Monday, June 2, 2008

10 Tips For Better Wedding Photos

10 Tips For Better Wedding Photos

As a confidant bride-to-be, you can be thankful for the importance of great photographs to preserve your wedding memories for decades to come. As this is the only thing people hang onto long after the wedding day. We’ve compiled ten priceless tips and bits of advice to make your entire photography experience the most excellent.

#1: Interview photographers early in your planning: At least 8-12 months prior to your big day. Many times photographer schedule fill quickly. Especially if your wedding is on a Saturday. This is the most popular day for weddings during that hectic wedding season. Many photographers only shoot a set number of wedding per year, so this leaves a limited number of dates your photographer will have.

#2: Specifics. What do all those fancy photography words mean? What exactly do you need to know when speaking with a photographer. Once you start shopping around for a photographer you will be being to hear things like 35mm vs medium format. The main thing you need to understand is what will you do with your photos? Will you want prints larger than 16x20? If so go with a photographer that shoots medium format. Otherwise, 35mm produces fantastic images for wall portraits (8x10, 11x14, 12x18, 16x20)
PP vs DPI. The term DPI refers to the resolution of the printing device, where PPI refers to the resolution of the image itself. How can you remember this? Monitors display pixels, and printers produce dots.

#3: Should I use film or digital? These days, more and more photographers have switched to shooting digital. This can have great advantages. Some include the instantaneous ability to review photos for the photographer. This often helps if needing to reshoot a scene due to poor lighting. Also, the capability of the photographer to take more photos. This obviously saves you the bride/groom A LOT of cost. The basic idea, however, is ‘Do I like this photographers work?’ What is more important to you, a bad photographer with a great digital camera, or a great photographer with a film camera?

#4: Do I get to keep my negatives? In today’s digital era, it’s important to consider this option. Many photographers offer the negatives or digital negatives for purchase. This may be useful if you plan to do your own archiving, or simply making your own photo gifts. Ask the photographer if they sell the high resolution images. Or ask if you will have the option to buy them at a later date.

#5: Be sure to allow enough time for formal portraits. Much too often people do not allow enough time for their wedding day portraits. You may not get all the images and you won’t be able to go back in time and reshoot them. Allow at least 45 minutes for family portraits and a full hour for bride/groom images. If you are restricted on time, consider shooting all of your bridal photos with your bridesmaids before the ceremony. Have the photographer arrive 1 ½-2 hours before the ceremony to allow for these shots. This will greatly help save time between the ceremony and reception.

#6: The day’s schedule – when to take the formal portraits? It can be quite convenient for your guests if you take ALL of the formal shots before the wedding, so that the guests can go directly to the reception after the ceremony, without having to find a way to kill a few free hours. You may also find that it makes your day less upsetting if you and your groom can see each other before the ceremony, and spend a few quiet minutes together. Of course, many couples want that exciting moment when the groom sees his bride – in full regalia – for the first time as she starts down aisle towards him. So take the time to plan your schedule efficiently, and be sure to leave enough time for any posed photos. Your photographer can help you with this.

#7: Assign a friend or family member to help with the formal photos. While taking the formal posed portraits, it speeds the process along tremendously if you can assign someone the job of rounding up the right people for the next photo. It can be quite time-consuming, and frustrating, to stand around waiting while the search for the best man continues. It helps if the person to whom you assign this task is familiar with most of the people in both families and the wedding party.

#8: Be aware of any photo restrictions. Some ceremony sites have restrictions on photography, such as limitations on where the photographer can be during the ceremony, or limitations on flash photography. Check with your officiant and/or ceremony site manager to see if there are ANY photo restrictions you should be aware of, and if there are, be sure to share these with your photographer ahead of time.

#9: Capture the details. Be sure to specify on your photos list any special and unique touches you’ve included in your wedding, so the photographer can capture those details on film. Whether it’s an embellished guest book, a custom pillow for the ring bearer, an embroidered handkerchief passed down from your Grandmother or a beautiful pair of shoes on the bride… you’ll want to have lasting memories of the beautiful details that made your wedding unique and personal.

#10: Meet with your photographer a few weeks before the wedding. This will allow you time to go over your days schedule, ask any final questions you may have, and visit your venue. It is extremely important to do a walk through with your wedding photographer prior to your big day. This allows the photographer to see exactly where you will have things set up. It will give them a chance to check lighting, understand the limitations of the location (if any) and get an idea of what you are looking for. Be sure to take a few hours of time for this meeting. Photographers often need this time to really go over the details of your big day. If you both cannot make time in your schedule, ask your wedding coordinator to help with this. You can never be too prepared.

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