Over the next few weeks, we will be guiding you, our lovely readers, through all the different photo ops at a wedding starting from the ‘getting ready shots’, all the way through to the first dance. There are a few things that you can do beforehand and on the day of your wedding to make your photographer’s job a little easier. (Plus, it will help you get the best possible wedding photos.)

Location: City Club LA | Photo: Aevitas Weddings

Getting Ready

+ The first, and most important tip, is to talk to your photographer so that you and they know what to expect. Every photographer has a different way of working – the tips and suggestions below are just a rough guide.

+ If you want pictures of both of you getting ready with your respective bridesmaids/groomsmen, your photographer will need to plan their time accordingly. If you’ve booked a photography duo decide who’s going where. Also take into consideration any cultural issues. For example, a male photographer may be better off waiting until the bride and her bridesmaids are fully dressed before taking ‘getting ready shots’. All these things will need to be discussed before the big day.

Location: SLS Beverly Hills | Photo: Lin and Jirsa

+ Think about ‘where’ you are planning to get ready. It is often lovely to get ready at home and your photographer will be able to get beautiful images anywhere but for a wow factor and gorgeous backdrops, consider using a room at your venue, the bridal suite or perhaps booking a hotel suite or somewhere super special for amazing getting ready shots.

+ Get ready in the lightest possible room at your ‘getting ready venue’ for lovely natural light in your images.

+ Wherever you get ready, make sure it’s tidy and uncluttered. No laundry piled in chairs or last night’s pizza boxes lying around! Things are inevitably going to get a little messy on the morning of your wedding but start out with a nice clean space.

+ Think about what you will be wearing during the morning. Many brides, and especially bridesmaids, don’t realize that they will be in the photos the morning of their wedding and it all adds to the excitement and anticipation of the day. How about treating them to matching robes with a special one for you? Or perhaps PJ’s in your wedding color? This would be wonderful in your album and will tie in the color theme through the day.

+ For brides, arrange a ‘moment’ with your Dad or whoever is giving you away once you are ready. It is so great to get into your dress and have your Dad see you for the first time all ready to go and such a special moment to capture often with a couple of tears! (This special moment can of course be captured with the groom’s parents too.)

Location: Sheraton Cerritos | Photo: Vey Gallery

+ Have all your details ready for your photographer to shoot on arrival; your dress, shoes, perfume, flowers and anything special you would like shot such as a family heirloom or groom’s gift, that way the photographer can let you get on with the day and start to shoot without disturbing your hair and makeup. For groom’s you’ll want your cuff links, shoes and tie or bow tie on hand.

Location: Oviatt Penthouse | Photo: Margarette Sia

+ Leave enough time. Your photographer will be able to advise you more specifically on this but we always advise our clients to leave at least 30 minutes before the bride arrives at the venue for your photographer can shoot guests arriving. Find out the venue rules. Also, be sure to get shots of the groom and best man. Brides, that means your wedding dress needs to go on at least an hour before you need to leave so that your photographer can get shots of you getting ready, as well as with your dad, family and bridesmaids.

Bonus Tips for Maximum Tears of Joy:

Remember to talk to your photographer about any concerns or special requests you have before the day – for example, if you aren’t loving the idea of having shots of yourself in rollers with no make up on.

Location: Private Estate | Photo: Elizabeth Messina

Also, something you may strongly want to consider it having a photo of you and your mom before the ceremony. It’s often overlooked, as dad is typically the one ‘giving the bride away’, but your mom is no less important so be sure to ask your photographer to take a photo of just the two of you.

Your photographer isn’t a mind reader, so make sure they are aware of the ‘must have’ shots with the people who mean the most to you.

A WORD OF ADVICE: Although it’s a great idea to give your photographer a shot list, don’t try to micromanage every shot. You should be enjoying your day, not worrying about your photography!

It’s essential that you trust your photographer to do what they do best and remember why you hired them. That is, presumably, because you love their style and the way they captured other couple’s weddings. Let them do the same for you.

We hope these tips on rocking out your gettinf ready photos were helpful. Stay tuned until next time when we will be sharing tips on making sure your ceremony photography goes smoothly.