For The Sake Of Good Wedding Shots

Wedding House Bride

I know that this article will put twinkles in your eyes, as photographs are indeed one of the only avenues besides video for brides and grooms to be able to look back on the precious day when they started the beginning of a wonderful journey as husband and wife.

It is extremely common for us to hear our brides say to us anxiously, ‘I am not a model Amelia!’ and for our grooms to say, ‘Just to give you a heads up, the camera and I don’t like each other’. These comments make me giggle and I am delighted to be able to say to them, ‘That’s why you hire a professional. It’s the photographer’s responsibility to assist you to look your best.’

The common myth is that if we don’t look like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt, we cannot have beautiful pictures. Let me tell you, beautiful pictures are beautiful because they speak to the heart. A good photographer will put you at ease and seek out your most flattering angle. After shooting so many different kinds of people, from models to brides to orphans in third world countries, I can confidently tell you that everyone is born beautiful. You just need to trust your photographer to discover your best angle. So the answer is yes – everyone can have pictures that look a million dollars.

To assist our brides and grooms to get the most beautiful pictures possible for their wedding day, we compiled a list we call ‘For the sake of good shots’. We share these tips with all our brides and grooms and it has so far worked wonders. We hope it will help you achieve gorgeous photographs too.

1.  Smile
Smile from the heart. When you feel good inside, your eyes will beam. Throughout the day, just focus on the reasons why you are getting married.

2. Gather
Gather all of the important elements of your wedding day in one beautiful, neat corner of the house. These important elements are your wedding gown, shoes, jewelry, stationery – everything that you have spent time and effort on. This way the photographer will not have to bother you in the morning asking you for these things, and you can be rest assured that the little special charm that your grandmother gave to you is not forgotten!

3.  Delegate
Delegate one person you trust (bridesmaid/groomsman) to assist the photographer if the photographer needs any information on the day. This way you don’t need to worry about anything and can enjoy your wedding day to the max.

4.  Force
Force this logic into your mind: “If I am nervous, I will miss it.” You will not want to miss this significant day in your life where you have invested so much effort, time and money to make it unforgettable. The easy way to fix nerves is by taking deep breaths. For example, when you walk down the aisle, a nervous bridal party tends to walk really fast and every muscle in their body tends to tense up. The camera picks that up! So instead, breathe, shrug those tense shoulder muscles, and as you walk down the aisle, look into the eyes of the guests who love and care about you and smile at them. Enjoy this moment!

5.  Happy Tears
We see a lot of happy tears during weddings. After all, it is an amazing celebration of love. Slip a piece of tissue in your bouquet. If the tears flow, cry gracefully. Instead of stretching your lips into the magic ‘O’ shape like when you are putting on mascara, smile and gently dab off your tears. This will produce sweet and emotive memories.

6.  Take Your Time
Take your time during your vows. This is the highlight of your wedding day. Make it memorable and make sure you enjoy it. Most nervous couples go through their vows so quickly that they get tongue twisted and kiss too quickly. How about looking at the reassuring eyes of your spouse, smiling and then saying the words slowly, from the heart. When it is time to kiss, kiss her forehead, her lips, and then hug. Go for a second kiss if you like! The photographers will be delighted with such a heart-melting scene unfolding right before their eyes!

7.  Tilt Your Hands & Fingers
Tilt your hands and fingers slightly during the exchange of the ring so the guests and the photographer can get a glimpse of the wedding rings. Practice in front of the mirror. A simple tilt will do.

8.  Kissing Position
During kissing, tilt the head slightly with the noses positioned next to each other to avoid squished noses. Just do a gentle tilt so we can still see both faces, not the top of someone’s head! Practice in front of the mirror.

9.  Inform
Inform your relatives/friends who are photography enthusiasts that you have hired a professional photographer who will capture all the beautiful moments from the wedding day and promise to share the photographs with them. This way, someone will not ‘accidentally’ walk in front of a photographer during an important moment. They usually don’t realise they are in the way of a photographer because the photographer is shooting from a distance to get a candid shot. When only the professional photographers are shooting, chances of getting the important shots are close to 100%! And most importantly, your guests get to sit back, enjoy and witness your beautiful day.

10.  Group Shot
Get a group shot list together for the photographer. This will save a lot of time organizing and you will not miss out on shots of important people.

A suggested shot list is:

  • B&G with bride’s parents
  • B&G with bride’s immediate family
  • B&G with groom’s parents
  • B&G with groom’s immediate family
  • B&G with parents from both sides

When you have extra time, consider

  • B&G with both side’s immediate family
  • B&G with bride’s extended family
  • B&G with groom’s extended family
  • B&G with people who have made special effort to attend (e.g. from overseas, godparents, etc.)

Informal photographs with friends can be taken during the reception. This way you get more time shooting on location. The more time you have on location, the more fun you can have especially if you have a creative photographer!

11.  Props
Props will make your photos fun and unique. Think about umbrellas, bunting, thank you signage, furniture, rugs, etc. During location shoots, don’t worry if the photographer is not telling you exactly what to do. Trust the photographer. All you need to do is to just enjoy your partner’s presence and embrace. This is when magical moments happen.

Now that you have done your absolute best, you have given your photographers your trust. They will do their best to achieve the best possible record of this special moment. Let go and have fun! Good luck!

Article written by Amelia Soegijono who is the principal photographer of Pictures & Hearts, a boutique wedding photography studio that offers personal and intimate wedding services for their clients. Their style is sweet, soft and effortless, with a touch of fashion photography.

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