Wedding Day Photography Tips
When it comes to planning your love fest, there’s a ton of preparation and thought that goes into every detail. In years to come all you will have to look back on are the photos and videos that you have of your day, so with that in mind, you want them to be good!
Here are ten great wedding day photography tips to help plan out your day so that things run smoothly and your photographer can create amazing images for you.
1 | Create a mood board of images you love
When you hire a photographer, no doubt you’ve done so because you’re drawn to their style and the way that they will be able to capture your day. With that in mind, I think it’s also great to know a little more about your style as a couple, what you love and any images that would be really special to you both.
The best way to create a mood-board is on Pinterest. Start searching and saving those pins! If you don’t want to use Pinterest, you can always email a collection of images that you love that embody the style and feel of the images you would like your photographer to create. Quick note here ~ please always keep in mind that these images are just a reference point and replicating them exactly is not possible as the lighting, environment and atmosphere is totally unique to each couple.
2 | Create a timeline of your day
One of the biggest things to planning out a successful day is having a great timeline in place so that everyone involved in your day is on the same page about when and where things are happening.
The timeline will also need to include time for each photography component of the day, such as hair and makeup, the first look, the family photos, the bridal photos at the arranged location and the couples session.
I have compiled a photography timeline guide for you so you have a better idea of what time is needed throughout your wedding day so your photographer can capture each element of the day really well ~ VIEW THE TIMELINE GUIDE HERE.
3 | Choosing a location for your bridal and couples session
When choosing a location for your bridal and couples session (which generally always takes place after your ceremony and before your reception but can be be done prior to your ceremony also if that’s what you want), I suggest minimising your locations.
If you have a beautiful wedding venue, then there will likely be some amazing locations on site that we can go to take photos. If you have another location in mind, be mindful of how long it will take to travel there and return to your reception as we don’t want to be travelling long distances when we could be taking beautiful images!
I would suggest choosing one location off-site and at that location your photographer can speak to you about the variety of photo opportunities that will be available there. Even if the background doesn’t seem amazing, a good photographer can certainly get creative and work with the location that you’re at.
If it’s raining, the plans for the location images may change. It’s always worth checking if your venue offers clear umbrellas that can be used during the photos after the ceremony. Your photographer may also provide these so it’s always worth asking them, especially if you have a large bridal party.
When it comes to creating beautiful images, light is key! The most magical time of the day is golden hour and the hour or two leading up to it. (Golden hour is when the sun is setting and you get amazing golden hues throughout the sky and the sun peeking just over the horizon).
When you’re planning out your schedule, I would highly suggest scheduling in the bridal location photos and then the couples session as close to golden hour as possible so your couple photos can be created in this exquisite light.
4 | Hire great vendors so your day runs smoothly
The people that you have involved in making your day happen, can be the difference between a smooth running day and one that becomes really stressful.
If your flowers don’t turn up or your makeup artist shows up an hour late or you hire someone that is really difficult to work with, it can totally throw the day out.
I suggest really doing your research when you hire someone. Check out their work, their reviews and have conversations before your big day to smooth out everything and get a feel for how they will be to work with.
If you have a wedding planner, they are likely to have some great vendor recommendations for you or preferred suppliers that work with your venue on a regular basis.
5 | Think about adding in a first look before your ceremony
If you haven’t considered having a first look on your wedding day and you want to, then I would totally encourage you to do it! It’s such a special moment when you see each other for the first time and it’s an opportunity to capture some beautiful heartfelt images and to take a few intimate moments together before the ceremony begins.
6 | The little details matter
When your photographer arrives to photograph you getting ready there are so many little details that are also very special to capture. I suggest that you gather all these things together in one room so that they can be easily found and arranged by your photographer.
For the bride this may be – the dress, veil, shoes, earrings, perfume, flowers, jewellery, invitations, gifts for your bridesmaids and anything else sentimental that you are including in your day.
For the groom this may be – the suit, the groomsmen’s suits, shirts, ties, cufflinks, socks, shoes, belts, watches, buttonhole flowers, cologne, gifts for the groomsmen and anything else sentimental.
Your photographer will find a nice spot to arrange the items and photograph them. One thing that I suggest is that you have some nice hangers for your dress and the groomsmen’s suits.
Your outfits will be hung up and photographed and having a nice wooden hanger or something similar looks really good!
7 | Have some fun and include things to toss during the day
When you’re walking back down the aisle and celebrating with all your guests that you’re now married, it’s really fun to include some toss items into the day. This may be rose petals, confetti, coloured rice, or bubbles. Including something to toss when you are walking out creates lots of laughs and makes for some really fun images full of joy and celebration.
8 | Some tips for planning out your family photos
Getting family photos on your wedding day is really special as it might not be too often that you have so many family members all in one place! How many family photos you get totally depends on you and the time that is available after the ceremony.
I suggest allocating around 3 minutes per grouping so if you have ten groups, you’ll need to spend about 30 minutes together taking these photos.
BIG TIP – I always recommend that you have someone in your family to help out with gathering all the family members together. Allocate this task to someone and give them the family shot list. This will help the family photo session run much more smoothly. They can call people together ready for the photos while the photographer is taking the images.
Here is a helpful list that will assist you in deciding what groupings you might like:
PARENTS & SIBLINGS PHOTO LIST
Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents + Siblings
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents + Siblings
Bride + Groom + Their Children
Groom + His Siblings
Bride + Her Siblings
GRANDPARENTS WEDDING PHOTO LIST
Bride + Groom + Bride’s Grandparents
Bride + Bride’s Grandma(s) & Grandpa(s)
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Grandparents
Groom + Groom’s Grandma(s) & Grandpa(s)
Bride + Groom + Bride’s Parents + Bride’s Siblings + Bride’s Grandparents
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Parents + Groom’s Siblings + Groom’s Grandparents
AUNTS, UNCLES, AND COUSINS WEDDING PHOTO LIST
Bride + Groom + Bride’s Aunt(s) + Bride’s Uncle(s)
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Aunt(s) + Groom’s Uncle(s)
Bride + Groom + Bride’s Cousins
Bride + Groom + Groom’s Cousins
9| Don’t skimp on your photographer and videographer
I’ve heard so many stories about people that just went with the ‘cheap photographer’ or ‘uncle Bob’ and ended up being so disappointed with their images. If there’s one thing that I’d suggest not skimping on, it would definitely be photograhy and videography. Photographing a wedding is a big deal. There are so many different lighting situations that crop up, weather can turn bad, people can be hard to manage, camera gear can play up so having a backup is essential and overall it’s usually a long day that needs to be managed really well. If it is, things run much more smoothly and you’ll have an amazing time knowing that your photographer is all over the details and that you’re going to end up with beautiful images that celebrate your love and the people that you do life with.
10 | Have fun and enjoy the day
So much preparation has gone into your day and even though every little thing may be ticked off, at times things out of your control can happen that you didn’t plan for. An amazing attitude will get you through a lot of it and if you’re working with great vendors this will also alleviate the stress should little things crop up that you need help with.
All images in this post were taken by Bec Zacher for Figtree Pictures Wedding Photography.