Brides Guide to Better Wedding Photos
©by Mark Parker; all rights reserved
1. Pre-Wedding Photo shoot
Having a pre-wedding photo shoot can improve your wedding pictures more than anything else you might do. Think about it, your photographer is VERY comfortable on his end of the camera. The time you spend with your photographer in front of the camera will help you become more comfortable being the subject. Try to get to know your photographer. Have fun. Be crazy. Let's face it; those "magazine bride photos" that you have been looking at do not happen all by themselves. They are well planned, rehearsed, and the photo that you finally see in the magazine was probably picked from hundreds of photos. The more time you spend with your photographer, the more likely it is that he will capture that one special moment that only happens once.
2. The Pose
"Chin up, a little to the left, shoulders back, stand on one foot, hold your breath...hang on, don't move. " Any photographer worth his salt should be able to pose you in an elegant and attractive position. Do you know the reason for all these the contortions? By lifting your chin you banish the double chin. Holding your elbows away from your body reduces the apparent width of your torso and accentuates the bosom. Shifting your weight to your rear foot cocks your hips into a position that gives you a sexy curviness. There are many other little tricks your photographer may teach you. Just listen and he will not lead you astray.
3.Hair and Makeup.
Your wedding day is not the right time to experiment with makeup and hairstyles. Be sure to plan a separate day to have a hair and makeup "dress rehearsal". If you plan to wear a headpiece, use this time to make sure that it will fit with your hairstyle. If you plan it right, your photographer may be available to take some formals on this day too.
Give your photographer the tools he needs to be creative. When ordering flowers for the wedding, be sure to order an extra single rose, boutonniere, ribbon or other inexpensive items that the photographer can use in your photos. Don't forget to have a copy of your wedding invitation that he can incorporate into the detail shots of your big day. Photos of wedding rings with flowers, invitation, maybe even your shoes and garter can really add to your album.
5. The Bouquet.
How should you hold a bouquet? In a single word.. DOWN!! Never hide your thousand dollar dress with a hundred dollar bouquet. If you're a five foot bride, do not order a 3 foot cascading bouquet. It's going to be a long day. By the end of the day, you will be wishing that your bouquet was smaller, lighter, more durable, and maybe even artificial. And if it's too big you may even injure your guests during the bouquet toss.
6. Backgrounds and angles.
Remember, your wedding day is all about you. Many times complicated backgrounds in your photos distract the viewer's attention away from the bride and will take away from your photographs. Keep backgrounds as simple as possible. Interesting angles are what keeps the images of a professional photographer from looking like the images of "Uncle Joe". Everyone knows what a wedding looks like from 5 feet 6. You may see your photographer lying on the ground or climbing trees. Don't laugh at him. That's why he gets paid the big bucks.
When choosing your venue and time of day, keep lighting in mind. If your wedding is outdoors, the best light happens 1-2 hours before sunset. If your wedding is indoors, try to avoid buildings with high dark ceilings and few windows. Since natural light will look much better in your photos, try to plan your wedding when the room will be the brightest. By the way, photographers hate fluorescent lights. They make you look green.
8. Single Use Cameras
Lots of people use them and they seldom work. You may get a few good photos here and there but don't expect too much. You'll probably get a whole camera full of photos of Cousin Skip's girlfriend that you hardly know. Your three year old niece will probably take a lot of pictures of people's belly buttons. And if anyone gets tipsy at the reception you may get a lot of photos of the ground, shoes, or eyeballs (from holding the camera backwards). Your photography is best left to professionals.
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