5 Tips from a Wedding Photographer

Jeremiah and I just wrapped up a wedding this past weekend and while we were editing the photos we got to talking about what we would have done differently. We both agreed on some major changes that, if we had the chance, we would help the Bride and Groom make ahead of time.

Today I’m sharing some tips for newly-engaged couples planning a wedding, who want a professional photographer and/or videographer for their wedding. These were things that are important as photographers and might be things that slipped your mind while you’ve been planning for the biggest day of your life. Enjoy these gorgeous photos from a wedding we shot last year, jot down a few notes and apply these 5 tips in your wedding planning!

1. Location. Location. Location. 

If you want beautiful pictures, you need a beautiful venue. We can do our best to hide little things, but if your venue doesn’t reflect what you want your photos to look like, you might be in trouble. This last wedding we had a bride getting dressed in a bright green room when her theme was rustic coral and blue. This made it really hard to keep the theme in the photos and videos. I’m still sitting here trying to pick out what videos I can use without losing the feel. And of course… use as much natural lighting as possible. I cannot stress this enough. Gorgeous photos come from natural lighting. Yes, it is possible to make photos that have used a flash appealing, but natural lighting is so much more flattering for photos and video. Really think about what the place will look like at the time of day that you will have your ceremony. And if you can, use as much light as possible. Dark lighting for weddings does not flatter many things. Try to find something that has windows because even then, you can adjust the lighting easier. You can’t make a dark room look naturally brighter.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on a venue, just make sure it fits your taste and what your wedding is trying to convey and is (hopefully) naturally lit.

2. Have a “theme”

Have elements that pull the entire thing together. There is nothing wrong with focusing on colors, but that’s just a small piece of the puzzle. Focus on the way you’re decorating tables, chairs or the alter so your photographers can capture your wedding in the best light. Having minimal decorations on the table is fine, but be sure to make the ones that are there worthwhile. Have a simple theme that is carried out throughout the entire wedding. Do what you love and of course, check out Pinterest for more ideas. Here’s my personal collection of pins. You will find 2 great boards of wedding pins there. 🙂

3. Have ideas for your pictures

But, don’t get too carried away. Sure we love when you have ideas that you and your girls have to do, but please do not bring a binder of photos that you want to be taken. Contact us before the wedding to go through some choices and possibly share the ideas that you have in your mind. And also, brief your bridal party about the fact that they will have to put up with taking photos and being a good sport about it. Nothing is worse than having to go bridezilla on a bridesmaid because she has a bad attitude about pictures, or better yet, letting the photographers try to deal with it…

No fun. Please help us make your day perfect.

4. Communicate with your photographers

Throughout the day, you should be comfortable enough with your photographers that you can quickly change plans, or decide to leave something out. Being in constant communication with the Bride and Groom is key in the successful process of shooting a wedding. Make sure you choose a photography team that you are comfortable talking with and that is flexible.

5. Be happy

I know this sounds like a given, but even when things are going wrong during your wedding, stay happy. Show emotion and show how happy you are to be getting married. Smile the same way you did when you first tried on the dress that made you say yes. Be outspoken about your love for your new husband/wife. Don’t be timid because nothing makes for worse photos and video than a bride and groom who look like they aren’t even excited to have just tied the knot. Your wedding day should be full of happiness and joy. Please, pretty pretty please, show me that emotion, show our cameras that emotion. I promise it doesn’t matter how big you smile or how cheesy you look, smiling will always look better than a panicked or apathetic face when you look back on your photos and videos.

If you have any questions or comments about what else you can do to make your wedding even better, leave a comment below and I’ll respond promptly. I hope this helps planning for your perfect photographer on your perfect day.

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