………………. Here’s Some advice from my perspective that could make your results a whole lot better, with great long lasting memories whilst helping make the photographers job easier too !!!
1. Find a photographer that your confident can do the job properly, with some good proven results and has the right gear for the job.
Dad’s mate …..with a ‘good’ camera …….could be the cheap option (and even work well) but a few flower or sunset photo’s doesn’t make them a wedding shooter. People, portraits and working with groups is a whole different ball game!!!
When the camera breaks down, do they have a back up ?….. or the day goes on too long and they don’t turn up with a pro flash set up …….. or bright overhead sun ends up leaving you with a whole bunch of shadowy photos !!??
Spending just a few $$$ mostly goes a long way to getting a better result.
2. Finding a photographer you ‘get along with’ can dictate what sort of results you can achieve.
Do you feel comfortable with them ?
Do you have good communication ?
Do you have a shared passion or enthusiasm for what you want to achieve and on the same wave length ?
Can you have a laugh and do you generally ‘click’ with him or her?
This will help you look more comfortable in the photo’s, be involved in the creative process or trusting of their idea’s for your vision.
Note: Be careful that you are getting your photographer and not necessarily a sub contracted shooter. This sometimes can’t be avoided if the photographer becomes ill or they’re already booked and they recommend someone they know with the same style ……… However this can result in certain messages not getting through and the desired style of shooting not being achieved.
3. Do a Pre-Wedding shoot…….. I can’t explain how important this is folks!!!!
Learning a few of the little habits people have when they are in front of a camera, how they pose or smile, how body types look can all help with a plan before the big day begins. (Like using secret code words for getting the right pose).
Couples with contrasting skin tones for example, where one is more tan and the other pale …… different body types …….knowing these things can make photo styles, clothing colour or make up choices better and computer processing more easy afterwards.
(Not everyone is blessed with the physical attributes of those models you see in the magazines, you know the one’s ?especially chosen by the editor with co-ordinated looks, bodies, skin, teeth and hair !!!!
4. Discuss what you want to achieve carefully.
After Hiring a photographer, don’t just stop there ……….. discuss how the day should be photographed, the family dynamics, settings, poses and what you really want to portray. Getting a little involved in the creative process or conveying your ideas’ will make a difference.
Google a few wedding photo’s to give you some tips on posing and styles.
Do you want someone who ‘slinks’ in the background doing a photo journalistic approach ….. an artistic one …..or a mix. Are you prepared to stop and start a little to get what you want and take time out when there’s a good idea??
Being blase about the end result could leave you disappointed or just not getting something really great.
Discuss, then write down ideas for photos and have a photographer liaison on the day, perhaps the matron of honour, mother of the bride or MC , so you can spend more time enjoying rather than thinking.
(We photographers are awesome but we don’t always come included with a crystal ball… and after the big day when we take criticism for not including this person or that couple in the group shots, it’s a little hard to fix things.)
5. Themes are great………………..but think about whether your current favourite theme will look silly in a few years to come ? Is it going to stand the test of time ?
For example, a Gothic or Lord of The Rings theme sounds cool, but in 5 years when your life style changes will you look back and still love it …. or loathe it ?
6. SETTINGS can make or break your results.
Sure the back yard ceremony or reception can work a treat, but backgrounds, parks, fields, trees, buildings etc etc and time of day play a huge part for some great images.
It’s nice when we can afford an opulent wedding with ornate buildings and water fountains, but you don’t have to spend anything to go out and achieve fantastic results.
Get your photographers input into the where and the when, because things like middle of the day, harsh sunlight can be hard to work with unless you have shade options or buildings and your photographer is skilled at using flash to fill in the harsh shadows.
Overcast skies and late afternoon sun are often softer and easier to deal with in camera and processing later on the computer.
You may see an old farm building, someone you know with a great garden, a local park or beach setting etc which don’t have to cost anything, but you may need to work your wedding and reception times to suit. I have seen good photographers use freeway overpasses and bridges to good effect with bold backgrounds.
7. TIME – TIME – TIME !!!! Your photo’s should have a fair to strong influence on how your day is planned.
When your photographs start, is traditionally when people are getting ready. Having the bride and groom getting organised a hundred miles away from each other can pose a big problem for me…. I have to get to both !!! I may have additional people with me, so that’s possible, but please consider us.
When thinking about how long it’s going to take to do hair, make up, dress etc, double that!!! …….
Make your preparation a long and happy time with your crew, but make sure that the photographer is welcomed and is part of the plan. Some of the great shots can come from here such as laughs with the brides maids, Mum and Dad etc etc.
Consider that things like perfume, dress, shoes, rings flowers etc are going to be photographed, so make them available.
Think of the day a little like a ‘broadway show’ that is being photographed from start to finish and let everyone know that’s how it’s going to be, so even the ‘wallflowers’ will participate ………
Note: Getting your wedding party into and out of those cars, to the photo shoot destination and back, plus photo’s all takes time. Don’t be unrealistic, consider traffic and that your driver knows where they are going and parking is readily available. You don’t want to be hours and hours, but if your going somewhere, be realistic about your schedule. Half an hour probably isn’t enough !!!
8. Be willing ………..to take time out for a great photo opportunity anytime throughout the whole day.
To improvise at a moments notice, when the creative juices are flowing, a good photographer will seize an opportunity at any time, including night …. using outside lights …. in the pouring rain under an umbrella ….. in a row boat ….. in the kitchen with the cooking staff ……. so many fun opportunities.
Don’t think that it’s all over when the formal shots are taken, be prepared for more !!! This is where the fun starts and some of the great shots come from.
9. Consider those waiting back at the wedding reception for you to return.
Have someone make up games, slide shows, activities or other photos with a second photographer. This will allow you to relax, knowing that everyone should be happy.
10. MEN ……….. If your the sort that only gets dressed for other weddings and funerals, hates cameras and formal occasions …. You know who i’m talking to….. the type that puts on a suit, just this once and looking forward to a few beers with your mates !!
It’s time to MAN UP and get involved.
Your probably already paying for a lot of this (or will be afterwards), so make an extra effort to get involved. There is nothing worse than coaxing an unwilling party into a series of photo’s. A creative photographer will adjust their style to get some nice candid shots of you while your not posing …. but, hey, this is a big day, so put in the effort.