Couples planning to get married often fall in the trap of thinking that if they get a good photographer then great photos will be guaranteed. Unfortunately this is a fallacy.
Ensuring great photos should be a team effort and there is a lot that couples can do to assist the photographer in achieving this objective. The recipe for creating an environment for great wedding photos demands that certain factors be considered very carefully.
1) The wedding venue. While nice looking gardens can be an attractive backdrop to wedding photos it can also be become confusing if not treated correctly. The guideline here is to go for simplicity. Interesting buildings with arches pillars and staircases are ideal for great photos and create opportunities for posing brides and the couple. The trick is to ensure that the emphasis is on the bride and the couple rather than on the environment. Be careful of a venue build of yellowish bricks with a roof made of grass or reeds. I have very seldom seen good pictures taken in such venues. The reason being that the yellow brics simply does not make a good back-drop for wedding pictures, the seconds reason being the fact that neither the walls nor the roof reflects any light, making it very dark inside where all the action takes place.
2) Timing your wedding. This is a factor often overlooked by couples and many couples choose to have a midday wedding for reasons like convenience etc. While this can work out well on a cloudy day the reality is that harsh bright midday sunlight creates deep black shadows and highlights that can be a test for any photographer. Why, simply because cameras hate contrast and have no way of dealing with such a situation as even the most advanced cameras cannot expose for shadows and highlights simultaneously. Cameras prefer soft even light that are almost guaranteed during the late afternoon and early evening hours.
3) Be ready on time. Insist that your beautician and hair stylist be punctual. If they are not on time the program for the day will be ruined and photos will have to be taken in what little time is left before the commencement of the formalities, usually not with good results.
4) Plan your day and schedule the formalities including the photo cessions. Allow fifteen minutes to each event for the unexpected. Things do and will sometimes go wrong. When you have completed your planning you should have a list with a start and end time for each formality.
5) Get a great car. If you have to travel to between various locations endeavor to get a great car that will make good photos. This will depend on your preference and your pocket. My preference will always be for a nice well looked after vintage car. Your uncle’s new Ferrari will most certainly be a lot quicker but for wedding photos it will come a poor second compared to a vintage model. A cart and horses will also do the trick if you can find them.
6) Do some posing in front of a mirror. There are no photographer that can turn you into a top model on the day of the wedding and there are some brides who simply can not pose. However the situation will be greatly improved if you can get yourself a few magazines and endeavor to copy some of the poses you like. This also applies to the couple.
7) Get a good hair stylist and make-up artist. While you expect to get only the best from your photographer he also expects you to be in great shape. Be assured that your photographer’s efforts are only going to match yours. Photographers loose their appetite very quickly once they realize that their subjects are not looking their best. You have to create a challenge for the photographer almost ‘a catch me if you can’ situation in order to get your photographer in top gear.
8) Be relaxed and spontaneous. If you planned properly there will be no need for you not to be relaxed. Do not invite people to your wedding that has a negative influence on you. It’s your wedding and your day and you choose your guests not your family.
9) Beware of the shiny dress. Most wedding dresses really look great but some of them tend to shine like a mirror. If this is the case with your dress then this is bad news for your photographer and I really mean BAD NEWS. The shiny dress means that your photographer will not be able to use flash (that is if he ever intended to do so in the first place) because your shiny dress will bounce back the light created by the flash and no detail will be recorded in that area of the photo. In actual fact the same goes for sunlight, the shiny parts of the dress will simply not show any detail on your photos. Very experienced photographers are able to deal with this to some extend, but why risk. Go for the safe option and make sure that your dress does not fall in this category. Besides, there is nothing that says that a wedding dress must be white!
10) Get some dance lessons. It is really an embarrassment to see some couples dance. Rather get some lessons. Also keep in mind that your photographer is looking for something where you are really moving. The slow dances where you take a step every now and then with little movement in between, really does not work for photos. Your photographer is looking to create a sense of movement by creating some blur hence the need for the quicker move.
I really hope that this will be of value to you and if you do not or can not meet all of this, do not despair there are ways to work around most of the issues mentioned.