Bride Tips for getting ready for your photographer on your special day.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Being a photographer who captures weddings as part of my specialty, I have worked with many brides over the years. There are certain things I do to get myself prepared for every wedding, like check my equipment, charge camera batteries, and get plenty of rest the night before the big day; but, what about the bride? What does she do to prepare herself for the most important photos of her life?

Below is a list of things I think would help a bride prepare for her wedding day photos. I think if a bride and groom followed these simple ideas, they would greatly improve their wedding photos.

Get plenty of rest
It’s tempting to stay up the night prior to your wedding, getting the last minute details together or just partying, but avoiding sleep can be detrimental to your wedding photos the next day. First off, if you’re just tired, you may not look your best in pictures, add a cranky and a stressed out bride, then you have a recipe for not so great wedding photos in the making.

The solution, do all of your planning ahead of time and when it comes to the eve of your wedding, get to bed early and get plenty of sleep. You’ll be glad you did not only on your wedding day, but, after the ceremony, when you’re looking at your photos.

Eat and stay hydrated on your wedding day
This may sound like a no brainer, but it’s all too often I come across a bride during the formal portrait session who is either cranky, or delays the photography due to hunger and thirst. By being cranky and/or delaying your photo shoot can lead to rushed photos and or you not looking so good in your wedding photos.

Solution, eat small, protein rich foods, like a protein bar or chicken strips. Protein keeps you full longer. Stay hydrated with water and avoid alcohol, especially in warmer or hot climates, like Georgia.

Have a list of people you would like photographed at your wedding (This should be done at our 2 weeks away from the wedding sit down to chat time)
This is going to take some planning on the bride’s part, but it will help speed up the process of your wedding day photos as well as ensure that your family gets photos with you and your groom. Put together a list of family members that you would like photographed. For example, if you’re going to want your aunt photographed with you and your new husband, write it down. If you want a photo of just you and your aunt, write that down too. It’s best to put the person's name as well as their relationship so that anyone could help you get family and friends together for photos. Usually you are on a small time frame and ready to get to reception.  So having the list to your photographer is a useful tool.

Assign someone to assist with family photos.
Now that you have your wedding day family photo list, you’re going to want to assign someone, like a bridesmaid or family member, to assist with getting everyone together for the photos. Your wedding photographer will not know who your family members are, so it’s a good idea that you have someone who is familiar with your family assist you with logistics. By having an assistant, you are eliminating the wasted “searching for family members” time and ensure that you’ll get the photos that you want on your wedding day.

Allow enough time for photos
Ask any bride and she will tell you that her wedding day photos are the most important part of the wedding. But at the same time, she will tell the photographer that they have only 30 minutes after the ceremony to take the photos. Huh?....

Give yourself time to take the photos that will tell your wedding day story for generations to come. First, consult with your wedding photographer (if not me) to determine the amount of time they will need to capture your images. Once that has been determined, check with the wedding or reception venue about the timing. If you’re working with a wedding coordinator, consult with them to determine the timing. They will in-turn work with other vendors, especially your photographer. AND the most important of all.  Be ready for your photographer... Granted there is always hiccups that may cause you to run a tad late however, if you run past an hour or even two for your photos to begin then you have now got exactly 30 minutes or less to get all those gorgeous pre-ceremony photos and talk about RUSHING and STRESS for everyone... it's no fun! Your itinerary you have planned months on is now a 20 minute rush job ... so make sure someone (if you don't have a coordinator for your wedding... and believe me they are wonderful so try to hire one!) is assigned as your time keeper ;-)

Pre-shoot as much as possible
Even if you don’t plan on seeing each other prior to the wedding ceremony, you can still have your photographer capture as much of the formals as possible prior to the wedding ceremony.

Some suggestions would be to have all the groomsmen and bridesmaids photographed prior to the ceremony. It may also be a good idea to get some family photos taken care of before the ceremony as well. The only challenge you will have is to get people ready early. You will save a lot of time between your ceremony and reception should you pre-shoot some of the formals.

Provide your photographer with an itinerary
One sure way to have missed photo opportunities is to not provide your photographer with an itinerary of the day’s events. You want keep them in the loop, so provide them with a detailed list of events and some sort of time schedule. Of course, time schedules will change as the day unfolds, but you want your photographer to be aware of the events that are to occur during the wedding ceremony as well as the reception. This way, the photographer won’t run the risk of a missed opportunity photo.

Carry facial blotters & retouch make up supplies
Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. They come in a small little pack and are used to blot your face for excess oil. These little things come in handy on a hot summer Georgia day! It’s a good idea to carry a pack or two around while you’re having your photos taken. They can help reduce the “shine” off your forehead and face; making for better photos. Don't forget the lipstick and powder ... just in case.

ALSO!...

I LOVE “getting ready” shots. Seriously. The emotion and joy is so thick in the room as mom sees her daughter in her wedding dress on her wedding day. As mom helps the bride put on her great grandmother’s necklace. As best friends see her as beautiful as she’s ever looked. AWWW the beauty of true captured emotions!!Those are the moments we are so happy to capture and share with our couples and their families. Capturing life at its best!!
In fact, all of this can apply to the groom too, adapted of course!

How can I bride prepare for these photos??

Everything but the dress.
We love capturing those last makeup and hair details right before you step into your dress. It’s usually an exciting time as you wait in anticipation of seeing it all come together – hair, makeup, nails, flowers, shoes, and… the dress. Getting each of those details before they come together helps tell the story.

Pick a large room with lots of natural light (lots of windows).
When I don’t have to artificially add light I am able to capture the photos exactly as both I and those in the room see them. Plus, how distracting is it for those moments to be interrupted by repeated flashes of light? Having a larger room gives us all room to move around and give us plenty of photo options.

Clean up a bit.
While I don’t ever expect a spotless room, having your attendants do a quick pickup will help lots. Hiding dress bags, packing clothes, hiding suitcases, making up the bed, throwing away trash and fast food cups help so much. Pretty rooms help make pretty pictures.

Everyone should be completely ready except for you.
 Your attendants are called that because traditionally, that’s why you asked them to spend all day with you in matching dresses – to attend to you and your needs. Having them be completely ready when I arrive means all of their attention is on YOU. Each gets to be in your photos helping and interacting with you instead of looking for her shoes.

Lastly... Relax (try to) and enjoy your beautiful day!!!

 

 

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