8 TIPS TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
The wedding season is beckoning. Fresh with a new website, products and equipment, we are ready here at Bradley Henderson Photography
Whether you book with me or not, I thought this would be a useful list for any couple when planning their day and making the most of their Photographer. Here are MY 8 top tips...
I get told so many times during consultations about how friends of friends who didn't like their photographer. ‘He/She had no personality, they were bossy and unfriendly, they didn't get on with guests’. You are committing to spend a whack of your wedding budget on this person so be sure and feel them out. Chat to previous clients, send a few emails but most of all MEET UP! You will really get a sense of the person who you will be spending a large part of your day with by doing so. When you click (pardon the pun) with your photographer, you become more relaxed, the smiles come easier. If you both decide that actually the photographs are terrible and this person is a complete idiot, you are no worse off!
When your photographer arrives on the day to photograph the bride's preparations, they will not know anyone. They won’t know if the make-up artist is your long lost friend or a professional you have never met before. Please introduce us to your family and friends whom we can then photograph instead of taking 30 pictures of the make-up artist!
If there are any guests who are particularly important to you, please point them out or introduce me to them. It is not always possible to get a photo of every single guest, especially at larger weddings and if your photographer misses out someone important, you'll be disappointed.
CLEAN, TIDY & ORGANISE
In some cases, details can make up to 100+ images in your overall digital package (certainly with me anyway). Your little trinkets and jewellery on the day are so important and really frame the personality of the individuals. If we can access these quickly and easily and know who belongs to what, it gives us more time to spend with the rest you and your party.
Window sills people! I use them in almost every house during bridal prep. Some parents chose to give the whole house a spring clean and paint every room in the house (you know who you are) but a wipe with a cloth and a good polish on the nice surfaces gives us a great stage to photograph your jewellery, flowers and gifts.
Contribution by Stacey Kilpatrick of S.A.K Designs
"On your wedding day you want to look radiant all day so choosing an experienced bridal makeup artist will ensure you're photo ready from morning to night. You will have to touch up your lipstick throughout the day so it's important your photographer is good with detail. I love a head/shoulders shot for capturing makeup and find these are best when the bride first puts on her dress and has her hair & makeup artists at hand to ensure everything's sitting perfect. If you are having a close up head shot later in the day do have a quick makeup check first and reapply lipstick to freshen the look. Your photographer is such a vital element of your day, it's important to share your hopes and fears with them. You want someone who can fit in well with your family and friends. They'll have done this many times before so trust them and let them guide you through the day."
THE DREADED FORMAL PHOTOGRAPHS
Granny is still in the toilet and it's beginning to rain, but the formal photographs need to be done. This is usually the most stressful and boring part of the day...but it really doesn't need to be!
Have a list of exactly who is going to be in the photographs and in what order. I suggest no more than 10 groups (each group takes around 5 minutes).
YOUR USHERS ARE THERE FOR A REASON! USE THEM!
Give a copy of this list to your ushers and get them to round up the relevant guests so when one group is being photographed, the next group will be ready to go.
Have the photographs slightly away from the group. This way you can pull relevant guests from the reception and they can join the formal photographs instead of everyone being in the background or, more likely, talking to you. It makes things so much faster.
Have a think of about some ‘fun’ shots to do with your bridal party and encourage them to enjoy the experience rather than dread it.
Also leave time to shoot couples portraits of your lovely new other half (see below).
REMEMBER THE LIGHT
Good light is a photographer’s best friend. To make the most of your bridal photos, schedule the time for couple portraits within the golden hour. This is the hour before sunset and it provides gorgeous, warm, and flattering light. Typically, the best time to schedule this is between the ceremony and your reception entrance.
In contrast, scheduling your portraits around noon is far more difficult for your photographer to create beautiful imagery. Harsh, mid-day sun creates heavy shadows, and since during noon the sun is directly above us, it creates raccoon-eye shadows which are unflattering. If you absolutely must schedule your portraits around noon, ensure that there a fair amount of even shade available for your photographer to work in. In the winter months light will fade fast and it will get dark earlier so we WILL be encouraging you to move quickly so we can get your portraits finished before it gets too dark (we're not just being mean).
TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
You have booked this person from meeting them (hopefully) and loving the work that they produce. This work was produced by the photographer having a vision and directing what is in front of them to create the amazing images you love. Weddings are a once in a lifetime event and there’s a lot of prep that goes into them. Going outside might seem like it will damage your dress or ruin your hair and make-up, but that’s far from the case. Bring your bridesmaids along with you to ensure nothing bad happens. Don’t let temporary things prevent you from photographs that will be with you forever. Keep an open mind and trust that your photographer is doing everything in your best interests to provide you with creative and interesting images. Your photographer may ask you to walk in a field, sit on a road, run around down town, etc. Communicate to him or her if you simply do not wish to have those photographs, but if the reason you do not want to go to a location is because temporary reasons, relax. Lifting these apprehensions will help greatly in getting the most out of your wedding photography.
SMILE AND LAUGH
I almost did not include this in the list because it seems so obvious; however, it’s too important not to be here. Although it may seem that laughing and smiling would be natural, stress and tight schedules can make the day not as enjoyable as it’s dreamed of.
Having everyone in high spirits will yield more images and better images. Laughter is contagious, and simultaneously creates the best smiles. Keep your wedding day as lighthearted and carefree as possible. Surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you, those who make you laugh, and those who you can be yourself around.