No doubt you’ve read a thousand of these ‘Must Have Photo’ lists printed in various magazines, as useful as those photographs are, is that really what you’re paying for? If you’re anything like me, you don’t just want the moments, you want the magic.
- Every photographer gets the groom’s reaction to the bride, but what about the bride first seeing him? The moment when she turns to face the open door where her husband to be stands before her, that smile should light up the room, and who wouldn’t want to remember that moment forever?
- The finer details. You spent hours looking up the perfect place settings, the favours, the decorations, the little hanging glass vases with petals in, for them all to be taken down without a trace after a few hours. You might keep a few spare ones in a box or be able to sort of see them in the background, but if they were worth putting all that time into surely they’re worth getting photographs of? After all your big day is made up of a lot of little things, and they should all be captured.
3. Of course the group photos are sort of fun, everyone stood quite awkwardly looking at the camera, maybe fairly intoxicated depending on the time of day, but is their posing ability why you love your friends and family? Of course it isn’t. That’s why your photographer should be getting the real spontaneous moments of fun, when your Auntie Margaret decides to cut footloose and your cousin does his first shot of Sambuca with the groom and can’t control his facial expressions. One priceless photo to aim for is both sets of parents enjoying a laugh or a dance together. While the Bride and Groom are obviously incredibly important, weddings are also about families coming together and if you can tell that story from your wedding photos you will have something really special to share for years to come.
4. The extended family groups. If you have a really bossy uncle or an over organised cousin half the hard work here is done for you. During the reception, designate a family organiser and ask them to round up all the family members in one spot except for the Bride and Groom, once everyone is present, the photographer can grab the newlyweds place them in the middle and click click click. The family members are happy they got a photo with the happy couple, and the happy couple are even happier they didn’t have to spend too long away from the reception for more family photos.
5. Expressions. This is all about timing and anticipation so only the most experienced of wedding photographers are likely to produce these for you. However you may find a family member was in the right place at the right time and managed to catch that smile, that tear, that moment your little girl grabbed your husbands hand mid slow dance, it’s all part of the story and are such beautiful additions to your wedding album. When you look back through your wedding photos you want to feel the emotion all over again, whether it’s two months, two years or two decades later the photography is what will bring those memories back. It’s the little moments between the big ones, the behind the scenes shots, the ‘I remember’ that triggers that spark up the conversations.
Experienced wedding photographers don’t really want to see that ‘must have’ list again and again, so discuss your ideas with them, discuss these ideas with them, tell them you would rather not even know they’re there than having them shout orders because they NEED to get that shot of you being held by the best men (sigh), otherwise your wedding day could turn into a photoshoot very quickly and you’ll have very few genuine moments to look back on.