As you all know I absolutely love being a wedding photographer. Capturing a couple's love story and the many beautiful moments during their wedding day is a true honour and privilege. I thought it might be helpful to create some top tips on how a little preparation from the couple, friends and family can help to ensure that myself or your chosen photographer is working in the best environment possible to help them to create stunning photos.
1. If you are having your hair and bridal makeup done at home, consider carefully the room that you choose for this. A bright and airy room will allow the best light for the MUA and photographer to work in. Ideally be seated close to a window but not with your back or front directly facing the it.
2. Ensure work surfaces are clutter free and tidy. Whilst your photographer will move distracting items during shots that are set up and staged, this is not possible while capturing natural shots, as they happen so ensuring the area is clean and tidy ahead of the day will help to prevent your final images from having distracting items within them.
3. If you have space, hang your dress somewhere nice (consider the hanger too) before you are ready to put it on. The photographer can get shots of the bridal preparations with the dress in the background. This will help to tell the story and gives context to the photos.
4. Generally the photographer will want to photograph dresses, shoes, jewellery, perfume, button holes, bouquet, garter and rings (if they are at the location). Ensure you have gathered all the items your photographer will want for detail shots ahead of their arrival. This will mean they are not interrupting you while you are getting ready asking for key items.
5. My full day packages include Bridal preparation as standard. As the boys usually get ready elsewhere this gets over looked. Consider booking a package that includes a 2nd photographer to allow goomsman preparation to be captured too.
6. Lots of Brides get into their dress at the last minute, but if time allows its helpful to be ready 20 minutes or so before your car is due to depart. This allows a little time for you to gather your thoughts and time for your photographer to capture some lovely photos of the girls all dressed up. If you intend to have these photos in your garden then ensure the garden is clean and tidy too.
7. On your wedding day, everything will take longer than you think, from getting your hair done to getting dressed. And mishaps will happen (trust me!) -- from misplaced vows to terrible traffic -- so set a strict schedule that leaves extra time to deal with delays without cutting into your photography session.
8. Remember to keep your head up and look forward during key moments, such as walking down the isle or during confetti throwing. The emotion on your face during these moments will add to the memories and story telling element of your wedding album.
9. It is important to discuss a list of key shots with your photographer. I always plan a meeting with my Bride and Groom a few weeks ahead of the big day to discuss this. If there are key moments you want captured make sure they know. For example many brides want a picture of their Dad's reaction when he sees her in the dress for the first time. Try to keep the list of formal group shots to under 10. Although these photos are important, neither you nor your guests will want to stand around for ages while these are done. After all everyone is there to celebrate with you.
10. Just Enjoy the Day. Try not to worry about the little things, like if it starts to rain or the little page boy refuses to join in the family photo. Your photographer will take care of it and generally has a trick up their sleeve. If you are worrying about the little things and watching the camera, it won't capture the moments, you laughing with your friends or sharing a secret look with your new husband / wife. Let your photographer keep you on schedule and capture the day as it unfolds.