22 Top Wedding Photography Tips
Here we’ve compiled a quick run-down of wedding photography tips that you might not have thought about before your big day!
If you haven’t already you can read our guide on how to find the perfect wedding photographer for you.
#1 Before the Day
1. Does your venue allow photography? Are there any limitations? Think about the use of flash, position of the photographer etc. Some venues may not allow flash photography, particularly if you’re hosting your ceremony in a historic building. It’s a great question to ask when you go venue hunting. We have been told by some religious officiants that no photography was allowed at all. If photography is important to you, make sure you’ll be able to do it!
2. Want to go to the local park after the ceremony to take pictures? You might need a license for that! Some City Councils ask for a fee to use the park for wedding pictures, so investigate this before you go ahead and organise park pictures. Find out more about Glasgow’s fees here.
3. It can be a good idea to send your photographer any pictures you come across that you like so they can get a feel for your style. They might not be able to recreate your Pinterest Hawaii beach wedding board in Glasgow, but it’ll give them an idea of the style of photos you like and the look you’re going for on your wedding day. It also lets us know if you’re up for fun poses or prefer classy and chic, which will help the photography process go a lot smoother. You can see our Pinterest boards at www.pinterest.com/fotomakiphoto. We’d love to start a joint board with you to collect ideas!
4. Build a wedding day timeline; this may sound neurotic but there’s a lot of stuff to fit into one day, and the photography may take up more time than you think. You’ll need to schedule time after the ceremony for your formal family portraits, wedding party portraits and the bride and groom portraits too. Check out our article about family formals and the shot list here. (If you’re booking with us – we make the timeline for you – ahh job done.)
5. Check the sunset time! This is especially important with winter weddings. If you have a 2pm ceremony there may only be 30 minutes of natural light available for outdoor photographs. Plan accordingly! On the other side of the scale, knowing when the sun goes down and scheduling your portraits about 1 hour before sunset can lead to beautiful golden hour photography. Check your sunset time here.
6. It’s a great idea – for you and for the photographer – to meet again about 1-2 weeks before the wedding day for a final consultation. This gives us an opportunity to go over the timeline for the wedding day, to get a finalised copy of your formal shot list and to answer any other questions you might still have. It’s then our turn to reassure you that everything will be A-OK on the day! This is prime freak-out time, but trust us, the wedding is going to be a hoot and your wedding photos are going to turn out looking wonderful.
7. Now we’re just throwing ideas around, but have you ever heard of unplugged weddings? This Offbeat Bride article outlines the concept, and we think it’s a fantastic idea! Essentially the idea revolves around asking your guests to ‘unplug’ from technology when they come to your ceremony; to turn off their cameras and smartphones and truly be present at your event. It helps us as photographers because when we take candid shots of your guests, we’re not faced with a sea of LCD screens and phones in the air, ruining the look of your ceremony and final wedding shots. We think unplugged weddings are a great idea – find out more about them and see what you think!
8. Let your photographer know any special and unique wedding details. For one, we are genuinely interested, we love this kind of stuff. And two, we won’t know it was your granny’s lace that you remade into decorative doilies unless you tell us! That’s a truly special touch and we want to take pictures of that for sure. Let us know about anything in the décor, ceremony, dresses or venue that has an extra special meaning to you, so that we can preserve it forever. And please tell us if you’re going to do something unexpected so we can be prepared to capture it, like a coordinated entrance dance (this video gets me every time!) or a first lightsaber fight. We definitely want to be prepared for these moments!
9. We’re also available if you need advice in any of the wedding set up. If you want to know where is best to have the ceremony so the pictures look great, ask your photographer. The conditions have to be just right for great photos, and of course, we will use all the tricks we have to get those photos looking fantastic, but if you plan on getting married by candlelight and there’s no flash photography allowed (and we wouldn’t want to ruin the atmosphere by using it anyway!) then it’s likely that your ceremony photos won’t turn out too well – sad photographer face :(
#2 On the Day
10. The most important thing on your wedding day is to remember to stop and take everything in. Take a moment, look around at all of your friends and family and soak everything in, while it’s all happening. Like my buddy Ferris says “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
11. Getting ready shots: we say yes, yes, yes! We love telling this part of the story and so many adorable moments can happen. You, drinking champagne, laughing with your friends; your mum helping you get ready. It’s all part of the story and we love being there to capture it. This goes for guys as well as gals! Our tips would be to get ready in a large room with lots of natural light, warn everyone there will be a photographer present, so to wear something they are comfortable being photographed in. Though we would never take pictures of anyone in spanx or in a state of undress!
12. Walking up the aisle, take it slowwwwwly. There’s no rush, take everything in and enjoy these moments. (Plus, we want to get lots of these shots – it’s a great, sweet, candid wedding photo opportunity.)
13. Same goes for the kiss, we want a big smooch! Hold it and enjoy it, don’t worry about people looking – trust us, they want to see a big kiss too! ;)
14. Always confetti, always.
15. Let guests know what is happening directly after the ceremony. Make sure an usher and bridesmaid know too so they can get all the guests and wedding party organised. Especially if you are being whisked away for photos, you don’t want the guests unsure of what they are supposed to be doing. We suggest mingling for 15 minutes before jumping into photos; everyone will want to congratulate you and you will want to take some time to soak up the buzz.
16. If your photographer is providing all-day coverage they would be most grateful of a wee meal when you’re having yours. Most venues will provide the main course only for any vendors you require to be fed. A fed photographer = a happy photographer :D
17. Some words of wisdom to anyone worrying what they will look like on their wedding day: “Remember that this day, your day, you are going to be the most beautiful you have ever been, not just because of the make-up and hair and dress, but because this is your day, and your joy will shine through in every photo.” We couldn’t agree more.
#3 After the Day
18. Be patient. I know we live in a fast paced world but crafting your wedding photographs is a big job for your photographer. It doesn’t just end with the click of the shutter; there are a lot of hours of work ahead of them to make your photos look the best they can be. And us perfectionists don’t like to release anything until it looks amazing. Trust us, it’s worth the wait! Plus there might be some wee sneak surprises here and there while you wait ;)
19. Are you excited to get your digital files so you can do lots of exciting and creative stuff with them? Chances are, you will probably never print your pictures or make an album. We’ve found that despite good intentions, most people don’t bother going to get their digital files printed and they languish on a USB stick, never to see the light of day. We all know we say we will, but we just never get round to it! At least get some prints made, frame them and hang them on the wall. DO IT. They’ll make you smile every time you look at them. See our post on what to do with your wedding pictures for more ideas.
20. Your photographer will love to help you with prints and canvases and making wall displays. They live for this! They’ll design beautiful albums, wall displays or framed prints – just let them go wild. There’s nothing we love more than seeing our work displayed as best as it can be! Think how great your home will look with a large, stylish print of you and your other half on the best day of your life. So we thoroughly recommend going through your photographer to get some great art pieces for your home.
21. Most importantly to your photographer, if you loved the service they provided, please let them know. There’s nothing more valuable to us than the reassurance that we’re doing a great job. If you can leave your photographer a review or testimonial, please do – it helps our businesses grow so we can take more awesome pictures and rock other people’s weddings too. They will be so thrilled you took the time to tell the world how great they were.
We hope these wedding photography tips helped you with your wedding planning. Any other questions? Ask away!
Oh and tip 22. If you want to make sure your wedding photography really kicks ass, then we know where you can book two awesome photographers ;) email us to set up a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can capture your wedding day in style.