Our family attended a wedding on Holmes Beach in Florida last week. My older brother (a.k.a. Cousin) married his sweetheart. As chance would have it, their professional photographer had to cancel at the last-minute. I used to be a Wedding Photographer and honestly adore capturing the joy and excitement of a couple’s special day. My camera with me, I loved filling the role. I created this collage just for you to share just a slice of the beautiful ceremony (I used this tutorial). The delightful day reminded me of some key tips anyone can use even with a Professional Photographer.
Top 3 Wedding Photography Tips – these are really to help the Bride and Groom handle the precious details of capturing their special day. But, even guests can pick up something helpful.
1) Digital Paparazzi – everyone with a phone will want to take photos of the wedding ceremony, with the bride and groom, of family groups, or simply of the beautiful place. Here are some suggestions for how to help them do a great job without interfering:
– Set aside a place for your personal paparazzi crowd to snap away without crowding out the rest of your attendees.
– Have a Planner or Volunteer Director play body-guard and discuss ahead of time where you’d like the paparazzi to have coverage and where they need to keep their distance.
– Standing on the Red Carpet – enjoy the spot light and be sure you’ve got snacks and water nearby, because everyone will want to get a snapshot with you or congratulate you before the reception or before you get to sit down and actually eat.
2) Posing like a Model – did you know part of the reason models look so thin and perfect is because they practice how they stand, smile and brush their hair? Well, they may not actually brush their own hair – stylists do it, but you get the idea. Here are some keys for everyone posing in group shots:
– Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Practice this at home – stand at a 45 degree angle from the photographer, then twist at the waist to face them directly. This can make you look 10lbs thinner. Try it out at home and find a stance that feels comfortable and makes you look good. While you’re at it try out your smile and head tilt. Pulling your chin way from your neck just a little can eliminate the double chin shadow effect.
– Click like a Professional Photographer: The professionals take loads of photos at rapid fire shutter clicks, because even the slightest shift in a stance can create a better photo. Take lots of photos. Don’t shoot just one of any pose. And then, delete for the best later. Really, deleting later is easier than missing a perfect shot, and with digital cameras it’s easy.
3) Photo Flooding – How to you deal with all the photos your personal Paparazzi took at your wedding? There are many, many options. Let me share a few of my favorites:
– Free Group: You can set up a free group on Flickr.com or Facebook.com where members can share photos and you get to look at them all in one place. I know there are many others, but these are the ones I use, because they allow tagging and are free. If you’re not sure how to set them up, ask a technically inclined friend or relative. They might even be willing to set it up for you. Then, you can print up a little slip or post a little sign by your guest book asking the Paparazzi to share their files in that specific location.
– Set up a Print Share Site: Many Online Printing companies allow you to create an album where folks can order prints or upload their own files. This can be a wonderful way to outsource the hassle of getting prints for Mom, Dad, Great Aunt Jane and Cousin Eddy. Flickr.com and Facebook.com offer links to printing services, but I personally use Shutterfly.com. They offer reasonable prices, and I’ve been happy with their service for over 5 years. I once met a Professional Photographer willing to add guest photos to their site. So, don’t hesitate to ask your Professional Photographer if they offer this service.