When it comes to capturing memories from your big day, photographs play a crucial part. The wedding photographer Philippa Sian from Philippa Sian Photography shares her top five tips for getting the perfect pictures.
1. Choose the right photographer for you
There are a number of different options to consider before investing in a photographer. Is there a certain look you prefer? Do you know the difference between a film and digital camera, or documentary vs. contemporary style? Once you've narrowed your choices down, meet with your potential photographer to see if you think you'll get on and feel comfortable. The more relaxed you are around them, the more confident you'll be in front of the camera on your wedding day.
2. Scout out your venue
Once you've got your venue booked, visiting it before your big day is essential. If possible, go with your stylist and photographer, who can help to plan your photos. For example, the space may tell you the 'normal place' to put the wedding cake is in the corner of the room. However, your stylist might find a beautiful spot that will work better.
It is always good to have your photographer on hand because they can assess the light. You may be planning a gorgeous, floral wall display, but if it is in the wrong place it won't photograph well. Your photographer will also be able to recommend areas for indoor group shots if it rains, or scout out the perfect position for your couple portraits. All of this preparation will help to get you the best photographs.
3. Do a practise run
An engagement or pre-wedding shoot is a foolproof way to make sure your photographs are perfect. The practise sessions will allow you to relax, feel confident and eliminate any nerves you have about posing for the camera. It can feel daunting but it is really fun.
4. Get photo-ready
Before your wedding pictures are taken, it's important to understand the re-touching process. The odd blemish will of course be removed, but photographers won't wipe out under-eye bags or try to make skin look brighter and fresher; this only makes for unnatural photographs.
Perfecting your beauty regime in the lead-up to your wedding will mean you will look your best on the day, and your skin will photograph beautifully. There are lots of fantastic products out there, and these simple tricks will mean you're on the way to being 'photograph ready': get enough sleep in the week running up to your wedding – ensure you aren't up late creating last-minute table plans. Drink plenty of water to make your skin glow and look clearer. Do not self-tan the night before – any mistakes will show up in your photographs. If you do want to feel a little bronzed, have a professional trial done in advance to make sure the colour and coverage is to standard. Once you are happy, have your tan applied two days before your wedding.
5. Keep things tidy
The morning of your wedding is such a special time. It's always easy for the space you are in to get messy very quickly. A photographer won't Photoshop out plastic bags or an unmade bed, so ask your bridesmaids to keep on top of keeping the room presentable throughout the morning. Gather all your personal items for your photographer in advance. He or she will use some of the time to capture details like your jewellery, garter, perfume and stationery. Make them aware of anything special you want included to ensure nothing is missed.