Your wedding photos are a huge part of your wedding and will provide memories for years to come. Your wedding photographer should provide you with lots of ideas when you visit for a consultation, and be sure to look through their portfolio to get some ideas of their general style, too. You might also want to invite your photographer along to your venue before the big day so you can work together to decide on suitable places for photos and explore some alternative shots you may not have thought of previously.
An important point is to stick to your personality, your comfort zone and how you'd like your wedding to be described. There are various different styles of wedding photography available, and many photographers will offer a good choice within their abilities. For example, there's the more traditional group or couple posed photos inside and outside the venue; candid or journalistic shots where the photographer captures natural moments through the day; detail shots of your wedding dress, preparations, rings, flowers and all the little elements that make your wedding so special; and finally a whole host of alternative shots which will highlight and make the most of the uniqueness of your wedding.
Here are a few ideas to give you some wedding photography inspiration:
These can start as early as your engagement! Many couples today opt for an engagement shoot with their chosen photographer – partly to get to know the way the photographer works and also to get a batch of great, relaxed photos of you as a couple. These can then be used for invitations, save-the-date cards, or even as decoration at the ceremony or reception.
Traditionally, the groom is not expected to see the bride until the ceremony – especially not her wedding dress! – but there are some cheeky and fun ways to get around this for the sake of pre-ceremony photos as a couple. For example, why not find a way to hide from each other while in the same photo, such as standing on either side of the corner of a building or a door (possibly reaching out to hold hands), or be pictured in blindfolds!
Preparation shots generally cover the wedding dress, the bride's bouquet and shoes, and her bridesmaids as they get ready for the big day. If your photographer works as part of a team, you can also get equivalent shots of the groom and his groomsmen as they prepare for the wedding. A lovely touch is to show details without the actual bride and groom to create symbolic images such as the wedding dress and the groom's suit hanging next to each other, or the bride and groom's shoes or rings side by side.
There's also that all-important moment of arrival when the bride turns up to the ceremony that the photographer will not want to miss!
These are likely to be a mix of both traditional, posed and candid photos, while the photographer works in the background during the ceremony, and afterwards when the wedding party are ready to group together for photos.
Again, capturing all the little details of the ceremony is so important – holding hands, teary guests, bridesmaids and groomsmen, the venue itself, that first kiss as husband and wife … valuable to photograph, but be sure to let them know if you have your own ideas in mind.
Finally, you're married! You can hug and kiss and dance the rest of the night away as a loving couple! Here's where the real photo fun starts, and the options are limitless. Opt for individual, couple and group shots, or let your photographer loose to capture whatever catches their eye through the reception.
Take advantage of your venue as a backdrop, or create your own 'photo booth' with props, signs and costumes so that your guests can create some truly hilarious images for you to treasure.
Play with angles – why not have everyone stand in the shape of a heart and have a photo taken from above. Use reflections, lighting and decorations to give your photos individuality and interest. Take some time as a couple to have some photos taken which really show your feelings at this special moment. And last but not least, ensure you get lots of pictures of your wedding dress in all its detail and glory – after all, you will not be wearing it again!