Photography: 5 Simple Tips To Help You Enhance Your Wedding Photos {The Couple’s Shoot} - LoveLuxe Blog

Photography: 5 Simple Tips To Help You Enhance Your Wedding Photos {The Couple’s Shoot}

 

Hi, it’s Lydia here again from Lydia Stamps Photography.

 

This year I’ve been here on LoveLuxe giving you guys some of my top tips to help you get the most awesome wedding photos possible. So far we’ve looked at ways you can help your photographer capture the best record of your day through having an engagement shoot, and a few tips for the bridal preparations and the ceremony.

 

Today I’m looking at the couple’s shoot. This is one of the most special and important parts of the day, and all too often it’s rushed, or swept under the carpet due to time constraints or nerves but of course everyone wants that beautiful photograph of themselves and their new spouse looking happy, glowing and beautiful on their big day, brimming with love and the elation that you only feel on that one day. So, I’ve got my top five easy tips for you to help your photographers capture some beautiful wedding portraits for you.

 

 

Photograph by Lydia Stamps Photography

 

1) Have an Engagement Shoot

 

I’ve already covered just how having an engagement shoot will help the final record of your photographs in an article here, but it really is just so useful, and makes such a difference that I wanted to re-iterate it in this post. Having an engagement shoot gives you the chance to meet your photographer and get relaxed with them and their camera before the big day when you’re likely to be more anxious. If you’re stressed or nervous it definitely shows up on film so having an engagement shoot will mean you can go through the motions during your couple’s shoot like a pro on the day.

 

One of the positive results of an engagement shoot, as I mentioned is getting to know your photographer and getting relaxed around them as well as getting a taste for how they work. Trusting your photographer is one of the key components for getting awesome couple shots. I hope you’ve chosen your photographer because you love their creativity and their style _ because they’re an expert in their field. So, with this in mind let their imagination _ creativity run free for the best possible results! If they ask you to sit on a tractor/fence/wade into a cornfield/or kick your shoes off and get in the sea GO FOR IT. Or if they ask you to nip outside between the main and dessert because there is beautiful golden sunset light which you’ll miss otherwise- DO IT. Your photographer has an eye for what will look good on camera, _ they’ll want to give you the best photographs possible so trust them. You don’t get to do the day again, and things like the right light make a huge difference.

 

A key example of one of my client’s really ‘going with me’ was at a wedding I shot back in April in Bournemouth. It’s been hot and sunny for a few weeks now, but back then we hadn’t seen the sun for months and on this April Saturday it was a beautiful hot sunny day after a week of rain. The plan had been to do the bridal portraits in the gardens surrounding the hotel, but as it was such a gorgeous day and we were minutes from the beach I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss and so I booked the couple a taxi down to the beach to arrive mid way through their drinks reception- just after the group photos and confetti. After the ceremony I told them about my idea and they were both so surprised and excited about getting away for a some time just the two of them and for a bit of a spontaneous adventure! The resulting images are some of my favourites and they absolutely love them too. It would have been very easy for them to say- ‘no we’d rather not’, and to stick with the plan, but in trusting me and having a sense of adventure they got some wedding portraits they’d only ever dreamed of, as well as an experience they weren’t expecting, adding an extra dimension to the whole day!

 

 

  

 

Photographs by Lydia Stamps Photography 

 

2) Make Time for Your Portraits

 

Of course you don’t want to be kept from your wedding _ guests for hours but it is important to make some time for your couples’ shoot. I usually request twenty minutes to half an hour with my couples so I’m not keeping them from the party too long, but for enough time to get them relaxed and to get the creative juices flowing. If your photographer is up against the clock and rushing you round various locations at your venue the whole experience is likely to be stressful and unpleasant rather than relaxing _ enjoyable. As I’ve mentioned, being relaxed is really important for your couple’s shoot, it’s probably the most important factor as if you’re uncomfortable then it will really come across. This topic leads me to my next tip-

 

 3) Get Away from your Guests! 

 

Another way to keep you as relaxed as possible is to choose a location well away from the prying eyes of your guests. You just wont be able to relax and focus if the best man is heckling you while you’re trying to look lovingly into your other half’s eyes, and I have even had keen amateur guests offer to second shoot the couple’s portraits- again not so relaxing if Uncle Bob is watching your snog your beloved passionately! This might be the only time during the day that you and your betrothed get to yourselves so find a nice secluded spot for a bit of peace, quiet and privacy.

 

Lots of my couples have surprised themselves by saying it was one of their favourite parts of the day, when in advance they were so nervous about it, as it got them away from worrying about whether Aunty June was talking to her estranged husband and whether the canapés were coming out on time!

 

Not all venues have a plethora of secluded locations available and so sometimes it’s good to consider off site options. I have done shoots at fields or woodlands en route to the reception venue from the church allowing the couple to make a bit of an entrance and be greeted by their guests in applause. I’ve also or taken my couples off for a drive up a pretty village lane round the corner in my trusty Yaris!

 

Another option is to leave the ceremony venue promptly and to shoot your portraits as soon as you arrive at your venue, while the guests are finding their cars, and making their way to the venue. It’s also possible to split your shoot into chunks and make use of the ten to fifteen minutes when your guests are called into sit down for dinner. It always takes a little time for everyone to get settled so it’s a great time to make the most of and take a few snaps- again, allowing you to make your entrance!

 

 

Photograph by Lydia Stamps Photography

 

4) Consider the time of day your portaits will be taken, and the available light.

 

Now, this may sound silly but if you love light, fresh and bright photographs, but your ceremony is at 4pm in December then you may be disappointed. When you’re planning your wedding take into consideration that your photographer will need as much available natural light as possible. Of course it’s possible to do all sorts of fabulous things with creative flash but personally I think you can’t beat beautiful natural light.

 

I’m a huge fan of what us photographers call ‘the golden hour’, and if you also love golden, sunset shots consider having your portraits after dinner, before the first dance. You’ll have had a few drinks so if you’re nervous in front of the camera this is great for some dutch courage! On a hot day it’s also an advantage as the sun is less dazzling and the light is simply beautiful. This is ideal between June and August but as September approaches the nights do drawn in alarmingly fast so check those sunset times!

 

 

Photograph by Lydia Stamps Photography

 

5) Get Creative- Add props and character! 

 

My final tip is to get creative!! Why not express your creativity, show your character, or extend your wedding theme with a fun prop? Both musicians? Bring the instruments along! Having a dinosaur theme?  Get some masks! I am so excited to be photographing a farmer’s wedding next year which will feature a portrait of the bride with her pet cow!! Fun photos like this will provide a bit of interest and will also be brilliant ice breakers for you and your photographer to get into it before moving onto the more romantic, classic poses.

 

One of my very first weddings was with this fabulous couple who had a movie themed wedding as they’re both major film buffs. So, they bought along a clacket board, and a couple of inflatable guitars as they wanted to be rock stars for the day! I also have a chalk board I often bring along to weddings which is a useful prop for writing messages to guests who couldn’t make it, or for use afterwards on a thank you card.

 

 

 

Photographs by Lydia Stamps Photography

 

So, there you have it. My top five tips. I hope this has been useful, and given you a bit of food for thought on how you can get the very best possible portraits of you and your loved one on the day. Most importantly above all else, relax and enjoy the moment of creating a beautiful record of your wedding as it will all pass by so quickly!

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