My sister just got married and I wondered, what are some easy things I can do to make sure she gets great pictures? So I called in a pro--Matthew Druin Photography--to find out.
Enjoy! ~ Marcie
We have had the opportunity to be a part of many beautiful weddings all over the US and other countries. With that many weddings comes a lot of experience. Here are the top three easy things we feel you should do to get the best wedding photos.
Give yourself some extra time
When planning your wedding, be sure to pad your timeline with extra time. We suggest adding at least 15-20 minutes in-between the key points of your day. For example, between getting ready and your first look or ceremony, portraits, and reception. This will help you stay on time when unexpected things come up and they definitely will. From the rings being lost, brides not able to figure out how to lace up their dresses, cakes falling over, all the way to grooms ripping their pants, we’ve seen it all. If your day goes perfectly you can always use the extra time to relax, take in the day, and even use the restroom. You will definitely need it!
Give a First look a glance...
Although a first look is not for everyone, it is something to consider, especially if you are having a sunset ceremony. There’s nothing worse than only being left with night time portraits. The first look allows you to see each other completely private or with your bridal party and family watching. It’s all up to you! It’s an intimate and romantic time that allows you and your partner to really take everything in, talk, kiss, and enjoy the moment together. One photography advantage is it allows your photographer to capture a lot of candid moments that turn into beautiful natural portraits. It also allows you to capture portraits at a different time of day. You can even plan time to have your bridal party and family photos done before the wedding allowing you to go straight to the reception with the rest of your guests.
Make time for great shots
If creative portraits are important to you, you can budget additional time in your timeline. We always like to ask for at least 45 minutes of time from our couples just to photograph the creative portraits they love. This will allow us to get plenty of amazing photos without stressing over time and even allows us to go to multiple locations. We always try to finish up with 15 minutes to spare, so our couples have some time to freshen up and relax before going into the reception.
You hired a professional photographer because that is what they do. My full time career is photographing awesome weddings and I feel one of the most critical attributes to look for in a photographer is trust.
Like your loving relationship, there is no solid foundation to work from without trust. What you don’t want is to have to continually manage your photographer to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to or doing what you think they are supposed to be doing. Be sure to really research your photographer and most importantly, spend time with them. Set up an in-person meeting or video meeting if you are having a destination wedding or hiring a photographer from a different area than where you live.
Get to know your photographer - professionally & personally
Ask to see multiple full wedding days, album and product samples, and have them explain their style and approach. Also, aside from the general “business like” questions, spend time getting to know them on a personal level. We feel your potential photographer should be doing the same with you. Unlike other vendors such as your cake or venue, photography is an extremely intimate and personal experience. You will spend more time with your photographer before, during, and after the wedding than you will with most of your friends and family. You don’t want to have to spend all that time with someone you feel uncomfortable or awkward with.
Practice Makes Perfect
We strive for full transparency by spending time educating our couples on what to expect, and having fun building a trusting relationship. An engagement session is also a great opportunity to work with your photographer before the big day. This will give you a chance to see how they work, get to know each other on a more personal level, and have fun. All of this in combination will help build a strong trusting relationship that will serve you and your photographer well on the big day!
The true secret to getting amazing photos is to relax and have fun. There’s an old saying, "the camera doesn’t lie." This is so true for weddings!
Don’t over think things or stress. doing so will cause you to look tense, stiff, and those types of negative feelings will show very clear in the photos. The more relaxed and in the moment you are, the more fun you will have, which will result in more beautiful and amazing photos. By now, you should start to see how padding your timeline can decrease anxiety so you’re not stressed on your big day. With extra time to relax, and the trusting relationship you have built with your photographer, you will feel more comfortable and actually enjoy your big day. Those are the real secrets to having awesome photos that will last a lifetime.
Matthew Druin is an Atlanta, GA based award winning, off-beat wedding photographer specializing in all awesome people. He frequently travels all over for awesome wedding couples with no travel fees. He spends his time with his wife Jessica, awesome son Mason, and two adopted and extremely playful rescue schnauzers, Jetta and Little Bear.
Learn more about Matt and see his work at www.matthewdruin.com or