18 Tips for Good Wedding Photos
Feeling intimidated about being photographed on your wedding day? That’s completely normal! the reality is that 95% of couples are not used to being chased by a photographer and being photographed. In an ideal world, we would all love to be supermodel Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid confident, however even if you’re a confident person, it’s easy to feel intimidated when being photographed by a professional photographer. It’s not something most of us do on a daily basis. Wedding photography is an investment and those photographs, once shot, are there to stay. So, of course you want them to come out beautifully.
We’ve put together a list of tips based on our experience as photographers that will hopefully help you put your best foot forward on your big day.
1. TRUSTED PHOTOGRAPHER
One of the single most important things that you can do to ensure good wedding photos is by hiring a good and trusted photographer like us at MKEshoots Photography. We have over 5 years of experience in wedding and event photography and have photographed all sorts of different religious and non-traditional weddings. Do not hire Uncle Joe who owns a ‘good enough-ish’ camera or an inexperienced photographer. By hiring a good and trusted photographer, you’re halfway there in guaranteeing good wedding photos. Communicate openly with them about your expectations. Check out our blog for tips on how to choose a good wedding photographer.
2. HIRE QUALITY VENDORS
Including a reliable Hair and Makeup Artist. Just as important it is to hire other quality vendors, it just as important to hire a reliable and trusted Hair and Makeup Artist. You don’t want to hire an artist that arrives late, or does not take your personal taste into account. Don’t skip that trial session with your HMUA just like don’t skip an engagement session with your photographer. It’s all part of the process that helps you and your vendors prepare for your big day and ultimately ensures magnificent wedding photos.
3. CREATE A MOOD BOARD
Hop onto Pinterest and create a mood board of wedding photos you like and don’t like. This will help you get a sense of the style of photography that you prefer for your wedding day. Don’t be shy in sharing the mood board with your photographer. This will also help them better understand you and your taste.
4 DO NOT SKIP ON THAT ENGAGEMENT SESSION
We cannot emphasize this enough! So many of our clients who wanted to skip their engagement sessions due to time constraints, ended up being so grateful that we convinced them otherwise. Engagement sessions are important ice-breakers and gives you a glance into what your wedding may look like. Still not sure? Here’s one of our favorite blogs on why engagement sessions are absolutely necessary!
If you’re not a nature person, do not pick your shoot location to be in the middle of a forest! Picking a right location that reflects both you, and your partners personality is just as important. Ask your photographer for good shoot location ideas. If you’re more of a city gal, choose your favorite street or park— all of these can make for beautiful shoot locations. And vice versa if you feel more at ease surrounded by nature, don’t hesitate to mention this to your photographer.
6. ACT NATURAL
A lot of couples practice poses or smiles for the big day. While there’s no harm in getting some practice in, try not to over-practice. Being yourself, and acting natural is key for great wedding photos. Don’t keep your arms stiff next to your sides like a soldier, relax your arms and body. If you feel a laugh coming in, don’t hold it in because you feel awkward in front of your photographer. Laugh openly and wholeheartedly! I promise you’ll love how those photos turn out. Try not to focus on the constant presence of the photographer, just be you and focus on your love.
7. CANDID PHOTOS
Couples sometimes put too much focus on getting certain poses in. Of course there’s nothing wrong with posing for a few photos, you also can’t go wrong with candid photos where you’re in your natural element. A good photographer will be able to capture those special random moments of the groom glancing lovingly at his bride or the affectionate hug from a friend.
8. SCHEDULE ENOUGH TIME
Plan your wedding timeline well in advance and make sure each of your vendors are up-to-date. If you’ve hired a wedding planner, they’ll be able to help you tremendously in planning a wedding timeline. Otherwise, discuss with your photographer ideal amounts of time that will be needed for each part of the day. You don’t want to underestimate and end up rushing through photo sessions.
9. DON’T RUSH, SLOW DOWN
We’ve noticed that with all the many emotions that brides and grooms feel on their wedding day, they often unconsciously feel the need to rush through the photo sessions. If you feel anxious or wedding jitters or just don’t feel comfortable being photographed, take a walk. Communicate with your photographer that you’d like to take a walk with your partner— a slow walk. Hold hands, talk comfortably, tell jokes, relax, and your photographer will be able to capture it all.
10. LONG VEILS
There’s just something about long, flowy fabric that really makes for some gorgeous shots. If possible, choose long veils! They may be harder to manage but you won’t regret wearing one when you receive your wedding photos!
11. TOSS ITEMS
Incorporate things like confetti or rose petals into some of your wedding day photographs. Tell your photographer and a friend or sibling beforehand so that they can help you with that. Toss items really help photos pop and add to the whole celebration vibe.
12. FIRST LOOK
Photographers love first looks. It’s the perfect opportunity to get in some really great shots prior to the wedding day chaos. If you’re undecided about a first look, read our blog on the pros and cons of incorporating a first look.
13. SNEAK AWAY SESSION
If you’ve decided to forego a first look, than you absolutely need to plan a sneak away session after the ceremony. You need a moment to yourself with your bride or groom for a one-on-one session. If you decided to opt-out of a first look, block approximately 45 minutes to an hour, most likely during cocktail hour. However, if you chose to do a first look, allot approximately 20-30 minutes for your sneak-away session.
30-45 minutes after sunrise or before sunset is known as the Golden Hour. This is known as the ‘magic hour’ for photographers. The hues in the sky are soft and make for some gorgeous shots. You most likely won’t be ready in time for the golden hour after sunrise so it’s safe to assume you’ll be aiming for the golden hour before sunset. Lighting also plays a key factor for good photos. You don’t want to take photos when the sunlight is at its harshest or when it’s pitch black.
15. MAKEUP TOUCH-UP KIT
Most Hair and Makeup Artist provide touch-up kits in case your lipstick or overall makeup needs a little bit of a touch-up. Don’t forget to ask them about it beforehand and after you’re all ready, hand it to your maid-of-honor or bridesmaid to keep with them throughout the day in case you need a top-up.
Get a good nights sleep and not just the night before your wedding. We get it, planning a wedding is stressful and there’s always a never ending to-do list. However, getting in a good nights sleep well in advance from your wedding will make all the difference and will ultimately make all the difference on your wedding day.
17. LOVE YOURSELF
Be kind to yourself. You are beautiful/handsome just the way you are. Keep a positive mindset and focus on everything good. Your good positive energy will radiate through to everyone around you and will ultimately effect the way your wedding photos come out.
18. SPEAK UP
Don’t be shy to tell your photographer if you believe you have a good side or you believe that certain angles are unflattering for you. Although you will look amazing regardless, don’t be afraid to speak up if it puts your mind at ease.
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