Advice: Wedding Photos Will Be Your 1st Family Heirloom; Get Perfect Photos with Pre + Post Sessions
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Unless you are America’s Next Top Model, chances are, you are just as uncomfortable in front of the camera as I am. In fact, the last thing I wanted to do on my wedding day was pose for photos. But what’s a girl to do? It’s your most fantastic day; you look incredible and you are wearing your uber-expensive dream gown. You definitely want pictures but you also want to spend every moment with your new hubby, friends, and family and enjoying your lovely wedding! But, you also want dream photos to last a lifetime, so what's the solution?
If you have the budget, maybe consider taking photos before and/or after your wedding day.
~ All photos: The Collection ~
~ bridal portrait session ~
Based on my conversation with Erin, photographer for The Collection, a great option is to take many of your posed photos before and after your wedding and focus more on candid, story-telling photos on your wedding day. Aha! I’d much rather take a day after my wedding, when everything is controlled – no rain, great natural lighting, all of the time in the world - to make things near perfect! This option will almost guarantee that you get those “Pinterest-looking” shots for your wall art or for those heirloom albums your children will cherish.
According to Erin, here are some things to consider for each wedding session so that ultimately, you get the best photos possible.
1) Your Bridal Portrait Session
Make the most of the session: Use this session as a trial run on your hair, dress, makeup; Enjoy ample time to take plenty photos in your gorgeous gown.
These aren’t your mother’s bridal portraits! Today’s portraits are fun and fashion forward. It’s not just the photo of the dress hanging but a great way to get some great wall art of you in your gown. They take some time, because you want to be careful and preserve your gown, but all in all, most brides have a lot of fun with their portrait sessions.
(Read our expert tips from Oakwood Cleaners on keeping your gown clean during your bridal portrait session.)
You'll spend about 2 hours with your photographer for your bridal portraits vs the 10 minutes you will probably have on your wedding day.
Plus, doing bridal portraits allow you to see how you really like the fit of your gown, your makeup, your hair, and accessories. Occasionally, after a bridal portrait session, brides make changes to their gown due to discomfort or their hair didn’t photograph as well as they’d like. Some brides even carry a mock up of their floral bouquet and realize it’s too big or heavy.
~ bridal portrait sessions ~
2) Wedding Day
Make the most of the day: Get some couple shots, family and bridal party, and then focus photographer on candid shots, details.
It takes time…
A great photographer is going to capture great photos on your wedding day. But, you will be happier with more time with your photographer. More than likely, you will allot 20-30 minutes for posed photos of you and your groom, family and bridal party. But, that time will fly by! No matter how much time you plan for your wedding day photos, you will not have enough time to get all of the photos you want and you will also not want to spend your day taking photos. Instead of asking your photographer to spend a lot of time shooting you and your fiancé, ask them to take a few, and schedule a post wedding shoot.
...to create styled shots
Many of the photos that you love on Pinterest are from day-after or styled shoots. 80% of the time – the photos that you see with a couple in field, on a bridge, or in a crazy location with a bride in a perfectly positioned dress, in natural lighting is staged. It wasn’t taken on her wedding day. In fact, many brides say they want few posed shots and more candid shots but then carry a box load of “inspiration” photos for to their photographer and say “I want candid but I want my shots to look like this”. Hmmm – I was that bride! Thanks to Erin, I now know those are called “styled shots”. More than likely, the photographer has styled the picture to achieve a certain look. And now, you are bringing in a photo and saying you want your candid shot to look like another seemingly candid shot. Well, the original was probably not candid and your copy of the so-called candid is now definitely posed. The best way to achieve that look is after the wedding.
Believe me, most photographers would prefer this approach anyway. Not, just because more sessions = more money for them, but because it truly allows them to do what’s best in the wedding day environment – tell your story, capture your love and details. We’re not saying not to take photos of you and your fiancé. We’re just saying reduce the ratio if you have the budget for a post-wedding shoot.
~ wedding day posed photos (above) wedding day candid shots (below) ~
3) Your Post-Wedding (aka Day-After) Session
Make the most of the session: Take advantage of a more controlled environment, take more varied shots at multiple locations, use time to take “styled” shots; have fun and take your time.
Things are bound to happen. Maybe it will rain or snow or your schedule is off and you missed the sunset. For me, it was tooo cold (FYI for all of you March brides) and I didn’t want to be outside at all. To get many of the perfect pictures that you see posted on blogs and in magazines, you have to have a controlled environment. Sorry, your wedding will be a perfect day for love but it may not be a perfect day for pictures. With a post-wedding photo session, your photographer can recreate your day so that you have the photos you want! You can’t command the sun to set or rain not to fall on your wedding day BUT you can time your photos around weather conditions in a post-wedding shoot. And, because you will not be rushed, your photographer can get great photos.
~ Michelle and Ray were married at Cedarwood. Due to traffic, they were 2 hours behind schedule so they only had 10 minutes to do their posed photo. After the ceremony, it was too dark to get outdoor shots. (Wedding day photo on left). Such is life. Luckily, they hired Erin of The Collection, to do their post-wedding photos. Instead of the beautiful, rustic look of Cedarwood, they opted for a downtown city feel for their post-wedding shoot. (Post-wedding photo on right). ~
~ Wedding day photo at Cedarwood (right); Post-wedding downtown photo (right) ~
Hire the photographer of your dreams…
Another thing to consider is your budget. If you have a small budget and the photographer of your dreams isn’t in your budget, check their rate for a post-wedding day shoot. You might find that their weekday rate is in you post-wedding budget, since your wedding expenses will be out of the way. If so, you can schedule a post-wedding shoot with your favorite photographer for a weekday after your wedding; hire your second favorite photographer (who fits your budget) for your wedding day, to shoot family and candid shots. That will give you the best of both worlds.
…at the locations you love.
Day after or post wedding shots may also allow you to travel to different locations. Say you are getting married at a farm 30 miles from Nashville. You will not have time on your wedding day to travel into the city to get those Nashville landmark shots. But for your post-wedding session, you can do just that. Pre- and post-wedding shoots allow you a better chance at getting the incredible wall art that you desire without taking away your precious time with your groom, family and friends on your wedding day.
Tips for your post wedding day shots:
Erin recommends that you schedule your post-wedding session as quickly as you can after wedding. 1) You may have lost a lot of weight for your wedding and you want to fit into your dress for your session! 2) you want to ride momentum/high of the day 3) if you wait too long (over a month), life will get in the way and you may never make time to take them. It’s also ideal if you decide on the post-wedding shoot before your wedding day. This will allow your photographer to focus on great candids, strictly photojournalism on the day, and then maybe do a stunning fashion-focused post-wedding day shoot after your wedding.