Planning Your Wedding Photos
Getting great wedding photos is an art all unto itself. Although you’ll want to hire a professional photographer, knowing how to plan ahead for the big day can help insure you get memorable photos. Once you’ve found a photographer whose work you like, start to talk over the plan of the day. Make sure that you both have the same vision for the day and that you agree on the best way to achieve that plan. Good communication is essential. Remember, the photographer will practically be another guest at the wedding. They will be mixing and mingling with all of your friends and family, make sure you get someone personable and also unobtrusive.
After you’ve decided on a location, take some snapshots of the space, inside and outside to give the wedding photographer an idea of the spaces they have to work with. Visiting at the general time you’re planning the wedding is also crucial. A background that is gorgeous in the morning can be shady and flat in the afternoon or unusable at sunset depending on which direction you’re facing. Make a little map of the area noting north and south. Knowing that kind of information may seem insignificant, but to the photographer knowing where the sun will be is the key to finding the right picturesque spot to take perfectly lit shots.
When you’re planning with your photographer you should also consider how many posed photos you want to shoot. While you certainly need some posed shots of the happy couple and the wedding party, if you start getting every possible combination you’ll quickly find yourself stalled for hours as you try and wrangle every last groomsmen and family member. In the end, most of these obligatory shots lack the emotion and immediacy of more candid shots that a great photographer should be able to get on the fly.
Look through wedding photos that you like and decide which matter most to you. If the staged photos are your style then prioritize your photo time towards those. If, on the other hand, you prefer more natural shots that capture the actual feel of the day, limit the posed shots and make sure you invest in a photographer with a great eye for stolen moments.
Create a list of shots you want to get with your photographer. Don’t be afraid to be very specific and show examples of other photos you like. The more information you give the more they can tailor their equipment and shooting style to your taste. If you have a particularly large wedding party you may want to consider employing hiring a second photographer (usually wedding photographers will have other partners they bring in for larger jobs). If you don’t necessarily want to hire a second for the entire day, having a second can be very helpful simply for the ceremony when a lot of moments will be happening very quickly and a photographer can’t jump around without being in the way.
Your guests will usually be more conducive to giving great poses once the party is under way so create an area where people can take photos. Just like at a red carpet movie premiere, have the photographer set up an area that is properly lit so that you can continue getting great shots over the night and so that your guests can take great photos of their own. Plan ahead to make sure the photographer knows exactly what you want and then just relax and enjoy your special day.