Creating your own memories

Your wedding is one of the most unforgettable days of your life, so simple snaps taken by an amateur simply won’t do! Find a professional photographer with the expertise and flair to tell a story in pictures, creating cherished images that really do justice to your memories.

Predicted trends for wedding photography in 2017 and 2018 include a resurgence of film photography, which is the perfect choice for décor as well as portraits. Ideally, it’s good to have a mixture or both digital and film for maximum versatility. Aerial photography is another exciting development in the industry. Powerful cameras fitted to remotely controlled drone helicopters are able to provide a birds-eye view of your special day – from the vows to the reception and the send-off.

There’s also been a return to the more staged/styled approach to photographs as opposed to the casual reportage-style so popular over the past decade, with the focus on creating formal group photos that look like they could have come from the pages of a fashion magazine! Stylised photographs, where lighting, composition, pose and emotion are carefully staged by the photographer to create a ‘candid moment’ have also come to the fore. While the idea of stage-managing an authentic moment might seem counter-intuitive, many brides and grooms do need just a bit of guidance when it comes to posing naturally and expressing their true selves.

The rise of social media and the likes of Instagram and Snapchat is seeing the wedding photo breaking new barriers! And while some brides might ask guests to check their selfie sticks at the door, others are embracing the trend, creating hashtags as well as using creative geofilters for their big day, or even providing special selfie stations and charging points for smartphones!

Choosing a photographer

When it comes to choosing a photographer, remember that the top ones will be booked well in advance, so do your homework, and do it in good time. Ask recently married friends for recommendations, and start browsing through websites and online galleries to get an idea of the different photographic styles, such as high fashion, intimate or informal, and determine what will suit your wedding vision. You might prefer fairly formal wedding photos, or something more natural and spontaneous … or perhaps a combination of the two!

Compile a shortlist of likely professionals, and find out if they’ll be free on your wedding day as well as whether the packages they offer are in your price range. Once you’ve done this you can meet the photographer in person to discuss the finer details before signing on the dotted line. Meeting a prospective photographer is also important if you want to get a sense of their personality. You should feel comfortable in their presence and trust that they’ll be able to do your wedding justice.

Essential questions to ask your photographer include:

  • Will you stay for a set number of hours on the day?
  • What will you charge for overtime?
  • Are travelling expenses included in the fee?
  • How many pictures will you take?
  • Will you visit the venue beforehand?
  • Who will fill in for you if you’re sick?
  • Do you have backup equipment?
  • How long will we wait for our photographs?

   

Determine what your photographer’s standard package comprises. A budget option might cover the ceremony and formal group shots with a less experienced photographer, while a more comprehensive package could include pre-wedding shots and coverage of the ceremony and reception with two photographers, as well as an album and some retouching.

Hot shots

A knowledgeable photographer will understand how best to capture those special moments that become classic wedding shots. These might include the bride and groom exchanging rings, dancing cheek-to-cheek and cutting the cake, the toasts and speeches, the hugs, kisses and laughter of family and friends – images which will remain long after the bridal bouquet has been thrown and the wedding gown packed away. Decide from the outset whether you’d like lots of posed, formal photographs, or if you’d rather simply relax and enjoy this magical day while your photographer works in the background to record events as they unfold.

You might like to provide your photographer with a checklist of scenes to be captured, such as the bride getting ready, as well as the groom and his best man, not to mention those key shots with family members (not forgetting the furry friends), and small touches like the dress, hair and jewellery. At the reception, there might be particular décor items you want captured – especially if you’ve made them yourself – such as wedding favours, stationery, signage and floral arrangements. There’s also the band or entertainment, food and drink, and special architectural or landscape backdrops.

Bridal portrait sessions before the wedding have become popular, as have engagement shoots. This gives you time to become better acquainted with your photographer and get used to how they operate. In addition to producing some great photos, these sessions will help you feel more relaxed during the big-day photo shoots, resulting in more natural looking wedding photographs. Some brides are even having the portrait photos taken just before the ceremony to ensure they look their very best.

When it comes to the editing of your photographs, pay attention to things like colour tones and post processing. For example, an image may be edited to add grain, decrease sharpness and contrast, and desaturate certain colours or even eliminate them completely. Consider that while trends in photographic editing may come and go, you want to be left with wedding photographs that are classic and timeless. Sticking to a more natural film-like processing means that the style of your photographs won’t look dated in years to come.