This post is quite general but is an attempt to give some wedding photography tips to hopefully allow your wedding day to run smoothly and ensure that you get those beautiful photographs you want.
The biggest tip is – Don’t take chances.
You only get one chance at wedding photography so make so make sure you get a qualified photographer who is a member of a professional organisation. You may have a friend or relation and they might indeed have a good camera and even be a decent photographer but there is a lot more to wedding photography than simply taking the pictures. Also your professional will have experience of several situarions and have equipment to deal with the weather etc. you should also ask if he/she has professional insurance.
If it is at all possible you should visit your photographer so that you can see if they have premises or where they live and this gives you an chance to get to know them and also to spend a little time discussing and asking questions.
As to see samples of their work and make sure you see complete albums of weddings and not just the best shot from lots of weddings or portfolio training days. Some photographers will attend training days and use the photographs from these too build a portfolio, this can be dangerous because on such days they may not have been in total control in setting up the entire picture, so it may not fully represent their capabilities.
Look at how everything is arranged and organised in the photographs. You will be spending a significant amount of money on your wedding and dress and you want everything to look great. Check the pictures for bits and pieced of debris that have not been noticed by the photographer. You want a photographer who notices all these things and address them quickly and properly.
Look at the how group shots are arranged. Inexperienced photographers will often fail to organize groups properly resulting in awkward and unsightly arrangements, or worse some people being hidden.
Consult with your photographer about time. It is better to allow too much time and have some free to spend with your guests rather than having a to rush and perhaps have to miss some of the photographs you wanted. As a general rule you need to leave roughly 3-4 hours from the start of the ceremony to the start of the meal plus driving time. This might seem like a lot but if you take out roughtly 60-80mins for the ceremony and allow for a couple of locations etc it is better to have a little extra time and have a relaxed approach rather than continually watching the clock to ensure you are on time for your meal. It also allows a bit of contingency for trafffic or possible breakdowns etc.
Have a alternative plan for your pictures in the event of bad weather or other problems.
Does your venue provide a room where pictures could be taken etc.
Think of the time of year. Remember in some months of the year it can be dark in early afternoon so the lovely gargens that you saw in August with the great blooms might not be possible if your wedding ceremony is at 1:30. I normally suggest that winter weddingd shoudl be as early as possible to allow for the limited time for outdoor shots.
Ideally the hairdresser and makeup artist to get the bride ready first before anyone else.
There are a number of good reasons for this.
1: You will be ready in plenty of time and can relax.
2: Your photographer will have time for bridal portraiture shots with you while the others are getting sorted.
3: It avoids the scenario where your photographer has to leave for the church without photographs of you ready
4: The photographer can ‘stage’ a few shots of you ‘leaving home’ etc
Wedding Photographer in Northern Ireland