My Top 10 Tips For Getting The Best Wedding Photos
Wedding photography is all about the story
OK, so here’s the thing about wedding photography. Whoever your wedding photographer is, whatever their style, all they’re doing is telling a story. Sure, they choose how to tell the story. But it’s up to you what story they tell, and you want that story to be the best it can be.
Now I ain’t shirking responsibility. And if I’m your wedding photographer, you know Ima tell that story like Prince plays guitar. But it won’t hurt to gimme a little helping hand, right? So I thought I’d give you a few little tips before the big day.
Some things are small three-second jobs you can do on the day. Some things are big changes you can make now to your planning. And honestly? You can take or leave any of ‘em. But whether you do one or all ten, I promise you’ll be happy you did. Because not only will your photos be better, you’ll enjoy your day a helluva lot more too.
Big promises, right? Well I ain’t gonna disappoint. Here’s my top 10 tips for getting the best wedding photos.
1. Plan a chilled out day and the best wedding photos will follow
Ima start with a sneaky one. Something nothing to do with the photos, but also everything to do with the photos.
Stressed-out brides don’t look good. And neither do grooms sweating buckets because they’ve just had to run a three minute mile across a venue.
So be kind to yourself with your timeline. Don’t feel pressured to pack too much in, and give yourself more time for everything. If you have no room to breathe, no downtime and no room for error, it’s gonna turn your whole day into a military operation. You want to look calm and happy in all the photos, not wild-haired, sweaty and harassed. Basically you wanna plan a day you’ll actually enjoy.
2. Have a pre-wedding shoot
I know, I know, “you would say this”. But hear me out.
I’m not the kinda guy to just rock up to your wedding day not knowing who you are. We’re gonna be chatting away back and forth before your wedding regardless, and we’re always gonna be best mates by the end of the day.
But there’s something about turning up to your wedding when we’ve already had a couple’s shoot together. There’s none of that awkward “oh shit, he’s taking photos”, and we ain’t gonna be making small talk for the first five minutes.
I rock up, you say, “it’s my boy Hash!” and we jump straight into it. You feel relaxed, we have a shared history, we carry on conversations where we left off. And when it comes to your couple’s sessions, you’re not nervous or shy to get all romantic around me because you’ve done it all before.
Basically, you’ve got no reason to be nervous around me, ever. I’m goofy, chilled, probably a bit weird, and I’m totally on your side all the way. But if you’re not used to having your photo taken, it's nice to get all the nerves outta the way before the wedding. Plus the photos are awesome, which is a bonus. If you wanna book a pre-wedding shoot, lemme know and we’ll work something out.
3. The perfect confetti shot
I could bang on about the perfect confetti shot for days. But lemme just give you the highlights.
First of all, you want to check if your venue even allows it, because some don’t. So check that first.
Now you need to get the right kinda confetti. Obviously you want eco-friendly confetti, because we’ve been little naughty and Mother Earth is pissed. Dried petals are alright but they fall fast and hard so you'll need to buy an unbelievable amount, otherwise it'll be over dead quick. Not to mention it just doesn't always look that great on camera! Now trust me, if you want THE confetti shot you're gonna need to buy paper confetti and https://properconfetti.com supplies the best around! Not only does it make for the best damn photos, it also doesn't cover you in dried petals that you'll be picking outta only god knows where for days after! Whatever you choose, try and find a colour that fits in with your styling and palette.
And buy double what you think you’ll need. You want everyone to have a shitload of confetti.
For the actual shot, get a bridesmaid or groomsman to be in charge. You want your guests in a long aisle, and make sure you tell everyone in advance how to throw it. They need to throw it up, not at you. You want it fluttering down gently, not launched at you like a 3am kebab.
4. It ain’t all about the Confetti!
There are so many cool ideas for photos that don’t involve confetti. I love me a smoke grenade. Champagne sprays are awesome (if a little soggy). And who doesn’t love a sparkler shot?! Have a look on The ‘Gram or Pinterest for ideas, there’s loads out there, just depends what kinda vibe takes your fancy.
As I said, I’m all about the story. And for the most part I’m gonna sit back and let your crazy story unfold by itself. But little things like this just add to the fun. They look epic on your walls, and it gives you a whole set of photos you never would’ve had. You only get married once, so don’t be shy about being a bit extra. Your living room walls will thank you for it.
5. Set time aside for couple’s shots
Get ready to see my soft, squidgy underbelly, ‘cause I’m about to get soppy.
You’ve found your soulmate. The one person in the whole world who makes you feel brave, vulnerable, whole. And now you’ve decided to be best friends for life. To stick by each other through thick and thin, to talk every night until you fall asleep, to see their face across the pillow every morning. If your life was a movie, your love would be the soundtrack. And that’s what your wedding day is all about.
You’ve got the whole day to eat, drink and be merry. So set aside half an hour to spend some time alone together. Sure we’re gonna get some sweet shots, but it ain’t about posing awkwardly for photos. It’s about letting your guards down, focusing on each other, and getting to be the people you are at home. It’s about telling the story of how you felt about each other on the best day of your lives. So let’s sneak away from the crowds for a while and tell that story together.
6. Throw money at a second shooter
Two ‘togs are better than one. It’s double the pleasure, baby, and triple the fun. With one wedding photographer, you get one person’s perspective of a day. It’s a linear story. With two, your story is 3D. You get photos of both of you getting ready in the morning, and get to see what you were both doing at the same time. You get to see what your guests were up to while you were off doing group shots, or having your couple’s session.
When you look through your album, you’ll see loads of moments you missed, and the same moments captured from different angles. Having two photographers takes your wedding photos to a whole new level.
7. Have an unplugged ceremony
I’ve spoken about this before, so I ain’t gonna go on about it too much. But please, I’m beggin’ you. For fuck’s sake, get everyone to put their phones away in the ceremony.
Nothing will ruin a shot like a sea of screens lining the aisle. We don’t need a million Insta-filtered photos of the same thing from slightly different angles. And I don’t need Uncle Bob elbowing me out of the way with his big DSLR.
Alright, rant over. Thanks for listening, I feel much better.
8. Trust me, bro
Now I can’t speak for everyone. So if I ain’t your photographer, maybe skip this one!
But if I am your photographer, we’re gonna' get some awesome, super-cool, kick-ass shots. I come up with some crazy ideas sometimes. And they might seem like stupid things to do at the time. But if I’m asking you to do something crazy, just trust me and go with it! Do my crazy ideas always work out? Nah. Sometimes we end up just having a laugh doing something stupid.
But all great art pushes boundaries. And every good story either starts with someone getting really drunk, or doing something really stupid. So let’s cover the bases, get the drinks in and then do some stupid shit in the name of art!
9. Clear that clutter
The best thing about wedding photography is that it gives us a chance to remember and relive the day. So I ain’t sayin’ we should create a whole day for the camera.
But here’s the thing. You won’t wanna remember empty water bottles on the side, grubby trainers on the floor and crumpled Red Bull cans spilling out the bin.
Shit like this in the background won’t add anything to the way you’ll remember the day. It’ll just ruin a perfectly good shot and ever-so-slightly annoy you for the rest of your lives. Especially in bridal/groom prep shots when everything else looks pristine and perfect. So do your future selves a favour and clear that shit away. The moments will be the same, but the photos will look a million times better.
10. Go with the flow and enjoy every moment
You know those funny stories you love to tell as a couple. When you keep talking over each other, “no, no, no, you forgot about…” or “wait, let me tell this bit”. Lemme ask you, in those stories did everything go according to plan? Nah, they’re always the total shitshows where everything went wrong.
Now I ain’t saying you wanna set boobietraps or hope for shit weather just so you got a funny story to tell. All I’m sayin’ is, don’t stress it. Because even if everything goes to hell, those fuck ups are gonna make for some great stories. And when you look at your wedding photos thirty years down the line, those moments are gonna make you smile a whole lot more than the moments when everything was perfect.
So here’s the best piece of advice I can offer on how to get the best wedding photos. Don’t get hung up on what should be happening, just enjoy what is. Enjoy every second, live in every moment, kiss, dance, cuddle. Because I promise, if you loved the moment, you’ll love the photo.
Blink and you'll miss it all!
Are you reading wedding photography tips before you’ve even booked your wedding photographer?
Wow, OK cool, I like your style. It’s a backwards way of doing it, and I respect that.
I’m guessing you’ve already got a wedding photographer. And if you have, I’m hoping it’s me. But if you’re still looking and you love my work, get in touch and let’s chat!