Plan your wedding photos, don’t just depend on your wedding photographer, it is your wedding and your wedding is uniquely yours.
In the following weeks I am going to take an in-depth photographer’s view at all the different stages of wedding photography and videography, from preparation to the departure. The must have and the nice to have, the funny and the serious moments. Remember when you are getting married, you are starting a new chapter in history, the photos and video will be reviewed for many generations.
As an experience professional wedding photographer, husband, father and grandfather I have the T shirt more than ones. I will share my knowledge and thoughts with you to avoid disappointment in the years to come, 20, 30 even 40, years from now you will be grateful you have spent the time to read and follow this blog.
“Why must I plan my wedding photos, I pay a professional photographer, he should know what he is doing.”
So true! As wedding photographers, we must be at the top of our game, in comparison to most other professional photographers who has the liberty to set up the perfect shot or come back when the lighting or weather is ideal. We only have one chance there is no rehearsals and no come back tomorrows. That is why you should pick your photographer carefully.
Uncle Joe from the camera club with his big camera and beautiful landscape or posed model portraits may take good photos, but does he know what is required to shoot those perfect photos on the fly, when things happen quickly, and often the unplanned moments makes the best photos.
The professional photographer knows his equipment, he should know where every button on his camera is even in the dark. Moreover, he should know what the buttons are used for. When to shoot for optimum exposure and when to shoot for minimum depth of field. The weather change as a cloud passes by the sun darkens, suddenly everyone is in the shade and in contrast, you are wearing a white dress, the photographer has only a moment to find the correct exposer, the correct kelvin setting making sure the colour balance is correct etc. Unfortunately, this only comes with experience, you can read it in a book or even watch a YouTube video, but without the experience it is all just theory and your wedding is not the place to experiment in photography. The professional wedding photographer should know how to handle every situation.
Here is a list of Photos to be considered as the wedding progresses (we will look at a more in-depth view of each in upcoming blogs.)
I offer a Free couple shoot shortly before the wedding.
This usually takes place a week or two before the big day in a relaxed environment.
This shoot is not to be confused with an engagement shoot, which is a completely different shoot, I will also elaborate in future blogs.
Remember not every bride and groom are professional models, yet it is fair to say they expect magazine quality photos.
In the pre-wedding shoot, we concentrate on practicing poses, as in how to look at each other, how to hold your partner, the loving touch, the best positions to place your hands …
This pre-wedding shoot will serve to streamline the photography and save time on your big day. You will also get familiar with how your photographer works.
These are the photos that should be considered before the ceremony, when the bride is getting dressed and the makeup done, with her best friends and the family.
Often brides don’t realize how important the photos and video are for this stage.
Everyone is so busy getting ready that they don’t really stop to enjoy the moment, when this is viewed after the wedding, those feelings of excitement and emotions are relived and enjoyed.
A good photographer may even get to capture dad’s face when he sees his daughter the first time in her wedding dress.
Tip: It is important to plan time for a photo session with the family and bridesmaid at this stage of your wedding.
The same is true for the Groom but mostly more macho, the feelings and nerves are better hidden, the odd Cigar is smoked, a Cognac or Whiskey enjoyed or even a silent prayer takes place. Captured moments like these become classic photos, but more important is the enjoyment when the bride sees the footage or photos for the first time and become part of their experience.
Just a hint: That is why the second shooter is so important and should be a good photographer and not only an assistant to the main photographer.
A busy time for the photographers with all the activities, from the first guests arriving to the bride finally walking down the aisle, the formalities, the confetti and the congratulations. All beautiful photos and video opportunities that needs to be covered by more than one photographer.
Remember you as the bride could be so focused, you may hardly notice all the guest at the ceremony. The joy of viewing them afterwards from the photographer’s viewpoint gives justice to the saying “a picture is worth a 1000 words.”
The Formal Photos
The beginning of a new family, who can overlook the importance of recording this historical moment, when the new families get together. This is truly when history is recorded.
I have so much to say about all the photos to be considered, at the formal photo session, I can hardly wait for the future blogs where I will address in more detail “the family and the new family photos”
Time of your life! These are the photos that will get the most likes on Facebook and Instagram, you may even consider printing them on Canvas, or enlarge and frame them as wall hangings, definitely they will be key in your wedding album.
Here I can’t over stress the importance of a professional photographer, this is how you are going to remember your day, the view through the photographer’s eye’s
The last topic I want to address in this series is the most diversified
This is when it all comes together the initial stress is over, everyone is having a good time, no need for a photographer?
The happiest moments are the ‘cherry on the cake’ So much is happening that I can probably write a book on all the photo opportunities just for the reception.
Be sure to check back next week when I will cover “Before the Wedding” Photos in more detail.