How do I photograph a wedding day?
In a Skype conversation with one of my beautiful brides today, she asked a very good question. “How do you work on a wedding day? I (foolishly) assume that everyone knows how a wedding photographer works on the day of a wedding day. Hard being one answer. The other answer is longer and goes a little something like this. How do you photograph a wedding day?
In the run up to the wedding, we’ll have an initial catch up about 6 weeks before the wedding. I’ll send you an email with a load of questions, not hard ones, just ones that allow me to timeline the day so there’s no surprises. My number one priority in planning the photos is to get you to your drinks reception, back to the craic, as soon as possible. The couples pictures are important but you want the photos of everyone enjoying themselves at your party, they’re often the best ones! We’ll make a plan for a sunny day (fingers crossed) and a plan for a rainy day, and don’t be fretting if the day runs late, I’ve yet to see a wedding day run on time.
Wedding Day Time
I wake an hour before I have to leave the house. Maximum energy conservation there. I shower and eat a big breakfast. I may or may not have a sparkly outfit one, but there’ll be as much glam as I can handle while shooting a wedding day. I pack the car, put on a podcast and off I go.
Bridal Prep Photographs
I tend to arrive at the bride’s getting ready location 2.5 hours before the ceremony. This gives me plenty of time to photograph all the prep and details for the bride and her bridesmaids. I’ll start with the details to ease us all in to it. Try keep all your bits in one place and the bridal prep area relatively tidy. There’s no posing here gals, it’s all candids. Couples often ask why they need bridal prep photos and really it’s so that by the time the ceremony rolls around you’re totally used to me and will hopefully forget all about the camera. Also to capture the craic of the morning obv! I want the bride in her outfit at least an hour before she’s due to leave. This gives us time to do some bridal portaits that you may not have time for later in the day.
Wedding Ceremony Photographs
At the ceremony, I’m very discreet. No flash if I can help it. Sometimes the space is too dark not to use it. Those candle lit ceremonies look great but dang are they hard to photograph. You’ll be too busy caught in the moment to even be thinking of me at this stage.
Post ceremony, this is where I turn in to the army General. I get those family photos done and I get them done fast. Nobody likes waiting around for them. Everyone wants to get to the drinks reception as soon as they can. This is where the list of family photos comes in handy, we’ll have that from the 6 week catch up email 😉 It means everyone who is supposed to be there is there and everyone who isn’t, is gone to the bar. All going well, this will take about 10-15 minutes.
Bridal Party Wedding Photographs
Next up is my favourite part of the day. Grab your drinks, it’s portrait time! I start with the Bridal Party. I do this for 2 reasons. 1. To get those photos done so they can go mingle with your guests. Keep them entertained while we do some more intimate portraits. 2. To warm you all up. There’ll be games, jokes and questions. These are designed to produce genuine fun in your pictures. None of that staged, stand here and look at me business. If ya’ll give me what I want (craic) then this will take about 20 minutes.
Couples Wedding Photographs
Once the bridal party have returned to the reception it’s time for some more intimate wedding portraits. At this stage, you should be pretty warmed up and used to getting your photo taken. This is a great time to relax and take in everything that’s going on around you. You’ve just done something pretty momentous and it deserves a bit of time to reflect. This is one of the only times you will get to spend on your own, just the two of you, on your wedding day. Sure I’ll be there but I won’t be chatting away to you. I’ll give you minimal direction to insure you look you best, I’m there to capture the real emotion between the two of you while you’re chatting and catching up on the events of the day. I’m all about the authentic moments that happen between people. This can be anywhere from 20-40 mins depending on how the day is progressing and if you’re fed up of the photos, but I recommend 20 mins minimum just to spend some quality time together if nothing else.
Wedding Reception Candid Wedding Photographs
After this part of the day I tend to hang back. Fade in to the crowd and capture the candid moments that happen. These are the things you don’t see and the things you do see. They’re the conversations between you, your guests, your relatives. Everything that makes your wedding unique. There’ll be tears and laughter at the speeches. Not to mention some serious dance moves on the dance floor after hours. And I’ll be there to witness and capture it all. Also, wait til you see my dance moves! I’ll skip off after 3-4 dances or when I think I’ve got enough to tell your story.
I can’t wait to tell your story.
How do I photograph a wedding day? | Irish Wedding Photographer