After months of planning the finer details of your special day – the dress, the location, the guest list and more – your head will likely be spinning. But with so much to think about, it is important not to overlook your only opportunity to permanently capture your special day – your wedding photography.
According to the Bridal Association of America, each year couples spend nearly $5.2 billion on wedding photography, but your investment could fall short if you don’t plan ahead. Without realizing it, there are 10 ways that you can take your photography from perfect to forgettable.
Top 10 Mistakes of Wedding Photography:
1. Not carefully choosing your photographer
Before choosing your photographer, take time to review their Wedding Gallery Portfolio. If you don’t have someone with experience and skill, your photos will pay the price. Studios should provide album examples to review before you make your choice. If the studio does not allow you to choose your photographer, quickly move on.
2. Not chatting with your photographer a week in advance
It is important to discuss everything in detail with your photographer prior to the wedding day – don’t be afraid to be up-front about your expectations. Do your check in one week prior to the wedding so all instructions are fresh in the photographer’s memory. If you have specific requests, ideas to explore, or important don’ts to cover, express them. This is especially important because churches, synagogues, mosques and chapels may have specific areas that cannot be photographed. You don’t want any unwelcome surprises!
3. Not creating a photo “wish list”
Have you always dreamed of a romantic photo on top of a hill, in the middle of a field, or on a median along a busy street? Show pictures in magazines, old family photos, or any other visual to convey this to your photographer. From there, your wedding photographer should make your “wish list” happen.
4. Taking only stiff, posed pictures
Every album must have formal photos of the wedding party, but don’t let it stop there. It is important to have shots in a more relaxed setting – whether on the dance floor doing the electric slide or strolling around the reception.
5. Shooting at high noon
The sun is shining, the sky is bright, but what you may think is a perfect time to shoot is far from it. High noon sunlight creates harsh shadows on the face and doesn’t cast you in the best light – wait until the afternoon.
6. Sweaty, shiny photos
Of course it will happen – standing close together in full formal gear can turn up the body temperature. But don’t let shiny faces and (eek!) sweaty armpits take away from the special occasion. Be prepared with powder, anti-perspirant deodorant and paper towels!
7. Not scheduling enough time for the photo sessions and driving time
It takes time to shoot pictures of the entire family, arrive at several different shoot locations and get all of those perfect shots with you and your hubby. Make your life easier – allot extra time for photography! As a plan of attack, get the large group shots finished first, starting with children and the elderly. Next, take pictures with the families and bridal party. Lastly, spend some alone time with your man and the camera, while the impatient herd heads towards the cocktail hour. After all, it is your day!
8. Badly positioned hands and feet
After several shots, you and your wedding party may become antsy – tapping fingers, leaning on one foot and fidgeting. It is important that your photographer works with you to keep everyone photogenic, focused and above everything else – comfortable.
9. Missing the small moments
There are signature special moments in a wedding – the bride and groom’s first kiss, the first dance between a father and new bride, the garter ceremony and cutting of the cake. But small moments – such as the flower girl smiling from the pew, a proud moment between the mother and father, grandma on the dance floor – cannot be missed!
10. Stopping photographs before the reception is over
Many couples want to turn the cameras off at 9 p.m., but some of the most memorable and interesting photos happen when the party really gets going. Keep shooting!