KITCHENER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY HINTS & TIPS FOR BRIDES
Hey everyone, congratulations on your up and coming wedding and thanks for taking the time and trouble to have a look at my website. I hope these wedding photography hints and tips will give you some ideas and insight into getting the best out of your photographer and help you get some awesome wedding photos.
First things first, I have to add a disclaimer that the following hints and tips are not all encompassing. They’re just my views gathered from years of experience shooting weddings and will hopefully provide some help and insight into your wedding day from the photographers viewpoint. They are things to think about prior to your wedding day in order help make sure that your wedding photos are given the best possible chance to be as good as they can be.
If you ask any photographer what’s the most important thing to get awesome photos their answer will be GOOD LIGHTING and what they mean by good lighting is NATURAL LIGHT. Wherever possible you and your photographer should look for areas where natural light can be used.
Its a simple equation:
Beautiful Light = Beautiful Photos
Firstly, have a think about where you will be getting ready. Is there any natural light? It’s hard to get all those lovely make-up and preparation shots that you have pinned on Pinterest if you are getting ready in a room/basement where there is little or no natural light. Ideally find an area that has as much natural light falling on you as possible.
Secondly, prepare the space where you will be getting ready by de-cluttering. With the best photoshop skills in the world its hard to photoshop out background clutter. Keep the background minimalist if possible.
Thirdly, try to avoid overcrowding the preparation space. Your make-up artist needs room, your hairdresser needs room and I too need room to move around to get some cool angle shots. With too many people around its hard to get those shots without someone photobombing the background.
If your budget can stretch to it, book a Limousine or transportation that will be able to transport your entire Bridal Party. Having just one vehicle travelling to the locations we have chosen for couple and bridal party shots is so much easier than travelling in cars. If I can travel with you, even better, as I can get some cool shots while we are in the Limo.
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
Indoor Ceremonies: Try and have as much light as possible, talk to your venue and decorator to see how much light they can give you, uplighting is great. Remember, LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT!! Without light, photos can be dark and grainy. If it is a particularly dark space then please let me know beforehand so I can bring additional lighting and have the time to set it up.
Church Ceremonies: Check with whoever will be conducting the ceremony what their restrictions are on photography as it varies so much from Church to Church. Some are ok with me moving around the church to get some cool shot angles while other tell me to stand in one place, mostly at the back of the Church. By checking what is and isn’t allowed your expectations of ceremony photos will be realistic.
Outdoor Ceremonies: Generally, the best time for an outdoor ceremony is later on in the day about 2-3 hours before sunset. This time ensures the sunlight falls more evenly on you and is the same for both you and the Groom.
Wherever your ceremony is it’s a great idea to go to your venue at the time that you will be getting married to check the available light. If I can I would like to come too.
FORMAL FAMILY SHOTS
I would recommend doing these immediately after the ceremony while you have everyone in one place. Prepare a list and start with the biggest group first and whittle it down to the smallest. Its much easier to take people out of a shot than add them in.
As a rule of thumb think that each formal shot will take 2-3 minutes so if you have a list of 10 it could take up to 30 minutes to get all these done.
Prepare a list of formal shots and let me have this beforehand. If I feel its excessive I will make some suggestions to simplify things. If possible let people know before hand that they will be needed for family shots so that they don’t disappear.
If you aren’t using a Wedding Planner give copies of the formal photo list to a couple of people that can be helpful in rounding people up.
The faster we can get these done the better as it will give us more time for the Couple and Bridal Party shots. Efficiency is key for formal shots.
COUPLE & BRIDAL PARTY SHOTS
The main tip I will give you here is to make time for Couple & Bridal Party shots. The more time you can give the better the results will be. These are the photos that you will want to print so make sure they get the time they deserve.
Also, think about where you want to do these shots and does it involve multiple locations. If we are going to multiple locations how far apart are they and how are we going to get from one location to another? This is where a Limousine comes into its own.
I understand that you will want to commemorate the day with photos of your Bridal Party/Best Friends but there is no need to overdo it. Its extremely rare that Bridal Party photos get blown up and put on your wall, but I can guarantee that your wall is the place for Couple Photos.
Don’t get carried away with spending too much time on Bridal Party photos, save the majority of the time for you. Better yet, if we can send them back to the party after their shots are done they’ll enjoy it more, lets face it, they want to drink and party. We can then spend time on our own with no distractions or interruptions to those relaxed and intimate shots that you will want to put on the wall.
For Couple and Bridal Party shots I would suggest setting aside a minimum of 2 hours.
DETAILS & DECOR
Being married to a wedding decorator I understand how much time and effort goes into making your reception room look amazing, not to mention all the little touches that make your wedding unique to you. If I can get some time before guests take their seats I will be sure to capture all those details you have spent time on for posterity.
Be mindful where people will be performing their speech, and what may be in the way, either in the foreground or background. If things are in the way and its possible to move them then I can do that. In the past I have had to move flower arrangements as they were in the way of the speakers faces. However there are things that cant be moved like DJ speakers and lighting set ups.
It may be an idea to find out where your DJ will be setting up their equipment so that they don’t impose on the background or foreground during the speeches.
Limit the number of people who will be making a speech to the essentials and set these people a time limit. I have been at weddings where there’s been an open mic and speeches, along with a lot of inside jokes that lasted longer than the time I had with the Bride and Groom for their couple shots.
There is nothing worse than planning a great surprise on your wedding and the photographer missing it because he didn’t know about it. If you are planning on doing something out of the ordinary then let me know so that I am prepared not only to get what you are doing but also the reactions on peoples faces.
Give a little time after the speeches and before the first dance so that your photographer has the chance to set up any additional lighting that may needed.
Also, don’t be nervous about the first dance, I know all eyes will be on you and you may not like being centre of attention but it is your wedding. The first dance is a great moment where you can hold each other and embrace the fact that you are husband and wife. Look into each others eyes, hug and kiss but be mindful not to talk all the way through it.
OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Despite how careful you are your dress WILL get dirty, know that it will and don’t worry about it.
If you have forgotten something or something isn’t quite right, don’t worry about it, you will be the only one who notices.
With all the planning in the world sometimes things can go wrong, again, don’t worry about it, roll with it and it will be something that you laugh and joke about in years to come.
Food goes a long way – I get hungry too. If speeches are going on throughout dinner it is great when I can get a meal after the Head table is served so that I have a chance to eat before getting up to shoot whoever is speaking next. It also helps if I am seated with easy access where the speeches are taking place as I will be up and down a lot.
Lastly and most importantly, DON’T let the weather get to you, you can’t control it and neither can I. We can plan for bad weather but lets not let it dampen our spirits. If you are up for going out in the rain then so am I, embracing the weather can make the best photos.
ONE FINAL PROMISE FROM ME
As I said at the start of this page, these are things to think about when thinking of your wedding day and hopefully you have found it useful.
Despite everything though, the one thing I can guarantee is that no matter where you are getting ready, where you are getting married, where your reception is and what the weather is like, I will work my butt off to give you the best possible wedding photos that I can.