11 Tips For Perfect Wedding Photos
We’re always asked by friends and colleagues what the best process for ‘perfect wedding photos’ is, and picking a wedding photographer who will make this happen for you is the key ingredient in the mix. Wedding photography is a diverse field, and here we present some important steps to ensuring you capture your day in the most creative and beautiful way possible…
1. Research, Research, Research…
As soon as you have booked a venue and your wedding date, start your search by hitting up the wedding fairs, browsing websites and blogs, and getting a feel for the local wedding photographers. Make sure to check out recent weddings and wedding albums from each wedding photographer to understand the different quality and styles. Make sure to see full weddings and real couples, some photographers are very inexperienced and may show you ‘highlights’ or modelling shoots instead of what they will actually produce on your day.
2. Analyse The Photos
As you look through different photographer’s photos, think about whether this photographer makes great shots you’d also like? Check if the photos are in-focus and not grainy. If their style involves a very faded ‘washed-out’ look, ask yourself if this is the kind of wedding photography you like?
3. Meet The Candidates
Personality is incredibly important when it comes to hiring a photographer, and it doesn’t matter how good their photos are if you don’t ‘click’, so make sure to meet them in person. Once you have a list of photographers whose photos you like (checking they are within budget and available on your date!) arrange to meet them and look through some albums. You end up spending as much time (if not more) with your photographer as you do with your other half on your wedding day, so you should definitely feel comfortable and get along with them. Remember they’ll be shadowing you both throughout your wedding day and working with all your guests.
4. What Do You Get For Your Money?
Make sure to check there are no ‘hidden extras’, and that the albums or photos they are showing you are actually what are included in the price they are giving you. Check for any additional costs or ‘upsales’ down the line. Make sure to check how many hours are included (bridal prep to first dance can vary massively depending upon your wedding day), as 8 hours is the standard for amply covering most weddings. If they show you a leather album with metallic paper – check that this album is the same as what you are paying for, and that the leather options or presentation box aren’t ‘payable extras’.
5. Who Will Actually Shoot Your Wedding?
Larger photography studios may have multiple photographers and associate photographers working there. Depending on your package or collection, it may be the case that the person you are meeting isn’t the one shooting your day. All photographers have different styles and personalities, so you need to make sure the photographer you meet with and “click” with will be the same one who works your wedding. Whilst many elite professional studios include a second shooter in their packages, it’s not so important to meet them before the wedding – but do check they are part of the photography studio’s team (not just a random friend or family member drafted in for an extra cost). With a second shooter, you get to see two unique angles of key moments, like the groom’s reaction to the bride coming down the aisle, or your first kiss, and these work great in your wedding album.
You should be checking online reviews and the testimonials on their website to make sure that the pictures are a) of real couples this photographer has worked with (as a main shooter, not as a hired second shooter for someone else), and b) that the photographer has a good history of client satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak with former couples yourself.
7. Sign a Contract
Once you’ve decided who will document the most cherished moments of your special day – make sure they offer a contract that outlines everything, including: the date, number of hours, number of shooters, wedding album details, and anything else discussed or paid for.
8. Schedule an Engagement Shoot
We’ve spoken about the multiple brilliant reasons to have a prewedding photo shoot, and once you’ve hired someone you trust make sure to book your engagement session with them early. Engagement sessions are a great way to get comfortable with your photographer and learn tips and tricks on how to easily get wonderful photos. Add to that you have photos for your save-the-date or wedding website, and if your photographer offers them, make sure to get an engagement guest book.
9. Book a Timeline Consultation & Venue Walk-Around
We’ve mentioned before how vital a Timeline Consultation & Venue-Walk-Around is for your wedding day, because everything will take longer than you think. From having make-up done and putting on your dress – to driving between venues and even walking around the gardens for photos, everything takes twice the time. Meet with your photographer and wedding planner to set up a timeline for the day with a strict schedule that leaves extra time for any mishaps or overruns without cutting into your creative photography session.
Also, this is a good time to discuss the shot-lists and must-have family photos. Don’t waste time trying to get every last combo of grandparents, siblings and cousins. Stick to a few important shots, and speed up this part of your day by having your ushers prepare the people for each posed family grouping (that is the reason ‘ushers’ exist after all!).
And make sure to mention any variables to your photographer, for example whether aunty Sue needs extra time to get to the venue for family photos because of the operation, etc…
10. The First-Look
If you don’t want to spend too much time on your wedding day having creative pics instead of spending time with family and friends, do consider the American style ‘first-look’ before the ceremony. It may not be traditional, but it does free up lots of time after the ceremony itself for you to enjoy with family & friends…
11. Enjoy Yourselves!
Once you’ve chosen a photographer you both love and trust, do feel free to leave the worring to them. Try not to sweat the small stuff, like whether they are capturing people eating in the reception, or whether the ideal location of your family photos has to be moved inside because of rain. A professional will handle anything like this without your need to worry. If you’ve created a timeline with your photographer, let your photographer guide you and keep you on schedule. Don’t let the venue cut you short on time because they want to start the wedding breakfast early or, as has happened a few times, they try to force a surprise ‘receiving line’ or ‘grand entrance’ on you that you hadn’t wanted or planned for. Remember, solving these sorts of problems is why you hired a professional.
London & Kent Wedding Photographer Mykey Day
Your Wedding Day will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you, but trust us when we say – your wedding will be crucially important to us as well! Please browse our website for examples of our work, and we look forward to making your wedding photographs special too.