One of the most important day in a girl’s life is her wedding day. You spend weeks, months, maybe even years planning your dream wedding. When it’s all over, whether you want it to be or not, you want the best moments captured, available for you to relive and share for years to come. You only get married once, so it is important that you do whatever it takes to set your photographer up for success. Capturing your wedding day is not easy work and as the bride, you should take away as many roadblocks best as you can from all those who are serving you and working with you. Whether it be your wedding planner and coordinator, your make-up artist, or your photographer; find ways to allow them to succeed. When your wedding planner and coordinator is successful, you the bride should be less stressed knowing they have everything under control. When your make-up artist is successful, you can bet that you’ll look your best all day. As a photographer, these are some of my top six tips that have helped me to capture the best photos and moments for my clients.
1. Work Out Your Wedding Timeline With Your Photographer
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone over a timeline with a Bride and she asks, “Is 30 minutes enough time to do family photos, wedding party photos, and a portrait session of the Groom and I?” The answer is “Yes, it is enough time.” However, you’ll be stressed, the coordinator will be stressed, and people are not their best in photos when everyone is being rushed.
Another thing to consider is how long it’ll take you to get ready. Brides often laugh when I tell them that it’ll take a minimum of 4 hours for her and her bridesmaids to get ready. When you’re at home, you can probably get ready in about an hour. However, consider the fact that the person doing your hair has to wait for make-up to finish before she starts her work; your make-up artist may also be doing makeup for 4-5 other girls; you and your wedding party have to eat breakfast or lunch; the photographer usually takes care of the dress shot, ring shot, and details at this time; and you’re also trying to work out the problems that arise on the day of your wedding.
To sum it up: Make sure you slot enough time for your getting ready shots and portraits.
*WEDDING TIMELINE HACK*
Instead of focusing a lot of time on portraits of you and your husband in your wedding attire, ask if the photographer is willing to do a creative session of you and your husband in your wedding attire at a unique destination and on a different date. This frees up more time for your wedding.
2. Take Into Consideration Where You And Your Party Will Be Getting Ready.
Do consider where you and your wedding party will be getting ready. I have shot some weddings where brides and grooms get ready in rooms with no windows and dim lights. Some rooms have been so small it was hard to move around to capture important moments without having something or someone interrupt that perfect shot. I get why some people will choose to get ready in places or homes like this. However, a large percentage of your photos will come from where you are getting ready. So if your place is dirty, tiny, and not very well lit, then I suggest you book a hotel or maybe even an AirBNB.
The ideal location for you to get ready is a place with plenty of natural light. That means you should look for large windows. Also, make sure that the location is large enough to hold your bridal party and other vendors as everyone is getting ready.
Does this mean that you have to get ready in a beautiful location? No, not at all. Homes have a lot of meaning and if you want a more photojournalistic approach to your photos, getting ready in homes can be a good thing.
Windows that are facing North or South are best for photos. They have even and soft lighting all day long. Windows that face East or West often have the harsh sunlight coming through.
3. Hire A Make-Up Artist
A normal wedding photographer will deliver a minimum of 300 photos to you. Of those 300, my guess is that 80% of those shots show your face. It takes a photographer about 15-20 minutes to photoshop and process your skin. Your photographer does not have the time to photoshop all of your blemishes on over 200 photos.
Help your photographer out by looking your best. Hire a MUA and go through mock-ups with her to get the perfect look and feel of what you want for your special day.
4. Hire A Good Wedding Coordinator
If I had to put an order to this list, hiring a good wedding coordinator will be number 1. A good wedding coordinator will help your day stay “lean.” What does that mean? It means that you won’t spend unnecessary time, effort, and stress trying to resolve wedding day problems. Time is your most valuable and limited resource on a wedding day. All wedding day questions, comments, and concerns should be addressed to the coordinator/planner. Let them deal with it and you enjoy your day.
How does this help with your photos? You will be happier. A happy face beats a stressed and overworked face anytime. Not only that, but a wedding coordinator helps keep the photographer informed of events so that no shots will be missed.
5. You Can Go Cheap on Decor, but Don’t Be Lazy
Kind of self-explanatory. I know everyone has a budget. Even if your decor budget is $300, you can stretch that.
For example, instead of buying expensive center-pieces, ask your father or father-in-law to slice up tree stumps. That costs you $0. Can’t afford to rent out higher-end chairs? You can rent hay bundles and have a farm wedding for cheaper. Can’t afford to rent out plates and utensils? Ask your friends and family to bring their own set! Maybe even set the event to BYOB (bring your own beer)! Yes, you’ll have to work harder for all of this but it beats cheap and plasticky decorations. Please avoid balloons, streamers, and Christmas lights! They are cheap but they aren’t pretty. Instead, you can buy these fairy lights for the same price. Stick them in a mason jar and you have table decor for under $3!
6. Think About The Lighting
Bad lighting is a photographer’s worst nightmare. Nothing good ever comes from bad lighting. What kind of pain does bad lighting cause for photographers?
- Photos will be grainy because the photographer will have to shoot at higher ISO.
- A photographer can use flash, but that also means that the ambient feel of the wedding will be overpowered by the flash. Although flash is not bad, natural light brings more emotions & captures the true feel of the evening.
- A camera’s performance diminishes as it gets darker. A camera has a harder time trying to focus as it gets darker. Your photographer WILL miss shots due to focus issues if the scene is dark.
- DJ lights throw off the white balance of a camera. Your white wedding dress will be a green or red wedding dress once the colorful lights hit your dress.
- If the venue is lit from above, it can cast raccoon eyes on faces.
It takes a lot of money to hire your photographer. That means you should do your best to place him in an environment where he can succeed. Why is it important that he succeeds? Because when he’s able to do an excellent job, you receive the best moments captured on your most special day.
If you haven’t found a photographer yet, I am now opening my calendar to book for 2018 and 2019. Please fill out the form below and I’ll reach back out to you. Thanks!