1. Find a good source of light. We love natural lighting so the first thing we suggest is to take a look around your space that you will be using on the big day and try to locate a nice spot with natural, soft light. This is the light that will illuminate the subjects in the photos. Often white spaces are the best option as the light is reflected on the white surface which creates luminosity. We also love big windows! Beautiful soft light can be magical, you just need to be mindful of the time in which the photos will be taken. The morning light will not be the same in the afternoon and the afternoon light will not be the same during and after the sunset.
2. Take engagement photos. Making time to get engagement or pre-wedding photos can be a big help with the following:
a) You get to have a practise before the big show. Chances are you haven't had your photos taken by a professional before, so you don't know what to do. With so much going on the big day, it is great to have one less thing to worry about. Whether you are camera shy or photogenic, the e-shoot is a great opportunity to instil confidence and build comfort in front of the camera. It can be daunting to have a camera follow you, it happens to all of us, its best to get that anxiety out of the way in advance. Your interactions with each other will become more natural and you'll learn to avoid the innate reflex to stiff up and smile directly into the camera.
b) Change to let loose and get creative. Start with the location and pick a place that means something to you both. It can be where you got engaged, a first date or just a very memorable date, where you met (high school / university). Where ever you decide, make it mean something to you.
c) The photos are actually pretty useful. You can use the images for save-the-date cards, receptions seating charts and table indicators, wedding programs, guest books, or even just a really awesome coffee table book for home.
d) Let the photographer to get to know YOU. Not only is it good practice for you, it's also a great trial run for your photographer. It allows him/her to see how you interact; to learn if you are timid or big on the PDA. They will learn about your personalities, whether you are goofy or serious, and how much direction you’ll need or want. It’s a great time to learn about your love story, chat about your wedding plans, and push to see how affectionate you can get in front of the camera. The opposite is also true, you’ll be able to communicate what you like and don’t like, as well as your preference for angles, expressions, lighting, and editing styles. All this will allow them to tailor the photos to make your images more personal and memorable.
e) Get to know your photographer. It’s great to have your photographer get to know you, but it’s more important that you get to know THEM. Get a taste of their shooting style and learn how they direct you.
3. Appoint a photo coordinator. It is a great idea to designate a family member, maid of honour or best man as your photo coordinator! With this individuals help, your photographer can gather people quickly and have a reference point if you need any important quest information.
4. The Details. Don't ignore the mundane little details that could have a big impact on your photos. For instance: If you're drinking water while you're getting ready, a plastic bottle will be in all of your photographs. Instead, be sure to have a nice drinking glass, so it adds to the image rather than providing a distraction.
- Stationery, perfume bottles, jewellery, polaroids, beautiful hanger, button hole, letters / cards, etc.
5. Prioritise the images you want. "Don't give your photographer a long shot list for group portraits. The key to getting great photos is to have a lot of time. With a shorter list, I can try different set-ups and allow each person to comfortably lean, sit, or turn at different angles that are most flattering to them. It takes time to place each person into the space and work with each individual — you can't rush through that." —Ira Lippke