The Do's and Don'ts of Wedding Photography

After months of planning the finer details of your special day, the dress, the location, the guest list and among other things, your head may be spinning. To help you get picture-perfect photos that you and your partner will cherish forever, here are the do's and don’ts of wedding photography.

1. Don’t skimp on quality

Don’t compromise your memories from your wedding: the photographer that you choose will be as important as the dress. Look for someone that is highly skilled and who can align their style with the style of your wedding. Look at the top photographers in your area and get to know them. Flip through their portfolio, meet with them and be sure to ask lots of questions.
It really makes a big difference if you connect or not with your photographer. Of course, you’ll want to weigh your options in terms of price and budget but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the photographer otherwise your photos will pay the price.

2. Do follow up with your photographer a week prior the wedding 

Go through the nitty gritty details before the wedding: give your photographer a checklist and timings to make sure that the couple/bride and photographer are on the same page. If you have some people that you must have photos of, like your aunt and uncle who flew in from overseas or your grandfather who made the long trip, your photographer will thank you for being upfront about this and you won’t be disappointed.
Be sure to check in one week prior to the wedding so that all instructions are fresh for both parties.

3. Don't wait too long to book your photographer 

If you find a great photographer, book them! Photographers with good reputations tend to book out a year or more in advance so the earlier the better. Nothing is more frustrating than, after spending months researching and finally settling on a photographer, finding out that they are unavailable for your date.

4. Do create a photography “Wish List”

As a part of your pre-wedding catch-up, it’s also a good idea to give your photographer examples of some of the photos you’d like. Create a Pinterest board of ideas, whether you have always dreamed of a romantic photo on the top of the hill or walking barefoot holding hands by the beach, and show these as examples. This will help turn your dreams into reality when briefing your photographer regarding your expectations for the wedding. From this point, your wedding photographer will make them happen.

5. Don’t skip the engagement session

The best thing you can do to prepare for your wedding day is to set up an engagement photo shoot with your photographer. Apart from giving you the opportunity to create a beautiful engagement photo album, this also allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera and to get to know your photographer’s shooting style. Think about this session as a fun test drive that will make you trust in the photographer and help you relax when it comes to the big day.

6. Do consider hiring a second shooter 

Consider getting a second shooter as a part of your photography package as it would give you another unique point of view throughout the day. Having a second shooter will give you the chance to capture the moments that you missed while you were away getting your couple shots taken. Also having a second shooter will give you more chance to capture the small moments, special moments that are also not to be missed, like the little flower girls, smiling, or grandma making her moves at the party! After the wedding is over, you won’t regret investing a little more money in capturing these unforgettable moments of the day.

7. Don’t focus too much on taking photos on the day

Wedding day photos are among the most precious items that we hold near and dear to our heart. You won’t want to look back at your photos and look stiff and posed.
Of course, you will have formal photos taken but don’t forget to also include shots in a more relaxing setting. A good photojournalist can capture the story of your day as well as some artistic portraits while keeping time away from the celebrations to a minimum. Plus this will add some fun when looking back at your memories.

8. Do schedule enough time for the photo sessions

It really takes some time to shoot pictures of the entire family. To make your life easier, schedule some time first with the family before they enter the reception. Then, while the family is entertained at the party, you’ll have the time with your partner to go away and take the shots as a new married couple. Make sure that you have a plan in place with your photographer for this and let all the family know the wedding and photography schedule.

9. Don’t push your photo shoot until the last minute 

There are so many, uncountable things that you’ll need to get done on your wedding day. Despite this, don’t procrastinate and wait to take photos until after the sun has set. Lighting is the most important and powerful factor when taking pictures. To get as much flattering and natural light as possible, schedule your photo shoot just before sunset so that you can benefit from having the soft glow of ‘golden hour’ lighting (plus your makeup will still be fresh!). The later you get to start taking photographs, the higher the risk of you won’t get high-quality photographs.

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