Bride’s Guide to Wedding Photography

If you’re a bride-to-be looking for someone to cover your wedding, you probably already know the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer. That’s not easy, and neither is it cheap. In order to get what you’ve paid for and ensure that the wedding photos turn out as good as they can possibly be, a couple of important matters must be kept in mind.

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Photo by Z Wedding Design

Engagement Photo Shoot

Doing an engagement photo shoot can significantly improve your wedding photos by getting you used to being in front of the camera and being at the center of the lens. Know your wedding photographer: the more time you spend with him and his team, the more comfortable you will be and the easier it will be for you to work together.

However, before you proceed with any photo shoot, you and your partner should talk to your photographer to discuss the style that you want in your photos, as well as settle on his rate and the inclusions in your package. If you want a specific effect or style in your photos, prepare to follow his instructions. Keep in mind that great wedding photos don’t happen by chance: they are meticulously set up, rehearsed, and taken from dozens of other shots.

Hair and Make-Up

Your wedding day is not the time to try a new hairstyle or make-up for the first time. If you want a different look for your wedding, make sure to have a makeup rehearsal with your MUA at least a week before the big day. On your rehearsal, bring some photo references so that your MUA has a better idea of the style that you want, as well as any hairpieces and jewelry that you’ll be wearing on your wedding day. If everything runs well, you can even ask your photographer to take a few formal portraits on this day, too.

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Photo by My Dream Wedding

The Pose

Bring your left foot forward, put your weight on your right foot, shoulders back, chin up, hold your breath, hang on a second and—*CLICK*

Expect to hear these instructions from your photographer, as these are the standard actions that make for elegant photos. You can practice these on your own at home or even during your break at work so that it comes more naturally to you on your actual photo shoot.

There is a myriad of tricks photographers know that can make you look more favorable. For example, lifting your chin and slightly tilting your face conceals the appearance of a double chin, keeping your elbows away from your body gives you an illusion of a slimmer torso, while shifting your body weight on one foot locks your hips in place so that your body automatically takes on a curvier pose. Just follow your photographer’s advice and pose with confidence.

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Photo by Yvonne Creative

The Bouquet

If you’re unsure of how to hold your bouquet during picture taking, just remember to keep it down, typically below your bust or around your navel. Do not hide a thousand dollar dress behind a hundred dollar floral arrangement. Choose a bouquet that you can easily hold and that will not overwhelm you. Keep in mind that you’ll be carrying your bouquet for hours, and what may seem light at the start of the day may be a burden to carry on the 8th hour. Make sure that your bouquet are securely arranged and does not fall apart in the middle of the day.

The Props

Bring a variety of items that can make wedding photos look more engaging. When you order your floral decorations, order an extra stem of rose, a ribbon, boutonniere, or other not-so-expensive additions that you can use as props on your photos. You can also request your photographer to take detail shots of important items to your wedding, such as your invitation card, wedding rings, bouquet, shoes, jewelry, and of course, your wedding gown.

The Lighting

When picking a location and time of day for your photo shoot, always consider the lighting. If you’ll be having an outdoor wedding, the best light condition happens one to two hours before the sun sets. If the wedding is going to be indoors, try to avoid structures with high and dark ceiling with very few windows. Since natural light makes photos appear much better, have your photo session when the room is at its brightest. Lastly, avoid using fluorescent lights as much as possible as they often give photos a greenish or yellowish tint.

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Photo by White Link

Angles and Backdrops

Always keep in mind that your wedding is all about you and your groom, so choose a simple background that won’t take the attention away from you. Keep your backdrop simple, but tasteful. The angle is the element that makes photos interesting – even better than the backdrop. Interesting angles are also what makes professionally-taken photographs different from, say, something that your uncle might have taken. Just play along if you find your photographer taking shots from unusual angles – the weirdest shots often result in the most beautiful photographs. Again, just choose your photographer wisely and have faith that he’ll do his job well.

Photographer Guests

Providing disposable cameras or requesting your guests to take photos using their smartphones can be great ways to get more unique photographs of your wedding. The advantage of these is that your guests will be taking your photos from their specific point-of-views, which may result in photographs that are more candid and personal. You can even request your guests to upload the photos they’ve taken to Twitter or Instagram with a special hashtag (for example, #MikeandLizWedding2015) to have your own online wedding album.

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Photo by Volans Couture

Ensuring that your wedding photography is a success needs a lot of hard work. From hiring the right professional to providing props and executing poses—everything must be planned accordingly. However, if you keep the above mentioned tips in mind, it would be a lot easier to carry on and create a wonderful photo album of your most special day.

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