How To Get Best Wedding Photos From Your Wedding Photographer
So you have got the engagement ring (we know some of you have waited more than 10 years for such a moment), your wedding planning can finally get underway.
As with most of the 20,000 weddings that take place in New Zealand every year, wedding photography could be one of the most expensive items on the wedding budget and the only one that will visually preserve the precious memories of your wedding day.
While it is the job of the wedding photographer to make sure that you get the best wedding photos on your special day, there is no harm in doing your homework to make sure that you’ll get the best wedding photos you desire.
From our experience, not all couples are indeed comfortable in front of the camera.
Couples often feel tense and uneasy once the camera points towards them.
One of the most common reasons is that they have no idea how to pose, or they are not comfortable working with the wedding photographer.
The wedding couple wants the pictures to be perfect, and they do not know what to do to achieve that and stress themselves too much to get the best poses possible.
One typical situation we encounter is the groom hates smiling, and the bride worries about double chin and non-flattering pose.
We understand how important it is to have the best wedding photos since this is a once in a lifetime event that needs to be captured to the closest perfection as possible.
This is why Picture Perfect Photography is sharing their experience and tips on how to make sure you’ll end up getting the best wedding photos from your wedding photographer on your wedding day.
Choose a wedding photographer that understands you
Choosing a wedding photographer is the most important tip we can give you.
You will spend most of your wedding day with your chosen wedding photographer, more than anyone else, except your other half of course.
What would you prefer more, feeling uncomfortable and tight, or goofing and laughing around.
Some photographers are more polite and quiet; some are more in your face, some want to be on the outside and document your day, while others want to be immersed and feel like a guest or family member.
From our 10 years experience as a New Zealand wedding photographer and our personality, it is best to work with a wedding photographer that you get along with, talk with, joke, and make fun with.
Weddings are supposed to be happy, so why not let loose and embrace all the happiness and love.
Sure, you can always let the photographer know what is not comfortable and what is, but this is a conversation you should not have to do if you have carefully vetted your chosen wedding photographer.
These are the significant benefits when you can have fun with your wedding photographer:
- your smiles, the way the couple looks at each other, both of your postures, everything looks and feels organic.
- When you are happy and relaxed, your body just flows and looks natural, which is very popular with brides and grooms these days.
- You will create many intimate moody images as you get more comfortable being in front of the camera and having the photographer near you.
- The positive experience would allow you to enjoy the wedding photos for life, and those happy memories will always be there to enjoy your wedding photos even more.
It cannot be stressed enough; having an unhappy experience will always leave a sour taste whenever you look back at your wedding images.
When you feel like you have to pose or listen to awful jokes that just don’t resonate with you, things will start to become awkward very quickly. It will affect your mood, the people around you, and then the rest of the wedding guests.
So, concentrate on the atmosphere, the people, the experience, and allow the photographers to work their magic.
Know what wedding style photography images resonate with you
Every wedding photographer has:
- their style of creativity
- their unique approach to view a wedding
- how to create storytelling and artistic photos for their wedding clients.
Therefore you must research and narrow down on the style of wedding photographs and editing that resonates the best with you, then choose the wedding photographer to fit that style.
Do not force the photographer to adapt to your desired photo style that will only end up in disappointment.
Certainly, you should discuss with your wedding photographer about the editing and the color tone in your wedding photos, which can easily be catered for, but you should do it at the beginning.
But remember, editing is part of the personality of wedding photography. While it can help to tailor the post-production work, it is best to choose the wedding photography work that you love, and then allow the professional photographers to work in their elements and do what they know and do best.
For example, it is next to impossible to ask a dark and moody style wedding photographer to give you airy and light feeling wedding images and vice versa. It’s the same as asking a traditional pose-orientated photographer to work with laid back brides and grooms who just want to party hard on the day.
Prepare a list of must-have wedding day photos
Every wedding story is unique and different, and yours is no exception.
Think about what is unique about your wedding, what is personal, and what is super duper important that you want to cherish forever.
Please note, though, this is not a typical list of wedding photos that you want. Things like the ring photos, you walking the aisle, etc., trust your wedding photographer’s experience and ability to capture all those wedding moments for you.
If you provide such a list, you have essentially just killed the creative freedom of the photographers as they would be too worried about missing your requested shots that they can’t step back and observe and tell the story of your day.
If you do happen to hire a non-professional photographer with little experience, such a list may be helpful. However, we still don’t recommend it.
We are talking about special and unique items that the photographers may not be aware of. For example, it could be:
- a broach that was passed down by your grandmother
- a special uncle whom you hold dear in your life
- a best friend that you have not seen in over 10 years.
It is also essential to share information about key relationships like how emotional your grandmother can be when she sees you in your wedding dress, or how the father of the bride can get emotional when she sees the bride for the first time.
This information will help your photographer know where you are coming from and what truly matters to you.
Also, let your photographer know if you are wearing “something blue,” or if you are wearing the earrings grandpa gave to grandma. The more personal, the better!
Also, prepare a group shot photos list so that you can work through the family and group photos session quickly and efficiently.
Don’t forget to assign a representative, can be a family, relative, or friend of both the bride and groom’s side to help the photographer identify and locate who’s who during photo time.
Share your personal love stories
If you value wedding photography as a form of creative storytelling and book a great wedding photographer, it is helpful to share your personal love stories with him /her.
Your love story will play a big part in the theme, mood, and atmosphere of your wedding day.
The more the photographer can connect with you, the more immersed he/she will be and then be able to bring out your uniqueness in the wedding photos.
No matter how small a wedding detail is, it still represents a massive part of who you are and what your love story is all about.
That’s why it is important to tell your wedding photographer these little details to help deliver a story and emotion.
Don’t forget the golden hour wedding photos
Have you heard about the “golden hour“?
This is the time when the sun is starting to set, and boy, it makes everything look pretty and gorgeous!
When we talk about photography, we talk about the importance of light quality, softness, and color.
The golden hour is when the light is beautiful and soft, and the color is just dreamy and merely romantic. This is in direct contrast to a bright sunny day where the sun is very harsh and directional with lots of sharp shadow lines.
That is why brides and grooms love these sunset wedding photos during the golden hour so much. You get a chance to be alone with your partner, reflect the day, enjoy the quietness, as well as the beautiful warmth of the sunset and the romantic mood of the scene and atmosphere. And you get epic and moody wedding images.
If you do want this sunset wedding photography, we recommend that you talk to your wedding photographer about your wedding day timeline so he or she can modify everything accordingly based on the ideal times to take photographs.
The most important things to communicate with your wedding photographer are:
- express your desire for the golden hour photography
- plan your reception timetable, especially the wedding speeches, to give you the flexibility to duck out for 15 minutes or so for these photos.
During the reception, it is often challenging to stay precisely on the prepared timeline. Reception food could come late, and the speeches could go for too long. If the photographer understands your desire for the photos, they would continuously keep track of the weather and the lighting, and be in constant communication with you to make it happen.
Sunset does not wait for anyone.
Don’t stress over the little details
If you are stressed and grumpy, and just plain unhappy, even the best New Zealand wedding photographer can’t give you beautiful wedding photos.
One thing you need to prepare for is that something will go wrong:
- the decoration may not be perfect
- people might turn up late
- children will cry and run around
- your wedding cake might even melt in the heat or fall over (has happened before, believe me).
However, it is essential to remember why your friends and family have traveled a long distance to be there with you both, and why the day is taking place after months of wedding planning.
Enjoy the day, laugh at all the mishaps, smile at the rain if it does rain, and just let the love and happiness shine through for the wedding photography.
In one of our weddings, as the bride was about to walk down the aisle, the wedding cake fell over because the icing melted in the intense heat. The bride just kept walking, got married, and no one knew a thing until the reception speeches when people made light fun of the event. Needless to say, they got a super fun and relaxing bridal wedding photos from the day.
Wedding Photos provided by Picture Perfect Photography
Have guests share wedding photos
Still, want more photographs?
Have your wedding guests take these for you!
Use a unique hashtag for your wedding and ask your guests to use it whenever they post it on their social media accounts.
This way, you can easily see all the wedding images related to your wedding and download whichever you want to have for keeps.
You can also opt to put signs on the ceremony and reception to encourage your guests to take candid shots.
This is also an excellent opportunity for your wedding photographer to capture the emotions of the guests as they take your photos.
Feed your wedding photographer
It may seem like a silly thing to mention, but it is worthwhile to make sure your photographer is fit and healthy, and well looked after throughout the day. The more comfortable they feel, the more part of the day that they become, the more they are embraced by families and friends, the more intimate and beautiful your wedding photos will be.
Hopefully, you now have some good ideas on how to work with your wedding photographer to get the best wedding images possible. Essentially, you need to do your research and choose a photographer that you can laugh with and has a style to suit your theme.
On that day, concentrate on the occasion, the people, and allow the photographers to do their job.
Trust in their creativity.
Do I need to feed my wedding photographer?
It may seem like a silly thing to mention, but it is worthwhile to make sure your photographer is energetic and content throughout the day.
The more comfortable they feel, the more part of the wedding day they become, the more they are embraced by families and friends, the more intimate and beautiful your wedding photos will be.
Wedding photography is tiring, and most photographers do survive on adrenaline throughout the day to cope with the excitement and the constant chatting and mingling.
During the reception, the photographers would have the first chance to rest momentarily. This is when the tiredness can set in quite quickly. That is why we feel its important to feed the wedding photographers.
Some photographers prefer to wait for the rest of the guests to finish before they dine. Others prefer to be fed just after the bridal party so they can concentrate on wedding photography afterward. Just talk to your photographers before the day so everyone can be on the same page.
Hopefully, you now have some good ideas on how to work with your wedding photographer to get the best wedding photos possible.
Essentially, you need to do your research and choose a photographer that you can laugh with and has a style to suit your theme.
On your day, concentrate on the occasion, the people, and allow the photographers to do their job.
Trust in their creativity.
Photography by Picture Perfect Photography
While it is the job of the wedding photographer to make sure that you get the best images for your wedding day, there is no harm in doing your own homework to make sure that you’ll get the images you want on your wedding album.
It is also true that not all couples are comfortable in front of the camera. In fact, couples often feel tense and uneasy once the camera is pointed towards them. One of the most common reasons is that they have no idea how to pose or they are not comfortable working with the photographer.
Luckily there are tips on how to make sure that you’ll end up getting the photographer to get the best images for the wedding day.
Knowing what photos you want to see
Consider making a list of must-haves shots like formals, with family, portraits, candid shot with friends, with the father of the bride, first look etc. Also, don’t forget to assign a representative, can be a family, relative or a friend of both the bride and groom side to help the photographer identify and locate who’s who during photo time.
If don’t have any ideas what shots or pose you need to know, feel free to browse wedding-related websites (like My Kiwi Wedding!) and Pinterest. Give some samples to your wedding photographer to recreate it. But remember to leave some room for their own creativity. Trust your wedding photographer to make your wedding photos like no other.
Share your personal stories
No matter how small a wedding detail is, it still represents a huge part of who you are and what your love story is all about. That’s why it is important to tell your wedding photographer these little details to help deliver a story and emotion.
It is also important to share information about key relationships like how emotional your grandmother can be when she sees you in your wedding dress, or how the father of the bride can get emotional when she sees the bride for the first time. This information will help your wedding photographer where you are coming from and what truly matters to you.
In addition, let your photographer know if you are wearing “something blue”, or if you are wearing the earrings grandpa gave to grandma. The more personal, the better!
Photography by Picture Perfect Photography
Don’t forget the golden hour
Have you heard about the “golden hour”? This is the time when the sun is rising or setting and boy they make everything look pretty and gorgeous! That’s why it is important to talk to your wedding photographer about your wedding timeline so he or she can modify everything accordingly based on the ideal times to take photographs.
However, if your wedding schedule doesn’t allow you and your wedding photographer to take advantage of the golden hour, it is important to know that your photographer understands good lighting and how to work it with his or her camera and other gears. He or she must know how to use indoor lighting by means of ambient exposure and off-camera flash to illuminate his or her subject softly.
Choose a photographer that you get along with
It is best to work with a wedding photographer that you get along with and talk with. Let him or her know what is not comfortable and what is. It is easier to open up and tell personal stories when you are comfortable with them. This way, you are calm and relaxed when he or she is around taking photographs of you and your spouse and the result would be more natural and the way you have imagined.
Get your wedding guests take photos
Still want more photographs? Have your wedding guests take these for you! Use a unique hashtag for your wedding and ask your guests to use it whenever they post it on their social media accounts. This way, you can easily see all the photos related to your wedding and download whichever you want to have for keeps.
You can also opt to put signs outside the ceremony and reception to encourage your guests to take candid shots. This is also a good opportunity for your wedding photographer to capture the emotions of the guests as they take your photos.