10 Real Tips to Help Achieve Authentic Wedding Pictures
Congratulations on your wedding day! Naturally you want everything about it to run as smoothly as you envisioned it. The same goes for any and all of your wedding pictures. Achieving those candid wedding photos starts with some serious thoughts and preparations long before the big day. In over a decade of shooting weddings, we’ve pretty much nailed it down to these ten real tips that we feel will help you achieve real, honest, and authentic wedding photos.
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT: Be comfortable with your wedding photographer
This is SO important because it’s true (this tip also applies to engagement photo sessions). Your photographer should be far from your mind on your wedding day. You’ve already built their trust, and you know they are there for you, capturing every moment big and small.
If you are getting professional makeup done, make sure to do a trial run. Bonus if you have it done for the engagement photo session. That way, you also know what to expect and will be comfortable and confident on your wedding.
Apply sunscreen not only when it’s leading up to your wedding, but the day of too! Sometimes couples don’t realize that in taking pictures on a beautiful sunny day (even in the winter) you’re still at the mercy of the SUN. You don’t want to end up being bright red mid-dinner.
4. Dress for Comfort
Be comfortable in what you’ve picked out—this means for the shoes, dress, suit, ties, anything! There’s a lot of walking, dancing, and standing on a wedding day—the more you are you, i.e. comfortable, confident, and happy, the more it shows. If you want to be daring with killer heels, make sure to bring a backup pair of shoes.
5. Prepare for all types of weather
Even if it rains (yes I said it) that’s really okay. Really. Photos in the rain can be magical and wonderful, if you’re prepared. So think simple black, white, or clear umbrellas and rain boots. The last thing you want is to grab your cat umbrella, your brother’s Star Wars one & mum’s Picasso. It’ll look a little funky.
To go back to our first point, if the weather is bad, trust the photographers you’ve hired to create unbelievably wonderful images.
6. Don’t make a list
Seriously. Back to number 1, if you hired a professional wedding photographer who has earned their trust, let them do their job. They are trained to capture every moment, especially the key ones. If you make a list, your photographer will be preoccupied trying to check everything off that list on the day of and you’ll get them—but at the price of missing real authentic moments that are happening in real time. Also, your photographer will make a schedule and gather all the necessary information before the wedding from you about family members, friends, and anyone who will be a part of the formal photos. We will come with a list that has been pre-approved by you.
That being said, if there is a tradition in your family for something in particular, that’s different. For example, your family’s previous generations got married at a church and you all had that one photo in front of the stained glass window. DO tell us about that and we’ll make sure it happens!
This one can’t always be controlled throughout the day, and your photographer will absolutely be trained to shoot in any location, under any lighting condition. Like the weather though, you need to be prepared. During the evening, if you’re in a great hall, spot lighting is key for certain moments, entrances, speeches, and dances. Most venues will offer that as options. Take it! We can’t create a certain look that doesn’t exist.
Getting married at a farm, or in a tent—those little sparkling lights are beautiful. Less is not more however. Get more than you think you need, because they are dimmer than they look!
8. The golden hour
Almost all of the wedding photos out there with the incredible light are images take at the golden hour, which is that key time just before the sun sets. I promise you, you will probably find your ‘it’ photo from that time. Try to schedule into your evening 10 minutes to run outside and grab a few shots at that time. So research the sunset times for your wedding day and plan ahead!
9. Permits and the ceremony
Believe it or not, we can’t just shoot photos anywhere. Make sure that wherever you want to take photos we are allowed, and if there is a permit, get it well in advance. Some places have a limit on how many people can shoot on one given day or time, some permits can take a few weeks to a few months to obtain. Seriously, ask everywhere. Even some hotels require a permit. Even if you paid for a room, you may end up limited to your room.
For ceremony sites, religious locations may not allow for photos. Seriously! So if that’s important to you, get all the info you need in advance. Even if you’re getting married outside of a religious establishment, talk to your officiant; they may have their own set of rules.
10. Be present on your wedding day
Have fun! You’re marrying your best friend and partner for life. You’ve spent all this time putting together and planning for the one most important day of your life. You better enjoy it! If you’ve got a lot of little jobs to do on the day of, let it go and give it to someone else to do. You can even hire a day of coordinator to manage those tasks. The time flies!