1/ Bigger décor
Image by Elyse Hall Photography
When it comes to décor, sometimes it’s easy to get drawn into focusing on the smaller details. While these can certainly play an important role from a design perspective, when it comes to photography you’re better off choosing larger scale features that will look amazing as a backdrop or add ambience and visual interest to a scene. Of course, larger doesn’t have to mean expensive or elaborate! It could be as simple as some homemade macramé, hanging flowers or strings of café lights (see tip 3).
2/ Elevate the ordinary
Image by Ryan Ray Photography and Sally Pinera
Try to visualise settings and features as they will appear in photos. For instance, avoiding clutter in rooms will give photos a much cleaner, more photogenic appearance. Similarly, keep the aesthetic consistent and thoughtful by using the most beautiful versions of ordinary items, from your dress hanger and makeup brushes to elegant glassware and the chair you sit in.
3/ Light is everything
Image by Patina Photography
One of the most vital ingredients in amazing photos is light. It comes into play for scheduling photos, choosing indoor and outdoor locations and planning artificial lighting:
Schedule photos according to the best light. Timings will vary depending on the season, so plan ahead. Don’t forget to make the most of golden hour light in particular: the warm light around sunset creates a magical effect that couldn’t be more perfect for couples photography. Be prepared to squeeze in as many shots as you can at this time!
When choosing both outdoor and indoor locations where you expect to be photographed, factor in the quality of natural light. Indoors, it’s better to have too much illumination than too little - bright light can be filtered but having to create light requires a flash, which often results in harsh and unnatural lighting for portraits. Outdoors, typically you’ll want to avoid harsh sunlight (which creates unflattering shadows and highlights on portraits) in favour of natural shade.
Have a plan for when the light begins to fade, too. The warm glow generated by candlelight or strings of café lights is hard to beat and adds visual interest to the background of photos!
4/ Add a touch of drama
Image by Bali Hai Photo
If you’re a bride who likes the ‘wow’ factor, consider adding some dramatic flair to your photos through smoke bombs or drone shots. Smoke bombs add explosions of colour, instantly elevating an unremarkable scene to something spectacular. With breath-taking aerial views, drones allow your photography to take in so much more of the wedding setting. If your venue and the weather allows, use them to capture bride and groom portraits that showcase the sweeping landscape (perfect for outdoor weddings!) or to get a unique shot of all of your guests together.
5/ Keep things relaxed and fun
Image by Jose Villa Photography
With portraits, the key is to keep relaxed. Even after what seems like an eternity of photos! In between shots, take the opportunity to relax your shoulders and face. Or ask your photographer to count down to pressing the shutter so that you don’t have to hold a pose for any longer than necessary. A good sense of humour comes in handy here too. Don’t be afraid to have a laugh and enjoy the process – genuine laughter and joy can produce some of the most memorable and beautiful photos of all.
If you’re at all nervous about being in front of the camera, consider having an engagement portrait session with your fiancé ahead of the wedding. Being asked to pose together in a variety of embraces and kisses can be awkward at first, but practice makes perfect!