HOW TO GET THE MOST NATURAL IMAGES ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
Your wedding photos are yours forever, and with the right photographer you can happily relive the day over and over again. Here are my best tips on how to get the results you want from your wedding photos - from the right lighting to capturing the most natural and beautiful images, don’t miss these important points.
1. Consider Lighting
After creating a shortlist of what you want, talk with your photographer about where and when you would like to take pictures at your wedding venue. Be sure to work closely with your photographer to organize your photo schedule around natural available light, which is most flattering to your skin.
The “Golden Hour” is definitely a topic to discuss. It’s the 1.5 hour period before the sun sets and provides the most gorgeous golden light.
2. Have a Backup Plan
Living in South Florida we are lucky to enjoy temperate weather most of the year; however, we also experience a lot of downpours during rainy season. To that point, always keep in mind that you can take advantage of the outdoor and indoor locations at your wedding venue. When touring Miami wedding venues, be sure to keep an eye out for indoor settings that have large windows and look covered outdoor areas for photos during a spot of bad weather.
I once photographed a wedding at Baha Mar, Bahamas during a tropical storm. I felt terrible for the couple! We ran for cover and shot all the family and a few couple’s portraits photos in the valet area of the hotel. We didn’t have any other options! Fortunately for the couple, the rain cleared for about 10 minutes. During this time we were able to capture some images on the beach. Fortunately, the rain cleared for 10 minutes, giving us some time to capture these gorgeous images.
Here is an example of the bridal party portraits I shot in the valet area of the hotel:
Here is an example of couple portraits I shot underneath an overhang in the entrance of the hotel:
Here are just a few gorgeous photos I captured on the beach in just 10 minutes of clear weather:
3. Incorporate movement or prop
The key to natural photos is to engage, talk and have fun. Look for a photographer incorporates movement - be it walking or otherwise - into the photo capture process. To gain an understanding of how you collaborate, invest in an engagement session so you can understand how your photographer works. Some of the best sessions I’ve had include an activity or prop that removed the client from their own heads.
When Caroline told me she wanted “mostly candids” from her session, my next question was, “How can we incorporate an activity or prop to entertain you two?” Enter their 2 rescue dogs who are not only cute but the perfect way to break the ice and draw out natural engagement in the couple.
And, I was so excited when Carly and Ryan wanted to ride bikes around Gasparilla Island. Check out this cute session.
4. RELAX....and forget about your photographer
When you have more fun during the couple portraits, the more relaxed and natural you will appear and feel. Nervous giggles are okay, and can come across beautifully in a photo!
Your photographers are there to guide you; follow their instructions, but always keep in mind to be yourselves and enjoy the experience. A piece of good advice is talk and tell each other jokes. These can bring out the real you in your photos and will stimulate a natural and happy smiles rather than anything forced.
5. Hire some you trust and enjoy
Once you’ve established budget and style, the most important determining factor in hiring your photographer is personality. Ask yourself, “Does this person put me at ease?” If they annoy you, run for the hills (and to other photographer’s websites)!
If you find someone you click with, that will show in your photos. You hire a professional to bring out the best in you, and assuming it’s the right match, they absolutely will.
Once you hire them, trust them! I get the best results from clients who say, “Do your thing; I trust you.” Kara and Fabricio invited me to photograph their wedding in Rome. When I proposed that we meet up during their only break in the day, they agreed. Personally, I probably would have wanted to grab a nap, but they were great sports! Check out these gorgeous results.
Your wedding photos are about the two of you celebrating your nuptials. Don't be shy to focus on each other or be afraid to be in the moment together. Go for it and be you, look at each other, kiss and hug. I always tell my clients that there’s nothing they can say or do that I probably haven’t seen before! The day will pass so fast, your couple’s portraits are your only time to be alone and relish the moment.
7. Communicate openly with your photographer
You're wedding day can often be stressful and you may feel like you're being pulled into a lot of different directions, but what you want to do is communicate openly with your photographer about how you're feeling. Vanessa and Conor told me they didn't want any more than 10 mins to take their couples portraits because they just wanted to enjoy their party and wanted to have a good time. As their photographer, I respected that. Be sure you hire someone to whom you can communicate clearly, and, who has the ability to listen and digest what you're saying.
8. Allow enough time, relax, and enjoy the day
For most couples, it's very important to stay focused on the timeline of their wedding day and want everything to run smoothly. This is where your vendors come in handy, and these people are there to worry about things that can stress you on your special day. As for your wedding photography timeline, we have an article HERE to give you an idea of how you can manage your day. I usually recommend at least 45 mins to an hour for couple shots, which should give the couple enough time to loosen up and feel confident in front of the camera. And during this time, relax and stop worrying about your guests. Let your vendors take care of all the other details. Allow your photographer to keep you on schedule, to frame the shots, and to know what will look best—remember, that's why you hired them.