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  • Writer's pictureTodd McKernan

6 Great Tips For Couples On How To Get The Best Wedding Photos & Videos

Avoiding Common Problems And How To Get The Best Wedding Photos & Video: Tips From A Wedding Photographer

Photography Is A Team Sport

As a wedding photographer/videographer, one of the most frustrating parts of my job is dealing with issues outside of my control. Sometimes they're minor inconveniences that cause us to quickly implement workarounds. But sometimes they mean we aren't able to capture certain moments or deliver a product below our own standards of quality. So to help you help me (or whoever is capturing your wedding), I've created this list of things you can do to make sure we are able to deliver the shots you want.


6 Tips To Get Great Wedding Photos & Videos


1. Pick A Great Venue

This might be obvious, but the most important decision you'll make when planning your wedding is where to have it. Your choice of venue will cascade into every other decision you make. Choosing a gorgeous venue will show in your photos. Choosing a not-so-gorgeous venue will also show in your photos... So please, make our jobs easier and pick a great place to have your celebration! This doesn't just apply to large venues. Even if you're planning a small outdoor-style wedding you should take some time to pick a scenic spot.

Questions You Should Ask Your Venue (From A Photographer's Perspective)

  1. What kind of decorations (if any) are included at the venue?

  2. What kind of lighting do you have?

  3. Will there be someone on the premise that knows how to control the lighting?

  4. Are your lights flicker-free? (If they don't know, find someone who can answer this, flickering lights WILL ruin your video and possibly your photos as well)

  5. Will my event be private or do you allow outside guests?

  6. Will my event be the only one held at the venue at that time?

  7. How many bathrooms do you have?

  8. Is there a history of power failures or other utility issues?

  9. Who will be there during my wedding in case a problem arises?

See These Articles For More Tips On Choosing The Right Venue

P.S. Even if you've already booked your venue, it's still a great idea to ask them these questions so that you can be better prepared.


2. Here Comes The Sun

Most people don't notice how much the light changes throughout the day. If you're dreaming of having those perfect sunset photos, that won't happen at noon. In fact, noon is just about the worst possible time to take photos outside in direct sunlight. It's extremely challenging and will look quite harsh. You'll also have unflattering shadows under your eyes and nose. Try to plan your wedding's timeline to coincide with the sun. Use these apps to help figure out where the sun will be and when during your wedding:


3. Pick A Great DJ

Believe it or not, we wedding photographers/videographers rely a great deal on your DJ. A good one will make our jobs easier. A bad one can make it a nightmare. They play a vital role in your photos and video too.

We have to rely on DJs for both lighting and sound. A failure in one or both of those departments directly impacts our product. DJs must create an atmosphere/ambiance, especially if your venue does not provide much in the way of lighting. They're also responsible for bringing and operating the microphones used for the ceremony and toasts.


4. Make A Plan For Your Detail Shots

A great idea to start preparing for your wedding is to grab two shoe boxes, one for you and your partner, then start putting everything you want detailed shots of inside them. Bring these boxes to me (or whoever your photographer is) on the day of your wedding so we can get started on taking those detail shots while everyone is still scrambling and getting their make-up started.

This will make sure nothing is missing from the detail shots or wasting time to find them, keeping the timeline intact.

Here's some suggestions on what to bring for detail shots:

Bride Detail Items Suggestions

  • Rings

  • Ring Box

  • Invitations/Save The Dates

  • Gifts for partner/bridesmaids

  • Vows/Letters

  • Pictures of you and your partner

  • Shoes

  • Perfume

  • Bracelet/Necklace/Earrings

  • Veil

  • Bouquet

  • Leaf Pedals

  • Champaign/wine bottle

Groom Detail Items Suggestions

Along these same lines, if it's possible, try to get your flowers delivered to you personally the day before your wedding. That way they're for sure there when the details are getting shot. I've shot weddings that were delayed by up to an hour because the florist was late, and none of their detail shots had flowers in them.

A Note About Hanging Dress Shots

The infamous Hanging Dress shot is very popular, but it's a very difficult shot to achieve in many situations. If you'd like to get this shot, you'll need to make sure that there is somewhere suitable to hang the dress. Most hotel rooms won't just have hooks on the wall. Sometimes they'll have them in the bathroom, but that's usually not an ideal place for photos. If you're getting ready at the venue, ask them beforehand if there is somewhere you can hang the dress. It's also a good idea to task someone in your bridal party to help with the shot, someone who can handle the dress while we're focused on the camera. Be sure to bring a nice wood or felt hanger too, you probably won't want that cheap plastic hanger that came with the dress in the shot. You'll also need to make sure there's enough time in the schedule for this shot, as it can take up to 15-20 minutes to get everything right.


5. Clean Your Room!

I've walked into some hotel rooms that looked like an FBI raid had just occurred. Clothes thrown everywhere, cups and snacks scattered on every surface, and why is there a towel on the lamp?!

Now it's okay to have a bit of fun when you're getting ready for your wedding. But you should at the very least delegate people to help clean up the room. Make sure it's picture ready at all times. It's also a great idea to open all the shades and let as much natural light in as possible.


6. Plan A Fun Wedding

This is so critical to getting good pictures and video. Make sure you and your guests are having a great time. Make sure there are plenty of activities for guests to entertain themselves with. Remember that not everyone enjoys or is able to dance, so plan a wedding that accommodates ALL of your guests.

This is such an important subject that I wrote an entire post about it. Please check it out here!


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