WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
Having covered lots of lovely weddings, I've experienced various 'situations' that have suddenly arose, from: broken down vintage wedding cars complete with Bride, right the way through to a Wedding Party caught out in a thunderstorm and my emergency umberella stash having to be handed out in record time. Either way here's my top tips to consider when planning your schedule for a Wedding Photographer.
Time, Time and more Time
If you want great Wedding photos then my best advice is leave plenty of time. Time will race by on your Special Day, and it is special. It's incredibly special! If you guys are running behind schedule due to a random event out of your control, I will already have a Plan B for you. What can be frustrating is when the planning has left very little time and the photography has to be rushed. Rushed, flustered and stressed face expressions dont make for great Wedding photos!
Always book a wedding photographer that always pre visits or has prior knowledge of the venue. Your wedding photographer will gain invaluable knowledge from pre-visiting both your ceremony and reception location. I always visit every new location without fail.
Walking Down the Aisle. Straight forward...surely!?
So, there you are, poised to make 'the walk'. This is the moment you may have spent years planning so, ladies, ladies! Dont rush it! You maybe nervous, emotional and your stomach might be doing back flips but take a deep breath and try to relax, take it all in and please, walk slowly.
Whatever you do, don't let everyone just barge their way down the aisle in one large group, everyone tightly packed together because, what is a massively important part of a wedding, will look more like a morning commute rushing to get the 745am to London Euston at New Street Station and it will be all over in the blink of an eye.
This is how it's done properly. Let the flowers girls go first, followed by all the Bridesmaids and then let everyone take their seats and just hang back for a short while. Really build up that anticipation and create a sense of occasion. It's a huge moment for the Groom aswell and I want to photograph every aspect of this special moment.
Your Wedding Photographer is being given a front row seat to one of the most important days in your life. I also think it's a private, intimate life event so I like to meet everyone that books with me and I do this by going on a Pre Wedding Shoot. You can both get a feel for how I work and see some pre wedding shots prior to the Wedding. I've never had anyone not love my pre wedding shots!
Group Photos - Who's Who and Time
Please remember, I won't know who your Uncle John, Aunt Lucy or Grandad Ken is. I will need a designated 'rounder upper' of your Family and Friends. It's not fair on the Bride and Groom to be having to do all the leg work but I do see it all too often. Your rounder upper does not have to be an Usher or Bridesmaid. It can be a family member whos organised and knows everyone, and usually female! 10 group photos is the maximum you will comfortably fit into any schedule.
Allow at least an hour to do group photos. Having just 20 minutes to do group shots is impossible. Great wedding photography is never rushed. Rushed, frustrated or impatient face expressions are not a great look on what is a wonderful day.
If you want a night shoot in the gardens of a beautiful Manor House you will need to allocate at least 30 minutes late in the evening. In the summer months it can still be light at 10pm! Spring and Autumn are good times of the year to do this type of wedding photography.
I never ask but it is nice to be asked if we would like something to eat while all the guests are having the main evening meal/buffet. I certainly don't expect to be fed but a snack from the bar is very much appreciated. I will have been getting organised and working long before any guest has even arrived.
Last but no means least - Weather
I think all Brides watch the weather closer than Michael Fish on the run up to their Wedding. Nice weather does lift the mood of a wedding but it is just luck of the draw. Rain Plan. I have one because plain and simple, rain is a problem on a Wedding. Wet hair, wedding dress dragging in the rain, rain on my camera lens. But I predetermine a scenario in my mind for every wedding for both sun and rain. Fingers crossed, you are blessed with lovely weather on your Big Day.