Written by Vincent van den Berg of Pixan Photography
As a Cancun wedding photographer shooting dozens of weddings in Mexico every year, I have noticed that there is one reality no couple seems to escape – the day goes by so fast!
That’s why you not only want to capture a wide range of moments on your big day, from sipping champagne and getting ready with your bridesmaids to cutting loose on the dance floor at your reception, you want to ensure your images look awesome. After all, your wedding photos will be the lifelong time capsule into your event when the flowers have wilted and the last bit of cake is gone.
Here are five tips for getting amazing wedding photos from your photographer:
1. Research Your Venue
When choosing a wedding venue for both your ceremony and reception, look into the nooks and crannies of the space. By that I mean:
• What is the lighting like?
• Is there plenty of space for group photos?
• Are there interesting backdrops?
• Does the venue supply lighting equipment or will you need to hire an outside vendor to create more light?
Space, lighting, and atmosphere are all key factors for getting great photos. One way to get a feel for what the venue looks like “on film” is to actually look at recent photos and videos of the space.
Show your photographer these photos or set up a time for you and her/him to visit the venue so he or she can get a feel for the space as well.
2. Schedule Enough Time
Photo shoots don’t happen instantly. There is preparation and setup time involved for each shoot, whether it’s for group shots or couple photos.
It’s important to schedule enough time for staged shoots, so talk to your photographer about the timing and ask her what her suggestions are. Otherwise, you might end up with hurried shots where everyone looks a bit frazzled. Timing is especially key when planning outdoor shoots as the best lighting tends to be at the break of dawn and right before sunset.
Specialty shoots require timeline coordination as well. When we plan underwater wedding photography shoots in Mexico, we have to be aware of weather conditions, optimal lighting hours, distance to the location and other considerations so we can advise our clients on the best time frame for scheduling this into their wedding retreat.
If you work closely with your photographer to pre-plan your desired shoots well in advance, scheduling and preparation will be a breeze.
3. Communicate With Your Photographer
Let your photographer know which photos you absolutely must have, but also give them the creative freedom to get the photos they know you’ll love. It’s what they do best, after all.
Of course you’ll want to have open communication with your wedding photographer, but you’ll also want there to be communication between the photographer and other vendors, like the wedding planner or videographer.
Connecting your vendors will allow them to coordinate timelines so they can balance shooting opportunities with other milestones on the day’s agenda.
4. Plan Your Tan
Like any photo you find yourself in, you want to look your best. There’s no doubt you’ll be stunning on your wedding day, but if you want your photos to go from good to great, be mindful of tanning your skin.
Many brides think it’s necessary to get a tan right before the wedding, but most photographers advise against it, as it can create tan lines that are unflattering when captured on photographs.
If tanning is important to you, do it at least one month before the wedding, and preferably several months before, so that your skin is an even color and you can correct any potential skin problems that arise in the process. This is just one of our many summer wedding tips and ideas that can help you plan a gorgeous event with drool-worthy pictures.
5. Relax and Have Fun
I’m sure you’ve heard this advice from so many people at this point, it may seem like overkill. However, my motivation for reminding you to relax, celebrate, and have as much fun as possible is because stress, worry, and frustration will show up on camera!
Whether it’s circles under your eyes from too many sleepless nights, an unwanted skin breakout due to extreme stress or a tightened facial expression because you can’t relax – everything shows in the photograph. The best self-care you can give yourself in preparation for gorgeous wedding images, is relaxation habits. Whether you need mediation, laughter, yoga, sleep, spa time or socializing to release and refresh, choose your favorite activity and get plenty of it in the weeks leading up to your big day.
This is you and your fiance’s special day, so enjoy it to the fullest so you can pop a bottle of bubbly on your first anniversary and relive it again through the amazing wedding album that came from it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vincent is the owner of Pixan Photography, a team of Mexico wedding photographers that are as passionate about their clients as they are their work. When he’s not shooting destination weddings, Vincent loves traveling the world with his wife and son.