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14 Tips for getting the most out of your professional wedding photography

Photography is a significant investment for your wedding so here’s some ideas to give your photographer a little helping hand so they can capture the best photos possible for you. After all, once the last piece of cake has been eaten, the bouquet sadly wilted, it’s the photos that you’ll look back over for the memories of the wonderful day - let's make them amazing!

In the planning stages of your big day -

1. Plan enough time into your day for photography. Speak to your photographer in advance of your wedding and check if the running of the day will leave enough time for the type of photography you want. If you want group and couples shots then make sure this is in the schedule, ideally allowing at least half an hour for groups and half an hour for the photos of just you two. If your wedding venue is large, make sure to leave extra time to walk to the picturesque spots.

2. Plan your group shots. Plan out a list of group shots with your photographer. Make sure at least one of your wedding party has a copy of the list and knows it is their responsibility to round up sets of people for their photos. This will speed up the process meaning you can all get to the canapés and cocktails quicker!

3. Highlight special details. Tell your photographer about any small details that you’d like captured that they might miss, e.g. the wedding party all wearing funny socks or items that have been personalised, such as an engraved hipflask.

Jackie had a locket with a picture of her dad who had sadly passed away added to her bouquet so that he walked down the aisle with her.

4. Consider an unplugged wedding. Asking guests not to take photos during the ceremony is a great way to make sure your photographer has the best view possible for your professional photos. If you chose to go unplugged, communicate this as early and often as possible to really get the message across, include it on your invitations and have a sign made for the day. If you know your guests will want their own photos from the day, maybe plan in a time when guests will be able to get a photo of the two of you. Either at a certain point in the ceremony where people are invited to come up and take a photo, or do this afterwards, perhaps after the group shots have been taken.

5. Have an engagement or a pre-wedding photoshoot. If you are in any way nervous about having photos taken (we’re all guilty of it, even professional photographers!) then consider getting some practice before the big day. An engagement shoot is a great way to get to know your photographer, their style and the types of ways you’ll be asked to interact to get the best photos. By the time it gets to your wedding day, you’ll be pro’s at rocking the camera and it will show in your photos.

On the wedding Day -

6. Have your hair and make up station near a window. If your photographer is covering your preparation in the morning, get ready next to a window so the natural light illuminates your face.

7. Keep the room you are getting ready in clutter free. Getting ready comes with a lot of stuff, particularly if there’s a lot of you in one place. Try and keep the room as clutter free as possible, or put all the bags together in one corner of the room.

8. Have all your accessories together in one place at the start of the day. The first thing I like to photograph when I arrive at a wedding are the outfit details - jewellery, perfume, shoes, rings, ties, cufflinks, watch. etc. Have all these detailed accessories together so your photographer can easy grab these and your outfit to photograph before you get dressed.

9. Remind your guests about the unplugged wedding. Yes, I know it’s on here twice, but it’s because it’s the one of the list that without doing so could really ruin some of your key photographs. Have your wedding party remind guests as they take their seats not to use their phones during the ceremony or as you exit and/or ask your celebrant to mention it before the ceremony. I promise you the professional photographs will be much nicer than the one Uncle Jim gets on his iPad! If you need more reasons? Here’s 23!

10. Walk slowly down the aisle. When we’re nervous we tend to speed up so if you’re going to be walking down the isle first take a few deep breaths, and then slow your pace. This will give you more time to look towards your love but also for your photographer to capture the moment. If you’re walking away from your ceremony together, again don’t walk too quick, and why not even pause halfway down for another quick kiss?

11. Let's talk confetti! If your venue allows it, don't forget to get enough confetti for all your guests to have a little confetti celebration after your ceremony. It's great fun and makes for some smashing photos! Make sure to check it's biodegradable or even better, use real dried petals.

12. Plan some time with your photographer at sunset and/or after dark. On a clear day sunset makes the best light, so it is the perfect time for romantic couple photos. If your photographer is staying later into the evening, ask them to create some dramatic after dark shots around your venue. Usually these shots can be set up in advance by your photographer so you’ll only need to leave the party for 5-10 minutes to get these wow factor images in your wedding album.

13. Allow enough time for your photographer to set up before the first dance. I like to use off camera flash to light couple’s first dances, these are lights placed usually in the corner of the dance floor that fire wirelessly when the picture is taken. This takes a few moments to set up so ask your DJ or wedding coordinator to double check your photographer is ready before you start.

14. And finally - Just relax, your photographer’s got this! Relaxed and happy people make the best portraits so, smile, laugh and enjoy every moment of your special day.

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