Getting the most from your wedding photography seems like a weird kinda statement right? I mean, surely that’s the photographer’s job? You’ve chosen your photographer because they are the professionals… and their website is full of beautiful pictures of brides and grooms looking as natural and beautiful as they come.
Well sure, wedding photographers are used to posing their couples and, if natural photography is their thing, they will be skilled in making you feel as comfortable as possible. But there are a few things you can do to ensure your wedding portraits are perfect.
As a wedding photographer, perhaps the number one thing people say to me is “I don’t like having my photograph taken”. Yep. I totally get it. You feel a little bit awkward, nervous, not sure what the heck to do with your hands or you prefer the left hand side of your face to the right… Everyone is different and that’s why I like to make sure that your wedding portraits reflect who you are as a couple. The last thing I want you to be doing, is worrying about having your photograph taken.
So here are a few little nuggets of wisdom to help you have a great time during your wedding portrait session whilst getting the most from your wedding photography.
STRIKE A POSE
Sure I can pose you in all manner of ridiculous ways, but in reality, unless you’re really into modelling, the best bet is to have some fun with your new husband or wife and stop worrying about how your chin/arms/nose looks or worrying whether you look cool enough. I know some of the ladies love a little Instagram pout (instant cheekbones!!!) but it honestly doesn’t look good on anything other than an iPhone, so less pout more clout!
Snuggle up, whisper sweet nothings into your loved one’s ear, tell her how your heart nearly stopped as she walked down the aisle, or we can revert to a dirty joke… all these things are great for making you laugh, smile and melt inside. The big thing is to relax and not worry about what I’m doing. I have totally got you covered.
Every wedding photographer is different, but for me, wedding portrait sessions usually last about 20 minutes… sometimes more if you want to do something a bit more adventurous, sometimes less, if time and light is against us. It’s just you two and me… an unlikely threesome out for a walk to make some pictures together. Make sure you build in enough time in your schedule to include wedding portraits so that we’re not rushing around with the caterer shouting at us that the lamb is going to be over cooked. If your wedding is in the Winter, bear in mind that you have limited time for wedding photos before the sun goes down so perhaps having your ceremony earlier in the day can give you a little bit more time for portraits or you could always consider a First Look. I sometimes like to grab you at Golden Hour for a few minutes to take some pictures as the sun sets, or I might set up a cool light shot in the evening.
I shoot in all kinds of venues… castles, tipis, country houses, barns and town halls, boozers, warehouses and art galleries… each wedding venue has a different vibe and a different backdrop. Some venues have amazing light (the likes of Allerton Castle and Castle Howard spring to mind) whilst other venues are a little more restrictive (making portraits in tipis in the rain can be a little more challenging for sure, especially if you’ve set your heart on some of those romantic shots in a field). However, I’m not really about the backdrop… so if you want pictures on a staircase, bridge or in front of the fountain, I’m not the photographer for you.
A lot of couples choose their venue because the gardens are so pretty and they think this will make beautiful pictures… but if you’re getting married in March, those gardens aren’t going to be quite so picturesque. In fact, you might not even venture outside due to inclement weather.
If you want wedding portraits that show the real you, laughing, smiling and generally being in love, you’ve come to the right place. Yeah we can do some of that cool magazine worthy stuff too, but most of the time we’ll be having a laugh together. Keep in mind the time of year you’re getting married and the location of your wedding – it’s no good pinning images on Pinterest that show beautiful spring flowers and brides on beaches if you’re getting married in December in the middle of London. Trust in your photographer that they can make you look amazing whatever the location or weather.
Later in the evening, if we get a nice sunset, I might whip you both out for a quick ten minute shoot during Golden Hour – and who doesn’t love golden sunset wedding portraits? Of course I can’t absolutely guarantee a beautiful multi coloured sunset for your wedding – though that would be amazing if someone could invent one that I could carry round in my camera bag!
One of the main things though is to relax. Don’t worry about your dress… dresses can be cleaned after the wedding and, if my experience is anything to go by, come 10pm, you won’t give a hoot about that dress – instead you’ll be on the dance floor strutting your stuff sweeping up everything in your wake. Make sure however, that if it’s muddy or wet outside (pay attention tipi lovers!), that you bring some extra footwear – some comfy Converse or Wellies are perfect for tramping over damp fields and it means your Jimmy Choos will still be intact. Same goes for boys if you want to spare your brand new brogues. Do however, remember to bring something warm to stick on your shoulders. Either a nice fluffy cardigan, or a warm blanket, or a cool as feck leather jacket… and an UMBRELLA! Because we live in England and generally, the weather isn’t kind.
Remember to breathe. Portraits are the tiny portion of your wedding day where you will both be together… with no distractions. It’s a chance to take it all in, remember that you finally made it down the aisle and that you are indeed well and truly married!
If you’d like to know more about getting the most out of your wedding photography, why not book a consultation? I shoot weddings up and down the country and all over Europe. Book your consultation now and we can talk about your exciting wedding plans.
Yorkshire wedding photographer, Yorkshire by Toast of Leeds. If you’re getting married in the future Yorkshire or the UK, get in touch by visiting my photography website at www.toastofleeds.co.uk or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. I photograph weddings across the UK in tipis, barns, country houses and iconic hotels. For more information and to check availability, contact me now.