Here are some easy tips for great wedding images. Getting clean, stylish and photojournalistic images from your wedding day doesn’t have to cost $70,000. You can get great images from your wedding and reception without renting the Taj Mahal. But, you do have to be prepared and willing to create a pristine and artistic environment for your photographer. Here are a few simple tips for great wedding images you can do to ensure your wedding photographer captures the best images possible:
- First and foremost, book a good wedding photographer. Finding the right photographer can be challenging and, in a lot of cases, expensive too. Do your research. Reading wedding photographers’ blogs is a great place to start. From there, you should be able to look at real weddings and make a short list. Keep in mind that pricing fluctuates greatly depending on location, experience and items offered in the different collections. You might luck out and find a very talented, new and less expensive photographer, but that is usually the exception, not the rule. And, please, please, please don’t consider having your uncle photograph the ceremony just because he has a nice camera. The best piece of advice: make sure you like the photographer’s work MORE than you like their price.
- Inform your photographer where everything will be taking place. Invite your photographer to the church and venue for a walk-through. If that isn’t possible, draw a diagram and ask them to show up early the day of. When the photographer has a good idea about lighting and logistics, they will be better prepared and the images will be better.
- Make sure the wedding collection you choose provides a second shooter. Having a second shooter capture the same moment at the exact time provides two perspectives. It also permits one photographer to stay with the bride/bridesmaids while she dresses, and the second to go with the groom/groomsmen. You don’t want to miss all the guys “trying” to put their ties on properly.
- Make sure the wedding collection you choose gives the photographer enough time to capture all of the images you want. If you want details, ring shots, a first look, ceremony and reception coverage, a four-hour collection won’t be sufficient. Discuss all the details you want captured from your wedding ceremony and celebration.
- Make sure your wedding planner or coordinator will assist your photographer. For example, if the planner or coordinator can clear the reception room for a brief two or three minutes after all of the decorations have been put in place, this will allow the photographer to grab some clean, wide angle shots of your reception room. If they ensure the photographers eat early, the photographers are available as soon as the bride and groom are finished eating. The planner/coordinator can also help with the formal portraits. Rounding everyone up is a job all in itself.
- If you have a choice, choose a room to dress for the wedding that has windows and is a neutral color. The kid’s nursery room in the church basement will photograph just like a kid’s nursery room in a church basement. A room painted in a bright color, like red or yellow, will cast unwanted colors on your skin. Pay particular attention to the room’s decor. Lots of natural light is optimal.
- If you’re not willing to go completely unplugged, at least consider an unplugged ceremony. Having an unplugged ceremony means that you ask your guests to leave their cameras, phones, iPads, video cameras etc. in their purse or at home. This does two things. First, it keeps images off of the internet that may be less than pretty. Secondly, it reduces the amount of obstacles in place for your paid professional. When all of your guests are competing to capture the kiss or bouquet toss, they not only get in the way, their flashes produce lighting that your photographer is not expecting. This ruins the image they are trying to capture. At least look at the images in this unplugged article for some excellent examples that speak for themselves. If your guests know upfront that you will be sharing all of the images from your special day with them, they will be more open to complying with this request.
- If you’re having an outdoor wedding, know what the light will be on the date of your ceremony. Placement of your altar may differ from a February wedding as it would for an August wedding at the same venue. Know that an altar beneath trees with an overhead sun will cause dappled lighting. This doesn’t produce better images, but keep in mind that your guests will be very uncomfortable if they have to stare into the sun.
- If your officiant will be using a microphone, make sure he’s wearing an unobtrusive, wireless one on his collar. Microphone stands get in the way and in most cases, are very hard to Photoshop™ out of the image.
- Extend the kiss for the “kiss the bride” part. If you merely peck each other because you’re nervous or embarrassed to be making public displays of affection, you’re not providing a very big window to capture that defining moment.
- Make sure that you and the cake table face your guests. When the cake table faces a wall and you don’t turn to face the guests, there’s only two angles the photographer can shoot from: 90° left and 90° right. Neither are great angles.
- Keep the trash cans out of sight or decorate their exterior so that they look less like a trash can.
Just by following these 12 simple tips for great wedding images will dramatically improve the quality and cleanliness of your images. That will make you happier!
**Some of the images contained in this post were shot under the direction and for assignment of Philip Thomas Photography, LLC. The images are copyrighted by Philip Thomas Photography, LLC, but are used herein with permission.
I am a San Antonio-based wedding and senior photographer who started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. As one of the up-and-coming San Antonio wedding photographers, I am also available to shoot in Austin, Houston and Dallas and the surrounding areas. I am also available for destination weddings worldwide. Ata-Girl Photography Co. offers an amazing wedding photography service that you won’t soon forget. As a professional photographer, my sole purpose is to provide you the absolute best photography experience.
I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling, reading, and listening to Elvis!
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