How to Prepare for Your Wedding Photos
A lot of brides and grooms to be feel slightly anxious at the idea of being photographed all day long. Like me, you may prefer to hide behind the camera rather than pose in front of it. The real trick to looking good in photographs is to just relax and pretend that the photographer isn't there - easier said than done! (Especially with that gigantic camera and bright flash). So I've compiled a little list below of tips and tricks to help make you feel at ease on your wedding day and look great in every single photo!
Talk to Your Wedding Photographer
This tip sounds like common sense, but you should make sure you hire a photographer that you get along with, whose work you love and who shoots in a style that fits with what you're after. I shoot in a very natural and candid style, preferring to keep posing relaxed so I can capture more of the little moments that happen on their own. Even though I love to capture real & candid moments, I think it's still important to travel out to a nice location & capture both traditional family portraits and more intimate moments. However, I won't take 10 minutes to set-up each shot, control every little detail and pose you perfectly as many traditional shooters might. Make sure you choose a photographer whose style you feel comfortable with. And don't forget to tell them what must-have photos you're after before the day, it would be such a shame to forget a photo that you really wanted captured.
Try to Have Fun!
It doesn't matter if the style you are going for is very traditional & serious, or straight out quirky - photography should always be fun! Try to relax, don't over think every placement and position of yourself - that is the photographers job. If something looks off, they will fix it. Let yourself joke and have a laugh, do something silly, this will keep you relaxed and in a good mood which will show through in all your photos. Traditional or alternative.
Don't be Scared to Show emotion
Should I laugh? Is it ok to cry? What if my face looks scrunchy? Where should I look? At the camera? At my partner? Sometimes we all think things through a little too much. (I know I can be guilty of this!) I love real, raw emotion in my photos. Laughter, tears, happiness, excitement, nerves; it's all part of your amazing day. Trying to hide your emotions can look awkward, so just embrace & enjoy them and let them spill out of you.
Wedding are sooo exciting, and a little bit scary. They're also renowned for just flying by in the blink of an eye. Try to take your time on the day, walk slowly down the aisle, pause a little longer during your first kiss, take a few minutes to stop and breath. This will not only help you to relax into the moment, but will also make sure that your important moments (like the first kiss) aren't rushed through so quickly your photographer barely has a chance to click their shutter before it's over.
Think About Location
It's important to think about the locations you'll be photographed at. If you are having preparation photos at a house make sure you've tidied up a bit. At least the room you'll be getting ready in, and maybe one nice spot in the garden. Removing clutter can make the world of difference to your photos.
Remember, quality is always better than quantity. When considering locations for your portrait shots consider how stressful & time consuming it may be trying to organise your whole family and bridal party to travel out to 3, 4, 5 locations. 1 or 2 locations will give you a beautiful amount of variety, maybe get all your family shots done at the ceremony location so they don't have to travel around with you. Sometimes the reception venue is enough if it's a gorgeous spot, otherwise travelling out to just one or two other location should be enough to give you beautiful photos without making them the focus of your day. It's your wedding, make the day about you!
Props: Do You Want Something Special or Different?
If there's a chance of rain or you want to send a very direct message through your photos, then props can work wonders! You can write messages on a chalkboard or poster, use an umbrella to frame your photos (or block the rain!) If you want one or 2 shots that you can use for thank you cards or as an artistic feature on your wall why not buy a heart or letter block from somewhere like typo? Props don't need to be expensive to add character to your photographs.
The Formal Family Photos
From personal experience, 9/10 people have family or close friends who would really appreciate and cherish a special group or family photo. It can be very beneficial (especially if your family is a little 'complicated') to write a list of the different family group photos you would like. Then pass this list (with names if possible) on to your photographer, so they can use this to help your formal photos run smoothly. Also consider whether you'd like a group photo of all of your guests. If so, ask your celebrant or priest if they can make an announcement that all guests should remain close by directly following the ceremony for a big group photo. Thinking about these things before the day can help you to relax and remove some stress.
Ignore the Photographer
This sounds contradictory, but as I said at the start of this post try to forget that the photographer is there when you're saying your vowels, cutting your cake or dancing the night away. When the photographer is posing you for your portraits, of course its best to pay attention. But when its just you on your day, forget the photographer and enjoy yourself! It's their job to get great photographs and make you look stunning, and not something you should be worrying about. So talk to your friends, hug your family, enjoy your food and drinks, focus on your partner as you say your vowels and make your day something to remember! It will speak volumes in your photos and help you to relax and look radiant.