You’ve been dreaming about it, you’ve been planning for months, and the big day has finally come! Your wedding day is here! If you’re like most couples, you want everything to go off without a hitch, and you’d love to capture some special memories that you can refer to fondly for years to come. Hiring a quality photographer is only half the challenge; you surely want to capture essence, beauty, and personality of your friends and family in every photo that’s taken on this special day. How can you ensure that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to wedding party photographs?
With a little input and planning from you, you can work with your photographer to get the best film on the best day of your life. Here are some tips for rocking wedding party photographs on your big day:
1. Photograph While People are Getting Ready
Most wedding day activities run a little late–from the arrival of the wedding party, delays with hair and makeup, and even deliveries that are happening throughout the day, things can get delayed. While you’re waiting for everyone to be picture perfect, set up a station with little “details” that you want photographed while your photographer is waiting for the wedding party. Rings, invitations, your dress on the hangar—-these pictures will evoke some powerful, nostalgic memories as you look back over your day and remember all of the wonderful gifts presented to you.
2. Make sure you have stellar lighting
Light makes or breaks a photo. A good photographer knows how to use light to his or her advantage when capturing the best of each moment. Choose spots for photos that have a lot of natural light, and schedule photos at a time when natural light readily available. Talk to your photographer ahead of time about best places for photos in your unique location, and make sure everyone is on the same page with respect to showing up in the right place at the right time.
3. Decide on Pre or Post Photos
Some couples want to get pics out of the way before the ceremony and enjoy their special day, while others want the pressure of the ceremony behind them so the photo session can seem more relaxed and free-flowing. Depending on what you decide, stick with the plan and schedule enough time before or after to get things done without worrying about running into ceremony or reception time. Get the assistance of your maid of honor or best man to keep you on schedule and help you decide what to cut out if time is going astray. The fewer details you need to worry about, the better.
4. Get a Little Bit of Everything
Getting formal pictures taken of your wedding party is nice, but it doesn’t necessarily capture all of those little moments that you want to remember about your special day. Taking some time to design those moments, such as the first time the groom sees the bride, those playful moments when children in the wedding party are chasing each other around church pews, and even special moments like mother/daughter, father/son will all be cherished by you. List the types of photos that you want your photographer to capture, and be open to those spontaneous and candid moments that reflect loved ones’ true personalities.
5. Schedule Some Surprises
You’ll likely want some scheduled photos of traditional events, but there should be a few surprises up your sleeve when it comes to creating truly unique moments in your photos. Pass out items of sentimental value to capture looks on the faces of your bridesmaids, or pipe a certain song into your photography space to get your groomsmen jazzed up and ready to go. You’ll be delighted as you reflect back on these special moments with those that you hold dear.
6. Relax and Have Fun!
It’s okay to let loose and let your hair down for your photos! Your wedding photos should reflect who you truly are, and they should reflect who and what you hold near and dear to you. Bring in personal items and special memories that mean something to you and your wedding party; use them creatively in your photography, and you’ll have an album that is truly unique and special; something that you will cherish for years to come. Don’t forget your most brilliant smile—–have a fabulous day!