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Top Tips for Wedding Photography

If you are currently planning your wedding then congratulations! It can be quite stressful getting everything the way you want it to be, but it’s important that you do so because it is your day after all. One of the most important days in your life.

What are you planning to do about the photography? Your wonderful day will pass so quickly that it can be hard to take it all in. So you need some really good photographs to help you remember every little detail: to ensure that your day is captured for a lifetime.

You will probably already have plenty of ideas about the type of photographs you want. Perhaps traditional groups of people, posed outside the church or in nearby grounds. Or maybe you want a more edgy contemporary style - some in black and white - the kind of thing you might see in Vogue. As with any aspect of a wedding, it’s important that you decide the kind of thing you want before organising who will take the photographs.

Hiring a professional photographer can be a little costly, with so many options available; Do you want pre-wedding pictures of bride and groom getting ready, do you was someone to video too? Remember you not just paying for the images themselves but you paying for the photographers time, so the longer they are there, the higher the cost. If budget is tight, work out the bare minimum images you would want to have taken and go from there.

Some photographers come with a team. This can be an added bonus as having two or three people tasked with taking photographs ensures that they take lots of shots at every stage of the day. Then between all of these shots there are bound to be enough that you love and want to include in your final selection of wedding photos.

Once you have found someone reliable to do the photography, you need to make sure that they take photos that you will be delighted with. The best thing to do is to make a list of photographs that you really want - so that you know you will definitely have these - and also then ask them to take a variety of photos of their own choice on top of that.

Leo Francis

To help you with this we have some ideas for you about photos to put on your list, and also some tips for your photography team:

Ideas for the best wedding photos

Here are some of our favourites:

  • The bride on the morning of the wedding, having fun getting ready with bridesmaids. Whether you go for posed or more arty shots is up to you, but you will treasure these happy memories for years to come;
  • Similarly the groom preparing for the wedding, perhaps some nice relaxed shots with the best man and other involved friends;
  • Close up shots of significant items such as the bouquet, shoes, and rings;
  • Family and friends arriving at the wedding venue
  • The groom and best man awaiting the bride’s arrival: it’s always lovely to capture the groom looking round and catching his first glimpse of the bride;
  • The bride and bridesmaids arriving at the venue and walking to the front;
  • The wedding ceremony itself - guests as well as the bridal party. Also any musicians involved in the ceremony;
  • Exchanging of the rings;
  • Signing of the register;
  • The bride and groom leaving the venue;
  • Family and friends after the wedding. You need to be clear to the photographers whether you want formal posed shots in specific groups (if so, make sure you have a list of the groups required), or more relaxed casual photographs of people milling around in self-determined groupings;
  • The reception venue and decorations;
  • The cake;
  • Speeches;
  • First dance;
  • Departure of the bride and groom;
  • Throwing of the bouquet.

These are just some ideas and you will probably have many more of your own to add! The main thing is to make it clear to the photographer(s) which photographs you want, and the style you are looking for, so that you will not be disappointed. This will ensure that they capture the moments that you will want to relive again and again.

Tips for wedding photographers

First and foremost just make sure you take as many photographs as you can: way more than you will eventually need. The more shots you take, the greater the chance of ending up with a superb set of photographs that the happy couple will absolutely love. Yes it will mean a lot of sifting and editing afterwards, but it will be worth it.

Throughout the day the aim is to be as unobtrusive as possible. The only exception is when organising group shots: then you do need to be a bit bossy! But otherwise think of yourself as a fly on the wall and blend into the background. You need to get on with the job quietly and discreetly, without causing any fuss or delay in the proceedings and without blocking the view of other guests.

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For the organised group shots you need to try to make it fun for everyone. Yes there will be quite a lot of standing around and yes there will be the people who insist they don’t like their photo being taken. But do your best to get everyone smiling and looking as relaxed as possible. You may want to think of some funny family stories in advance, or enlist the help of people in the shots to help others around them relax.

Candid shots are often the most precious. Wandering round the reception taking unposed snaps of individuals and small groups can really capture the essence of the day and provide hours of enjoyment afterwards. For this purpose it’s also a great idea to have disposable cameras on every table and give the guests a chance to contribute. The quality may not be the best, but you will get to see so much more of different people enjoying your wedding party that you may well have missed on the day itself.

The little details of the day are also well worth preserving. The kind of things that the couple may not particularly notice at the time but which will bring back powerful memories when they see them again afterwards. From table decorations to balloons, coloured lights to confetti, capture it all!

Last but definitely not least. Make sure that you have all the equipment that they need. This should all be tested out beforehand to ensure that it is in good working order and that lenses are clean. Also remember to have new batteries in your camera (plus spares) and any additional lenses, flash etc that might be need. There should be no opportunity for any technical hitches!

We hope that the above tips will help you to plan the kind of wedding photography that you would like, and enable your family photography team to be ready and prepared for the big day!

If you would also like a professional photoshoot of the two of you to celebrate your marriage then why not put on your wedding gift list a voucher for a Venture Studios photography experience? We offer a range of photography experiences which you can either book directly through our website or contact us to find out more.

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What an ideal start to your married life to have not only a fabulous selection of photographs from your wedding day but also a signature photograph - either framed or as wall art - of the two of you embarking upon your new life together!

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