5 Unquie Tips From a Professional Wedding Photographer
Congratulations, you're getting married!
Weddings are a unique event and you want to get it right. I have photographed a lot of weddings and I want to be able to pass that knowledge onto you. Here are just a few things I feel are valuable which you might not know.
1. Light for Make Up
Light is everything when it comes to photography and a key element of this is the importance of your make-up.
When it comes to having your make-up applied, you must ensure you are facing natural light. This light really is the most flattering but more importantly, it will look the same when you step out of the door. If you have make-up applied in a dark room or a room with florescent or tungsten light, this really will reflect in your make-up and potentially may make for a ‘cakey’ or uneven complexion.
So, to summarise. Make sure you are facing a big window or your Make-Up Artist has a light ring (which will simulate window light).
2. Make Time for Nothing
Schedules are extremely helpful at a wedding but it is easy for these to allow you to get carried away, leaving no time at all for…well, nothing!
You need these ‘nothing moments’ just to have a breather and soak it all up. If your schedule is so tight that there is no time left, you end up just bouncing from one thing to another. The next thing you know is it’s all over and you can’t remember any of it.
When you factor in time for nothing, organic things happen and memories start to be made.
3. Trust Your Photographer
This is how I get such intimate photos?
It’s all about trust. When someone trusts you, they give you access and this happens because they know that you have their best intentions at heart.
Picture the scene: A father sees the bride for the first time. This is an incredibly intimate moment and I am right there taking photos. They act like I am not even there; this is because they trust me. They are not thinking “who’s that weirdo with the camera” their subconscious is saying “they must be doing that for good reason” because there is trust. I become invisible.
My clients trust us because I have their best interest at heart therefore I have access to their lives. That is how I get intimate photos and photos that will mean something to you in 20-30 years.
Everyone wants their guests to have fun, so a common theme many Summer weddings tend to follow is the involvement of lawn games. This ‘build it and they will come’ means some will gravitate towards them and interact but many will leave them until the courageous first guest comes along to engage with the game! To really get your guests involved and inject some life and soul into your reception, you could plan a healthy competition between family members and friendship groups! Nothing invigorates a group of people more!
This does take a little organising but the rewards are so worthwhile. Pulling names from a hat is a great starting point for teams. One of the best examples of this was at Katy and James’ wedding in Bartholomew Barn. The simplicity of an egg and spoon race got their friends and family all fired up, which then set the tone for the rest of the day.
Simple games = brilliant memories!
5. Dance Floor Lighting
Sometimes it gets really dark and as I have mentioned previously, light is everything.
So I have a solution! Flash. Now, this isn’t the same type of flash that is on top of your gran’s compact camera - this is light that I have control of.
I use flashes that are remotely controlled by my cameras so I can have consistent lighting throughout. I use other accessories to help focus the light too (allowing me more or less light) even changing the colour if I need to.
This means I can light any venue, no matter how dark. Just make sure you give me advance warning so I can plan.
Make sure your photographer knows how to use flash and can show you lots of examples of energetic dance floor moments.
Here is a little bonus insight into how I achieve award winning wedding photos
I create beautiful images by using the LCM technique:
L = Light: I walk into a room and assess the light. The direction, strength, colour and amount. Then I need to make a decision as to whether I need to add any light. This then dictates my shooting direction.
C = Composition: This is used to make the image easy to read. I remove any distractions, such as trees poking out of guests’ heads, people in the background etc. This is achieved through a simple move or tilt of the camera.
M = Moment: I then wait… all the while taking photos. A moment is like a crescendo, it has a peak and then tapers off. The skill is reading the moments and knowing what is worth shooting and what is worth leaving.