After years of being a wedding photographer, there are certainly some things I have learnt along the way… I wanted to share with you some tips that will guarantee that you get the best wedding day photos (because remember, at the end of the wedding day – apart from your memories, your photos are what will be left for you to look back on!)
THE MORNING OF: GETTING READY
Take some time to think about whether you want a quieter morning getting ready alone, with a couple of your closest friends or a room full of people around… each option really does change the energy and the vibe of the morning and it’s your wedding, so it’s totally your call! When you’re thinking about where you will get ready, make sure you remember to consider the amount of light that is available… Being a natural light photographer, the more natural light, the better the photos! Oh and please keep one room that you will be getting dressed in as tidy as possible (while I will always tidy it myself if I need to, it does take away from the time that I’m behind the camera, so it’s best if it’s just kept tidy to start with!)
THE MAIN EVENT: YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY
Generally the best time for an outdoor ceremony is 2-3 hours before sunset… click here to read a blog post all about this! This means that the light from the sun is softer and you won’t be squinting or have harsh shadows on your face… looking the very best for your wedding photos! Gareth & Itsumi were married at Spicers Hidden Vale during May, with a 3pm Ceremony time – allowing for perfect light (plus, it was overcast on their wedding day which made it even softer – winning!)
– Jake & Rachel had their Ceremony in January at The Landing at Dockside here in Brisbane… they had a 2pm Wedding Ceremony and you can see from the light on their faces, it was a little brighter & a lot stronger than it would have been a little later at 3pm. Make sure you make allowances for seasonal sun changes – especially in places that do feel the hot summer sun, like in Queensland!
CEREMONY GROUP PHOTO & FAMILY FORMALS
I always help my couples with their wedding day timeline (after being a part of so many weddings, I have a pretty good idea on what works best and how long things take!) and I always recommend doing the group photo of everyone at the ceremony directly afterwards. This works well as it makes sure that everyone is included, as its before people start to depart and the celebrant is there to help me organise it if I need them to (for larger groups, sometimes I get them to use their microphone so everyone can hear and it saves me losing my voice – which has been known to happen!) Directly after the group photo, we then do the family portraits. I always request my brides write a list of all the family photos that they want, so that we can get through them nice and quick. Generally, it takes 25-30 minutes to photograph this part of the day, including the group photo!
CREATIVE BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS
One of the most important parts of your wedding day is your bridal portraits. Not just the images, but also taking some time away from your guests, to just be with each other. To reflect on the ceremony and take in this moment, your first day as husband and wife. Make sure you allow 30-60 minutes for the bridal portraits, some of that with your bridal party, some of it just the two of you! I will happily guide you to make sure we get the most amazing & creative portraits, all I ask is for your trust and remember, this is the fun part!
PARTY TIME: YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION
If you’re having a completely open-air reception, under the stars, I recommend adding as much extra lighting as possible, such as strands of festoon lights and candles in hurricane vases. The extra lighting will help warm up your photos and add a prettier, more dynamic dimension. Otherwise, you will have a completely black background unless the reception takes place during the day… by the way, these are my favourite types of receptions – such a pretty yet party vibe – and so much fun to photograph!
If you would like some more ideas on how to relax in front of the camera, click play on the video below: