Wedding Photography Tips

Wedding Photography Tips

Wedding Photography Tips

Wedding Photography Tips by top wedding photographers to ensure that you will get exactly the wedding photos that you want.

Wedding photography tips when searching for a wedding photographer:

Every couple is different and naturally every couple’s preference on what type of wedding photos they want, is different.  Some want romantic, some want fun, others opt for a more creative look.  Whatever your preference is, there are a few general guidelines on what to do and what not to do when it comes to your wedding photography.  Here are a few Wedding Photography Tips from two of the Garden Route’s top, Internationally awarded wedding photographers, Ruan Redelinghuys and Christelle Rall.

Wedding Photography Tips

Above:  Image by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

One of the most important wedding photography tips is that you first have to decide on your budget.  A good estimate is around 20% of your overall budget.  Yes, that is high but considering that the photo prints (and album) will be one of the only things left after your wedding, it really is that important.  Also, your wedding photos will most probably be hanging on your walls and you don’t want to be ashamed of them, but proud right?  So if possible, even try to have a reach budget – just in case the photographer that you really love to book is slightly out of budget. Your budget is your first and probably the most important step to find the photographer that can deliver the images that you have dreamed about without breaking the bank, or even worse – paying off wedding debt as newlyweds.

Wedding Photography Tips

Above:  Image by Christelle Rall Photography

Also one of the most important wedding photography tips are to search for a photographer(s) that deliver work in the style that you can see yourself in. There are many different styles in Wedding Photography but it can be loosely categorized into Classic and Creative Portraiture, or better known as ‘Posed Images’ on the one side…   and then the Documentary or Storytelling style of wedding photography which is generally known as ‘Un-Posed’ Images on the other side.  The ideal is to select a photographer that has beautiful moments as well as beautiful portraits in their wedding portfolio.  If you find yourself smiling, or reacting to the photographer’s portfolio in some way or form, then it generally means that you have formed a sense of association to the work.  Either it is the style that you love or a look that you are aspiring to for your wedding day photos.  A good general rule of thumb is that if you can FEEL the emotions in the photographer’s work, then you are in on the right track.  If it is just a pretty picture, then reconsider your choice.

Wedding Photography Tips

Above:  Image by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

Additionally, when viewing photographer’s portfolios, try and look for different light scenarios in the portfolio.  Natural light like window light, shaded light, bright sunlight or even shots in the rain.  Also actively search for how the photographer use artificial light – light sources like dance floor lights, flash lights or fluorescent lights.   If you see many different kinds of creative light use from the photographer in their portfolio, chances are that this is a good indication of skill and experience – both are extremely important when booking your photographer!  The reality is that all of these light sources will most probably be present on your wedding day and you need to invest in a photographer that can deliver in difficult light scenarios.  There is a saying that goes:  “An armature photographer can deliver good photos when all goes well, a professional photographer can deliver great photos when faced by some of the hardest of challenges.”

wedding photography tips

Above:  Image by Christelle Rall Photography

When you have narrowed down your final selection it is recommend requesting a meeting, either in person or online to see if you ‘click’ with your photographer. It is always a good sign if you share the same vision or ideals for your wedding day to ensure that your Wedding Album can be something that you will proudly share with friends and family.  It is also important to know that you are going to spend a lot of time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day – even more than with your future spouse.  So it is of the utmost of importance that you respect and get along with your wedding photographer.

Wedding Photography Tips

Above:  Image by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

Keep delivery time in mind. Once your wedding has happened, you’re going to want to get your hands on your photos.  Discuss the post processing process with your photographer before your wedding takes place.  The last thing you want is to wait a year for your wedding photos!  Get a timeline for how fast or slow a particular photographer turns around images.  Super important wedding photographer tip – a faster turn around time isn’t always better.  Editing photos to perfection takes time.  It isn’t a quick fix.  Most photographers who take pride in their art, will edit each and every photo themselves which of course will take time.  A good turn around time is around 8 weeks from the wedding.  Do make sure that your photographer will give you a few preliminary images a week after the wedding though!

wedding photographer tip

Above:  Image by Christelle Rall Photography

Wedding photography tips when drawing up your wedding timeline:

When drawing up your wedding timeline, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS allocate more time than is required.  Weddings are a real life event and things go wrong.  There are little to no control over these and the last thing you want on your wedding day is to be rushed and look stressed out on your wedding photos. Or worse, running late and having 10 minutes of daylight left for your couple portraits – This is a big NO NO.

Wedding photography tips

Above:  Image by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

The best time of day for your couple portraits are the hour just before sunset.  Do try to work out your wedding timeline to allow your wedding photographer this hour just for your couple portraits.  You will not be disappointed.

Consider driving time when selecting your different venues like the getting ready venue, ceremony venue and reception venue.  Most photographers work according to a limited time for your wedding coverage.  The less time they spend driving, the more they can shoot.

Wedding photography tips

Above:  Image by Christelle Rall Photography

General Wedding photography tips:

When you choose a photography package that has two photographers, make sure that both photographers are equally good.  More often then not, there are a ‘strong’ photographer and an ‘assistant’ or training photographer.  Be clear for what you are paying for – an assistant photographer or two professional photographers.

When you select your getting dressed venues, make sure that the venue has good aesthetics.  Remember, the anticipation and the getting ready for your big day is a very important part of your wedding.  It usually is home to some unforgettable moments between you and your parents or best friends.  So make sure that the area that you are getting dressed in, has good light and is clean of clutter.

Wedding photography tips

Above:  Image by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography

Photography is all about light.  Make sure your venues (especially the reception venue) have enough light.  If you have a cinematographer, make sure the photographer and cinematographer know what lights will be used when so that precautions can be taken to avoid over or under exposed images.

Make sure your wedding party walk all the way down the isle before the bride starts walking down.  Usually the photographer stands at the end of the isle and the altar and can not take photos of the bride if the bridesmaids are in front of her.  And look up when you walk down the isle – this is a very important moment!

If you want your wedding photographer to photograph the details like your dress or wedding rings, then set these aside and make them available easily for the wedding photographer to shoot.  You do not want to waist time by trying to locate the details.

wedding photography tips

Above:  Image by Christelle Rall Photography

It is a very good tip to have a list of the family and group photos that you would like to have.  This part of the wedding usually takes a lot of time and can be very stressful if it is not co-ordinated properly and orderly.  Get your MC or a person with a loud voice to assembly the groups and then your photographer only have to focus on taking the photos.  This ensure a smooth, stress free running of the group and family photos.  Also, if you work according to a list, it immediately avoids those ‘awkward’ family situations that might occur.

Don’t give your wedding photographer a list of ‘must have’ photos.  Most probably, this is a list that is generally available on the internet and it is a generic list – it is not applicable to your wedding.  Ask yourself – are you going to pay a wedding photographer that much money just to have exactly the same photos as most other people?  No, you are unique.  Your wedding is unique.  Your relationship(s) are unique.   The best way to ensure that you get the photos that you want, is to invest in a photographer that you trust.  Trust is everything.  You must be trust your photographer to get amazing photographs even if all goes wrong, even when you are hours behind schedule, or it rains or the wind is horrendous.

wedding photography tips

Above:  Image by Christelle Rall Photography

And the most important of all the wedding photography tips is to just be YOU!  Don’t stress the small things as stress will show in your wedding photos.  FEEL your wedding and be in the present.  Laugh if you want to, cry if you want to!  It is your wedding after all.

We hope that these wedding photography tips are helpful, please also take a moment to read our Wedding make up tips and Wedding planning tips.

*Disclaimer:  Although we do extensive research for all our articles, we do miss things!  If you have any suggestions or corrections on this blog post, please do let us know at hello@gardenroute-weddings.co.za