How to Design Your Wedding for the Best Photos

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August 8, 2019 1:19 am Published by

By Cory Peters

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You’ve been dreaming about it since childhood — your wedding day! Planning the perfect wedding is all in the details, and one key detail to plan is the photography that will commemorate the event. Yes, great photo opportunities come about at impromptu moments, but the best wedding pictures are taken when you design your event with memories in mind. After all, your children and grandchildren will cherish those photos for years to come!

Set the Stage

No matter how big or small, a wedding is like a Hollywood event. Experienced photographers know how to capture the essence of every scene. When choosing a venue, consider the aesthetics. Tampa has a beautiful selection of gardens that make picture-perfect backdrops. A garden venue also saves you from having to buy flowers.

Whether you get married in a church, synagogue or reception hall, or prefer the charming setting of a home wedding, it’s important to remember that the people around you are all working toward making this day a special one to cherish, long after the honeymoon is over. 

Lights, Camera, Action!

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When you check off your “to-do” list of wedding preparations, be sure to talk to your photographer about his or her needs. Don’t expect him to just point and shoot. He’ll need time to light the scene and make you look your best.

Ladies, get started early in the day! Have your dress, makeup, and hair ready about 90 minutes before showtime. Professional photographers prefer at least an hour to create a great pre-ceremony photo shoot. A bride and her bridesmaids who dawdle beforehand take precious time away from the photographer. The same thing goes for the groom and his attendants. Don’t rush your photographer; he or she wants you to have the perfect wedding album. 

While the still photos capture people at their best, video can often catch people at their worst. Ask your guests to turn off their cellphones during the ceremony. Your friends and family mean well, but they can interfere with the professionals. There’s nothing worse than dozens of people taking photos at the same time. The wedding party won’t know which direction to look. It’s easy to see the photo below is an amateur snapshot.

Social Media

OK, chances are that your wedding guests will be tempted to sneak a photo or two and post it on social media. You could confiscate all phones and cameras at the door — but that’s not likely to please your guests. A better tactic would be to ask, politely, for your guests to abide by a voluntary embargo for a few hours. Put the request on a prominently placed sign at your venue. If you want the best pictures on your Facebook or Instagram page, the professional shots ones are the way to go. 

Predesign Poses

If you’re having your event in a non-traditional location such as a beach, vineyard, ranch — or even a destination wedding at Disney World — bring your designer’s eye to the table before the big day. Visualize various poses for the bridal party in different settings. Your photographer can help with this. There are no set rules for the types of pictures to take, although you probably will want the standard couple and group shots. Communicating beforehand helps the photographer and videographer determine what kinds of lighting, props, and filtering equipment to have available. 

The Big Picture

Brides, grooms, bridesmaids, ushers, family members, and friends all want to look their best. While the bride and groom are the stars of the show, remember the photographer is the director. Follow their directions, and you’ll be amazed at what develops. At the end of all the planning and partying — and paying the bills — it’s the images that tell the story. 

Cory Peters is a wedding photographer who does her best work at outdoor venues. She’s photographed couples tying the knot on the ski slopes in Colorado and in the Everglades in Florida. She has a passion for shooting flower gardens all over the world.