How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photographs

May 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The camera. 

For some people the sight of it makes you want to curl up into a little ball and cry.  Wedding are heavily photographed events.  Between the professionals you hire and all of your guests some couples feel a bit over-photographed at their weddings.  Worse is worrying about what you or members of your bridal party will look like in every shot! You spend a lot of time planning every detail, going to fittings, getting your hair, makeup AND nails done. What can a person do to get to make sure they look the best in every wedding shot?  Here are our tips.

Hire a photographer you LOVE.

This one seems obvious, but its not what you think.  Yes, you have to love the photographer's portfolio, but you also have to love the person(s) you're hiring.  If you don't jive personality wise then you are going to be annoyed being around them all day and it will show in your pictures. You also need to feel like the price is right.  If you feel like you are over paying at the start then you are going to worry all the more than you won't like your photos. 


1. Relax. 

Nothing ruins a shot faster than a stressed out person.  Take a breath, relax and enjoy the day you've worked tirelessly to plan.  You've hired amazing photographers and it is their job to make you look your best.  So don't worry, listen to your photographer and trust in them.  Sometimes the most awkward feeling poses are the ones that look best in camera. 

2. Do a dress rehearsal.

A lot of Brides want to save money and do so by purchasing a dress they love the price of, more than they love the dress.  You don't need a $14,000 show stopping gown, but you do need to love it.  Otherwise every picture you see of your wedding day you'll be focused on the blah dress.  Same thing goes with your hair and makeup.  You might love a hairstyle, but it might not go with your dress.  You may dream of smokey eyes, but when they are masterfully done by a professional makeup artist you might see yourself more as a raccoon.  How you feel about your appearance shows in your pictures.  Don't let any surprises about makeup and hair ruin your wedding day.  Love your look and you'll glow like the beautiful bride you are! 

3. Practice your smile if you're concerned.

We've run into a few Brides who say they "have a bad smile,"  and then they demonstrate a sort of exaggerated grimace.  Everyone has a beautiful, radiant smile.  Even the best smilers tend to start looking "fake" if asked to hold their smile too long.  This is another reason it is important to love your photographers.  A good photographer will talk to you, especially if they sense your nervousness or hesitance.   If you don't like your photographer it will be harder, if not impossible, for them to coax out your most natural smile.

If you are worried about your smile take some time to practice in front of the mirror, but don't obsess over it.  Some good reference points: You should be able to feel your smile in your eyes and most people find their top teeth can just feel the top of their bottom lip. When practicing your smile in front of the mirror don't try to hold your smile longer than a few seconds.  Close your eyes and think of something that makes you happy and once you've got that happy feeling spreading all over - smile and open your eyes.  Don't obsess though.  Most people find the excitement and feelings of being just married are enough to have them smiling naturally and beautifully. 

4. Pick your Bridal party by how much your like them, and not for how they will look in your pictures.

You'd be surprised by how many Brides are so worried about their pictures they pick their best looking friends instead of their best friends.  Your pictures will look best if they tell the true story of your wedding day.  That includes the people closest to you.  Pick the people who truly want and no more and no less.  Don't pressure yourself into having ten Bridesmaids because you worry about hurting six people's feeling. 

5. Limit the amount of camera time. 

Ok.  This sounds a little counter productive but hear us out.  If you have fifty guests at your wedding and even half of them bring their camera phones you're looking at 25+ photographers all vying for that perfect shot of the special moments.  Maybe one or two of them are even really good photographers, but most of them are not.  Despite their best intentions that photo of your with your mouth wide open and your eyes wide as your darling awkwardly shoves cake in your mouth is not really what you want on Facebook.  Or Twitter.  Or your Mother's living room wall.  Worse yet your guests could get in the way of the photographers you're paying. 

There are a couple of ways to deal with this.  Some couples are opting for "unplugged" weddings.  They let their guests know ahead of time that the wedding will be unplugged, meaning they wish their guests to be at the wedding celebrating and not checking their email.  A corner is provided at the reception with a table, basket and some chairs.  When the guests enter the reception their cell phones are collected.  If someone wants to check in with a baby sitter or work they can go over and sit at the cell phone table and do so.   

The second way to limit camera time is to ask politely for guests to refrain from taking pictures all night but schedule a open shoot time for guests to get their shots in.  This gives your professional photographers the most time to get the bests shots of you in.  Professional photographers have years of experience in not only taking pictures but more importantly - editing.  They don't put your awkward shots up for everyone to see because they know the difference between a good and bad shot. 




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