So I've compiled some things over the past couple years of shooting weddings that I find to be very important but not always thought of or regretted the opportunity missed until after the big day has come and gone. You can take my advise or not it's not a mandatory demand, just what I have found to be little tips and tricks to help out your photo experience on your wedding day!
1. Do a first look/Reveal. To have that special quiet time with your fiancee prior to the ceremony is so magical everytime I experience it with a couple. Some have been so emotionally touching they have moved even me to tears. It gives the couple 30 minutes alone to say everything they want to say to one another before this big moment, pray together, and gives them a solid 30-45 minutes to go shoot with the photographer and acquire those amazing portrait on location shots that everyone wants!
2. IF you are super traditional and are dead set against a reveal then do a "Day After" session. These aren't obviously always a day after but they are super awesome. This is when after the couple returns from their honeymoon they have a shoot booked with me to put the wedding garb back on and go out for a 2 hour on location shoot with me. These always turn out super awesome because we always go to some really cool and beautiful locations and perfect times of day lighting wise and capture the bride and groom some solid portraits for them to have! You'll understand why this is necessary on your wedding day when things are running behind because trust me weddings are ALWAYS running behind and your photo time is cut short and rushed along to the reception and you look back and realize you don't have really half the shots you'd originally desired of you and your groom because the schedule got way off. Just something to consider!
3. Request that the guests not take photos during the ceremony. Sound Harsh? Well it certainly isn't supposed to and let me elaborate a little more on the problem with this:
First of all let's state the obvious that their photos are not going to be as good as your hired professional photographer! You want the first photos the world sees of your exciting big day to be those captured by the person your paying to do their best job, not those poorly exposed grainy weirdly composed images that start getting tagged to you on FB within minutes of going down the aisle. Also Its always a bummer when your trying toget shots of family members and guests and their face is hidden behind a camera, or iphone snapping away. Also if their flash starts going off when mine does it'll mess with exposure and could cause me to miss a really big moment. Its a simple request you can have your ushers relay to your guests as they're seating and I can promise you no one is going to get offended over this.
4. Consider the time of day you are getting married when your considering your photos. Evening light is the best lighting. If your doing an outdoor ceremony I don't reccomend anything earlier than 4:00 any time of year. Any light earlier than that causes really harsh shadows on your face under your eyes and nose (creating that infamous raccoon look) and the exposure isn't as even over the entire area.
5. Consider Limiting your Family shot list. Limit the Family shots to maybe one big group of your whole family and then keep it to immediate family only. To be honest those are the only people purchasing those prints in the first place. Most of the cousins and what not you've invited are there because they heard there is free food and cake. I know you love you family, but your wedding day is not a family reunion time for your photographer to document. Also the more time you spend taking those 400 formal shots the less time you have for shots with your new spouse!
So as I said these are only helpful requests that I have heard more than one or two brides complain about and thought there is no better way to help this situation than to share it with the world =) I hope someone gets something out of this and it made a bride think of something she may not have and would have later regretted after her wedding, which is something I like to help my brides avoid feeling altogether! Enjoy and leave comments!