Hi and Welcome to my Blog,
As with every passing wedding photography season, again it highlighted a few more recurring factors that I feel effect the way in which I must approach the days photography, so, not to get everyone to conform with what the photographer wants this is more of a few pointers to consider that will not only make the photography better for me and wedding photographers in general, but will ultimately make the resulting photographs better for you .
Everything below are simple points that with a little advance timing, any bride or groom can ensure do or don't occur on their special day.
1. Daylight !
For photography and video alike....natural light is a huge element of the days production, the more you can include by selecting locations and times of ceremony etc the better results you will enjoy in your final images.
2. Event Punctuality !
Fashionably late is not as cool an excuse as many brides think.. sure 5 or 15 mins is not a big issue. Brides who float into the ceremony 45 mins late have to understand they will now be 45 mins later for the meal, as will the guests which either means burnt dry food or they need to sacrifice time from their photo session for family and couples portraits. The day is short so good punctuality means you get to maximize on quality time with the people you invited to share the day with you
3. Photos, Video or Both ?
Obviously photos are a must ...Video offers another media dimension that many enjoy and can work well together with the final photographs and with the inclusions of drones these days you can really get quite the production delivered. My suggestion is that you introduce your videographer and photographer to ensure they work well together and don't compete on the day for the best position after all they need to work well together to ensure you get the best results. In short... hire professionals.
4. DJ or Band ?
In my personal experience ( getting close to 800 weddings ) I find band set up time makes a huge impact to a couples day plan for first dance and also the band all too often become too much of a spectacle thus distracting from the happy couple. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing bands out there that blow me away. A mix of band and DJ is also good as a DJ can be more reactive to the crowd to keep them dancing all night where a band has a more limited set of songs to play. People on the dance floor should be looking at each other and looking at the bride rather than staring at the band.
5. The Cake Cutting Photo
Simple... First is always consider the background as its such an important photo for couples and you don't want the DJs speakers in there. Secondly always bride to the front position and groom behind...we all want to see that dress.
6. First Dance
During the First Dance (and the cake cut for that matter) Tell your Lighting people No Colored Spot Lights on the Bride and Groom. Sometimes the best photos can be ruined because the bride has a half blue and half green face while the groom has a big red spot on the ass of his pants. This is a common reason for many first dance photos ending up in Black and White, not through choice but rather the need to supply the photo regardless
7. Chronology / Timing
When planning the timeline of your day most people make the mistake of planning it then telling all the service providers after the fact. Sure this worked as any good wedding service provider should flex to suit your needs, BUT, taking the time to meet each of your service providers with your chronology sheet will enable you to consider all the angles. Such is the way with my service, I really have to pencil in the timeline to cover preparation, informal, formal, portraiture, artistic, photojournalistic, and details photos.
Ensuring the right time to photograph the bride and groom, and the group photos is paramount as alcohol begins to play a factor on skin color and organization issues with herding the guests from one location to another. A list of the groups you wish to have photographed is the perfect way to go as i can produce it in a very fun and organized fashion In short...the better the plan we have, the better the results and you have more time to dance and eat cake !
8. The Rings
Here's a little thing that many photographers never seem to mention to their clients and it's such an important little detail.. Very simple. Due to the nature of left and right facing each other become opposites, during the ring exchange it becomes tricky to get the perfect angles to capture the hands crossing over and exchanging the BLING so, I will always ask the couples that when placing the ring on your partners finger, hold the ring between your thumb and forefinger only and slide the ring onto the others finger from below their hand (ie: your hand passes below the others), this giving a clear view from headheight of the event taking place. Works like a charm !
9. Water and Sitting
Bride and Groom, you will be on your feet most of the day and into the night. During your preparation before going to the ceremony, this is when you get most nervous, pulse and heart rates flutter and you are highly likely to become unknowing to you, dehydrated. always have water with you..drink often but not lots or you will need to pee during the ceremony, then you will get all in a fluster. Sipping water throughout the preparation will not only keep you hydrated, it will clear your eyes and help show a clearer white and more pure eye color in the photographs, it will also keep your body temperature more regulated so you won't sweat, most important for brides makeup and finally it keeps a nice colour in the skin making photos even better. Last but not least it should stop your fainting at the altar !!
Now to sitting down....I always see brides and groom pacing the floor while on the photo during preparation...or walking around the room, or just standing between the endless number of unused comfortable chairs and couches around. TAKE A SEAT...you're going to be on your feet for at least 8 hours..if you don't have to be standing. DON'T !!! take it from me as I am on my feet even when you're sitting !!
10. Smoke Machines and Laser Lights
Don't you love a touch of the old smoke machine when the party starts?....The laser lights start cutting through it like something from a Sci-Fi movie. Sure it's great but warn your Light people, or DJ that focusing cameras on moving people with smoke and laser lights is almost impossible and there can be a high percentage of images ruined as the light and smoke confuse the cameras sensors. If both are kept to a Short burst now and again it creates amazing photos but too much and the photographer has to wait 15 minutes for the smoke to clear possibly missing great photo opportunities on the dance floor.
Hope you picked up a few ideas to help you and your photographer get the best from your special day GOOD LUCK
Bonus Tips : Ceremony... face each other... it's never great to invite people to the big day then turn your backs on them during the ceremony..guests get very disconnected so early on in this case . By simply turning to face each other during your ceremony the guests get to share in your smiles and your eye contact with each other.
Bonus Tips : Use Deodorant... Don't use antiperspirant ! this blocks natural primary sweat paths and often will cause you to sweat facially which destroys makeup and causes reflective shine on the skin during flash photography
Bonus Tips : Entering Down The Aisle... Slowly...S l o w e r... eye contact the guests...they smile...you smile...everyone smiling. DONE