We expect a lot out of our wedding photographers. Their work is meant to capture some of our most special moments and freeze them in time. In order to achieve true photographic magic, your shooter is going to need some help from your and your guests. Popphoto.com asked a few professional wedding photographers for some advice for the future bride and groom-to ensure you capture that perfect shot.
Ben Chrisman, recently named one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers of 2009 by American Photo shares his photography suggestions by proposing that all couples hire a wedding coordinator, if they can afford it.
"You should be enjoying your day, not stressing out over unlit candles and band announcements. Be yourself. The best photos happen when you are feeling comfortable, happy and natural."
And after you say your vows be sure to take your time and enjoy the moment. "When you're walking down the aisle as husband and wife, take your time and don't look down. Walk slowly, look at each other, or look around you-at all your friends and family."
Karin von Voigtlander has a passion for travel-she has traveled and photographed weddings in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bermuda, Greece, Nevis, and Puerto Rico-just to name a few. Having captured events at exotic locations, she recommends all new couples plan their wedding timeline with photography in mind.
"Take into account the season and the region you're getting married in-the most beautiful light of the day is about one to two hours before sunset. Many brides make the mistake of planning their outdoor ceremonies for sunset without taking into account the time involved in taking their formal portraits."
If you are set on having your ceremony at sunset, Voigtlander advises you to take the formal portraits before the ceremony. "Many couples are planning their portraits pre-ceremony for a variety of reasons. Brides should take into account their personal preference as well as the lighting and the time of day of the ceremony."
With over 20 years of experience, Angela Stott is known for her intuitive style and her artful approach, so it's no surprise that she pays close attention and captures the perfect detail shots during the wedding reception. "Consider the placement of the cake. Don't back it against a corner under an exit sign. Try to place it near a window for natural light and away from clutter such as outlets, electrical wiring, and exit signs. The best shots are often taken behind the cake and facing the crowd during the cake cutting. A fantastic position for the cake is in the middle of the dance floor-this placement lends to a great shot-highlighting the atmosphere of the party."
If the bride wants to capture artistic photos of her dress before the ceremony, Stott suggests preparing for the photographer ahead of time. "Consider unwrapping your wedding gown before I arrive; take it out of its protective packaging and place it on an attractive hanger. This will save precious time and it will allow for more photographs of your dress. Think about where you are going to put on your dress. Search for an uncluttered window, and don't just pop [the dress] over your head in a dark cluttered corner."
Brian Tsai's love for photography is apparent through his images. He seeks to freeze the emotion that comes from one of life's major milestones. When photographing weddings, Brian thinks lighting plays a major role in all of his photos. "Lighting is without a doubt one of the most important aspects to good photography. If the ceremony is outdoors, and there is going to be bright sun, watch for trees or other overhead objects that might cast uneven shadow. If the ceremony is indoors, pay attention to where the windows or other large natural light sources are. Backlit conditions can make it difficult to capture the moment."
In case you don't have the picture perfect day with regards to weather, Tsai recommends you not worry too much about it. "While inclement weather can pose a challenge for photography, it's also an opportunity for some unique story-telling photography."