You’ve spent months, perhaps even a couple of years, planning your wedding. You’ve invested a lot of time, and money in it. You want your wedding day to be perfect. Well, hopefully it will be and everything will go to plan. But … there’s always the chance that things won’t go entirely as hoped. Don’t worry about it – weddings very rarely go exactly to plan. Trust me. As a wedding photographer with over 20 years’ experience of photographing couples I know! The main thing is that you enjoy your wedding. It’s a very special day, with the people that mean the most to you. The wedding photographs are a key element of your wedding day. You want them to capture the events, the glamour and the emotions of your day.
© ianH photography – Bournemouth wedding photographer
So, what can you do to make them better?
5 things that ruin wedding photography
Not enough time. This comes down to working out what’s most important to you, then factoring this into the timings for the day. If you’re looking for documentary wedding photography then you can just let the photographer get on with what they do best. If, on the other hand, you’re a couple who want lots of group photos then you need to be aware that these take a significant amount of time to arrange properly on the day. The same rationale applies if you’d like some creative portraits of the two of you, either during the day or perhaps later in the evening. Have lots of details that you’d like photographed? These take time too. Add together the desire for details, group photos, creative portraits and documentary photography together and you’ve got a serious amount of planning to do regarding the timings of your day. You have to communicate properly with your photographer when you’re planning the day and make sure they have enough time to do what you want. It’s also about talking to your venue about what you want so that they understand your needs and adjust their timings accordingly.
Light reactive lenses in glasses. As someone who now wears glasses for reading I know what a pain they can be at times, but ultimately they’re necessary and valuable. For those who need to wear them all of the time having reactive lenses that turn them into sunglasses are a real bonus. Unfortunately this can create problems at weddings. The reason is that the majority of group photographs are taken outside, so what happens to the lenses? Yes, they turn dark. This can make your family group look like a shot from Reservoir Dogs … well, not quite, but you get the idea! So, if there’s a family member who wears them, consider asking whether they’d like to remove their glasses for the formals or alternatively, bring along a clear pair just for those all-important family groups. Being able to see people’s eyes makes such a difference to your wedding photographs!
Keys, mobile phones and wallets in the Groom’s/Ushers’ pockets. Come on guys, especially the Groom. There’s no need to have these in your suit pockets. I’m sure that the ladies’ handbags will have enough space to hold them for a few minutes! I’m sure the Groom’s Mum will look after his keys and phone safely, making sure the Ushers don’t do anything daft. It may seem like I’m nit-picking, but those phones and keys create unsightly bulges in jackets and trousers that detract from the photographs. You’ve spent a lot of money making sure that everyone in your wedding party looks good, so doesn’t it make sense to help the photographer on this one?
Cameras, phones and ipads. Nowadays, everyone seems to have a digital camera, smartphone or a tablet. Technology’s brilliant, but it can also be a curse. Guests get so caught up in taking their own photos that they don’t actually spend time enjoying your wedding. Sometimes they even get in the photographer’s way. So how about having an “unplugged wedding” where you ask your guests not to use their camera, phone or tablet during the ceremony? At one of my recent weddings, Sam and Simon did just that and it was a pleasure to look out across the guests and not see a mobile device being held aloft! In fact, this is such a hot topic that I’ll be writing a full Blog shortly about unplugged weddings.
Guests stepping into the aisle. Following on from the comments about having an unplugged wedding, having guests who step out into the aisle is a bug-bear of many a wedding photographer (no matter which country they work in). Imagine the scene. You’ve exchanged your vows. You’ve exchanged your rings. Your photographer’s waiting patiently at the end of the aisle to capture the first kiss. The officiant declares that you’re a married couple, you move together for your first kiss and ……. yes, Uncle Fred steps out into the aisle to take a photo, blocking your professional photographer’s shot. It’s a key moment in your ceremony that the photographer’s missed. Another example is during the recessional as you walk back down the aisle together. Normally your photographer’s either in front of you walking backwards or waiting at the end of the aisle, shooting your progress. Despite asking couples to make sure they’re looking happy and smiling at each other or their guests, it can be difficult capturing natural expressions of both of you, with your eyes open! That’s why we take a lot of photographs. Last year, I had a wedding where there was only one photograph of the Bride and Groom with great expressions and their eyes open. The problem was that one guest decided it would be great fun to take a selfie with the Bride and Groom just behind him. Even worse, he pulled a stupid face. There was no way I could use Photoshop to get rid of him, so that’s the image they received. The Bride was furious. Not with me, but with the guest – just as well they won’t need to invite him along again!
So, what’s the moral of this Blog post?
Well, really I guess it’s about being realistic and also communicating with your guests about how you’d like your wedding photographs to be extra special. If you’ve gone to the trouble and the expense of hiring a professional wedding photographer then you need to make sure you’ve done everything you can to help them. We’re a talented bunch, but there are times when even we can’t control everything, so having a couple who are focused (excuse the pun) about what they’d like makes our job a bit easier.
Please feel free to share this post on your Social media. I’ve also got a Facebook business page where you can catch up on the latest news.
Choosing your wedding photographer
If you’re considering a wedding in Bournemouth (or indeed, anywhere else in Dorset or Hampshire) then please get in touch to discuss your wedding photography requirements. I’m delighted to be a recommended photographer for a number of leading Dorset wedding venues and would love to hear about the plans for your special day. Get in touch with me now for a no-obligation chat.
Ian is one of Dorset’s leading wedding photographers. Based in Bournemouth and with over 20 years of experience photographing weddings across Dorset and Hampshire, Ian’s the perfect choice for couples who want unobtrusive, discreet wedding photography that captures the emotions of their special day. Read more about his own personal style of documentary wedding photography on this website.
Proud to be a recommended photographer for a number of leading Dorset wedding venues.
Recent Blog posts
Blog post: 5 things that ruin wedding photography