15 top wedding photo tips from a professional photographer

This week’s post is a special one for the wedding crowd as we invite the fabulous and gloriously talented photographer, Karen Edwards, to dish on how to get the most out of your wedding shoot. Karen has done her fair share of occasion, corporate and property photography, so the lady knows what she’s talking about. We turn the keyboard over to Karen so she can share her top 15 tips with you.

Tip #1: Plan for the unplannable

Be prepared for the unexpected as anything is possible during a wedding. Don't worry about incidents and enjoy your day! Weddings are very complex and unforeseen events will occur.

Tip #2: Buffering...buffering

Build in time buffers. Plan for delays and expect delays. 99.99% of weddings photographed do not go according to plan. You want to enjoy the day, not be stressed out on the best day of your life.

Tip #3: A photographer needs time

A good photo takes time to set up and refine so be prepared. A Vogue cover takes a full day to create and the participation of professional models and makeup artists working under controlled lighting scenarios (studio) and while taking over 1,000 photos. To create a great shot, a photographer needs time: the more time, the better the result. Unless it is a real moment (your father shedding a tear), it is common for a good complex photo with a few people involved to take 5-10 minutes to create. Unless you are an actress, it might take you some time to get the right expression.

Tip #4: A photographer ain't the only one who needs time!

Double the amount of time you think you need for hair and makeup. If you/they are late, or you don’t like the result, there is still a chance to make it to the ceremony.

Tip #5: Makeup is art

Hire the best makeup artist you can afford. A good makeup artist will enhance your natural beauty, and you will look amazing in your wedding photos!

Tip #6: Go flat to feel high

Have a pair of flats handy. I know your stilettos look smashing, but walking on the grass will be a bit problematic in those Louboutins. Unless we photograph your shoes and depending on your wedding gown design, rather aim to be comfortable and wear flats or running shoes.

Tip #7: Beware tan lines

Do not tan with tan lines 1 month before the wedding.

Tip #8: Go slow. Proper slow

Walk slowly down the aisle and do not look down. There are a few reasons for taking your time down the aisle. First, your photographer will be able to take more photos of you. Second, if you walk slowly, almost to a point where you lose balance, you are forced to walk like a model, almost crossing your legs when you walk, which accentuates the curves of your body. Think fashion runway! The same applies to your bridesmaids.

Tip #9: The kiss that missed

Your first kiss should last at least 3 seconds! Some first kisses are so short that they are easily missed by everybody, including the photographers. If the light in the church/temple is dim, even the best cameras have a tendency to “hunt for focus” (it takes them a bit of time to focus), so an expedited first kiss can be missed.

Tip #10: The post-ceremony squeeze fest

After the ceremony, plan for 15-20 minutes of family time - you know the drill: congratulations, kisses, greetings, selfies with the bride and groom.

Tip #11: A great leader designates

Designate one representative from each family to gather the people - that will save you a lot of time.

Tip #12: Thirty minutes to freedom for the bridal party

Have the bridal party around for about 30 minutes then allow them to leave. By doing this, we achieve a few things. First, you warm up for your photo shoot and will not feel tense on the wedding day. Second, we want the bridal party to enjoy the day, and they can leave once they are done. And finally, it is difficult for the groom to be romantic when the boys are around and make humorous remarks.

Tip #13: Get guest going in the right direction

Provide your guests with accurate driving and parking directions so they can arrive on time for your wedding or the formal photos session.

Tip #14: Can you swing a wedding co-ordinator?

If you can afford it, please consider hiring a wedding coordinator! They work miracles on the wedding day and are totally worth the investment.

Tip #15: Maybe this should be first?

Please enjoy the day and do not worry about the camera! Your photos will look so much more natural and all the better for it.

And finally a little bonus tip for brides and grooms. If you are going to have a winter/autumn/spring weddings – please wear warm jackets. Sometimes the girls pick up the dresses during the summer and completely forget how cold it can get. Also, if you are planning a winter wedding, have blankets ready and hot cider. For summer weddings, please break in your wedding shoes before your wedding day. It would be unfortunate if uncomfortable shoes ruined your Big Day!

Good luck! Karen E.

If you are keen to see Karen in action, then check out her amazing portfolio on her Facebook page. You’ll soon see why she is a favourite among future brides and grooms.

Karen Edwards and the Brahman Hills Team
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