You’ve spent months planning your dream wedding, putting extensive thought into every detail of the ceremony and reception. From searching for the perfect dress, choosing the venue, and picking the caterer, you’re on your way to cross the marital finish line and ready to enjoy your big day.
When it comes to the years to come after tying the knot, all that will be left are the beautiful moments captured by your photographer. Whether it be that romantic first kiss as husband and wife, or the swoon-worthy grand exit with your friends and family by your side, wedding photography can either make or break your big day.
There are a number of things you can do as the bride to guarantee you get incredible photos, leaving you stress-free and ready to begin the next big chapter in your life. We talked to four real wedding photographers to see what tips they give to couples on their wedding days.
Don’t Rely on Social Media for Inspiration
“Pinterest is so prevalent, you cannot recreate it on your wedding day. You don’t have time, and a lot of couples don’t understand that. Pinterest is a great way to get stylistic ideas but not moments. I think the advance of Pinterest and other social media where people are putting up weddings that aren’t real has made everything look too posed and similar. I want to create moments that come naturally to you.”
Don’t Worry About the Weather
“Don’t look at the weather, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. Don’t worry about it because you can’t change it. Some of the most beautiful shots come from the unexpected.”
Have a Timeline
“Have a clear timeline that you can follow because your wedding day is going to go by in a blur. You don’t realize how fast things are going to go by so you want to make sure you make the most of your day and get all of the shots you want. A lot of couples look back on their photos I take and have no memory of when it was taken.”
Check out Al’s work here!
Don’t Feel Pressured
“Don’t feel pressured to do a first look, do what’s comfortable for you guys. You want to feel relaxed about your day. Make sure to plan ahead with your photographer so the day of you aren’t scrambling and asking them to get pictures.”
Take Time After the Ceremony for Pictures
“I love taking pictures right after the ceremony. I always take a good 20 minutes because they’re in this sweet mood because they’ve just become husband and wife. I love capturing those moments.”
Check out Janae’s work here!
Don’t Give Your Photographer a Shot List
“I recommend not giving your photographer a shot list. Don’t try to give them ideas you have found on Pinterest or The Knot, etc. Let them capture the authenticity as opposed to forcibly created cliché images.”
Pretend Your Photographer Isn’t There
“Try just ignoring that your photographer is even there because that allows your shots to happen naturally. By letting them be unobtrusive, it grants them the freedom to document those genuine moments.”
Trust Your Photographer
“If you hire a seasoned professional, they will know exactly what to do and allow you to enjoy your day. Don’t try to squeeze too much into the available time with them either. Don’t try to create a timeline that could end up feeling too rushed, because the last thing that you want is to be stressed on your wedding day.”
Check out Bill’s work here!
Clear Any Distractions
“When they are getting ready I always suggest a clean workspace before I arrive, especially for the girls more so than the guys. Have everyone put all their stuff in one corner of the room so that all of their bags and makeup and clutter can go to a designated spot. This way the space is neat and clean for pictures.”
Keep the Moment Sacred
“As a photographer, it breaks my heart to see bright screens and cameras covering faces, while guests are leaning into the aisle trying to capture their own pictures during the ceremony. This is why I also stress for a ‘double first kiss’. The couple kisses once, pulls away and goes back for a second kiss. By the second one, ‘Uncle Bob’ has put his camera down and the couple is left with a nice image of their kiss as husband and wife”
Let Your Photographer Know of Any Special Shots
“I always say to plan out your day with a shot list. Anything that I might not know that is important to them. Have special people in the shoot that you want captured on camera. I want to make sure I get that. I tell my couples that all the important moments are going to be captured. They don’t have to write that down. Some couples want photos with their grandmother or an aunt who is like a sister to them, that’s the kind of shot I want to make sure I include. I try to get them do as little as possible and to let me take care of everything else.”
Meet With Your Photographer Beforehand
“Make sure that you like and are comfortable with your vendors, especially your photographer! They will be the one person that is by your side a majority of the day so sometimes it is best to schedule that engagement session, even if your fiance doesn’t want to. I promise it will be fun and it is one of the best ways for everyone to get to know one another before the big day. When I am hired to capture someone’s forever, I want to feel like family. So much so, that everyone is relaxed and their personality is able to shine through.”
Check out Daniele’s work here!
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