If you want to get the most out of your investment in wedding photography and videography, these ten tips should set you well on your way. Whether you are getting married in Sydney, The Southern Highlands, The South Coast or anywhere else in Australia, this guide should have you covered.
You don’t need to have your wedding at Australia’s coolest art gallery like the photo taken below (MONA, Hobart) to get a bunch of epic wedding photos to fill your album with. You just need to put a little bit of thought into how you want to run the day.
1. Consider the space you are getting ready in
On your wedding day, about a sixth of the photos and video usually come from the preparations at the start of the day. It really pays to have a nice pad to get ready in, with plenty of room for your bridal party. No one wants to be crammed in like sardines to a tiny motel room with ugly carpet and as you can imagine, this is reflected in the photography. Another thing to keep in mind is to try to have your ‘getting ready’ locations as close as you can to the ceremony location… The photographers/videographer’s time is better utilised behind our camera rather than behind our steering wheel! This can also lead to saved $$$ in coverage time needed (the amount of hours you book in with your shooter.
2. Keep it relatively tidy!
There’s no point having a beautiful preparation house if everyones bags/clothes/mess is all over the floor and tables etc. Understandably, it’s hard keeping a room full of 6 boys or girls spotless and it doesn’t have to be. Perhaps just have a bit of a tidy up before the photographer rocks up.
3. Don’t have your ceremony in midday sun
A common misconception of photography is that bright sun makes for better photos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It creates harsh shadows on people’s faces and can be quite tricky to work with. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, try to have it start at 3pm or later rather than around midday, especially in the summer months. If not for the photos, then do it for the comfort of yourself and your guests. I have witnessed people pass out at weddings, standing out in the hot midday Southern highlands, Hunter Valley or Kangaroo Valley sun for 40 minutes. If this isn’t possible, at least try to have it in a shaded spot 🙂
4. have an unplugged wedding
Nothing quite spoils a beautiful shot of a bride walking down the aisle or the groom’s reaction like five guest’s iPads sticking out to take photos. You have already paid to have a professional there to get the best photos possible, so your guests might as well turn their phones and iPads off so they can fully immerse themselves in the emotion of the day. Ask your celebrant to request this of them before the ceremony starts. Put that iPad away Auntie Karen!
5. Confetti, confetti, confetti
Look at how pretty it is!!! And is also a lot of fun for everyone involved. Get someone to hand out confetti to the people near the aisle at your ceremony and make sure you get the biodegradable stuff so as not to hurt the environment in the process. Etsy has a wide affordable range to choose from.
6. Allow at least 45 minutes for portraits
The more time you allow for portraits, the more stunning wedding photos you will have of yourselves and your bridal party. Usually 45 minutes to 2 hours is a good amount of time depending on whether there is any driving involved between the photo locations. Many venues have amazing photo locations right on the premises so have a look there before you consider venturing off. Have a chat to your photographer before making any of those decisions though. The first half of the shoot is usually with the whole bridal party and the second half just with the bride and groom. If the thought of taking an hour or more away from partying with your guests freaks you out, you can get away with doing as little as 15 minutes. You will just get less photos in fewer different spots. Although having portraits taken can sometimes sound like a chore, many couples comment to me afterwards that they were surprised to really enjoy the portrait session as it’s the only time they get to themselves all day.
7. Allow an additional 15 minutes around sunset for portraits
I can usually get the same amount of ‘banger’ shots in 20 minutes at sunset and dusk than I can in 2 hours in the middle of the day. So try to allow time to duck out for a few photos during sunset. Better yet, plan your schedule so your main portrait session ends just after sunset like the wedding below at Milton Park, Bowral.
8. Use festoon lights if you are having an outdoor reception
These very affordable dangly balls of electricity create really nice, soft light to work with. They are create a way better environment for wedding photography than the more widely used fairy lights. Festoons create a beautiful glow, put lovely light on people’s faces and are great hung over a table to light up everyone’s dinner! You can always string them up in indoor venues too if you think they will provide better light than what then venue already has.
9. Party hard
The D-floor is one of my favourite parts of the day to shoot and get creative with light blurs and interesting flash techniques. So please light up the dance floor with your best or worst moves and the photos should reflect!
10. Choose a professional wedding photographer/videographer who’s work you truly connect with
This is a one time thing, no do-overs! The day goes so fast and all you will be left with to remember it is the foggy and often alcohol inhibited memories and your wedding photos and wedding film. I strongly suggest to make sure you are in love with the work of your wedding photographer or videographer. Suss out their website, maybe ask to see a full gallery so you can get a picture of what your wedding photos might look like in full. Make sure you can put up with their company all day haha. If the photographer or videographer you really want is a little out of your budget for the services you are after, maybe considering sacrificing a couple of hours of coverage to make it work. A good shooter is so worthwhile.