HINTS + TIPS
After shooting weddings for many, many years, I’ve picked up a few hints and tips along the way that will hopefully help you on the day to make everything run extra smoothly.
Number one – make sure you’ve already removed all the labels and stickers off all of the clothes! I’ll always do this for you if you forget but it definitely saves me a lot of time on the day if everything is already ready and I can jump straight into photographing everything beautifully.
If there’s somewhere light and clear to hang the dresses up in, feel free to go ahead before I get there, otherwise I’ll look for somewhere that works once I arrive.
Try to make sure the prep area is fairly clear and tidy if you can – I know wedding mornings are hectic but if you’re getting ready in the room you slept in the night before (ie a hotel), try to make the bed and clear away any wet towels etc as it makes a huge difference to the photos.
Pop all of the bits and bobs you’d like photographed in a corner together, such as your jewellry, perfume, shoes etc so I can get a lovely photo of it all when I arrive.
If you’re getting ready and married on the same site, rule of thumb is to be completely hair and make up ready and getting into your dress one hour before the ceremony. If you’re traveling to the ceremony, factor in extra time for travel and traffic.
I always think it’s best to do the confetti straight after the ceremony, as it’s a really fun way of clearing everyone outside and kicking off the reception with a bang.
Remember: how ever much confetti you think you need…..
When you walk through your confetti lines, just remember these three things:
1. Go slowly – the slower you go the more chance I have of getting some knockout photos. Run and I won’t be able to walk backwards fast enough!
2. Keep your heads up. When people are throwing things at you, I can see how easy it would be to run and look down at the floor! Keep your heads up though so I can capture the brilliant facial expressions you’ll both no doubt make in all the fun!
3. Don’t look at my camera! It doesn’t look right if you’re smiling into the lens, so look around at your beaming guests, at each other or straight ahead, just not at me. And enjoy! It goes really quickly but is one of the most joyous parts of the day.
Every family is different, and so it’s important as your photographer to appreciate that some families are huge and require lots of group shots, and some families are blended, and perhaps require even more. I’m happy to do as few or as many as you would like, however it’s important to factor in the correct time to do them.
The quickest and most efficient way to structuring them, is to do the biggest groups first, then whittle them down. That way we’re not capturing one group, then hunting around looking for people, as we already have everyone gathered that we’ll need.
The way I structure group shots tends to be like this:
(To illustrate here I’m going to use Bride and Groom as it’s easier shorthand to B&G, however plenty of times it is of course Bride & Bride or Groom & Groom).
- B&G with B’s extended family (parents, siblings, partners of siblings & their children, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles & cousins)
- B&G with B’s close family (parents & siblings)
- B&G with B’s Mum & Dad
- B with Mum
- B with Dad
- B with siblings
This would then be mirrored for the other person’s side.
- B&G with all bridal party (bridesmaids, groomsmen & flower girls/boys)
- Groom with Groomsmen
- Groom with Bestman
- Bride with Bridesmaids
The above will of course be personalised to you and same sex weddings may vary from the more traditional bridal party set up.
I always ask my couples not to give me a list of group shots – rather let’s sit down before the wedding (or at least on Zoom) and talk through it all together. I prefer to have an understanding in my mind of how your families work and who’s most important to you, so I find it best if we write this list together.
I tend to capture the groups in a few different ways – formally at first with everyone standing nicely (parents seem to prefer these!) but then I’ll ask everyone to cuddle up and put their arms around each other, because I have a sneaking suspicion you guys will prefer these.
It can also help to speed things up if you give a copy of the the list we write together to a helpful person, who knows most people or at least isn’t shy asking, who can be in the background rounding everyone up whilst I carry on shooting.
Something I often get asked about is ‘What happens if it rains?’ Well first off, it’s actually pretty rare it rains all day. I think in 17 years I’ve had maybe 4 weddings when it hasn’t stopped from morning to night so it isn’t something that happens often. If it does though, don’t panic. Part of what you’re paying for with an experienced wedding photographer is someone who can tackle any and every weather condition, and I always have a few tricks up my sleeve!
I have a car boot full of clear and white brollies so if it is lightly raining, I’ll always give you the option of still having your family photos outside, under umbrellas, if you want to. If it’s raining heavily though, I’ll set you some somewhere appropriate inside, lit artistically if need be.
We cannot thank Mia enough for our beautiful wedding photos.
They are more than we could have ever wished for! As two people who aren’t that comfortable in front of a camera, Mia really made us feel at ease and captured every moment of the day so wonderfully. She was an absolute joy to have around on our wedding day, she gave us so many hints and tips about how to make things run smoothly and just felt like one of our guests! The photos are incredible and memories we will treasure forever!