Get a cover-to-cover perfect album of your big day with these essential tips
Ask the right questions
When you have your initial consultation with your photographer, get a few things confirmed before you put pen to paper. Will they actually be shooting your day (some photographers send their assistants)? Do they include engagement shoots? What happens if they fall ill on the wedding day? Is the price tax-inclusive?
Choose the best photographer you can afford
There are some things you can compromise on your wedding day, like cutting out the favours or making the cake yourself, but one thing you mustn’t skimp on is your photographer. When all is said and done, all you’ll have after your wedding is your memories and photos to treasure. Dedicate a large portion of your budget here and you won’t regret it.
Throughout the day the likelihood is that your make-up will smudge, your hairstyle will start to fall out and you will get food caught in your teeth! Make sure your bridesmaids are equipped with make-up top-ups, tooth picks and hairspray and ask them to check you every couple of hours or when you go to the toilet. No one wants a photo album full of panda eyes!
Have a back-up plan
Don’t let the possibility of rain ruin your day. You may have dreamed of a sunny soirée but sometimes Blighty just won’t play by the rules! With this in mind, ensure your photographer has all the appropriate additional lighting in case it’s cloudy, and have indoor spots in mind for photos, too.
Your day is filled with fun, laughter and joy, so make sure your photographer captures this. Have a dress up box of props that you and your guests can use throughout the day or evening. You can set up a DIY photobooth too, and use the pictures for a fun, informal album. We love funky sunglasses, blow up guitars and feather boas!
Keep on top of timings
When you have a clear idea of the timings of your day, send this to your photographer. Ensure they arrive at least an hour before the wedding to get the details shots as well as photos of you getting ready. Be clear that you want them to stay until the first dance, as some photographers will consider the end of the day shortly after the speeches.
Who owns the copyright?
Many couples make the mistake of assuming that after the wedding the photos are theirs and the photographer has no rights to them, but this is almost never the case. The photographers often have copyrights to the photos, meaning that they can submit them to magazines and blogs, or use them in their own promotional materials. If you aren’t happy about this, make sure it’s cleared up early on.
Aside from you, the attention on your big day will be towards any little ones you’ve invited. Dressed up smartly, young attendants will have the aww-factor, so get a photo of them. They grow up so fast, it will be a great memento for them to look back on (or squirm over!) when they’re older.
Get photos of the details
The little details are often the most complimented elements of a wedding by guests, and couples tend to put a lot of time into choosing them or even making them themselves. Make sure all that hard work is reflected in your photos. Get your photographer to capture the reception room set up before guests sit down to eat (and wreck it!).
Consider a photobooth
As well as the professional shots, it’s always nice to have the loopy photos from a booth when you and your guests are in full party swing! They can be costly, but they will keep guests entertained and will be a fun addition to your photos, too.
Make a shot list
Your photographer will know the essentials, but it’s still important that you make sure that all the important shots (with particular family members or in specific places) are noted by your photographer.
Visit the venue with your photographer
If you have the chance to take your photographer to your venue before the big day, do it. It’s a great opportunity for you to look at spots that will make for great photos, so you don’t have to waste time on the big day.
This is an absolute must for any couple – wedding insurance will cover you in case anything unfortunate happens to you or any of your suppliers and you need to recoup your costs.
Have an engagement shoot
Many wedding photographers now include an engagement shoot as standard in their packages. These are great for a number of reasons, but mainly that you get to know your photographer and feel comfortable about posing in front of them. You’ll also be able to use the photos for your save the dates or invites.
As much as you’ll want the traditional staged shots, make sure you give your photographer license to take lots of photos of guests smiling, talking and generally enjoying your day. This will make your album have a more natural feel and give a clearer reflection of your wedding.