Ask to meet your photographer in person
I always offer couples the chance to meet in person, either before booking, or with a consultation, which is included in all of my wedding packages. It gives you the chance to get to know your photographer and see if you get on well. If possible, ask to meet them at your venue, as it will give you a chance to check out good locations for photos. Remember, you will be spending a good part of your day in the presence of your photographer, so the last thing you want to do is book someone you don’t feel comfortable with.
Ask about a pre-wedding shoot Some people cringe at the thought of this, especially grooms to be, but I find it is really helpful as a practice run for the real thing. It might sound odd, but posing naturally isn’t always easy. A lot of people feel awkward in front of the camera and it can show on their photos. Having a practice run can help you to relax in front of the camera and know what to expect on your big day.
Share the timeline of your day
If your photographer knows the general timings of your day they will be able to plan the best times to do your formal photos so that there isn’t too much interruption to the celebrations.
Make a list
I always ask my clients for a list of photos they have to have. Most clients prefer candid photos throughout the day but there are always a few essential photos of loved ones, or a staged photo of the entire wedding party that will be a treasured memory from your big day.
I then set aside a small amount of time (let’s face it, you and your guests don’t want to spend the entire day posing for photographs) to capture these images. I also ask couples to nominate a bridesmaid or usher to help me round up guests for photos on the day. That way, I don’t have to bother the bride and groom to locate their friends and relatives when they are enjoying their day.
Think about the details
You don’t have to spend a fortune to have an amazing wedding day. One of my couples, whose wedding always sticks in my mind as it was such a beautiful and personal day, asked several of their friends and family to use their skills and contribute to their wedding day. One of the groom’s sisters made the cake, a delicious elderflower and lemon sponge with italian meringue icing. His other sister, together with her partner and the mother of the groom, made a beautiful bouquet using flowers from their allotment and garden and a close family friend made a vegan fruit cake.
It is little personal touches like this that you will look back on fondly in years to come and your guests will love that they have had some involvement in your big day.
Think about your surroundings
Most wedding venues create a stunning backdrop for your photos anyway, but I always remind couples to be mindful of the space they are getting ready in. Amidst all of the chaos and excitement of getting ready for your big day, it is easy to end up with clutter all around the room. You don’t want to look back at your wedding photos and see a lot of background mess. Try to set aside an area that is nicely lit with natural light that can be kept clutter free for your wedding-prep photos.
No Mobile Phones
Of course, your guests will want to take photos of you on your big day, and you will no doubt have a lot of fun looking through them all the following day but there are definitely certain times during a wedding when mobile phones should not be used. You don’t want that beautiful shot of you walking down the aisle to be ruined by your guests holding up their mobile phones and getting in the way of your photographer. Put up a polite notice to let your guests know they are welcome to take photos AFTER the ceremony, but to leave it up to the professional photographer to get all of the important shots.
It sounds so simple, but just taking a few deep breaths really does help you to relax, and your photos will look so much more natural if you are genuinely enjoying your day and not feeling nervous about having your photo taken.