5 tips to get the most from your wedding photos

wedding photography

1. Have an engagement photoshoot

I can’t emphasise enough how valuable a pre-wedding engagement shoot is to allow me to get to know you better, and for you to then feel more comfortable having your photograph taken on your wedding day. Every couple relates to one another differently and the engagement session helps me learn about you so I can capture images that reflect your true personalities and the unique essence of your relationship – whether you’re gregarious, playful, quiet or touchy-feely. This is when your friends and family will look at your photographs and say: “That’s SO you!”. Most of my couples feel a surge of reassurance and confidence after seeing their engagement images. They knew they were in safe hands already, but now they believe that they look great in a photograph – and the wedding images that follow are more natural, warm and real as a result.

2. Check out your venue’s lighting

Light is everything to me as a photographer, whether I’m capturing a bright, crisp summer wedding or magical, candlelit winter nuptials. If you’re therefore relying on the venue’s own lighting arrange to visit your venue at the time of both your ceremony and wedding breakfast and ask them to switch on the lights. Check that the lights work and lightbulbs are in all the fittings (especially chandeliers), and that you generally find the ambience appealing. If you want or need to add your own lighting for atmosphere or drama, consider lamps dotted around tables, up-lighters around the room, a waterfall of LED fairy lights (a relatively inexpensive but impactful feature) and of course you can never have enough candlelight, which looks amazing massed together in groups of candles. Thinking creatively and abundantly about your ambient lighting can make a big difference to your final images, as well as providing the ‘ooh ahh’ factor when your guests walk into the room!

3. Take the pressure off

Take the pressure off yourself and get much more value from your photographer by factoring into your day some social time when you can enjoy a drink with your loved ones. You can do this by booking a single venue for your ceremony and reception (or two venues within 5 or 10 minutes of each other), which will free up time otherwise spent driving between venues. Similarly, you’ll save time by keeping your formal groups list to no more than six small groups of immediate family and closest friends (about 15 minutes). Both these choices will enable your photographer to quietly observe your guests having fun and capture those precious moments instead. The resulting photographs are always more popular than traditional line-ups, you’ll likely get more images and they will truly reflect the day with humour and personality.

4. Think about your guests

As much as the wedding day, and in particular the exchange of vows, is all about you, the secret to a truly great wedding celebration is happy, well-fed guests! To keep your wedding day uplifting throughout and avoid a lull in atmosphere, think about your wedding in terms of ‘zones’, where the whole day is broken into sections and for each section you introduce something interesting or entertaining. Obvious starting points are trays of post-ceremony canapés to keep hunger at bay accompanied by live music, but you might also consider a bartender making personalised cocktails (which is great theatre!), a caricaturist, a close-up magician, and I’ve even seen a Punch & Judy show for little guests, which kept them entertained for a whole hour and allowed me to capture their animated expressions. These thoughtful, personal touches will keep the day flowing and encourage some great reactions, which of course makes for fabulous photographs!

6. Don’t worry about the weather, but plan for it!

The British climate is notoriously unpredictable and weddings held in this country are always at risk from being rained on. Don’t ever worry about your wedding day weather; it can’t be controlled and a good photographer will be able to respond to the changeable forecast and low light. However, to get the most out of your photographs and to ensure your comfort and enjoyment, put a plan in place for inclement conditions.

Small touches will make a big difference, such as providing guests with clear or white umbrellas, baskets of blankets for any outdoor sitters, and serving warm drinks.

Finally, think about your bridal look and how you can stay stylish and practical. I’ve taken some magical photographs in the snow and rain, but I’ve also seen many brides choose a glamorous strapless dress and not want to cover it up. Being cold however will not put you in the mood for socialising or having your photograph taken, so make sure you have an additional layer to wrap around you when outdoors. This can actually look utterly stunning, so play up to the seasons and opt for marabou or faux fur, or a full hooded cape for maximum drama. Your footwear is important too, so bring along a change if you’re concerned you might wreck your ivory satin heels. Really embrace the different photo opportunities that bad weather affords you, such as wearing white wellingtons or sharing a kiss under a bejewelled umbrella.

Mirror Imaging Photography is run by Sarah, an experienced professional and passionate photographer, who has over ten years’ experience in the industry. Her style of photography is elegant, clean and crisp, ensuring that the natural moments of the day are captured. This is why Mirror Imaging’s weddings are regularly featured in national bridal magazines.

The laughter and love in our photographs is real – we make the effort to get to know you to make the photography experience a relaxing one, eliciting the most natural expressions.

Every photograph Sarah takes is edited by her, so that you get an entire collection of images that is consistently beautiful, flattering, technically accurate and bespoke to you.