10 Best Tips on how to get great wedding photosand other things you always wanted to know about weddings....
I’m super excited you are getting married! I know you guys are going to have the best time and if you pick me as your wedding photographer, I’m going to capture memories that allow you to relive each moment, remember each guest, and enjoy the day over and over again.
Planning a wedding is not easy and you are probably going to not only have a lot of things to decide and arrange but also potentially various people to keep happy on the way! Everyone has an opinion about your wedding day – just the heads up!
Well, it turns out that I’ve been to the odd wedding or two so I’ve put together this guide not only to make sure you’ve got all the information and advice you need regarding the photography ( before, during, and after) but also to give you some general advice on planning, things to consider and recommend few things…
It’s YOUR wedding day!
Plan the best day of YOUR lives! Not the day your parents want to have….or the wedding you think Pinterest or Instagram would like to see. Plan the day YOU want to have. If you think a certain wedding tradition is odd or simply not you – then don’t do it! Want to do something completely unconventional – go for it! You’ll only be getting one shot at it, so make it entirely your own!
But then regardless of all the planning beforehand be prepared to let go of everything on the day and just enjoy each moment and each other! The right people, the right day, in a place you love, and having the best time celebrating LOVE with all those that matter to you. Be yourselves. You having fun and loving each moment means the most awesome pictures – much more than everything being ‘perfect’ or as planned!
Before the big day…
4-6 weeks before the big day I’ll send you an invoice for the rest of my fee and let you know as soon as I receive it.
2 weeks before I’ll give send you few emails to check all the details and go through the order of the day ( timings, locations, group shots and suppliers you’ve hired). You might plan something out of the ordinary I might need to know. There is no need to worry about sending over Pinterest Boards but if you have any specific examples of types of shots you love from my website then please feel free to let me know. Other than that, I totally appreciate that you trust me to approach your wedding day with an open mind, that way we will create photographs that are truly and uniquely yours!
About wedding venues in Nottinghamshire and beyond…
I don’t usually visit venues in advance of the wedding as I genuinely feel there isn’t a need. Although I might arrive the night before or check out the venue early in the morning. For me the best photographs are made by going with the flow on the day. Of course, I’m happy for you to mention certain locations that you really want to take pictures at – you can mention it to me via email or on Zoom call.
Wedding accommodation and some boring admin…yawn
Unless your plans make sense to do otherwise, I’ll usually arrange my own travel and accommodation depending on your preparation and reception locations, and for all weddings more than a 1.5h drive from Nottingham I will arrive the night before and stay close by on the wedding night. The final balance is due 4-6 weeks before your wedding date. I’ll send you an invoice with all my bank details.
On a run-up to the wedding, you can add a la carte items to your wedding package at any time ( album, second shooter, prints) just drop me a line!
A few weeks before your wedding I’ll email you to organise Zoom call to go through everything and say hello!
ON YOUR WEDDING DAY…
For most of my weddings, I work alone. If am able to cover the bride and the groom in the morning (only if you get ready at the same location) then I will. As a rule, I usually aim to see the guys first thing before heading over to the girls and then staying with them until the ceremony.
This all depends on the logistics and timings of the day – again – we’ll firm up plans in the weeks before your wedding.
For larger weddings or if logistics and locations are too difficult to cover alone a second photographer is a great addition to your wedding package. They will generally cover the boys in the morning and we will meet up for the ceremony. If you didn’t initially booked second photographer and now think you’d like one, no worries just let me know.
I always like to arrive early, scout the location and because it’s a great chance to meet everyone and get to know who’s who! Plus it gives everyone more time to get over the “look! There is a photographer in the room’ syndrome! It might initially feel a bit odd that some weird girl with camera ( yep, me) is crashing your party but just ignore me and get on with enjoying your day – you’ll soon be used to it!
As a photographer I love to capture the things that matter and the moments as they happen – so I want you guys to do what you need to do and just let me document. I really want to capture your wedding as it was so you can remember it that way….so if things are chaotic then don’t worry too much about tidying up or hiding the chaos for me…but if you want to look neat then just be mindful of that.
Top Tip – Light
One thing you might consider is the light in the place you are getting ready. I love soft natural window light – it’s always super flattering and great to shoot in – so a nice, big room with big windows is always a good choice.
In the morning if there are certain detail shots or items you want photographs of ( shoes, dress, flowers, letters, gifts) then try make sure items are out and on display. Let me know if there are any other special things you’d like me to photograph. I love details!
If you are getting married in a church, it will be worth checking the Priest’s/Vicar’s rules and any photography restrictions in advance of the day. If there are restrictions on photography then perhaps see if they would at least be happy with me being at the front just to photograph your entrance and when you see each other for the first time – then I can move out of the way when the ceremony starts. Some churches don’t allow the photographers to be anywhere except at the back – the important thing is for you to be aware of that in advance – to avoid any upsets on the day. If Vicar has concerns, i’m happy to call them and have a discussion in advance!
Top Tip – Knowing when to live the moments
I’m totally happy for your guests to take as many photos during your day as they like – but for your parents, encourage them to put down the camera for the important moments, they need to see you as you really are – live the moments.
Group and family photos
I believe it’s important to get some nice photos of those of you with people who are genuinely close to you. Depending on your schedule and the weather a good time to do this is usually between the end of the ceremony and before you sit down to eat.
I’ll send you separate email asking about the list. Be aware that on average a large group photo could take 4-5 minutes to arrange. I usually ask to keep them to maximum of 6 ( and this can take up to 30 minutes!)
Top Tip – the last standing around the better!
With that in mind, I’d advise doing as few group shots as possible as the less time stood round wondering why you can’t find uncle John and the more time celebrating the better. Also I’ll be at your wedding till the evening ( usually till after the first dance) so there will be plenty of time to grab more informal shots of you with friends and family when everyone is relaxed and having fun later on. You are any of your guests can just tap on shoulder and ask for a picture. All images will be available in online gallery for download ( by you, your friends and family!)
I’ll be working all day and night and a hungry photographer is a sad photographer so if you can sort out a meal for me ( and second shooter if you having one) that would be fantastic! The best time time for me to eat is when you guys do – it’s really the only time I stop taking pictures all day – guests with mouthful of food don’t always make for the best photos. It also means that if I’m fed and watered then I’m ready to capture the speeches or the next part of your celebrations. Oh and I’m happy to sit at the bar or any staff room.
It’s a good idea to reserve an hour for portraits, and we’ll usually do this straight after the ceremony, while everyone’s enjoying a glass (or two) of fizz. Sometimes this needs to move a little, but don’t worry – I’ll be there to look after everything. Working around your day is important to me, however if taking more time out for portraits or leaving the venue and traveling a short distance to make some epic pictures is important to you and something you are interested in then let me know – I’m more than happy to do this!
If we get some gorgeous, golden evening light, I might ask you to step out for some extra shots later on. I won’t keep you longer than 15 minutes in the eve and I promise it’ll be worth it. Most couples love this part of the day as it’s time away with just you two, taking time out as a married couple.
If you’re having a winter wedding (mid October to late March) don’t forget it could get dark as early as 4pm. It’s a good idea to start your ceremony a little earlier, so we’ve got time to get some gorgeous, natural looking shots before we lose the light.
Think about bringing different shoes for the portrait session. Heels sometimes sink into damp grass and most dresses are long enough to hide a sneaky change.
Try not to worry about keeping your dress spotless. If you’re going to have fun, it’s going to get a little bit dirty. We’d all rather see you smiling than stressing, and dry cleaners really are magic.
Ignoring me – yep, it’s totally cool!
The key to documentary photography is knowing I’m there but learning to ignore me. If you find yourself looking at me, look away! It might feel strange at first but as the hours pass you’ll forget the clicks. I take a different approach during portrait session and will direct you a little more. Even then tho it’s really about you being yourselves and capturing your personalities. The shots have to reflect who you are that way they will be meaningful to you and those close to you!
The advice here is simple – have an amazing party and go wild! I’ll be on the dance floor and at the bar – where ever the action is! Capturing you and your awesome guests having an amazing time throwing shapes!
AFTER YOUR WEDDING…
I always aim to get a sneak preview images to you within 2 weeks after the wedding. This means you’ll have a professional image to share on your social media if you choose. If I’ve not managed to do it already, please tag yourselves. If you share, I’m also glad of tag. If you’d prefer to keep your photographs from the wedding private, that no problem, just let me know. Please follow me on and Instagram
Your full online gallery should be ready within 12 weeks from your wedding day. I prefer not to rush the process as I want to make sure I spend the right amount of time editing your photos so they are the best they can be. During summer period, it occasionally takes longer, but I can promise you that the images will be worth the wait!
Once you have your online gallery you can start to choose your favourite images you want to be showcased by selecting them when you log in. I usually say anything between 40-50 photos is ideal for an album covering each part of your day. Your wedding gallery is also your print store where you can get your ‘thank you cards’, prints and an album. It’s super simple with drag-and-drop layouts.