Our top tips for wonderful wedding photos
Although hiring a super, awesome wedding photographer (like us here at Chlo & Co Creatives!) will go a long way to helping you capture beautiful wedding photos, there are also things you, your partner and wedding party can do to help this process along. These tips cover both the planning phase of your wedding and the actual day itself. Read through our advice to help ensure your wedding photos are spectacular!
TIPS WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING
1. Decide on what photos you would like
Making a photo list can be super helpful to makes sure you and your photographer are on the same page. A shot list can include what you want photos of (see detailed shot of bouquet, of Grandma’s ring and your pooch dressed up in a bow-tie) as well as poses that you would like to see in your own wedding photos. Your photographer may ask you for your shot list or give you a form to fill in that helps you consider what photos you would want from your wedding day (like we do) or you may need to research how to create your own. Pinterest can also be a very helpful tool when deciding on poses you love. You can pass these images onto your photographer to help them understand what photos you’d love to see in your own set.
Note: This does not consider the editing style of the photograph, only the pose. You should choose your wedding photographer based on their style not choose a photo and ask the wedding photographer to change their style to suit.
Planning your photos: Make sure you tell your photographer if you want to involve your fur-babies!!
2. Write a list of your family photos
Having a list of all the different family and/or friend group photos you want on your wedding day is the number one best way to make sure you don’t forget anyone! This list can be given to your photographer or a family member/close friend that is helping your organise these group shots on the day (see below for more info on why this is a very good idea!).
3. Decide if you would like first look photos
In my personal opinion, I think first look photos are awesome!
Also known as pre-ceremony photos, first-look photos are taken before the ceremony and often capture the bride and groom’s first moment together on their wedding day. I am not one for traditional so I think first look photos are an excellent idea, but if you need more convincing, other advantages of pre-ceremony photos are:
The priceless photos you get of you and your partner’s first glimpse of each other!
That you free up more time after the ceremony and therefore get to spend more time with your guests (and also enjoy the canapés that most weddings have for their guests while photos are being taken!).
That you’ll be less nervous to walk down the aisle as you have already got to spend some time with your partner and wedding party to help ease your nerves.
That it is a lovely way to spend some time with just you and your partner on your wedding day, making the start of your day a lot more relaxing!
That you don’t have to worry if any situation makes you deviate from your schedule as you already have your wedding portraits!
That your makeup, hair and clothes are fresh and ready for photos.
You are also more likely to stick to your schedule for your photos if they are done before too many people are involved, which in turn allows for a more relaxing experience with your wedding photos.
4. Leave at least one hour for your wedding photos
Scheduling a good amount of time for your wedding photos is the very best way to ensure that your photos will be amazing! You need to allow for at least one hour of time for your wedding photos then add on a bit more to allow for the things that happen on wedding days that eat up time (like when Aunt Margaret wants to chat for 35 minutes and won’t let you leave). If you are able to allocate a little bit more time to your wedding photo schedule, that is even better, as it takes the pressure off the session and allows for more locations, giving you a variety of backgrounds to choose from.
5. Plan to have your backs facing the sun at your ceremony
Another tip I have learnt being a wedding photographer in Albury Wodonga (where it is often sunny), is that when you plan your ceremony you either want to be standing in the shade or have the sun at your back. This is both for your comfort but also for the sake of your wedding photos! If you stand in direct sunlight it will cast hard shadows on your face if the sun is angled on the side, or it will make you squint if it is directly in your face. Neither lighting makes for particularly nice wedding photos so think about this when deciding on where your ceremony will be held and which way you will face.
Note: If you are having your wedding in summer make sure you also consider your guests comfort! It is often better to have your ceremony completely in the shade for more appealing wedding photos and happier guests (you and your wedding party will be grateful for this decision by the end of the ceremony too!).
Get gorgeous ceremony photos like this by having your ceremony in the shade!
TIPS FOR ON THE DAY
Alright, so this might seem like an obvious wedding photography tip but on the day, when the nerves kick, smiling may not be the first thing on your mind! Now this also doesn’t mean you need to be smiling all the time but reminding your wedding party, partner and yourself to smile occasionally during the ceremony will make your photos look a lot more sincere and a little less serious!
Smiling makes the best photos!
2. Ask a family member or close friend to help organise your family photos
Family photos can get a little hectic at weddings. This is often caused by Uncle Larry not wanting his photo taken or your sister disappearing to grab a glass of wine as soon as the ceremony is over. To help you and your wedding photographer out, ask a family member or close friend before your wedding day to help you organise your family photos. Give this person the list you created earlier so that they can help round up the members of the photo… or shout names if that’s their style!
3. Allow time
Alright, so I know I mentioned earlier that you really, really need to leave at least one hour in your schedule (or more if possible!!) for photos, but I am going to reiterate it once more because it is so very important! If you want amazing wedding photos you need to allow a little bit of time for them.
Be wary when planning your schedule. Wedding days often don’t go to plan and when a part of your day takes longer than you thought it should, it is usually your wedding photography time that makes up for it. Try to keep this in mind when you create a schedule of your day and aim to allow extra time in your plan specifically for your wedding portraits. Doing this will help you get wonderful wedding photos.
4. Take photos without the on-lookers
To capture those stunning wedding photos portraits of you and your partner, you know the ones that you see splashed all over Pinterest and Instagram, you need to allocate yourself time alone with your partner and your wedding photographer.
Here at Chlo & Co Creatives we encourage your wedding party to go and take a little bit of time off at the end of your wedding photo session so that you and your partner can have some time to yourselves (almost!) on your wedding day. Not only is grabbing a few moments with just you and your partner quite rare on your wedding day, another advantage to this is that it gives you a chance to create soft and intimate moments that can a bit hard with a crowd (particularly a crowd that is funny AF and loves to make you laugh!). It also takes the pressure of kissing in front of people if you are the kind of couple who finds PDA a little awkward.
5. Kiss slowly
Our last tip is to slow down and enjoy your wedding day. Kiss a little slower (to help your wedding photographer capture it!) and enjoy the moment! After all, this will be one of the best days of your life!
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