Being given the gift of photographing one of the most special days in someone’s life is something I do not take lightly and will never take for granted. I love what I do.
When it comes to photographing a wedding, there are many things that can influence the final product. I want to share with you my 3 best wedding photography tips!
The number one thing that I recommend to all wedding photographers is to be in communication early on with the wedding planner, the bride, and anybody that is a part of the design process to make sure you understand the overall vision.
Let me first back up and tell you a story of what I’ve done wrong in the past. Many years ago, I was photographing a wedding at the stunning Biltmore Estate here in Asheville, North Carolina. (By the way, how blessed am I to have this right in my hometown!?) It was a gorgeous wedding with one of my favorite wedding planners.
And I was so excited.
I greeted the bride, who was absolutely lovely and full of joy, in her bridal suite and let her know that we were going to borrow some of the ‘detail items’ for a bit and go down to the lobby to get some better light for those shots. Once in the lobby, I searched high & low for some sort of neutral backdrop to use to shoot her rings, flowers, shoes, all the pretty things! So, I found what felt luxurious and in line with the Biltmore – a red velvet chair.
It never really crossed my mind that the red or the velvet may not have been in line with her overall wedding design. It wasn’t until I was reviewing her final gallery that I realized the red threw everything off! It was a huge eye sore compared to her bright, airy, spring wedding with vibrant, beautiful colors. The red felt dark. The velvet felt heavy. And neither went with the vibe of the rest of her wedding.
For the record, the bride may or may not have realized it. But for me, it was a huge lesson learned. Now, when I approach a wedding day, I approach it very differently.
When you’re photographing the wedding, if you have their vision top of mind, you can be on alert looking out for those colors and textures and tones all throughout the wedding day, making sure that everything is cohesive in the way that you capture the day. This can be something as simple as the backdrop you photograph her rings on or where you hang her wedding dress. It is also other things like being selective with the tones & textures in the background of where you’re photographing the wedding party. You, as the wedding photographer, have full permission to take the wedding party somewhere with a more neutral backdrop or to suggest moving to a different location if you feel like you need to be more in line with the overall vision of the day.
Remember that you are a huge factor in capturing the way her vision came to life on wedding day and this is achieved in those little design choices that you make throughout the day.
If you want to make it easier on yourself or have concerns about being able to execute to her vision with what will be available to you, don’t be afraid to bring your own backdrops, a beautiful styling mat (my favorites are from Locust Collection), or even a yard of fabric from a local fabric store that you iron & mount to a piece of foam core!
Going the extra mile for this will make a huge difference in the overall outcome of the curated images.
Next, let’s talk about the timeline of the wedding day.
In case I’m the first to tell you, I want to give you full permission to influence the timeline of the day. It took me many years to realize that I, as the wedding photographer, could play a significant role in how the day is planned and structured.
I now work very closely with my couples and their wedding planner early on in the process to give them a suggested timeline for photos. This way they can work around it instead of it feeling scattered, with no real plan or understanding of who needs to be where and when… which adds so much unneeded stress to the day.
If you need help with your timeline, we put together a Timeline Guide for $19 that you can download and start implementing today with your clients. Click here to get it!
Lastly, let’s talk about one of my favorite little tricks for feeling inspired on a wedding day.
Wedding days are all about you serving your clients on what is a very emotionally charged day. It’s an absolutely honor that they trust you to capture one of the most special days of their lives through your unique perspective.
You are doing them a disservice if you are not feeling inspired. They’re hiring you for your creative genius, so you need to be able to deliver on that. You want to show up as your best self, so it’s important to carve out a little time and space in their day to pursue your own creativity. (This is one of the huge reasons I’m an advocate of creating some buffer times in your timeline as you work early on with your clients. Because creativity happens in the in-betweens, when there’s time and space and energy to be inspired.)
Here’s what I mean by this – In my opinion, florals make a huge difference in the overall design of the day and can be something that greatly inspire me as a creative, as well. One of my greatest little hacks that I’ve been implementing is showing up an hour or two early to work directly with the florist to design, style, and just play with flowers on the wedding day. I come out of that feeling so inspired and excited because I have so much of a greater understanding of the overall design of the day.
Find what it is for you, whether it’s flowers or exploring the venue or playing with some of the kids or something else entirely, and create some space in the day for it, even if you’re gifting them some of your time. It will allow you to approach the day feeling creatively inspired.
I talk about this a lot … but it’s worth saying again. I want you to love what you do, for it to be more than just a JOB. If you approach the day with excitement and creativity and gratitude, the finished product is going to show it!
If you want to dig a little deeper on how you can attract your ideal client, check out this free training.