How to make the most of your Wedding Photographs.
How to make the most of your Wedding Photographs
I was asked a few months ago to write an article for the Oswestry Life Magazine.
Choosing the best photographer for YOU
I always recommend looking at various different websites and styles when you start looking for a photographer as there are many different photographers and they all do things differently. It's important to note down what you like and what you don't like about each of these sites and this will help determine what style you are drawn to the most.
It may be Documentary which is completely undirected except for maybe simple group shots, traditional wedding photography which is very staged, You may look at some websites and they use the words such as natural and relaxed but quite often you may find that if you see how they work they may have initially set a lot up and then directed them to look relaxed so it's really important to ask these questions.
It's worth once having looked through various sites to note down to maybe a handful of sites that you really liked and then get in touch with them to find out more and meet up with them. It's really important to feel comfortable with the person you choose to photograph your wedding as they are likely going to be there all day so you need to feel like you can trust them. Reading testimonials and finding out more about how they work will help you determine whether they are for you. Also vice versa.
I believe that photography is a really important part of your day - but it shouldn't take over your day in my opinion. 90% of my work is Documenting the day as it happens with no direction and a small part of the day I will get together the important requested shots from the couple of family group shots. My couples love this because they can enjoy their day, (which is what you are there for right!) have great shots from throughout the day that tells the real story of all the emotion and reactions.
How to decide on what you are going to spend on your wedding photography
Well, the first thing to think about is: How important is Wedding Photography to you?
Determining this will reflect your ideas on what you are prepared to spend. After all once the dress has been worn, you have walked down the aisle in those shoes, you have cut the cake, eaten the food and danced the night away, what do you have left to remember other than the memories of what you managed to take away and maybe some half decent phone snaps from friends?
After the day has come and gone and you have a stunning collection of images from your day, you can relive the day again and again and again.
Is it important to have a reminder of your day from a professional who can capture parts of the day and the most important moments and be there to focus on this for the day? They understand light, composition and flattering angles to capture your day in their authentic style.
It's not all about the price and the budget. A lot of the time when you are planning a wedding you have no idea of what the costings will entail from the various part of the day. We all know the phrase " You get what you pay for. " and the cheapest is not always the best and sometimes cutting costs on important things are very often the things you regret afterward. It's therefore really important to discuss together as a couple both of your preferences to decide what is important to you so then if there are any issues with the budget you can look at other ways to cut things that aren't needed out.
I've heard time and time again people have friends who have a "big camera" so they ask them to capture their wedding. Sounds too good to be true right? You have a friend taking the shots and you've saved some hard earned cash. What could possibly go wrong?
Afterwards, they are often really disappointed that they didn't get the shots they wanted or quite the quality they had hoped. Well the camera is not the professional it's the person behind the camera who knows what they are doing. I have heard this story on so many occassions. Of course, if your friend has a big camera and is a professional who attends weddings then, of course, that is a different matter entirely.
How much can you expect to spend on a seasoned professional who practises as a business?
Anything from £1000 - £3000 and even more for the high end of wedding photography
Give yourself time to do plenty of research options as wedding photographers typically booked 1-2 years in advance.
Plan your time well
This is really important, It's well worth finding out how much time your photographer needs at certain times of the day especially if you have a lot of travelling involved on the day from place to place. For example I don't take lots of time on group shots at my weddings Bride and Groom tell me their most important shots it's usually 7-8 maximum and if you arrange that your Best Man can be the one who gathers the family who needs to be there for the shots then this saves so much time as the photographer is then waiting for Granny Mary and Uncle Tom as they are no where to be found. Also it makes it much more enjoyable for the couple so they also can enjoy their day and not have to wait around for other people. Group shots can be quick and convenient and be done in 15- 2o minutes if things are organised.
I generally spend 15 minutes with the couple to get some lovely shots of them together too, this also allows the couple to have some time on their own away from the wedding party to be with other on their special day and I can get some shots of them just together. My couples love this part because it's usually the only time they have on the day together until after the wedding.
One thing that my couples like about the way I work is that I take minimal time from their day and no ones waiting around for ages so this is something to think about when hiring a photographer, so think about this what do you want from your day? Do you want to spend hours having "photographs taken" or do you want them to be taken as the day is just happening rather than staging most parts.
Leave extra time:
Things always take longer than you think people can get stuck in traffic, run late, things sometimes go wrong. Even things like the ceremony can often run over and then there are all the people that have to exit the church etc so leave extra time, don't expect things to run smoothly if you haven't thought about leaving extra time.
If you want things like shoes, dresses, jewellery etc photographed then it's a good idea to make sure these things are unwrapped and out so the photographer doesn't have to spend too much time doing all of these things and potentially missing really good shots. Being organised ahead of the arrival means that the time can then be used to capture the flow of what's happening around the place.
Think about Light
Light is really important for photography and looking at photographers websites you will be able to see in their photographs how they use light in the way they present their photographs.
Something to think about for example if your getting married in October and those winter months and your Church Ceremony is at 2 or 3 by the time you are coming out of the church it is going to be getting dark so I would suggest having an earlier ceremony so that there is time to get really lovely shots with plenty of natural light in order to cater for the winter months. It's thinking about these small things in advance so that you can get the best photographs possible. If these certain things are not possible then it's speaking to your photographer and finding out can they cater around that, do they use additional lighting for these times.
I personally like to work quite small and nimble so I can move around and use the available light I have because I can get great shots moving around to capture moments. I may use additional lighting if it's absolutely crucial but nothing big and bulky.
Bridal Prep and Light
If you are hiring a makeup artist or doing your own make up choose a room that has a beautiful window, natural light.
Photographs are going to look and feel much better than having been taken in a dark dimly lit room. If you are hiring a makeup artist then I would usually suspect that they will recommend a good place to do it for great light anyway.
What about after the wedding?
I always feel like in all bridal advcie the emphasis is always on the preparing for the big wedding day but what about after the wedding?
Most popularly now you'll find that most photography wedding collections include the final images as digital files and the amount of people that say to me. " They are in a drawer somewhere." "We havnt really looked at them since we got married." "I'm not even sure the usb still works we havnt really checked."
YOU NEED A HARD COPY - In all seriousnes now we are talking about YOUR WEDDING DAY, one of the most important days in your life!
Now I will say yes digital copies are great to have but if your not doing anything with them then it's completely pointless. Why invest hundreded if not thousands of pounds on something you are not doing anything with?
Have a beautiful wedding album made of your favourites, have some special frames made for the wall.
For my brides and grooms that don't really think they will look at an album enough love the gorgeous print boxes that I make and these are wonderful for sitting and looking through phyisical hard copies of prints and holding them in your hands.
I personally also make bespoke wall art for my clients too, So if you have a specific space that you may want to use in your home I can make wall art to suit and style your home.
Remember once you have invested in the photographs you need to make the most out of them, enjoy them, display and love them!
Hope this is helpful for you
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