9 Things You ‘Need’ To Do To Avoid Hating Your Wedding Photos
You’ve seen / heard wedding photography horror stories from friends or online, and it usually goes the same way: “We were so disappointed with our wedding photos” or our pet-peeve: “If only we knew what we know now – we would have had such better wedding photos”. This makes us sad, and the best we can do is give you all the information you need to avoid these horror stories – see below for our list of top tips and tricks (plenty more can be found by clicking HERE).
1. Hire a ‘Professional’ Wedding Photographer – and Make Sure You ‘Like’ Them
Hiring a professional who does the job you’re asking them to do day-in-day-out would seem like an obvious one – but so many wedding photos are ruined by non-professionals. For examples of the mine-field you’re about to navigate click here for the different types of photographers available. As such it’s important to hire the services of a photographer who specialises in weddings and has a big portfolio for you to see.
After you’ve made the correct decision to entrust telling the story of your day to a professional wedding photographer – make sure to check out their work and make sure you love their style of photography. Ignorance is no excuse and if you hire a ‘fine art editorial’ wedding photographer when all you wanted was ‘journalistic’, that’s on you when the results don’t excite you. Make sure you fall in love with your photographer’s portfolio and style.
Having said that, it’s not enough to love their work, however, as you’ll be spending all day with this person – potentially spending more time with your photographer than you are with your bride / groom! So it’s super important you get on!
We find that wedding photographers’ personalities sit on a spectrum from ‘super geeky’ to ‘super arty’, with a lot in-between. This is because they need to arty enough to create wonderful artistic images for you – but also geeky enough to be able to understand and operate the super complicated array of equipment needed for wedding photography.
Final Thought – Wedding Photography Mills:
Make sure you are hiring the person you meet – as there are ‘wedding photography mills’ where you are booking a company and not an artist. This includes one very famous Kent Wedding Photography Mill – usually the first result when you Google/search for ‘Kent Wedding Photography’ – who have an amazing sales team, but pay their photographers fee-lance at minimum wage to be at your wedding.
Wedding Mills suck you in with a slick sales person who showcase amazing wedding photos and albums, but then send free-lance sub-contracted temps to your day. These temps are often starting out at the beginning of their wedding career. You have been warned!
2. Have An Engagement Session – Pre-Wedding Photo Session With Your Chosen Wedding Photographer
Nothing solves all the above problems and addresses all the above considerations like having a pre-wedding photo session with your other half. Also called ‘Engagement Sessions’, these are mini-photo sessions designed to get you comfortable working in front of the camera, and also teach you tips and tricks on getting the most amazing wedding photos possible.
However, you can often purchase these without purchasing a wedding package, and as such you can ‘try out’ your wedding photographer to see if they’re a good fit for you. Many photographers (including us) will even do a discount on wedding collections if you have already purchased a full engagement session!
We’ve spoken before a lot about the benefits of pre-wedding Engagement Sessions, but in a nutshell: Engagement sessions are a great way of getting to know your photographer, getting comfortable in front of the camera, and also getting more fabulous photos on your wedding day.
The biggest irony of engagement sessions, is that those couples who are most dead-set against the idea, are often the ones who would benefit most. If you ‘don’t like having your picture taken’ or find it too ‘cheesy’, then you’re exactly the person who would benefit most from the session – getting to learn what it’s actually about and getting rid of those misgivings/nerves.
3. Delete your wedding Pinterest boards
Whilst ‘inspiration’ is completely necessary and worthwhile, beware the inflated and impossible expectations brought on by the dreaded ‘Pinterest boards’! If you expect your wedding to look exactly the same as the pictures you see on pinterest – then you are going to be disappointed.
The reasons for this are multiple, but the 2 most crucial ones are:
- The images you’ll have saved will have come from multiple photographers in multiple locations with multiple different personality couples. As such, expecting any one photographer to emulate all these styles in one day is very simply impossible.
- We make a joke about it but this is actually a conversation we had with a real client (not verbatim): “This is a wonderful photo you have sent us from Pinterest and we would have loved to do something like this for you on your wedding day – but unfortunately this a beach sunset photo from California (not a real wedding either), and you were married in a registry office in London on a rainy day.
Simply put, pinterest wedding boards can promote unrealistic expectations, and the weddings they feature (when they are in-fact real weddings) still aren’t your wedding. Concentrate on the wedding you are going to have, and trust your photographer to make new images from it that will go on Pinterest in their own right.
4. Make Sure You Have Enough Time
We’ve gone over this in-depth in multiple articles, whether it’s your ceremony time being too late – or just not considering how long things actually take on your wedding day – here’s a few simple tips to remember:
- Double your travel time – eeeverything takes longer on a wedding day, especially travel.
- Give your Wedding Photographer enough time – you may think it only takes a moment to ‘take a snap’, but to get the wonderful group photos of your family you should allot at least 2-3 minutes per grouping requested.
- Add ‘cushion time’ to your wedding timeline, you’ll thank us when your day inevitably overruns but you don’t miss out on anything.
- Book a very good MUA as in our experience it is Make-Up-Artists overrunning (or telling you what time ‘they’ think you should be ready) that accounts for 90% of the times Brides are late to the ceremony.
5. Unless Your Wedding Is ‘Star Wars Themed’ – Lose The Lasers…
Whether it’s Ushaia in Ibiza, or Ministry of Sound in London – laser light shows are ubiquitous for night time music. However, do you really want green and red spots all over your face and dress during your first dance pictures?
Laser lights may look cool in real life but they look awful on your face in photos – end of story…
Some DJ’s say that they will refrain from using lasers during the first dance for the photographer, but then crank them up to 11 for the rest of the night. This means that you will have no photos for the rest of the night (or really awful ones). So tell your DJ to suck it up because “Han Shot First” and put those lasers back in their holsters.
“But my DJ said that a ‘good’ photographer can photoshop these out…?”
Yes sure we can, but this is above and beyond normal editing, and at extra time and expense above what we normally have to do for our wedding clients… So do ask them for their address so you know where to send the extra bill after the wedding…
6. Unplug Your Wedding
This phenomenon of nan and grandad wielding giant iPads for photos and video is starting to get ridiculous. Whether it’s grandma standing in the aisle as dad walks you up the aisle for the last time, or Uncle Bob spoiling your family photos by standing alongside your wedding photographer and distracting subjects, there are many issues that an unplugged wedding solves outright.
If you like the idea of your wedding being streamed on Facebook Live or live-tweeted moment-by-moment, then forget we said anything. But if you want that ‘wow’ factor from wonderful wedding images produced by a professional, then unplug your day.
7. Speeches At The End Of The Wedding Breakfast
Your best man / dad / groom / etc… say they’re really nervous about the speeches, and want to do it first to get it out the way. Great idea? Not at all.
We’ve mentioned in previous articles (Why Your Ceremony Time is Wrong) why the timing of your wedding breakfast – in UK ceremonies at least – is probably really weird. Check out the article to see why…
So because of this weird timing – firstly, it’s not good a good time for your photographer. With their blood sugar at the lowest point (they’ve been non-stop all day until this point) it really is time to sit down and eat and recoup to be fresh for the next half of the day.
Secondly – and more importantly for your speech-shy speaker – this is also the worst time to do speeches. We can illustrate it by simply outlining the two scenarios:
Scenario 1- Speeches Before Wedding Breakfast: Everyone is hungry, no-one has eaten much for over 7 hours (or more potentially), and now they’re expected to sit through speeches whilst sat still and their plates empty in front of them. Talk about hostile audience right?! Your wedding guests won’t be in the mood to be on the speakers side, moreover they will just be hoping it will be over quickly so they can eat!
Scenario 2- Speeches After Wedding Breakfast: Your guests are well fed. Possibly they’ve eaten too much, and gone into a food coma (aren’t they great?). Also, the table wine has been flowing plentifully, and there’s nowhere else they need to be. This crowd is a much more friendly crowd, and will be far more receptive (and forgiving, if need be…) to your speeches.
You may want to get the speeches out of the way, but trust us, the problem you are solving is actually making your problem worse!
8. Uplights Are Always Best
We’ve shot weddings in multiple countries, counties, and venues – and we’ve seen everything from elaborate Victoria Manor Houses to bare hotel function rooms. In all that time, the biggest secret we’ve seen that makes everything better is ‘uplighting’. This is where lights shoot up from a ground source, whether its outside the venue itself, or more importantly, in the function room for the Wedding Reception.
Talk to your DJ and/or venue about uplighting, you’ll thank us later…
9. When You LOVE Your Wedding Photos – Don’t Let Them Sit Unloved On A USB
“A picture, isn’t a picture, until it is printed…” – Yervant
If you love your photos – you should use them! Nothing is worse than the most spectacular and wonderful moments of your life being sat unloved on a USB – or lost in the fold in a simple Facebook Post that won’t be seen ever again…
Whether it’s wall-art for your home, or fantastic wedding albums that will become your first family heirloom, pictures aren’t pictures until they are printed. This is something we feel very strongly about at Mykey Day Photography.
Talk to your wedding photographer about the albums they have available (they should be able to design a piece of art for you, not just a picture book), the wall-art they can make for you, and the prints they can deliver to you. If they can’t do these things, are they any better than your friends sharing their iphone pictures with you?
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.