Make the most of your wedding photography

Six quick tips to get the most out of your wedding photography.

Leave a bit of time during getting ready shots to have a bit of an “in-process” look.

Leave a bit of time during getting ready shots to have a bit of an “in-process” look.

1. Plan for luck.  Weddings are hectic, unwieldy and often time predictable events. A touch of luck, with your wedding photos will go a long way. Talk to your photographer in advance, and let them know if you have any ideas, or what they are thinking based upon the setting. You don't want to be without spontaneity, but seeking the professional opinion for where great looking images might happen will help get more great images.

2. Leave enough time. A very common question that I receive is, how much time should we leave for photos? I depends on a lot of factors, is there travel involved? How large is the wedding party? How many image are we after? Whatever it shakes out to... leave more time than you think you'll need. It is always so nice to be done photos, and have time to spare! No rush, get to the cocktails early, or get a quick breather and refresh. If its going to take an hour and a half, if you schedule two, you'll be ahead of time, and feeling great. If you schedule 90 minutes, and you take 90 minutes, job done, great work, but wow does it still feel busy! On to the next one!

3. Be practised.  This is where engagement photos come in handy. If you've already spent some time with your photographer, and gotten to know each other. Photo time on the big day is going to fly by in comparison. You've also had a chance to look at your engagement photos and decide what was working and what wasn't. So when the time comes on the big day, you don't have to waste any time and can get straight to business.

4. Consider a first look. Also known as a reveal, a first look. This is when you do a bunch of your photos, usually the couple shots, pre-ceremony. Yes its not as traditional, but the couples who elect to go this route never regret it. As a bonus you're going to end the after ceremony photos that much sooner, and can maybe get a cocktail or two, or have time to see your reception before it's full of people. That initial feeling of "ugh, I really want him to first see me as I'm walking down the aisle" can make this choice tough, I know. But I will tell you if you decided to go this route, you won't regret it.

5. Remember the light. Can i share a secret? Those super stunning images you see on pinterest, with the golden sun streaming in behind the couple.... aren't shot in the middle of the day. And the middle of the day is often times the block of time we set aside for photos. That's just how it ends up. So, consider perhaps setting some time aside for the sunset, or as it at least dips a bit lower. A break in between courses, or just before dessert. It shouldn't take long, but shooting during that magic golden hour is going to help you get awesome wedding photos, that just aren't possible at any other time. One fun thing I counsel my couples to do, if it's possible, is make a date night on the day of the year your wedding is going to be. So if you're getting married next July 27th, try and get out for a date night on that day, or close to it. Even better if you can be near where your wedding will take place, or at the venue. Go for a walk, bring a bottle of wine, and have a nice time soaking it in. You'll get a keen sense for what time the sun heads down, and how quickly it gets dark. Which will really help in being able to plan for those awesome photos. If that date is already passed, and its only 6 months to the wedding, all is not lost; You can still look up online what time the sun is going to set and plan for the best.

6. Be emotional. You'd think this is a no brainer. You might not need any help at all in being an emotional trainwreck on the big day, and that's great. But if you're not, it is worth thinking about. This is another good reason to consider an engagement shoot, or get to know your photographer better. You want to be comfortable, at ease and willing to be vulnerable in front of your photographer. Laugh large, cry big, whatever you're feeling, let it all hang out! If you are, those genuine moments of great emotion will play out and be captured, ending up not just as a treasured memory for you, but for your children and grandchildren as well. How cool is that?

Bonus:  Have a clear vision for your day! The trick to getting what you really really want, is thinking deeply about. Defining it, and sharing that vision with your photographer. Learn more about building a vision for your day in this article: The best wedding photographers have a vision.