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6 Wedding Photography Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Day Photos

Here are some tips on how to help your photographer get the best photos from your wedding day. You can affect the outcome by spending some time during your planning process to work through how you want to get the photos you want done. What do you think photographer friends? Do you have other tips?

Ft Belvoir military wedding Washington DC

Photo: Andrew Morrell

  1. Talk to you photographer. Every photographer has a different approach and different preferences on how he/she goes about photographing a wedding. Find out their approach. Talk to them about how much time they would like to have for taking photos of just you and your fiance/new spouse and for group photos, and what locations would be best for those. Express to them which photos are important to you and any concerns you may have that your photographer should know about.
  2. Plan it out. Once you’ve had your discussion with your photographer, now figure out how this will all fit within the time frame of your wedding day. Some questions to ask yourselves if doing photos before the ceremony: Can all the people you need to be in the photos arrive early, and how will they get to the location? Do you have access to your photo location prior to the ceremony? If yes, how much time do you have? Have you started your hair and makeup appointments early enough to accommodate photos? If taking photos after the ceremony, are you OK with missing parts or all of your cocktail hour? If your photographer is with you taking portraits, you cannot also have photos during cocktail hour of your guests or do detailed room shots if these are all happening within the same time frame unless he/she has a second photographer.
  3. Don’t forget the transportation. If you are going to another location that is not your ceremony or reception venue for photos, like the Washington, DC monuments, please also consider how you will get to and from that location. Also, don’t underestimate the amount of time you need to travel to and from that location, and getting in and out of your car and walking to the actual photo spot. Often times, you cannot pull the car right up to the exact spot and you will need to do some walking. Also, consider who will be going to the photo op location. Just you and your fiance/husband/wife and/or including the wedding party? Don’t forget your photographer! It is usually best to have your photographer ride in the same car as you.
  4. What about permits? If you want to go to the DC monuments, don’t forget to obtain a photo permit. Your photographer or wedding planner can guide you through that process. You don’t want to be stopped by the Park Police in the middle of your session.
  5. In case of rain. Make sure you have an inclement weather plan for where you might take photos if the weather is not cooperating outdoors.
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be sure to communicate in advance the time and place you want all those family and friends that will be involved in posed photos

How do you estimate how much time you need for formal wedding photos, you might ask? My two approaches to estimating time for posed photos: 1) you determine the amount of time you can tolerate taking posed photos first and then ask your photographer how many group combinations you can fit within that time frame; or 2) you come up with a list of photos you must have and then determine how much time that would take. My rule of thumb is to allot 3-5 minutes per grouping. The objective here is to strike a balance between getting the formal photos you want and not turning your wedding day into a photo shoot.

If you take away nothing else from this blog post, the one thing to remember is that the worst thing you can do is rush through your wedding day. Allow plenty of time so that you can stay relaxed throughout the day. Enjoy yourselves and have fun! When you do that, you will have great photos.

Do you have more wedding photography planning questions? Reach out to your wedding planner, or feel free to email us or ask your friendly photographer! Vicky

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