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Wedding Advice

I put together a range of wedding photography advice and information because when researching our industry I noticed a huge lack of information websites for people getting married in our beautiful country. For this reason I made this Wedding Photography  Advice page. I have also created a list of frequently asked questions which can be downloaded here

Beautiful Wedding Memories

As a professional wedding photographer, I always seek to deliver long-lasting, beautiful wedding memories. Once you have read through these tips, either CONTACT IAN or look at our wedding photography packages to see which best meets your style and requirements.

What you really need is a professional wedding photographer who has a wide experience of weddings, someone completely reliable who you can really trust to take the best possible photographs of your day. It’s impossible to re take your wedding photographs if you’re not happy with them so don’t be tempted to cut costs and entrust your photography to an amateur. They are your lasting reminder of your once-in-a-life-time day and if you intend on showing them to the future generations of your family in years to come then you better find an expert photographer who will capture your day just how it is.

You want someone who is very experienced in weddings and further to this has experience in shooting other disciplines such as portraiture; they will be familiar with the emotion and stress of the day and will have experience in dealing with tricky family situations. They should be able to ease tension rather than add to it, if you have difficult family situations make sure you advise the photographer beforehand. They should also have excellent technical skills. If you are opting for imaginative photos then you’ll want someone with creative flair who’s excited about photographing your wedding. They should have a good attitude and want to do the best job possible. Look for a photographer who shows great levels of passion for capturing weddings.

Some photographers will visit your venues before hand to scout for the perfect backdrop and to generally get ideas. They may look for places to stop off between venues if they think there’s a good spot to take photographs. If you give them a must-have photos’ list then they should give you feed back on this before the day so you will know exactly what to expect on the day. You want the best wedding album possible but you don’t want your photographer to monopolise the whole day, a good photographer will get the best results as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Ok so now you know what you want you just have to find them. The first thing you need to do is look at each individual’s style. This is how they actually take the photographs and what results they get. Some photographers will work with an assistant who helps them round up the guests and keep everything on schedule. Others will take a more discreet approach mingling with the guests and organising people without them even realising it. The outcome is also very important, look at the various styles and decide which is right for you as it is vital that you like their approach and their portfolio.

When you meet the photographer think about how comfortable you feel talking to them, remember that they will be a big part of your wedding day and you will probably spend more time with them than any of your guests so it is essential that you feel comfortable in their company. You should also ask to see complete albums from other people’s weddings this will give you an idea of what your album could look like. A book of twenty great shots from twenty different weddings is easy to put together and not a good reflection of their skill whereas consistently good shots from one wedding will prove that the photographer is talented, this is the best way to gauge their overall style. Remember to check that the person you meet is going to be taking your photographs on the day. The packages available from different companies vary greatly in both price and content.

With a top of the range photography package you’ll look and feel like a film star. You can be photographed from early in the day getting ready with your bridesmaids till late in to the reception celebrating with your guests. An unlimited number of shots can be taken against wonderful backdrops and in a variety of styles. You will be given a large storybook album that will act as a lasting reminder of your entire day. Alternatively you can choose one of the cheapest packages where a few months after the wedding you will be left with a small album of photographs taken in the hour between the ceremony and the reception. Bear in mind that your photographs are one of the few permanent records of your day and it’s wise to spend as much as your budget can allow.

 

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

 

When ‘shopping’ for your photographer it will be much easier if you know what style you are looking for and what it’s called. The best wedding photographers have a technique of their own and while most can offer a mixture of photographs they will specialise in a particular style as their trademark. Mine is called “eclectic”.

Reportage

As the name suggests this is quite literally ‘to report’. A photographer takes photographs as the day unfolds capturing moments as they happen rather than taking posed shots. With reportage, the photographer will blend in to the crowd and you won’t even realise photos are being taken, but a good photographer should be practically invisible no matter what style is chosen so don’t settle for this just because you are afraid of the camera being intrusive. To capture a moment as it happens is difficult and requires a keen eye, a fast finger and years of experience To have a little reportage in your album is a good way to reflect the atmosphere of the whole day but too many will result in an unstructured album with no focal point.

You may also be disappointed if key photos are missing such as one of you and your mum, or that there aren’t enough romantic shots of you and your husband together.

Reportage looks great in an album but most people like some slightly more posed shots that they can frame and send to granny for her mantelpiece.

Formal

Images of old-fashioned wedding albums showing uncomfortable families standing in a line have given formal photographs a bad reputation. Thankfully wedding photography has moved on considerably from this and the true definition of a formal photograph is one where the family members can be clearly seen and depicted. A good photographer will put the group at ease and ensure the pose is natural and without being forced.

Often treasured in years to come, these images are a great family record of the wedding.

Romantic

These photographs are usually taken after the ceremony when the bride and groom are alone with the photographer. Some will be posed portraits whilst others will be candid pictures of the happy couple. Posed portraits don’t always have to be cheesy though most albums will have at least one of the bride and groom kissing under a tree or by a lake or while sitting on a bench or all of the above! The common denominator in all romantic photographs is that they show the love and affection the couple feel for each other on their wedding day.

Avant Garde

This style is best used sparingly to really add something special to the album.

Angles and lines are used frequently as a backdrop with the bride and groom being the main focal point. Perspective can be used to add interest and the overall effect is usually very dramatic. This style is also known as Modern or Theatrical.

Black and White

This type of photograph is increasingly popular and can look very artistic. It is also very flattering as it shows shades and contours beautifully and can be much more atmospheric than colour shots. Bear in mind that it is possible to change colour shots to black and white but it doesn’t work the other way around. Therefore it is not advisable to ask your photographer to produce too many black and white images as details such as the flowers, table decorations and bridesmaids dresses will be remembered more clearly when shot in colour.

Tinting

The most popular tints are sepia and light blue, sepia can add warmth to a plain photograph making it more atmospheric therefore changing its overall mood.

Spot or Hand Tinting

Before the introduction of computer technology and digital cameras photographers would paint on to the negative to highlight a particular object. Nowadays a similar effect is created on screen. This technique is frequently used on the bride’s bouquet where the flowers have colour but the rest of the photograph is black and white.

Digital Effects

Some of the more popular effects are emulsion lifts, cross processing, pop art effects and diffused glows. Bear in mind that a photographer can spend up to an hour on a single photograph so if used too often it will be very expensive.

 

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

 

Once you have decided on what styles you like and you have found the perfect photographer you need to know that there are 3 more very important factors that must be carefully considered. Without doing so you won’t achieve the best possible album for your wedding and after spending a lot of time and money on finding the perfect photographer, this would be a disaster. So what are the all important factors?

First of all you’ll need to think about the location. (that’s if you are choosing your photographer before the venue).

Next you’ll need to think about the timing of your day. If you are being married at 3pm for instance most of your posed photographs will be taken around 4pm. This is fine if you are having a summer wedding but if you are being married in the middle of winter the photographer will have problems trying to take pictures in semi darkness.

Speak to your photographer about this before hand and a solution might be to have your ceremony earlier in the day or you could arrange to have your photographs taken inside where the time will be less relevant.

The third and most important factor is you – the Bride and Groom. Without a good relationship between you and the photographer your photographs will suffer. You will need to listen and trust their advice before and during the day. A good wedding album is the result of a couple having taken on board some advice from their chosen photographer. A great wedding album involves listening to the advice and acting on it. The best wedding pictures aren’t simply about money they’re about getting involved in the photography process and most importantly having a great time on the day. Easier said than done? If you are one of many people who dread the prospect of having their photo taken don’t panic! Professional photographers are experts at getting people to relax in front of the camera, speak to them about it and they will find a way that works for you both. Some will arrange a pre-wedding shoot a week or so before the wedding in order to make you relax and feel more comfortable in front of a camera. You never know you might even get to like it, the difference will be seen plainly in the photographs.

 

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

 

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day and a professional photographer should know all the tricks of the trade to make you and your new husband look great in the photos. They will find the most appropriate and flattering locations and backdrops and should be able to direct you on your poses. They should make the most of your wedding dress by taking some full length shots and some close-ups to capture and decorative details.

Lighting has a key role in all photographs and your photographer should be an expert in using it to your advantage. Pictures taken in bright mid-day sun can be harsh with dark shadows and a bleached out wedding dress so it’s often better to wait for an overcast moment or to use a natural shade.

Angles are also important if you want to look your best. Why not take some tips from the stars, don’t stand with your shoulders square to the camera, turn your body slightly by about 30 or 40 degrees for a much more flattering pose. Another trick is to tilt your face at a slight angle making it appear slimmer in the photographs.

When deciding on your wedding make-up it is a good idea to aim for a more polished version of your everyday look, you don’t want your photos to look dated in a few years time. It’s worth paying for a professional make-up artist, you’ll be nervous on the morning of your wedding and a steadier hand will do a much better job. They will also be skilled at making the most of your features whilst maintaining a natural look. Make sure however that you have a trial run before the day, you don’t want any surprises, just a more glamorous version of your everyday look. Here are a few tips to make sure you look your best on your big day.

  • Don’t forget to wear waterproof mascara as weddings can be very emotional and the last thing you’ll want to do is have to start reapplying your make up after the ceremony.
  • If you are having black and white photographs steer clear of dark red lipstick and heavy blusher, as these will appear even darker while too pale pastel colours can fade out completely.
  • Pinky-brown lipsticks will whiten teeth while orange and red tones will make themlook brownish against your dress.
  • Make sure that your jewellery, veil and headdress complement each other too much fussiness will look cluttered in the photographs.
  • Treat yourself to a professional manicure; your hands will be the focus of a few pictures from signing the register to cutting the cake and close up shots of your rings.
  • Have your eyebrows and legs waxed at a salon at least 2 days before the day, this will allow time for any redness to calm down.
  • Most importantly relax and enjoy your day it only happens once and if you’re enjoying yourself this will really show in the photographs.

 

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.

 

Most brides will have an idea of what they want their wedding album to look like, from the overall style to specific shots and although you shouldn’t set your heart on any particular shot you have seen in a magazine or in someone else’s album being recreated it is a good idea to give your photographer a list of photographs you would like to be taken. Here are the most frequently asked for shots.

Before the ceremony

  • Bride in dress
  • Bride with Mother
  • Bride with Father
  • Bride with both parents
  • Bride with entire family
  • Bride with Maid of Honour
  • Bride with Bridesmaids
  • Bride putting last minute touches to hair and make-up
  • Bride and Father in car
  • Mother and Father of the Bride

At the Ceremony

  • Guests outside
  • Ushers escorting guests
  • Soloist and organist
  • Groom and best man at the alter
  • Bride and Father getting out of the car
  • Bride and Father going into venue
  • Bride and Father walking down the aisle
  • Bride and Groom exchanging vows
  • Signing the Register
  • Bridesmaids coming up the aisle
  • Bride and Groom coming up the aisle
  • Bride and Groom outside venue
  • Bride and Groom in car

Before the Reception

  • Bride
  • Bride and Maid of Honour
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Groom
  • Groom and Best man
  • Groom, Best man and Ushers
  • Bride and Groom with all attendants
  • Bride with her parents
  • Bride with Grooms parents
  • Bride with both Mothers
  • Bride with both Fathers
  • Bride with both Mothers and Fathers
  • Groom with his Parents
  • Groom with Brides Parents
  • Groom with both Mothers
  • Groom with both Fathers
  • Groom with both Mothers and Fathers
  • Bride and Groom with Brides parents
  • Bride and Groom with Grooms parents
  • Bride and Groom with both Mothers
  • Bride and Groom with both Fathers
  • Bride and Groom with both Mothers and Fathers
  • Bride and Groom with entire wedding party and guests

At the Reception

  • Bride and Groom arriving
  • Receiving line
  • Table shots
  • Cake table
  • Bride and Groom cutting the cake
  • Bride and Groom toasting
  • Speeches
  • Musicians
  • The first Dance
  • Bride and father dancing
  • Groom and Mother dancing
  • Bride throwing bouquet
  • Bride and groom getting into car
  • Car driving away
  • Group shot of all guests

At the end of the day, remember that this is a partnership between the bridal couple and your professional wedding photographer.   He or she will build a relationship with you that allows him to create the best wedding photographs, without becoming an intrusion on your wedding day.