Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

by Hanna Prince

Wedding photographs are a lasting reminder of your big day. Here’s how to ensure a magical set of shots for the family album, says Hanna Prince.

You’ve found the perfect venue, picked the outfits and written the vows – now it’s time to capture memories that last a lifetime. A stunning wedding album is on the must-have list of most brides and grooms, and you needn’t have a bottomless budget to achieve it. From finding the right photographer to getting the bride’s makeup right, we share our essential tips.

CHOOSE YOUR VISUAL

Before you begin that all-important search for a photographer, it’s worth considering your favourite photographic style. Traditionally, wedding shots were formal posed portraits captured over a few allocated time slots. Today, though, you can choose from an ever-expanding array of styles, from quirky action shots and unobtrusive reportage to artistic black and white and beautifully lit studio-style portraits. Wedding photographers tend to gravitate towards one particular style, although many are happy to be flexible. Not sure of your preferences? Get inspired by putting together a digital scrapbook of favourite photos and see where your preferences lie.

FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER

Choosing the right photographer is, of course, the most important element in ensuring album-ready wedding snaps. Personal recommendations are a good place to start, as are online comparison sites. Once you find a photographer you like, ask to speak to past customers and see full wedding shoots – remember, websites will only display the artist’s very best work. Found a photographer whose style you love but can’t afford the price tag? Talk to them. Some will offer packages or afternoon-only shoots to fit a tighter budget. It’s worth spending the time to interview a few photographers face-to-face just to make sure you click. And finally, remember that the best snappers get booked up many months – sometimes even years – in advance, so get in there as early as possible.

BEFORE-AND-AFTER

While some couples opt for photographs on the big day only, others like to organise multiple memory-catching moments. Engagement shoots are common and can be a good way of getting familiar with your photographer before the wedding, as can pre-wedding shoots closer to the day. Particularly proud of your outfit? Many brides schedule fashion-style shoots specifically to showcase their dress, and there’s a growing move towards romantic boudoir shots (think tasteful and sensual rather than explicit). If that sounds a little too daring, why not arrange for your photographer to be on-hand on the morning of the wedding to capture the dressing process? Many wedding photographers work as a duo or have assistants so that bride and groom can both feature in these preparation pictures.

STRIKE A POSE

While a good wedding photographer will do their best to suss out your most flattering angles, there are a few tricks you can use to look flawless on film. Airbrush makeup is your friend, as are defined brows and dyed lashes, but steer clear of excess bronzer, heavy foundation, fake lashes and SPF (it can give your skin an unflattering, oily sheen). When it comes to posing, the traditional red-carpet style tends to flatter most figures – angle your body towards the camera with your weight on your back foot. Lowering your shoulder towards the camera to elongate your neck, tilting your head slightly to one side to avoid a double chin and – most importantly – genuinely smiling can all help as well.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Getting your guests involved with the photography is a great way to capture some more spontaneous shots. Why not hire a fun photo booth or leave disposable cameras on the tables so that they can snap away? Finally, sharing photos of your day is a big part of the fun. Social media isn’t the only option – free picture-sharing apps let couples create a personalised dashboard where guests can upload photos as well. Finally, why not create photo books for your closest family and friends so that they can treasure those memories as much as you do?