What You Can Do To Make Sure Your Wedding Photos Are Beautiful!
Your getting married… Congratulations! As the planning process gets underway, its inevitable that you’ll view hundreds if not thousands of wedding photos over the course of your engagement.
When looking at wedding photos on blogs, planning websites or when shopping for your own wedding photographer, your bound to notice that some photos really stand out to you while others are just “ok”. Many couples think that the quality of their wedding photos are all in the photographers talent but I’m here to tell you thats not completely true! You play a huge role in the quality of your wedding photos.
There are some very important aspects of the wedding photography process that YOU have control over, not your wedding photographer. So I’ve complied a list below of some things that you can do to help make your wedding photos wonderful!
Tip 1: Lighting
Lighting is VERY important:
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography. Soft even light is a photographers dream. In addition to soft even light, the ability to use more dramatic lighting (such as a setting sun shining through tree tops) makes for the cherry topper on the lighting cake! Couples are often in total control of the wedding day timeline and their photographer is at the mercy of the lighting that happens to be available during the time they were slotted to shoot the portraits and ceremony.
Soft even lighting on you, your guests and the entire ceremony is ideal. Pay attention to the time of day you plan to have your ceremony and notice what the sun is doing at that time. During the ceremony, one of your photographer’s worst enemies is partial sun and partial shade. For example, If your ceremony site is half under the shade of the tree half in the sun, consider making an adjustment to one or the other for more even light in your photos. Its also important to notice how you will be standing during the ceremony, and take shadows into account, is there a shadow on either you or your patterns face while you stand in place for the ceremony?
Lighting for Portraits:
Most photographers will tell you that the time they most enjoy shooting wedding portraits is around the golden hour (this is the hour before sunset). This is because the light is even and has warm tones. Photographers like to avoid shadows and harsh light so pay attention to what the light is doing during the day as your preparing your timeline and notice when the light looks warm and soft and try to plan your portraits for that time. The time leading up to sunset can also be wonderful for portraits, enabling your photographer to make use of the lower sun and more creative lighting techniques. (See the photo to the right)
What you can do:
Take lighting into account when you are planning your wedding timeline. Ask yourself these questions: 1. What is the lighting going to be like during my ceremony? 2. At the ceremony site, what direction will the sun be facing in relation to my photographer, guests etc. 3. Is part of my ceremony area in full sun and part in shade… if so, can I move my ceremony site so that its one or the other. 4. What is the lighting going to be like during our portrait session and is there any way I can do my portraits during the sunset hour?
Tip 2: Having Fun and Be Real With Each Other
Be yourself and show your love:
Telling the story of a couple in love through photography only works if the couple can show that love to the camera. There is no replacement for true emotion and the more you can be yourself with each other and let that emotion shine through, the better your photos will be… guaranteed!
Show your love:
Make sure that during your portrait session you and your partner do everything possible to be real with each other. Try your hardest to forget that a camera is pointed at you and be as open with your affection as possible. Those sweet moments captured in the wedding photographs you love are probably NOT staged, they are real moments and thats up to the couple to create.
Have as much fun as possible:
Taking wedding photos should be a FUN creative process. Try your hardest to relax and make each other laugh. Tell your partner jokes or whisper something fun in each others ear. Focus on having fun with each other and your photos will be sure to tell a beautiful story.
What you can do:
1. Stay as relaxed as possible during your session and try to let your true personality as a couple shine through. 2. Try to be as affectionate with each other as you can, romantic photos are created by simply capturing the romance that YOU create. 3. Make your partner laugh, be goofy and remember to have fun! 4. Speak up and share your creative ideas about poses etc with your photographer. Its always more fun and memorable if you take an active roll in the creation of your wedding photos!
Tip 3: Allow Enough Time For Photos
Great photos take time
Wedding days can be hectic and the schedule is typically tight but if photos are important to you, there has to be enough time set aside to make the magic happen!
Extra time in your photography schedule offers you and your partner the opportunity to settle down and relax into the process of having your picture taken. As mentioned above, the more relaxed you are the better your photos will be. Extra time in the photography schedule also allows for many different poses and ideas to come to fruition!
Consider Various Locations
A variety in backdrops for your wedding photos is an excellent idea! When couples allow extra time in their schedule it opens the door for changing locations and even going on a photo tour around the area! With plenty of time in your schedule, your wedding portraits can be done in a lifestyle portrait shoot style; capturing you exploring different areas, having coffee together, enjoying a park or beach etc. With the ability to move from location to location the possibilities for your wedding photos are endless!
What you can do:
1. Weigh how important photos are to you and consider the amount of time you have allowed in your schedule in comparison to that. If you look at wedding blogs etc that have examples with a couple that has large amount of beautiful couples portraits with various locations and poses, most defiantly the photographer had a good amount of time to work with the couple. 2. Come up with a few different location ideas and travel around to various places for your portraits. 3. If your wedding day timeline is extra tight and you just cant allow for additional time on your wedding day for your portraits, consider a day after shoot / trash the dress session to capture some additional photos.
So there you have it! Remember your photographer may be the one holding the camera but you hold the ability to set the tone of your images with your location, timing, and your energy and chemistry with each other. Happy planning!