When it comes to getting the best wedding photography tips, who better to speak to than a professional photographer? We catch up with Milton Keynes wedding photographer, Gary Nunn…
I have been lucky enough to photograph weddings for over 12 years now. I’ve documented every kind of wedding day, from celebrations in decorated community halls to destination weddings on white sandy beaches around the world, and it’s been a blast. I’ve learned a thing or two, and wanted to share some of my top wedding photography tips to help you on your way.
Invest in your photography
After your day has ended and you begin your journey as a married couple, what’s left of your wedding day is a dress, a guestbook, some lost property and your wedding photographs! If you choose the right wedding photographer, you’ll have a selection of images that speak to your big day, a story of you, your friends and family. These will last forever and help you get the most out of the day. A good photographer will help you achieve this, and it doesn’t have to be stressful at all! In fact, it should be the opposite – fun, relaxed and creative.
Prep for the morning shots
For me, this part of the day is absolutely key and where some of the strongest emotions are felt. When your hair and makeup starts is usually when the photographer will arrive, just as excited as you.
When looking to capture clean and flattering-looking makeup shots with that gorgeous blurry background, you’ll need good light. Get seated by a window – your makeup artist will appreciate this too, as it’s easy for application and your skin will look even more lovely with that light coming through, rain or shine.
Don’t forget the details
Organised chaos is usually on the menu in the morning of the wedding, and your photographer will use this time to get those detailed shots. Hanging the dress in a place that’s relatively tidy is helpful, as is ensuring that it’s somewhere easy to get to without stepping over lots of bits and bobs.
Keep the shoes in their boxes – this will ensure you know where they are and where the photographer should put them back. Exactly the same rules for the jewellery.
Think about making a list
If you’ve hired an experienced photographer, then you won’t have to ask them to photograph certain things unless it’s a specific family shot. If you haven’t hired a pro, let them know all the detailed shots are important to you – those little signs and name plates you handmade, the gorgeous flowers surrounding the entrance to your reception, the wedding favours you put all that thought into… it’s important to catch it all!
Make your ceremony unplugged
You’re about to walk down the aisle, holding the hand of your loved one about to give you away, giving it an extra squeeze. Your photographer is focused on watching the emotion on both of your faces… and then Auntie steps out with her iPad. Your friend wants that first shot on Facebook, or is Snapchatting the processional, and has her phone stuck out into the aisle. Unfortunately, in their haste to capture the moment, they’ve unintentionally spoilt the professional shot!
I am absolutely not a killjoy but I do pride myself on delivering a set of images that you can hang on your wall and show your children and grandchildren, so consider having at least an unplugged ceremony where your guests just enjoy those moments with you. There will be points when your guests can step up and take photos if need be, but let them know to put away their phones and simply enjoy the ceremony – it’ll mean they’re more in the moment, AND your professional shots won’t be ruined.
Mix things up for the confetti shot
Weddings these days I find are not all the same – some follow tradition and some just want to be that little bit different. Whatever wedding you have decided to create, the confetti shot is always fun; it’s fast-paced, dynamic and can be very pretty. You don’t even need to only use confetti! Consider balloons, sparklers in the evening or anything that looks wonderful with your friends and family surrounding you.
If you do have paper confetti, check that it’s biodegradable so as to not pollute the area, and don’t forget to double check with your venue which areas are designated for confetti throwing (this is especially important for churches).
Be organised for the group shots
Group shots are an important part of wedding photography, but they can be challenging to set up. Some people won’t be in the area you need them to be, some are talking to each other, others just popped away for a toilet break or to grab a drink.
What I like to do is to get you to choose up to 10 group shots. I then assign a best man to help rally some of the people together and we move through the shots at a fast pace while still ensuring we have fun with them – it’s not all about standing in a line, and we can mix it up and be creative with it.
Don’t forget, the photographer is there until after the first dance so during the Summer months it’s easy to grab a group shot later on in the day, which takes the pressure of making sure we get them all done after the ceremony.
Have a moment to yourself
Okay, not all to yourself, I’ll be there too! I always make sure that you both get a moment to breathe when we are creating our couple shots together. We’ll spend around 30 mins before your wedding breakfast having a walk around. It’s a relaxed and informal few moments, and a chance for you to have chat together about your morning and the fact YOU’VE JUST GOT MARRIED!
I get you into a position, you fall into what feels right and the rest comes from you – the result is natural yet beautiful moments without the cheese.
Get that signature shot
I’m all about being creative, working with what I have to create moments even more special. Sometimes I take it to the next level by bringing in external lighting and props or using video to create something unique. This requires a little bit of time and set up, so be prepared to be pulled away a little later on in the day to get that shot that will sit proud on your wall at home. Additional post processing is also required to make that signature shot even more beautiful.
Gary is a full time professional wedding photographer in Milton Keynes and shoots wedding assignments around the world. Find out more at garynunn.co.uk.