The ULTIMATE guide to get the best wedding photos
Your day – Your way
As a wedding photographer in Northern Ireland, and having covered over 200 weddings, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Everything from the full blown traditional wedding, filled to the neck with extended family and friends, to weddings that are tiny and truly unique to the couple.
All of these weddings have been amazing!
My experience places me in a pretty unique spot, as I can give first hand advice on all aspects of a wedding day. More importantly, I can give you the heads up, on what will make it easier, how to get the best from each stage, and how to feel completely relaxed through out.
As your wedding photographer, I promise to roll with whatever you have planned, but incorporating some of these tips will make it roll a little bit smoother, resulting in the best wedding photos.
Handy tips for AWESOME wedding photos
At every stage of the day
You’re getting married today! The countdown is over, lets swing this plan into action.
Before you know it, your house will be buzzing with all sorts of suppliers. Hair, makeup, florists and of course myself!
Prosecco will be flying and the craic will be good.
Top tips to make the morning even more enjoyable include being organised and limit who calls at the house. Both of these can eat into your precious time.
I’ll hang out, get involved in the chat and craic. I may move you into better light, open curtains or turn off the lights – as natural morning light is so complimentary. I’ll also busy myself taking photos of all your details, dress, shoes or suit etc.
Before you know it, you will be getting into your dress and I’ll be heading down the road to the ceremony – I don’t want to miss your arrival!
Fake tan -go easy!
We all love a golden glow, but fake tan has the ability to ruin your dress and your photos – so go easy!
The potential oompa loompa effect in photos can play havoc with your photos – especially if your groom has the typical complexion for a man in this part of the world…sadly Northern Ireland’s weather doesn’t give us the sun kissed look.
The Wedding Ceremony
Churches, chapels, hotels and tents, indoors or outdoors, or on the side of a mountain. You can have your wedding ceremony literally anywhere!
Church weddings usually take around 1 hour, all others take anything between 15-45 minutes. I will always chat to the priest, vicar or registrar and respectfully work alongside them.
Top of the list, on getting the best ceremony photos, is to have an unplugged ceremony. Keep guest’s phones in their pockets, let them enjoy the moment with you and let me capture everyone’s emotion!
This also keeps them out of the aisle and ruining your entrance and exit from the ceremony.
For the bridal party, let the person in front of you walk the length of the aisle, before the next person starts. This mean I get a clear shot of everyones moment of glory walking down the aisle.
I love confetti – you can never have enough.
Trust me on this one – buy or dry 5 times as much as you think you will need. I remember one bride having 2 crisp boxes of dried flowers to throw!
It always makes for an amazing photo and is one that I call ‘plandid’ (planned yet candid).
We agree in advance where to take it. After the service, I coordinate guests and yourselves for that perfect shot. Guests love the countdown and the moment throwing the confetti.
Bang – great moment – great photo!
I love a sparkler exit – the perfect addition for winter weddings. They really make for magical wedding photos.
However watch out – the later the exit, the more prosecco your guests may have on board – so plan accordingly with safety in mind!
I only need about 30 minutes to get some beautiful portraits of you both. Bridal party phots can take another 15 minutes. The dreaded family photos take as long as you like.
I call them dreaded as I get it – most people do not look forward to this stage of the day. They can seem to go on for hours, but they are totally controllable. This is the one set of photos I always plan out.
Weeks before your wedding, I give you a suggested list to populate with names. There are 8 shots on it, but you are free to add more or pick your own. I estimate that this list of 8 will take around 20 minutes. If everyone on the list knows the photos will take place at say 4pm, at the fireplace, and turn up, we will be through that list in a flash.
With this all said, people have a love hate relationship with family photos – hate the time it takes, but love and want the photos!
Your couple portraits are more like a stroll around the grounds with a friend and her camera. Bring your glass of prosecco, enjoy the time together, and before you know it, you will be back enjoying the craic with your guests. No fuss and stuffy posing with me, just relaxed moments on the best day of your life!
I’m a lover of spreadsheets, and will work with you to create a timeline to make sure your photos run smoothly.
We will make sure we use the best light, the best locations, and we will have the best of craic.
I love good wedding speech. Most of them are before the meal these days, which is great for those giving a speech, as they can enjoy their meal
Capturing the raw emotion during the speeches is what I love best. Some of the facial expressions are hilarious – especially when the funniest story has just been told. You will love the candid raw emotion of this part of your day!
No one likes getting photos taken with food in their mouth, so after the speeches, I leave you to enjoy your meal. I take this time to grab a bite to eat myself and recharge myself and my cameras.
The Dancing Photos
I love to boogie, so expect to see me on the dancefloor, grooving around with the rest of you, camera in one hand, light in the other.
I hang out for the first 4 tunes, but if you have a céilí dance or some other dancing planned – let’s talk – you want every moment of your day covered.
Wedding Dresses & Dancing
When you say ‘Yes to the dress’, the last thing you are thinking about is dancing on your wedding day.
Elegance and comfort can go hand in hand, and the icing on the cake is when you can move freely in your dress. You want to be able to strut your stuff on the dance floor, whilst looking incredible. This is totally possible!
Light means a lot to us photographers. You will often hear us talking about light; golden hour, shadows or spinning around with our hand outstretched to gauge the best spot to get the best light.
Between the meal and the dancing, there is always a bit of time to nip outside for 10 mins and grab some awesome sunset shots in summer, or some shots with fairy lights in the midst of winter.
The Backstage Pass
What’s this I hear you ask. It’s my way of asking – have you any surprises up your sleeve.
Singing waiters, random helicopters or any other surprises?
Letting me in backstage, telling me when everything is happening, keeps me in the loop. This way, I capture everything!
Your wedding photos will be just as beautiful!
I’d love to chat about your wedding, just hit the button below, fill in my contact form, and I’ll be back in touch asap.
Alternatively, drop me an email, or lift the phone. I love a good chat, so feel free to call.