Here is a little "tip" list to help your photographer have even more fun (and therefore get even more amazing photos) on your wedding day.
Of course, I DO NOT IN ANY WAY expect you to adhere to these, as there are many, MANY people who have no doubt already started giving you tips. Just keep in mind that I have been to, and shot at, far more weddings than the average person, so experience has taught me much.
these are in no particular order:
1. I love "getting ready shots"- especially of the bride- so please, PLEASE let me come early to get pictures of your dress, before you put it on, so I can get the all-important shot of you putting it on. It just seems like something is missing if I don't get these shots. And try to find a room with attractive features, if possible. Although I have managed to get some pretty great portraits in church basements...
2. Sorry, boys, I won't spend as much time with you "getting ready" cuz there's just not as much going on. But I DO want to get you getting your boutonniere pinned on- that way I have something for the "preparation" portion of your album.
3. HAVE FUN!!! Be as relaxed as possible- I know you've been planning for months, maybe YEARS, and want today to go exactly as planned, but if you are relaxed and happy, it's that much easier to get even more great photos for you to choose from. Have happy people around. And let your attendants know that they should be happy, too. They may not like having their pics taken, but hey, they are in your wedding, and they need to have their pictures taken. If they at least pretend to be happy, then they won't hate their photos nearly as much. In fact, they may like them quite a bit.
4. I like COLOR. No. That's a lie. I LOVE color. As beautiful and elegant as white may be, the white of the flowers rarely matches the white of the dress. That, and the details of the flowers are easily washed out in the photos. Choose colors that have good contrast. Say you have blue dresses- yellow and orange just POP against blue. Looks STUNNING in photos. At the same time, try to keep it simple. Having a rainbow of colors can be hard to look at, and take the focus off of you. If you have questions about colors and your wedding, feel free to email me!(ar_teest(at)yahoo(dot)com)
5. Brides, while you are at the back of the church hangin' with your dad (you know, before you're going to walk down the aisle to your soon to be hubby??), interact with him- talk with him- be happy with him. Stoic poses are tough to make pretty and fun and memorable. Maybe even hug* before you walk down the aisle.
*see number 10
6. For the "traditional" posed shots after the ceremony, try to have a family member in charge of the list of photos that you want, as well as a detailed list for your photographer. As much as I may know your family, I don't know everybody. Find someone who will know everyone, but won't be pushy with the photographer. I just need them to point out the people I need to know for upcoming pictures. (don't put any of the parents in charge of this- they have enough on their plates as it is- they need to enjoy themselves!) This helps the process to stay smooth, and not take too long, cuz I like to get to the fun stuff as soon as I can!
7. Leave plenty of time between your wedding ceremony and the reception to have at least 30 minutes of SHOOTING time (not just 30 minutes- with a drive to and from the location) with just the bride, groom and the wedding party. This is time away from all other guests and family- so the photographer won't have anyone else trying to take her angles. Yes, I am selfish with my angles! I know you don't want your guests to wait very long between the ceremony and when they eat supper, but they can handle it- maybe you can have snacks out for them if it will be an especially long wait.
8. Don't forget to have a seat at the reception for the photographer and the assistant. Most likely we haven't eaten a whole lot all day, and yummy-smelling food is torture if we aren't included in dinner. That, and it is easier to mingle with guests if we are part of the group!
9. Please don't stress out if we are a little behind- this happens more often than I can say, no more than 10 minutes, really, but again, if you are stressed, it will show in your pictures. Also, if you are a little late to the reception, they WILL wait for you. They have to. It's your day!
10. If your photographer asks you to kiss- please hold the kiss for a while. We may want to get a couple of different angles while you are kissing. Also, don't full-on make out (you know- slurpy kisses?) these are not flattering on camera. Or in person.
11. Back to the family photos. Everyone, I mean everyone, is going to want their picture taken with you. try to limit the random people on your photographer's list. Chances are, if they want a picture with you, they will be more than happy to find you at the reception and have their own copy on their own camera (the digital age makes this part so much easier!). This will also limit the amount of time needed for the family shots. The ones I would suggest to be on your "for sure" list after the ceremony?
bride and groom with bride's parents
bride and groom with groom's parents.
Bride and groom with grandparents, from each side.
Bride and groom with immediate families, from each side.
Bride and groom with large extended family, from each side.
The more random pictures added to this list, the more likely it will be that those people will not still be at the church for these photos. Then we waste time looking for them. No fun.
Try to make sure beforehand that anyone on the photo list KNOWS they are on the photo list. Again, that way we don't waste time looking for them.
12. Brides, DON'T be afraid of getting the hem (bottom) of the dress dirty. IT WILL GET DIRTY! no matter what. Dance floors are dirty. Reception floors are dirty. Sidewalks are dirty. Fields are dirty. (fields? What? I've just always wanted to do a photo shoot out in a field with a lone tree up on the hill. It just seems dreamy and oh-so-romantic to me. But I digress....) The dirt on the bottom of your dress will not show on the photos, and if it would by chance, there is this magical tool most photographers use called photoshop. mmm, photoshop. Anyway, just trust that your photographer will get good photos of you and your dress no matter what- and sometimes the places we go can be dirty!
13. Be goofy, but not over the top, with your new spouse. Flirting and snuggling is fun, nuzzling is great. Tickling is wonderful. But keep in mind what the other person is feeling when you do these things- don't annoy your new spouse!
And I cannot stress enough (although this was already mentioned) for you to have fun on your wedding day. The time flies, and all that preparation for a few hours gets captured by your photographer so you can remember those fun, awesome, romantic, whirlwind moments for the rest of your lives!
Any more questions for me? feel free to email me at ar_teest(at)yahoo(dot)com