It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 7 months since Mackenzie and I tied the knot. I can’t emphasize enough what a magical day it was for us – I literally wouldn’t do a single thing different! It’s been such a pleasure sharing intimate moments from our special day with you guys, and our photographer Amy Fanton was kind enough to share some of her top tips on making sure you capture the best wedding photos possible.
In my own experience the day goes by in a flurry, so having enough knowledge and a plan in place will make everything go much more smoothly – and will result in swoon-worthy wedding photos!
Prior to the Big Day:
If you feel a little shy and aren’t already comfortable in front of a camera, opt for an engagement session. Engagement sessions are a wonderful way to get to know your photographer, and seeing beautiful images of yourself prior to the wedding will increase your confidence in front of the camera on the big day. It will also help your photographer understand how the two of you work together and which angles/poses you prefer.
It’s always so beautiful to have photos of you and your wedding party getting ready on the actual day. When deciding where to get ready, choose a beautiful space with great natural light (look for large windows!). Keep the space as clean and uncluttered as possible, using closets and spaces under beds for hiding boxes, garment bags, or other clutter. An untidy room can strongly detract from an otherwise gorgeous bridal portrait, so make sure to mention that this is important to your bridesmaids/anyone else who will be helping you getting ready.
Take your time and make sure you don’t begin walking down the aisle until the person ahead of you is almost done (or done) with their walk. If they are feeling any anxiety of the moment, many brides forget this and rush down the aisle closely following the person in front of them. I promise that everyone, including your partner will want a clear view of you, which is impossible to get if someone is blocking you. When you get to the end of the aisle, make sure there isn’t a large gap between you and your partner. Large gaps often come across in images as disconnected and cold – a good rule of thumb is a distance where you would be comfortably holding hands.
The First Kiss:
When it’s time for the first kiss, be gentle and go slow! (No one looks great with their face smushed against someone else’s) I recommend practicing in a mirror before the wedding day to get used to the way you would like to look and feel. This can result in some giggly sessions but it will be worth it for the great first kiss photos you get when all is said and done.
Do yourself a huge favor and assign a trusted member of your wedding party (or your planner) to round up the individuals who are needed for the group shots. Your photographer won’t know your guests in advance of the wedding and having them shout out names of people who need to gather can really kill a lovely ambiance. Emphasize to your assigned “gatherer” how important their job is and when exactly it needs to be done. Do group shots right after the ceremony so that guests can quickly move on to the celebrations, and start with the largest groups first, so that you can let the greatest number of people off to the party the quickest!
These are almost always the couple’s favorite images, and by far the most romantic so make sure you leave adequate time in your schedule for them. Discuss your schedule with your photographer and if you happen to be getting married in the autumn or winter keep timing of sunset in mind. If there is an early sunset, consider an early ceremony so that these can be taken in daylight, or alternatively along with a ‘sneak peek’ before the ceremony actually begins. When choosing the location for the couple’s shoot, think about whether you and your partner would like privacy from your guests and also have a backup plan in case of rain!
Enjoy your wedding day! It goes by so quickly and if you are having fun and enjoying yourself, it WILL come through in your images. I highly recommend having a glass of champagne and making a concerted effort to soak up all of the emotion around you. Your photos will reflect what is going on inside!