Ouch. Does that sound harsh? Nobody likes to think about the possibility of ruining their wedding photos, right? You have a beautiful vision for your wedding and for what you want your photos to look like, but without proper information and preparation there are several ways to really make it difficult for your Arkansas wedding photographer to deliver what you are so hoping to have! So let’s get down to a little bit of tough love for a sec. Behold, my Arkansas Wedding Tips:
- Don’t forget to eat and drink. This might seem obvious, but you might be surprised how many of my brides and grooms (okay, mainly brides) forget to eat and drink as the day goes on. This is a major way to hurt your wedding photos because if you’re dehydrated or hungry your energy levels will be down, your patience will be short and you won’t be nearly as present for your special moments or open to taking the time to snuggle and interact with each other to get those amazing, emotive wedding photographs. In short: You’ll Be Hangry. So make sure that you appoint someone to bring food and drinks, whether that’s a fruit and cheese tray or some prepared hors d’oeuvrs from your caterer. Also, remember that you can’t just drink wine or champagne – you need water!
- Don’t “wing it” in the name of wanting to have a relaxed, easygoing day. It might seem like a good idea to just not stress about your timeline at all and wing it on the day of your wedding, but in reality the only real way to have a stress-free day is by making a great timeline beforehand and spending the time to address the “what-ifs” that will definitely be a factor. There are so many reasons to have a well-made schedule for everything from your hair appointment times to floral delivery time to ceremony time to first dance time. One of the things I do for my clients is work on the timeline with you so that we’re most likely to have time for the photos you want! If you’re working with a planner, he or she will do this for you, but make sure to run things by me too!
- Kill the “transitions” lenses. This one is super simple. The glasses that darken when you go outside are terrible for photos and won’t look good at all, and there’s no way I can fix them by editing. If you or any of your wedding party wears them, tell them to either plan on going glasses-less or pop into their optometrist’s office and see if they can get a pair of frames with no lenses (they may even allow them to be borrowed!).
- Don’t talk during your first dance. I can’t even tell you how many crazy first dance derp faces I have photos of because the bride and groom talked through the whole first dance. I know, I know, you just went through your ceremony, you haven’t seen each other for most of the day and heck, sometimes if you’re not used to dancing (or being in the spotlight) it can even feel a little awkward. But please please please laugh, smile, giggle, flirt or just do your best to melt into the arms of your new husband or wife, close your eyes, forget the world and be completely present in the moments that are your first dance. P.S. This also goes for your father/daughter and mother/son dances!
- And that brings us straight into point #5: don’t share the dance floor for the father/daughter, mother/son dance. I get that sometimes my clients like to save a little time and do these dances both at once, but your photographer is working hard to get the perfect photos of you guys dancing with good angles and minimal shots of your backsides or funny faces or eye blinks in the 3 minutes that an average song lasts. If you share the floor, your photographer has to work twice as quickly in the same amount of time to try to capture those picture perfect moments.
- Last but not least, please consult your photographer about the #1 thing I need to give you spectacular photos: LIGHT! The average person doesn’t think about or see light like I do, but light can make or break your wedding photos. In many situations I can light artificially and achieve beautiful results, but for certain situations – for example, if your outdoor ceremony is positioned and timed that the intense bright sunlight is shining right into your groom’s eyes as he tries to watch you walk up the aisle, there’s nothing I can do to help that and he will be squinting like crazy and the light for your ceremony will be kind of whack. Obviously sometimes that can’t be avoided, but it could also just be something as simple as turning your chairs and arch 90 degrees!
And a bonus tip: remember that at the end of the day, the thing that matters is that you are married to the love of your life. There can always be drama at the wedding, things can happen that are outside the plan and it can be stressful, but do your best to lose yourself in the moments that you two are becoming one. It will definitely result in better photos, and better memories! 🙂