My role as a wedding photographer is to find the best light available and direct your poses in the most flattering way possible. However, there are some limitations depending on the location and timing of your wedding day schedule. Here are some tips to consider as you’re planning your wedding day:
For formal portraits, find locations with the least amount of distractions (i.e. parked cars, street signs, people, etc). Also, if there’s enough time, plan to have your formal portraits taken at a location with a beautiful backdrop (i.e. a flower garden, historical building or an open field).
Allocate at least 1.5 to 2 hours for formal portraits. Formal portraits does NOT have to be done all at the same time. For example, I recommend doing the bride and bridesmaids portraits immediately after their hair and makeup is done while everything is still fresh and in place. I also recommend doing the groom and groomsmen portraits before any drinking starts. Once we have these portraits done (which is normally before the ceremony), it will allow us more time to photograph family, the entire wedding party, and bride and groom together later.
Lighting is everything because it changes throughout the day and different light will create different results. Here are my tips for making the best use of light throughout your wedding day:
Getting ready photos: I recommend choosing a room with large windows where there is a lot of natural light. Not only will this benefit you as you’re getting your makeup done but it will also help capture the intricate details of your dress, ring and other items. Most brides will get ready in their home or in a hotel room and if there are limited natural light coming through the windows, I will utilize the surrounding outdoor area to photograph the dress and details.
Formal portraits: Typically this will take place in mid-afternoon when the sun is at its highest which will create unflattering and harsh shadows on faces and cause people to squint. Consider doing the formal portraits in a location that not only has a beautiful backdrop but also areas that have shades (for example: trees or pavilions).
Ceremony: If your ceremony is taking place inside a church, be sure to check on any restrictions on the use of cameras and/or flash. It’s often dimmer inside of a church and therefore will typically require a flash.
Reception: As most reception take place in the evening, I bring my own flashes to set up. Any additional lights that you plan on putting out will definitely help add to the ambient light (such as candles, Christmas lights, or DJ lights)
4) Clean Background
For getting ready photos:
Designate one of your bridesmaid or family member to help clean and organize the surrounding area so that all the clutters are not included in the photos.
If you and your bridesmaids are wearing satin robes while getting ready, be sure to iron out all the wrinkles on the robes prior to your wedding day. The camera will pick up on all these little details.
Most brides prefer that they have at least half of their makeup on before I start photographing which works out great as this will give me some time to photograph the dress and details.
Avoid doing”duck-lips” during the kissing poses (instead, go in slowly for the kiss without really kissing)
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