Gather all your details before the day starts so I can photograph them quickly! This makes the getting-ready portion of the day so by much more smoothly, and it allows me to spend more time focusing on the spontaneous moments when everyone is together. If your soul mate is getting ready somewhere differently, then I highly recommend having a second photographer to capture their moments too for a more balanced feel to your wedding day story.
Here is a list to jog some ideas: ring, jewellery, hair pieces, flowers, sentimental items, shoes, socks, cufflinks, letters, pictures, gifts, cultural items, invitations, order of the day, printed pieces, and any unique items you’ve put thought into!
Have your artist position you in front of a window where the light is most natural and the most flattering. Natural lighting during this will ensure great photos and will allow for even and beautiful make-up coverage too. Don’t worry about a mirror; the light is the most important. Have a hand held mirror nearby so you can check their work as you go.
Some of my couples’ favourite images from their wedding day end up being the details shots that are taken throughout the day. Details help tie everything together and tell the story of behind-the-scenes moments.
Think about getting a wooden hanger for your outfits. They photograph well and are great keepsakes for years to come.
Keep a set of your wedding invitations to give your photographer on the day or even pop it in the post to them. I can then photograph it as part of the day or in advance.
Equally important are your couples portraits or as I like to call it, the ‘you time’ because it is very much this and just me capturing those in-joke giggles, deep breaths and tender kisses. This is huge but kept very natural and with very gentle direction from me. I like to take you both away for two small stints of about 15-20mins, normally during your drinks reception, then again after dinner. This time is flexible though. If we’re really lucky, then we might just be able to grab a beautiful sunset too! I’ll always advise you to grab ‘golden hour’ as the light is at its most beautiful, romantic and flattering for portraits. All I ask you to do is bring ‘you’ and the couple that you are, so embrace all the little quirks and let them shine!
As daft as this sounds, add some photo time to your timings. I like to get your family group photos done as quickly as possible after your ceremony to allow you all to just relax and for me to capture those lovely natural moments. Give 2-3mins per shot that you would like and I recommend 10-15 absolute ‘must-haves’. Placing the responsibility of rounding up those people in the hands of a bestman/woman or someone who is familiar with your families will help to make it a smoother and more enjoyable time.
Timing these at a perfect time is tricky. These fit in to your timings when the sun is at its highest and strongest which is often overly harsh and gives ‘mole-like’ squinty eyes. To avoid this and harsh shadows, I will aim to capture these in the shadows of trees or buildings or backlight shoot.
Many churches do not allow photography at certain points during your wedding ceremony. On some occasions, I have been asked to stay at the back of the church or to stay in one place for the duration. Creatively this can be tricky but I will always remain respectful of the church’s decision. It’s worth checking with them what they are happy with. If your church is relaxed when it comes to photography, then I will always be discreet and respectful as possible. I won’t use flash, I minimise my movement and use my shutter sparingly. If you would love photos from the front and back of your ceremony, then I highly recommend having a second photographer to ensure as many angles are captured as possible.