Some key advice on getting the images you’ve always dreamed of.
A few years ago, it was very much the vogue to have reportage photography.
For example a picture of the couple standing in front of a hut on the beach maybe or heading off on a tandem in full wedding gear. Or standing side by side holding an owl. (Yes, seriously).
Look at these images now and they may seem a bit artificial and dated. The popularity for straight reportage has faded somewhat and couples are going after more traditional wedding photographs.
However what reportage photography did do for wedding images was breathe new life into them. Twenty years ago, your photographer would have done straight wedding shots in front of the church, the venue, the cars, the couple, the bridesmaids, the family etc…
Reportage brought a bit more fun into the proceedings and this mood has stayed which is definitely a good thing.
So what are the rules now for perfect, stylish wedding photography?
The key rule, first and foremost always, is to choose a wedding photographer who suits your style.
Look out for individuals whose work is just your taste. Check out their website, their testimonials and then get in touch to ask to see their portfolio.
It’s always a good idea to choose a photographer who is familiar with your wedding venue. If they have already worked there before, they will know all the best nooks, crannies, views and doorways in which to frame an image. How the light will affect the shot, the wind and the surrounding textures. It’s a good idea to use a photographer who is fairly close to your chosen venue rather than hundreds of miles away, this will of course also cut down on travel expenses and avoid any transportation issues.
Good photographers get booked up early, particularly on summer weekends, so be prepared to look at a good few to find availability on your chosen wedding day.
You should also ask your chosen photographer for references. Get in touch with couples who have used the photographer previously and ask their opinion. Ask them questions like what they thought worked well and what they would do differently if they had the opportunity.
Styling your wedding photography
Think about the style of wedding you’re having.
Is it traditional? A little bit bohemian? Rustic in the countryside? Or are you having a chic city do?
All of this will reflect the images you have taken. For example, if you’re having a city wedding, your photographer may want the final result to be brighter, use sharper colours and more drama.
If you’re having a wedding that’s in the countryside the photographer may use a soft filter that blends the edges a little for a dreamy effect.
When to take your photographs (and who shouldn’t be taking them)
Another rule to consider. Although you may have a friend who is a fantastic photographer, it’s always worth paying for a professional on your wedding day. To them, it is just that, a professional job and they will treat it as such.
A friend may start out well but at some point in the proceedings they will want to down cameras and join the party. Which is just when they might miss out on those perfect photo opportunities. A true professional will be around until the end, taking the more formal photographs at the beginning and then snapping unobtrusively once the party gets started. And isn’t that what you want?
Also, a professional will know how to round up people quickly and take the photograph with minimal fuss, it’s one of the tricks of the trade. An amateur won’t know how to do this so well, the expression ‘herding sheep’ may well come to mind.
If you want unique wedding photographs, these are the ones that are grabbed as the moment happens.
Okay, you can set up a certain number of shots and you should certainly have your must-have photograph list but you need to pick a photographer who is capable of seeing and grabbing the perfect shot just when it appears.
That will give you the unique images that deserve their place on your walls forever.