Getting the most out of your photos

THIS GUIDE WILL GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW I OPERATE ON THE DAY and give you some tips too!

let’s deep dive in to the day to get the most out of your photos


The morning

Typically I will arrive around 2 hours before you are due to leave for the ceremony.

To keep you and your bridesmaids as comfortable as possible, I tend to dip in and out of the room to give you some space and take away some of the pressure of a camera in your face. During those moments away, I’ll get some beautiful detail shots of your dress, shoes, jewellery etc. If your bridal prep is at the venue I can use the time to photograph the setup before all the guests arrive, or grab some photos of your other half getting ready if they are in the same location.

For the best photos of the morning, here are some top tips from my experience:

  • Ensure the room as tidy as it can be (I know that’s not always easy!)
  • Hang up the bridesmaids’ dresses (make sure to take all labels off and do a quick steam if needs be!)
  • New shoes for bridesmaids? Double check you’ve removed all the stickers from the soles.
  • Have all your jewellery, shoes and important bits in one place so I can get some lovely detail shots.
  • If your other half or family members have given you any letters to read, I’d recommend you do so before your make-up – tears are almost always a guarantee. Don’t worry, we can always do a second “first read” later with less tears and a full face of make-up if you like!
  • Go to the toilet just before you put your dress on.
  • If you’ve gone all out with matching PJs, I like to try get some group shots before the dresses go on if there’s time around hair & make-up.
  • Aim to be fully ready and in your dress at least 30 minutes before you need to leave. That way we can grab some fun photos of you and your bridesmaids, and you get some time to relax and breathe instead of rushing out the door!
  • If your dress has buttons, remember these can take some time to fasten up and if you can’t get your hands on a crochet hook, I normally have one with me. They’re a big time- and nail-saver!
  • Ensure one of your bridesmaids knows how to fit your veil in case it falls out later in the day (it’s almost inevitable!)
  • Your bridesmaids should get dressed first so they’re ready to help you into your dress.

If you are doing a first look with the bridesmaids, I can arrange the shot once you are ready.

Doing a first look with dad? I will also arrange this – this will be the last thing we do before we leave as then he can whisk you away to the ceremony.

Don’t forget the registrar will need you at the venue 15 minutes before the ceremony.

Timing is everything in the morning. Having a make-up and hair schedule that allows some time before you need to leave will give us some great morning photographs before the storm! Most importantly, it will allow you to relax and start the day as you mean to go on, with some fun!

Assign a bridesmaid to do some regular time checks to keep you on track. Trust me, that last hour before you are due to leave is when times flashes before you.

I usually carry a bridal emergency kit if you need it (safety pins, sewing kit, crochet hook for the buttons, etc.), so just ask if you need to borrow some bits!

The Ceremony

  • The registrar will need to see you before they marry you. This is to check all your details are correct and run through anything they need to know about the ceremony. Sometimes they come to your room or sometimes they have a special room to do the meeting in (it depends on the venue), but make sure to factor this in to your timings.
  • Quite often and completely understandably, nerves get the better of brides and bridesmaids and it can mean they practically sprint the aisle. To combat this, try have a practice beforehand to get you all used to a good speed, even better if you can do this to your walking in music. Try for a nice slow pace that allows you relish in the moment, smiling at and welcoming all your guests. Plus it lets me get the best reaction shots of the groom and guests. The slower you walk the more photos I can capture!
  • Try to avoid looking at me as you walk down the aisle. The best thing to do is to forget I’m there! 
  • Delegate a bridesmaid to fluff your dress once you’re in position at the altar. If I can do it myself I will, but not every ceremony room is blessed with the space to manoeuvre!
  • Stand in the middle, not every registrar will reposition you centrally.
  • Enjoy the moment! The ceremony will go so fast but lavish and smile at every moment. Yes smile! don’t forget to smile! it’s the happiest day of your life so make it look just like that.
  • The first kiss – this is a big one! Hold that kiss for as long as you can for me. Ideally for 5-10 seconds, or go for a second or third – you could even milk it and go for a dip! It makes all the difference and gives me time to give the registrar a nudge if they’re caught up in the moment and haven’t moved out of the way.
  • After the ceremony, you then sign the register to make it fully legal. Unfortunately I’m not legally allowed to photograph you signing the document, but we can pose with a fake copy and pen afterwards if you’d like that moment captured. It’s lovely to invite your witnesses, or maybe your kids, up then for a photo at the signing. However I wouldn’t recommend having lots here with various family members as we can use the time to get great group shots outside instead!
  • Then you’re announced and it’s time for your exit down the aisle. Wave those flowers in the air, look excited, smile, and then go for another kiss at the end of the aisle! (This is a perfect second chance at a first kiss shot if we got caught up in the moment the first time!)

The Confetti shot

The best time to do the confetti shot is just after the ceremony. That way we catch everyone before they head to the bar and start mingling.

You may want to do confetti down the aisle (venue dependant) or outside, whichever you choose to do is fine with me. If you don’t have a preference, I will work with the venue to figure out the best spot and then organise your guests to make it a fun photo!

The group shot of all

Whilst I have everyone together for the confetti, that is normally a great time to get a photo of your full guest list (if you want one of course).

Family shots

The hardest part of the formal family shots is locating people. This is why i suggest doing it straight after the confetti/group shots before everyone disperses. I ask for immediate family to hang back and that way, I can usually get all combinations done in about 15 minutes. The time we have for photos around the busy schedule is extremely limited and I’d rather you enjoy your drinks reception than consume all the time with family photos!

I will aim to give you as many combinations as I can think of based off your shot list. For example, whilst I have bride, groom and parents, I will quickly switch it to bride/mum, bride/dad, bride/mum/dad, etc. – I want to cover as many bases as possible.

A big time-saving tip, enlisting a bridesmaid and a groomsmen to call out the various family and friends for each photo combination is a massive help!

Once these photos are done – if we’re ahead or on schedule, I usually say let’s leave you alone now to enjoy your drinks reception! If all goes to plan, you will have a good 30-45 minutes before I need to grab you for your own personal photos.

Don’t be afraid

If you realise there is something or someone you missed off your shot list, please don’t be afraid to ask me. I’m there to capture your day for you.

Nothing upsets me more than a couple telling me afterwards that they regret not getting a photo with such and such a guest. Please use me as much as you need. I’m there for that exact reason and nothing is too much trouble for me!

Your couple shots

I like to keep the couple shots fun, relaxed and natural, so I can get through these quite quickly. Ideally these would take 15-20, but can take as little or as long as you like. Depending on what is most important to you on the day – if you don’t want to take up too much time, we can just do 10 minutes, or if you want a nice selection then we can push to 25 minutes.

I always tell couples to let me know if they’ve had enough and I’m happy to take your lead and cut it short – I’m not there to dictate your day. However, I’m also mindful of how strict on time the venues tend to be, and don’t want photos to delay the food etc., so if you feel me being pushy, I promise it’s just to make sure we get all the photos you want in the time we have!

Another top tip – having a bridesmaid or groomsmen (or one of each!) with us as helpers, they can keep you hydrated with drinks, join us for a laugh, and even help with fluffing the dress for the perfect shots. Here is another example where your bridal party can really earn their titles! 

Then once we are done, we will return to the venue where the host will be ready to announce you into your wedding breakfast.

 

Time to relax

Now all the important photos are done the rest of my day will be capturing the candid moments of your guests and any speeches. You can now really enjoy your day.

Sometimes, if any bad weather interrupted the photos during the drinks reception, I may offer to grab some quick shots of you both between a course. It’s often a nice break away for the two of you to spend 5 or 10 minutes together away from the crowd. But it’s completely up to you, it’s your day after all! 

Guest shots

Before the food comes, I tend to hop around all the tables and grab some shots of your friends and family as it’s always lovely as a guest to be included in the album. I do this throughout the day to capture as many people as possible.

 

 

When do i relax?

Once the food starts to hit the table that’s my cue to put my feet up for 45 minutes for a well earned rest.

People don’t want a photographer around them with a mouth full of chicken so i use this time for my break, i am on high alert listening for when them speeches are about to start and i try to be never to far away.

If the venue are providing a meal then i would usually eat in the bar or some where quiet out the way.(You don’t need to put me on a table with your guests)

 

What do we do about photos if it rains

As we all know, British weather is unfortunately unreliable…

In the event of rain, I can often manage the formal family shots inside during the drinks reception. There are always options of areas that work. 

For your couple shots, sometimes it’s best to brave it (within reason!) as we can still get some amazing photos if you can push yourselves. I always have an umbrella on hand! 

If that’s really not an option at that point of the day though, I’m always on the lookout for that 10 minutes dry spell – there is almost always a small gap between downpours and if you’re up for it, it’s often just a case of dashing outside between your courses to get some shots. Plus, for summer weddings, we have daylight until 8/9pm so we have options later in the day after the wedding breakfast.

Alternatively, if the weather won’t play ball at any point of the day, we will make the most of the inside of the venue. Luckily wedding venues are often beautiful inside and out!

 

 

Golden Hour

For some people, photos in that beautiful light of sunset are very high up on the wish list.

Something to remember though, the window for the perfect golden hour can be as small as 15-20 minutes, depending on the time of year. Plus cloud cover has a big influence on it too!

If these photos are important to you, when I come to get you for them, please appreciate it’s probably a ‘now or never’ situation with the tiny timeframe we’d have.

Sparkler shots

If a sparkler shot is on your wish list, then a good time to do these is after the meal and before the drinks kick in too much.

Having these to late on often leads to them not happening at all as most the guests are drunk and by this point your in a world of not caring and dancing the night away so i usually suggest trying to do these no later then just before the first dance.

This photo can be a bit chaotic, trying to get 30-40 sparklers all lit at the same time is a challenge, but it’s all good fun and definitely worth it.

(Just a heads up! some venues specifiy you need to provide a sand bucket and wont allow you to do them with out one – just check with the venue)

Night photos

These are personally my favourite, but of course may not be to everyone’s taste.

I’ll come double check with you if this is something you want to do. If so, I’ll go get everything ready before I pull you away. I need about 10-15 minutes to set things up outside.

These photos only take about 5 minutes of your time so they are well worth doing in my opinion!

The First dance

To get the most out the first dance – I recommend you spend a little time sticking to the middle, rotating around. Then if you’re feeling it, milk it and go for a few twirls and spins! Shortly after, everyone will join you on the dancefloor – these can make some incredible evening photos.

 

 

 

The end

I don’t tend to set a firm end time, but I definitely don’t just dash off after the first dance. When I leave completely depends whether you’re wanting night shots etc. (especially in summer when it’s light until alter) and on the vibe of your party, I want to make sure I capture any dancefloor antics. If your guests are still hyped up, so am I! This typically means I’ll be with you for an hour or so after your first dance when the dance floor is most active!

 

I will always make sure I come find you to say goodbye  and wish you well for the rest of your night. I will also double check if there any other photos we haven’t captured yet that you’d like before I go.

Depending on the time of year, you can expect to have your photos back to you within 2-4 weeks. If it’s going to be any longer I will keep you updated.

If you want some previews or sneak-peeks, feel free to ask the morning after and I’ll get some over to you but this is subject to my availability as i may have another wedding the day after.

 

 

 

And that’s a wrap!

 

Hopefully this guide gives you plenty of info and tips to set your mind at ease, and make the most out of your big day! 

Let’s enjoy the big day together!

 

Now here is a treat for you! £100 off your booking….But why?

 

I have hidden this amongst text for a reason.

Couples who go the effort of wanting to know as much about me as possible are the sort of couples i love the most!

The one’s who want to know as much as possible about there photographer for there big day as they know it’s a big decision for them!

So here is a special treat for you – Enjoy £100 off your booking just write “I read your stuff” when you inquire and i will apply the discount to your booking if you decide to go ahead.

It’s just a sweetener to say thanks! as you are the type of couples i love to work with! :)


Order your wedding Photography brochure