Recently on Instagram we did a little poll of what our followers wanted to see more of on our blog, and tips for getting the most from your wedding photography came out on top. When it came to sitting down and writing the blog though, we realised it is too broad a topic to write just one post about.
So here we are, the start of a series of blog posts all about how to “get the most” out of your wedding photography at key moments during the wedding day. This first post is fittingly all about the first part of the day. The 'getting ready' or 'prep' photography.
What even is 'prep' photography?!
Also known as “getting ready photography” this is the part of the day before the ceremony begins. For us, we usually arrive around 2 hours before the ceremony, depending of course on how far you need to travel if you are getting ready somewhere off site of your wedding venue.
It isn’t uncommon for people to think one of two very different things when we say that. Either “2 hours seems like too much time” or “but my hair stylist is coming so much earlier than that can you not start shooting then” so before we talk about getting the most out of your photos…lets first talk about why we say 2 hours and why we think that is the perfect amount of time…
You don’t want us there when you first wake up...
Trust us! When you first open your eyes on your wedding morning and jump into the hair styling chair, blurry eyed and in need of a coffee, that is not the time you want us bursting in the door ready to capture the day. We recommend you have that time to settle into the flow of the day, spend some time with your loved ones un-documented and have a brew.
You’ll also want to spend 10 minutes making sure your outfit is hung up somewhere and your accessories are all gathered to be photographed without feeling rushed.
We find that 2 hours gives us time to do everything and you are getting pampered and your hair and makeup is all done before we get there don’t panic…you will always want touch ups! Almost all of the hair and makeup photos you see on our website are done in the touch up stage which means you are all done up ready, but still get those lovely shots!
It goes quicker than you think
If you are in camp “2 hours is aaaaaages” we hate to tell you this, but on a wedding day the basic concept of time seems to go completely out of the window. 2 hours feels like 10 minutes somehow…it’s true!
When we first arrive we usually take time to say hello to everyone, your wedding party and other suppliers, and get our kit out and ready. At this point if it is offered we will never say no to a coffee, and the first 15 minutes is usually spent making everyone feel comfortable with us being there, asking how your morning has been, and checking out the best places for the light and backdrops in your chosen location.
Then we spend some time getting detail shots and photographs of your outfit before we start snapping you getting ready, hanging out with your wedding party and getting your outfit together. The hope is that we always allow some time to get portraits of you in your outfit too before you run out of the door (more on that later!)
So trust us…2 hours is enough time to get everything done…but it will fly by!
With all of that said…how do you get the most out of your time in the morning?
Here are our absolute top tips for getting the best out of your prep photographs…
SET ASIDE YOUR OUTFIT & ACCESSORIES
We mentioned earlier about getting your outfit and accessories together for us to photograph. Doing this before we get there means that we will get straight onto detail photographs first before things get a little more chaotic. We might move your outfit somewhere with nice lighting but having it hung in a good space helps us out. Grab your accessories too. Items like watches, jewellery, shoes, personalised items, veils or ties, scents, and a copy of your invitation all make gorgeous photographs!
Oh, and if you do one thing ahead of the day do this…buy a “nice” hanger for your outfit. We recommend a plain white wooden one if you aren’t sure. It just looks so much nicer than a plastic one!
EAT AND STAY HYDRATED
Not really so much for the photos but for yourself. You probably won’t be eating for a long time in the day, and nobody likes being hangry, especially under time pressure, so set aside some time to have a cuppa, a glass of water, and something to eat. We promise the rest of the day will feel so much easier!
THINK ABOUT THE LIGHT
When you are booking somewhere to get ready before your wedding, try and think about the light. Both your photographers and your hair & makeup team love having lots of natural light to work with!
When you start getting your makeup and hair done think about setting this up near a nice window or in an area that isn’t too dark and cramped, if you can be facing the window that is even better! A gorgeous bit of window light, even on a cloudy day, makes your photographs just *chefs kiss*
LEAVE TIME FOR PORTRAITS
Don’t get into your wedding outfit with 5 minutes to spare…please! You’ve likely put lots of time and thought into what you are wearing for your ceremony and we just ask that you give the outfit the time it deserves. You want to have enough time to not just be chucking it on quickly, to be able to soak the experience up, and show it off to the rest of your party.
Then we ask if we can steal you for 10 minutes for some portraits before you leave. You might think you aren’t sure you want them, but even if you just have a few, they will be the photographs you look back on when you are celebrating your 30th anniversary and think “I looked SO GOOD”
NO NEGATIVE SELF TALK ALLOWED
So this might not seem relevant to photography…but trust us it actually kind of is. Getting ready for your wedding can be sometimes a little overwhelming, and everyone in the room should be there to make you feel all sorts of fantastic and confidence.
As your photographers, we want you to feel amazing so that your happiness will reflect in the images. So we just want to remind you to ban any negative self talk from your getting ready space…only kindness and positivity allowed! You will all look, and more importantly feel, gorgeous we promise!
If there is anything else you think we should add to the blog let us know! Any tips or tricks you learned from weddings you’ve been to, or things people have told you before your big day!
SOAK IT IN
Most importantly, remember to soak it in! Take a breath, look around, this is your wedding day! Be present, be excited, be emotional…feel however you feel and trust your photographers to capture it all!
Hopefully you've found something helpful in here, and if you have any tips or tricks you have learned yourself please feel free to leave them in the comment to help future couples!