Making the most of your wedding photos

It is often said that wedding photography is the one thing you have left after your wedding. Its the one thing that you pass on to your children and future generations from your wedding day.  In this article, we’ll discuss ways to make the most of your wedding day images.

  1. Consider your entire day.  Photography is very dependent on your locations.  In order to have a consistent look and feel to your photography, think about your entire day and how the locations flow together.  Everything from where you get ready in the morning to your ceremony, photo and reception locations should have a similar look if possible.  Having a beautiful cathedral church for your ceremony and getting ready in a small, cluttered home is a difficult match.  Consider getting ready in a hotel suite with plenty of room and natural light.  Keep the room clean from clutter.  Everything comes into play.  If you have questions, ask your photographer.
  2. Great makeup and hair is a must.  When we shoot, we are often using commercial lighting.  Uneven makeup or poorly done hair show up immediately.  We encourage our couples to hire professionals with some commercial/fashion experience.  We then coordinate with the makeup artists/hair stylist to make sure we are getting what we need.  You very well may be wearing more makeup than you are used to.  This is common.  Don’t be alarmed.  On camera, you’ll look great.
  3. Work together before the wedding being comfortable with each other.  During the wedding day, your photographer is going to be asking you to interact with your spouse.  If you aren’t used to being close to each other and are uncomfortable kissing with others around, you are going to struggle.  Work together ahead of time being close to each other without laughing…  Show affection in public leading up to the time of your wedding.  You want to look like you do this type of thing all the time when you are photographed.  Practice makes perfect.  Come on – you are getting married.  Enjoy it!
  4. Allocate enough time.  Rushing around doesn’t make for great photography.  We recommend at least an hour and a half for couple/bridal party photographs.  Two hours is better.  This does not include drive times.  People often forget transit time and the time it takes to get everyone to transportation.  We’ve seen it take 45 minutes just to get everyone out of a church and onto a limo bus.  Plan ahead and build in extra time.  For family portraits, work with your photographer for a realistic estimate on how long family portraits will take.
  5. Don’t allocate too much time.  Three plus hours of photography makes even models and trained professionals tired.  You and your bridal party will get to the point where nobody wants additional pictures.  Push past this and you have diminishing returns and a crabby bridal party.  Keep it to a reasonable amount of time.  This is still your wedding day, and although your photographs are important, your spouse, friends and family are the top priority.
  6. Don’t go crazy on family portraits.  We recommend immediate family portraits only.  We understand the desire some families have for extended family and friend photographs.   If these are required, make sure to allocate enough time without skimping on couple and bridal party photos.
  7. Hire a professional.  This may seem like a simple tip, but you want the best photography that fits within your budget.  A good target figure is 8% – 10% of your total wedding expenditures.  Photography prices vary wildly.  In many cases, you simply get what you pay for.  If you want phenomenal photography, you are going to pay more.  Do your research and meet in person (if possible) or speak via phone with at least 3 photographers.  Don’t overdo it either.  We’ve had clients review 20+ photographers only to book us.  Don’t drive yourself crazy.  Pay particular attention to referrals from friends and family members.  Nearly 70% of our business comes from past client referrals.  Its very simple to set up a slick website and have a few good images.  Its something completely different to have the experience and breadth of work to produce consistently good results.  The more experience and talent a photographer has, the more in-demand and expensive they are going to be.  Its simple supply and demand.  Since a photographer only has so many weekends a year they can work and so many weddings they can do, they are going to be more expensive if they are popular.  Don’t skimp.  You’ll kick yourself later.
  8. Be realistic.  Just because you hire a great photographer doesn’t mean your wedding is going to photograph like other weddings you may see in a magazine.  There are a lot of determining factors including your locations, how comfortable you are with the camera and what your timeline looks like.  Your wedding is unique to you.  Allow your photographer to capture your wedding day and experiences.  Give them room to breath.  We personally don’t work from shot lists or attempt to duplicate other styles.  Its too restricting on the day of the wedding and we end up missing moments that we would have otherwise captured when we are running around trying to check off a list.