Your partner popped the question and you’re bursting with excitement to say ‘I do’. Naturally, you want only the best photos of one of the most important days of your life, but if you’ve got zero photography experience, how do you achieve that?

Having captured over 50 weddings, it’s safe to say I’ve seen some of the common wedding pitfalls that hamper getting the images you want, and here’s how to overcome them.

Finding Your Style

Knowing the look you want for your wedding should be your step one, before booking your vendors and venue, and after deciding on how many guests you want. It’s easier than you think.

Start a Pinterest board pinning wedding photos you like- not the decor or the dress or jewellery- simply the photos you are drawn to. If you scroll through your board you’ll see a common aesthetic weaving throughout: light and airy with pastel colours, dark and moody with muted rich hues, bright and bursting with vivid colours, or perhaps something classic with neutral tones.

Once you know the look you like, it makes it easier to find venues that fit your aesthetic, plus vendors too. It will also make finding a photographer who matches your aesthetic easier as you know what you are looking for stylistically.

Choosing Your Venue

When it comes to choosing your venue go with your gut but also keep your style and look in mind. It’s no use choosing a dark venue with no natural light streaming in and small cramped rooms if you want a light and airy look and have a large wedding party.

Also take note of any areas of the venue that you would like to use for photos during your couples session on the day, and be sure to share them with your photographer. If you’re getting married during the rainy season, also look out for any indoor or under cover areas that can be used for photos, just in case your couple’s session is rained out.

Lighting Your Big Day

Without light, there would be no photos- something important to remember when planning your reception’s aesthetic. There’s a fine line between creating ambience and having your guests sit in the dark. Typically it’s best to have a mix of soft or dim overhead ligthing with mood lighting on the tables from candles or fairylights (or both), and on the latter- there’s no such thing as too many fairy lights!

Setting the Schedule

It’s a fact, artistic wedding photos take time to create. If you want well composed photos of you and your partner getting ready, plus artful portraits pre-ceremony, know that it takes time to setup for perfect lighting and pose for each image- time that needs to be factored in when planning your timeline.

Be sure to consult with your photographer so they know what you have in mind and they’ll be able to help you plan your timeline. Equally important is to ensure your makeup artists and hair stylists know your timeline too. I’ve seen so many weddings where hair and makeup only finishes minutes before the ceremony leaving no time for photos.

Most Importantly… COMMUNICATION

Full honesty here- if you don’t let your photographer know what photos you want before your wedding, don’t be surprised if they are not captured on the day.

Remember that your photographer is typically a stranger to you- they don’t know your likes or your family dynamics and it can’t be expected that they will know you want specific photos of certain family members or perhaps a night couples sneak session on your wedding day if you don’t inform them beforehand. The same goes for any unconventional events or surprises you’ve scheduled for your wedding day- let your photographer know.

At the end of the day, communication is the key to getting the photos you want and will treasure for a lifetime, so be sure to book consults with your photographer and keep them informed via their communication channels during their respective office hours.