PLANNING FEATURE | Photography

GETTING THE BEST SHOT: Tips for Incredible Wedding Pictures

It goes by really fast. Doesn’t everybody tell you that? For those at the center of the whirlwind of festivities—the bride and groom—the day can pass especially quickly.

Tremendous photos will be so valuable to you. They’ll help you to relive the day with each other (“You missed it when Aunt Betty started the conga line?!”), and with all of your family and friends. With websharing, your photos can be enjoyed by all of your guests as well as those who weren’t able to attend.

Whether you are hiring a worldclass photographer, or enlisting the help of a talented friend or family member, there are easy things you can do to guarantee great shots. I’ve worked with some of the best photographers in the business, for high-profile weddings and magazine photo shoots, and these are some of the tips I’ve picked up:

  • Time for comfort. The best photos are taken when both the photographer and his/her subjects, are comfortable. And some of the best photos I’ve ever seen happened because the photographer spent a little extra time with the families before the ceremony.

    Especially if the photographer is a friend, see if they would be willing to spend some time with the bride or groom in the day or two leading up to the wedding. In one wedding album recently some of my favorite shots were a series of candids in the bride’s country kitchen as members of her extended family arrived the night before the wedding. This extra time will help the photographer figure out important family members, and make everyone more comfortable. The photographer will be rewarded with more relaxed, confident expressions on the day itself, and you’ll be rewarded with photographs that are beyond good…inspired.

    The Perfect Photograph by Nashan Photograpers

  • Know what you want. As a couple, make a list of “must have” photos, and make sure your photographer has and understands the list. Given that time can get away from you, you may even want to designate a photographer’s helper, whose job it will be to gather people for the shots you know you’ll want to have.

    These formal shots should be planned in advance, and those involved should be told (rehearsal is a good time to go over this) in advance. Your wishes and ideas are important, but definitely take advantage of the photographer’s expertise. They will have ideas and suggestions for the best light and locations for group shots and portraits.

  • Keep it natural. You’ve heard it before perhaps, but it bears repeating, especially for outdoor weddings: the more natural the make-up, the more natural the photos. Heavy and sparkly makeup will look stiff or sweaty in photos. If your makeup looks natural in the mirror, it will look natural in the photos.

    You will look beautiful from the inside out if you pamper yourself with natural beauty treatments, but don’t try any beauty “experiments” (a bold new self-tanner or facial peel?) right before the wedding.

  • Tricks of the trade. Some people seem to come alive for the camera, while others would prefer to be permanently “off camera.” If you are nervous, remember some of these tricks. Have in mind a person (your soon-to-be-spouse?) or event that makes you deeply, genuinely happy, and conjure that as photos are being taken. Look at the photographer’s trigger finger rather than directly in the camera lens. Do something with your hands.

    Sometimes a slightly nervous bride or groom, when handed an interesting object, will relax right into a shot. A stool, or interesting seat of some sort will usually break the tension people feel when standing for what they think of as a ‘formal’ portrait. Thankfully, most photographers are experts at putting people at ease, but it helps to know a few tricks that work for you in advance.

    A life well lived will have many opportunities to celebrate. But a wedding….now that’s one of life’s best reasons for a party. On the day of your wedding, if you have only one goal—to enjoy the celebration—you will also have wonderful photographs.

    Photos by: Nashan Photographers

    Guaranteed.

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