How to get a gorgeous photograph on your wedding day
February 4, 2015

 

You might not be able to explain the difference between a beautiful picture and what we refer to as a “Wow image,” but you’ll know when you see it. Every bride deserves to have a picture that captures the beauty her husband sees in her on the wedding day but let’s face it, it doesn’t always turn out that way.

Want to make sure you connect with your photographer and give them the best chance to capture that “Wow image” on your wedding day? It’s easier than you think, here’s how.

 

Don’t: try to copy other photographs

In today’s digital world brides have the ability to scour Pinterest, Facebook, Google and countless magazines searching for examples of the kinds of photographs they love. Usually they send some of those examples to their photographer and say something like “I’d love it if we could do this on our wedding day.” But by doing this you could very well be making it harder for your photographer and here’s why: photography is a creative process and your photographer (if you’ve hired a good one) will be a creative person. If all they’re trying to do is mimic the photographs you’ve sent them, they’re not thinking creatively. The freedom to walk into a space and see the light is an instinct that every wedding photographer develops. That instinct is what makes good photographers good (and poor photographers nervous). If you don’t trust your photographer to use that instinct you’re not going to be happy with your photographs.

 

Do: describe what attracts you to other photographs

So what should you do? Well finding photographs you love is a great place to start, just don’t stop there. Keep them in a folder and go away from them for a day or two. Then come back and start to look through them again. Keep a notebook beside you and ask yourself “What is it that I like about this photograph?” It might be the lighting, the architecture in the background, the pose, the expression etc… It could be anything! But that “thing” which caught your attention and caused you to look twice at the photograph is something you resonate with.

After you’ve looked through a number of photos you like you might start to see patterns emerging in your notes. Take those thoughts and send them to your photographer as inspiration.

This might sound like a small difference, but it will completely transform your photographers ability to provide you with amazing photography. Instead of saying “Could we do this?” when you send a photograph imagine if you were to say, “I’m drawn to this image because I love of the white wedding dress against the rustic textures of the barnwood. Is that something we could try?”

Instead of removing your photographers ability to use their instincts, you’ve defined the parameters of how they will use them.

Want a gorgeous photograph? Plan ahead, know what kinds of things you want, and communicate those elements in a way that allows your photographer to use their instincts.

[info_boxes type=”infobox”] Concerned you’re not going to find a photographer you can trust for your wedding day? Why not check out our recent post Three common mistakes brides make when searching for a photographer.[/info_boxes]

[title title=”Case study: Leah and Joseph ” subtitle=””]

To help you understand how this could play out for you at your wedding let’s look at Leah and Joseph’s wedding from last summer.

We first met this amazing couple for an engagement session at Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. Their photographs were magical and we were so excited to photograph their wedding the following summer.

Leah was an excellent communicator and mentioned to us that she really wanted to have a way to incorporate a fountain or water into her wedding photos because it had played a significant part in her engagement photos (Click here to see a post about their engagement session). The only problem was that there weren’t any fountains near their reception site.

But because Leah had given us the idea to incorporate water or a fountain I started to brainstorm a way to make it happen. If we couldn’t find a fountain, maybe we should make one of our own instead!

When we left for the wedding that morning I packed all of our usual gear, but I included one rather strange piece of equipment – a 50 foot water hose.

We waited until it was dark outside and then found a tap just outside the hall. I asked one of the bridesmaids to hold the hose for me and instructed her to put her thumb over the hose and point it up at a 45 degree angle to make a spraying effect. Tracey took a speedlight and stood behind the water spray and I posed Leah and Joseph on the other side of the spray.

It turned into a magical photograph, it’s still one of my favourites from last year’s wedding season. But it would never have happened if Leah hadn’t communicated the elements she wanted included in her wedding day.

 

One of Leah's bridesmaids held the garden hose for us to create the fountain.

The final image — a gorgeous photograph that all started because the bride asked for a specific element to be included.

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