6 Ways To Get The Wedding Photos You Really Want

January 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

There are many things that can happen on a wedding day that affect the quality of images. Locations, experience, light, equipment etc, the list is very long. For me as a professional, the thing that tops that list is time!

Weddings are already fast paced and highly emotional, even for the most laid back of couples. Adding a professional photoshoot into the mix only adds to the commotion. That is why an experienced photographer is essential if high quality pictures are of  great importance to you. A professional will come with that experience, gear, and artistic know-how to make photography an enjoyable part of the day rather than an experience you would rather avoid.

Even the most professional photographer has their limits however. It takes time to set up those award winning images you see all over the internet. Even a veteran photographer needs time, what they do is an art and if its rushed they may get the job done but that extra creativity they need for award winning images can be muted by the rush.

My experience has always been that couples that leave a little extra time always end up with images I submit to photography competitions or who have that weddings I use for sample albums in our studio.

night time wedding photography

There are two major reasons for this:

First, during the day there are some moments during the time we spend together to sit back and take a few breaths to relax. We are not rushed to get the job done and move to the next thing… So while I’m scouting and setting up they are relaxing and not feeling rushed to move to the next spot. The more they get to enjoy the quiet moments the more they are into one another when we are taking pictures. How often as a couple do you kiss and hug when you need to get a million things done in a day? Intimate moments are stimulated when you are both relaxed and focused on one another.

black and white wedding photography

Second, having a little extra time gives me the ability to do more scouting and creative thought. There are locations I have been numerous times and still to this day I will find a new image I’ve never taken there before if I have the time to look. When I have the time to study the light and shadows, look around corners, and let a couple relax in the moment the better the image gets.

So how long does it really take? That depends on your expectations what you desire to have done and the individual photographer. This is another reason why a professional is important, they will spend the time to learn what you want so they can get you what you need.

Below are 6 tips to consider when planning your picture time.

  1. Doing family photos at weddings is akin herding cats. People leave to freshen up, grab a drink, after all, it’s a party right? No matter how hard you try you will be waiting for people. To save frustration and let yourself and your guests enjoy the day, give lots of time for family pictures. If all goes well you will have extra for artistic portraits and if it’s a mess you had the extra time and all is well.
  2. Create a shot list. Preplanned shots are good because you have a list to check off, during the rush of the day it can be easy to forget even the most important people. Your photographer may not be familiar with your family dynamics. So leaving it in their hands to figure it all out can be a risk. Work with them to create a good shot list of the family and friends you want to have posed shots with.
  3. Start with a big group and work down. Its easer to have everyone you need in one spot and send them away when you’re done than it is to go find them one at a time. It’s also harder to pull someone away from a drink and a conversation then if their near and ready to get the picture and go party.
  4. Relax. The best thing to do is be yourself! This has much to do with the photographer you chose. Make sure they make you feel comfortable.
  5. Come prepared, bring extra shoes for walking, umbrellas, makeup, food and drink. There are things you will need and having to go get them if you don’t have them with you can take valuable time away from your pictures.
  6. And last but not least talk to your photographer, as what their opinion is when it comes to getting the job done. If you want simple shots it will take less time, if you want creative shots, you may need to leave time for them to work the situation out in the way they do. 

snowy night time wedding shot


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