Photography tips for brides

Wedding Photography in Bloemfontein by Gerhard Groenewald

Planning a wedding is always an enormous and stressful task for those involved and with every wedding there will be things that don't go according to plan.

Luckily people have short memories and after a couple of weeks, most people will only remember the good things about the wedding.

With your wedding photos it's a little bit different, they document your memories of the day and becomes a record that you will keep with you for the rest of your life.

That's why its essential that you plan for your wedding shoot as if it's one of the most important parts of the day.

Your wedding day is something you cannot repeat or recreate so your photographer has one chance to do the shoot and get it right. The better you plan, the better your photos will be.

Here follows a couple of tips that may help you.

Pre-wedding photoshoot

For most people, this will be their first time in front of a professional camera and nerves tend to get the better of all of us. This makes for stiff and unnatural poses which will not help your wedding photos.
I always recommend that your wedding photographer should also do your engagement photos but at the very least, you should have a pre-wedding shoot. You need a time to get to know your photographer, get used to how he or she works and get used to being in front of the lens.
On your wedding day you will have plenty to worry about, you want to be as comfortable as possible with your photographer so that the photo shoot adds to the experience and becomes enjoyable and fun.

A pre-wedding shoot should preferably be held at the same venue where the wedding will be and at roughly the same time. This will help you and your photographer to work out which poses and locations will work best. The time of the shoot is important because your photographer works with light and it always helps to get a good idea of how the light affects you and the venue.
Remember, the quality and colour of light changes during the day.

Wedding arrangements

A lot of planning goes into a wedding shoot. What type of equipment, type of photographs, sequence of events, to name but a few.
The venue and time affects everything your photographer needs to do and use on the day.

It's therefor essential that you discuss your wedding plans with your photographer before or during the pre-wedding shoot and to keep him or her updated on any changes.

Wedding venue 

If the wedding will be held in a church, please make sure that photographs are allowed. Most churches allow this but there are exceptions.

As far as lighting is concerned, remember that a camera can not see in the dark. Your photographer needs to know if you plan to have the first dance in virtual darkness with only a couple of lit candles. He or she needs to plan for this in terms of equipment.

Makeup session

Find out from your makeup artist how long it will take and add at least half an hour to your planning. This is for your own sanity on the day.

Think about the area where your hair and makeup will be done and try to choose an area that is large enough and free of clutter so that your photographer can work without getting in the way.

Remember to clean the mirror, everyone forgets about this item. Smudge marks and finger prints show up very clearly on photographs. So does clutter and dust.

Also make sure there's enough light, not just for the photos but your makeup artist also needs to see the colour and tone of the makeup to get it right. In almost all cases the makeup artist asks to see the photos on camera to check the makeup because there's not enough light in the room.

If you are not making use of a professional makeup artist, be sure to buy "Photo ready" foundation. This type doesn't fluoresce under photographic lights. You don't want a super white face with foundation lines showing up on all your photographs.

Types of photographs

My personal style of wedding photography is journalistic, I also try to use natural lighting where possible and very little formal poses.
This helps to make the photographs look natural.
Group photos, if you want them, require formal poses and you and your photographer need to plan for this.
You have to decide who you want in the group photos.
When and where they will occur.
How long will it take, normally about half an hour but it depends on the number of people.
Do you want photos of your bridesmaids, add another half hour.

The post wedding shoot normally takes anything from one to two hours. Not just because of the amount of people but also the effort of getting everyone together and posed. During this time, your other guest will need something to keep them busy while they wait for you to appear.

Most people want photographs of the wedding cake, tables and other decorations. I always do these before the wedding.  Arrange with your photographer when these will be ready to photograph.

The above points are just some of the things that will help your photographer make amazing weddings photos and remember, your photographer will be your shadow for the entire day, he or she needs to know as much as possible, even if you think it's irrelevant.


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