wedding day, make sure those locations are ready to go when your photographer arrives. A messy room slows down the process. The time spent tidying up the photo area is time you could spend setting up the ideal shot.
5) Create a Schedule
An accurate wedding photo schedule keeps everything on track. It’s the best way to make sure you have time for your must-have shots.
Give yourself at least five minutes per shot. If you have a large wedding party, they can take longer.
Schedule your photographer to show up about an hour before you’re ready. That way, you can get shots of your wedding day prep.
Leave enough time to capture all the shots you want. Build in extra time in case someone runs late or the shots take longer than expected.
6) Have Your Wedding Party Ready
Are your bridesmaids notorious for taking extra time to get ready? Do your groomsmen get distracted easily? One of the best tips for wedding photography is to prep your wedding party to help pictures go smoothly.
Make sure your wedding party and family members know when they need to show up for photos. Give them an earlier start time if you’re worried about latecomers.
7) Gather Props
Do you have special items you want in your photos? Pack them up before the wedding, so they’re ready to go.
On your wedding day, choose a special spot for those items. Keep them close to the photography area yet out of the way.
If you include sentimental items, put someone in charge of watching them. The last thing you want to deal with on your wedding day is a lost memento.
8) Assign Someone to Gather People
The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is rounding up people for photos. Ask a friend or family member to help gather people ahead of time.
That person should have the photo schedule so they know who needs to be ready. They can let people know when they’re up and help find missing wedding party members.
Having someone help reduces your stress. It also helps keep the pictures on schedule. You can move from one shot to the next without waiting on one or two people.
9) Be Prepared for the Unexpected
How can you prepare for something if you don’t know it’s going to happen? You can’t anticipate every potential problem. But you can expect that something won’t go the way you planned.
Wedding photographers see a lot of mishaps at weddings. Here are some common ones:
- Late photo participants
- Taking longer than expected to get ready
- Flowers, cake, or other items arriving late
- Wind or bad weather that interferes with photos
- Damage to the cake, dresses, centerpieces, etc.
- Wedding party members having a little too much to drink
Many of the potential problems are out of your control. You can’t change the weather no matter how hard you try.
What you can do is mentally prepare yourself to roll with whatever happens. Let others around you help. And know that someday you can laugh about those unexpected moments.
10) Enjoy the Photography Session
Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy your special day. These photos will stay with you for a lifetime. You want to see yourself happy, smiling, and relaxed.
If you’re stressed or worried about the day, it’ll show in the photos. Trust that your photographer has the situation control. Soak in the emotions of the day and enjoy!
Tips for Wedding Photography
Are you ready for your wedding day? You can cut down on one less worry with our tips for wedding photography. Contact us to see how we can help you create the wedding photographs of your dreams.