Tips for Getting the Best Wedding Photos
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Hiring a fabulous wedding photographer (Pick me! Pick me!) is an important factor in helping you get the best images of your big day. But it's not the only factor. Below are some key tips, based on years of being lucky enough to photograph weddings.
Go easy on sunless tanning.
Sometimes these products, even when applied by a professional, can appear orange and unnatural in your photos. If you plan to tan, you’ll look most natural with a more subtle glow than if you attempt to get several shades darker.
Consider an “unplugged" ceremony.
People love capturing their own pictures of important events. As a result, during your reception your guests will undoubtedly get tons of great shots of the all of the fun! But during the ceremony my hands are somewhat tied when a guest ruins an otherwise lovely image or jumps in front of me when I’m capturing a key moment. Depending on your venue size (and the restrictions some have on where photographers are allowed to stand), there may not be room for me to work around the guests attempting to get their own pictures. In this age of constant cell phone usage, many couples have begun asking their guests to “unplug,” by putting their cell phones down during the ceremony.
Ditch the cell phones.
Okay, this one might be a little tough. But find a place for your bridal party to keep them during the ceremony and formal photos. Big, bulky smart phones make a prominent silhouette when groomsmen carry them in their front or back pockets, and show up easily in photos . For vows and toasts, read them from booklets or note cards instead of from phones. You'll get much better photos that way, and you can hang on to the note cards as keepsakes afterwards.
For group shots, create a must-have shot list...
Note all of the people and groupings you want to make sure are included in the post-ceremony photos. Give this list to the people who need to be present for them (as a reminder of where they need to be and when). This will help get through the family shots quickly and in a more organized way, which will save you more time for the shots of just you and your honey!
...and reign in guest photographers.
This related tip may be a bit controversial, but I offer it from the perspective of someone who knows just how looooong group photos can take if they're not incredibly organized: If you see guests taking pictures during the formal group portraits, let them know you'll be happy to send them a link to the gallery with the professional photos, and politely encourage them to go enjoy cocktail hour. Unfortunately, when multiple cameras are in front of a group, people in the picture get confused about where to look. So in order to get one shot of that particular group where no one is blinking and everyone is looking at the same camera, it's best if there's only one camera to look at. In an effort to be gracious with your guests, I end up taking turns allowing them to get their pictures, and then ask the group to look at me for some shots. This appeases the guest shutterbugs, but makes the portraits take much longer overall if the guests hope to get all of the same group shots I'm getting. And let's face it- you're paying good money for my shots. So if you'd like to speed things along (and get the best shots), let your bridezilla out (just a little) and ask guests with cameras to take them to the reception. You can even include photo scavenger hunts at each table at the cocktail hour/reception as a fun way to put those guest shutterbugs to use helping you get more fun photos of the action!
Practice good posture.
Arching your back, even when sitting down, will make you look more confident.
Check your neck.
You've worked hard at the gym and in the kitchen so you can look your best for your big day. Avoid a double-chin by elongating your neck and pushing your chin slightly forward. If you're afraid this might look awkward, practice in front of a mirror or even take some selfies while trying this technique. You'll see a flattering difference!
Nothing will make you look more beautiful than a genuine smile, but that's tough when you’re a little stressed out about wedding day events or nervous about being photographed. If you have trouble smiling naturally, giggle (or get your partner to make you chuckle). Joke around and be silly in front of the camera. Laughter always brings out a genuine smile that lights up your whole face.