Must Have Wedding Photographs
I am often asked by brides (and occasionally grooms!) what are the “Must have wedding photographs”. My reply is often confusing to them:
“Whatever you would like – it’s your wedding!”
Then thing about shooting “Must Have wedding photographs” is that photographers tend to shoot only those and so the same photos appear in all of the albums and everything starts to look the same. The thing about a wedding is that they are all different!
Different brides and grooms, different parents (or sets of parents if we include divorces etc), different venues, different weather etc. The photos are really down to what the bride and groom would like. It is, after all, their wedding!
Ok, so some of the more traditionalists amongst you are about to start shooting me down. But consider this. Who is paying for the wedding photography and the album? You or the bride and groom? I would say 100% bride and groom. Therefore they should get what they want in their album. Simples :)
I do shoot the traditional wedding shots, but my style of photography means that I can do those in a different way without the shots having to look like clones of last weeks, last months and last years wedding. My style also means that the brides and grooms get more intimate, candid shots without the need for feeling uncomfortable at having to pose. A pose for me is just the couple together, feeling comfortable. Some people look more romantic than others admittedly. I call these “created moments” and it is one of the best ways of getting the sunset and evening photographs I love at St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club
One other thing on taking these “Must Have wedding photographs” – it is an excuse for most photographers to hurry the couple up to get the shots done so the photographer can leave. Sorry to say this – that just isn’t professional! I have no time frame on my weddings which means you can do whatever you want in any order you want when you want. yours paying me to be there all day and all day it is!
Not having a set rota of shots allows for much more creativity in designing an album – and that is something that my brides and grooms do. They choose the images they want and they decide how the album is going to look.
Making the Wedding Photographs Stand Out
One of the things I do to give those Must Have Wedding Photographs to my clients is to make my wedding photographs stand out from the crowd. I use techniques called Off Camera Flash for this. It’s not hard to do, but hard to master well. Using it you get great looking images like this:
If you are a wedding photographer and want to know more then click the link for my article on Off Camera Flash Techniques.
I do sort of insist on doing group shots, especially if large families are coming together. Whether the images are used or not in the album is pretty irrelevant to me. The family has a photographic record, a social history of itself. And as more and more people live away from where they were born and we get old and start to pass away I feel that things like that are vitally important. As a Bristol Wedding Photographer, I really encourage my couples to think about what group and family photographs they want – I don’t mind then and they are THE must have wedding photographs for me.
So, If I am pushed (and I mean really pushed!) then this is what I would say are the must have wedding photographs-
- Prep Shots – Bride & Groom & Bridesmaids, Best men etc
- The Dress – Hanging or Draped backlit against a window
- Maid of Honour & Brides Mam – Helping Bride into the Dress (or on occasion a photo of the photographer helping to do this – see below!)
- Bride Applying Make Up
- Groom Checking the Time
- Bride with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
- Groom with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
- Groom waiting at altar/venue
- Church / Venue Wide Shot (with & without guests)
- Bride walking down aisle
- Father giving away bride
- Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)
- Holding hands – Bride and Groom
- Bride & Groom Kiss (lots of this – they need the practice!)
- Bride & Groom + cars (inside, outside etc
- Reception/Banquet Hall Outside shot
- Shots of Bride & Groom with & without family
- Bride and Groom Portraits
- Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
- Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits
- Best Man & Maid of Honour Toast/Speeches
- Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches
- First Dance
- Bride & Father Dance
- Groom & Mother Dance
- Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom
- Misc. Guests Dancing (avoid the embarrassing shots!!)
- Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
- Bouquet Toss (not many brides actually do this now by the way!)
- Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
- Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
- Any other photos I am asked to take. I am after all on the clock for the bride and groom!
Yes, this is just one the services I offer!! I am pretty much an expert at getting the dress looking fab from the back and can always be relied upon to carry lipstick, lip gloss, hairspray, combs, brushes, mints, water etc during the ay for brides and grooms :) After all – where is a bride going to put a bottle of water….
Bristol Wedding Photographer, Andrew Miller
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