12 Expert Wedding Photography Tips for Couples
Whether you’re used to getting photographed frequently or not, you may find yourself feeling a bit anxious about your wedding day photos. That’s completely normal, but to try and help ease any fears you may have, we called in an expert — wedding photographer and stylist Brogen Jessup — to share some of his most important wedding photography tips for couples.
Ask the expert: 12 must-know wedding photography tips for couples
1. Get to know your photographer
Once you’ve selected a photographer whose portfolio and personality fit with both you and your partner, spend some time getting to know them. This is one of the most important wedding photography tips for couples, but it often gets overlooked.
Jessup suggests sending your photographer a message — whether it’s via Instagram, text, or email — just to check in and see what they’re up to in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to the big day. Interacting with your photographer prior to your big day will help everyone involved feel more comfortable and at ease, which is essential for fantastic photos.
2. Create a mood board
“A mood board is essential,” Jessup told Wedding Spot. “It will help me know the colors of the day to help with picking out photo locations, and also lets me get an idea of how you styled the day and the vibe you are seeking.” We suggest creating a Pinterest board that you can share with your photographer and the rest of your vendors. If you have a wedding planner, they may work with you to create your entire mood board.
3. Consider how your outfit affects your movement
If you haven’t picked your wedding dress yet, consider how the cut will impact your movement. The more restrictive you are in movement, the fewer poses your photographer will be able to capture in your photos. According to Jessup, “All dresses have their own quirks. Off-the-shoulder looks are a photographer’s worst nightmare — the straps limit movement for photos. Plus, who doesn’t want to wave their hands in the air and boogie on their wedding day!?”
4. Hire a videographer who has worked with your photographer
Due to the nature of the jobs of photographers and videographers, it’s important they communicate prior to the wedding, and it's even better if they’ve worked together before.
“Hire a videographer that works well with your photographer and get their opinion before signing a contract,” Jessup said. “Discuss where tripods will be set up and if the videographer will be following the couple up and down the aisle (and so on).”
5. Be honest with your photographer
If you’re shy or not comfortable in front of cameras, let your photographer know from the getgo. Some people are used to being in front of a camera, while others may not have had professional shots taken since their high school yearbook photos — or ever. Be upfront with your photographer. It’s their job to help you look your best in photos. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
6. Don’t skip the getting-ready photos
When it comes to your big day, every moment is important to capture. According to Jessup, “the biggest misconception is that getting-ready photos aren't important. Getting-ready photos aren’t just for me taking a photo of you getting your makeup done. I might deliver ONE of those.
“Getting-ready photos give the photographer time to figure out where you’ll get into your dress, where the first look will take place, clean up areas of the room, and figure out how the light is on the property. It’s also the chance to capture the details of the day that you’ve put together. Missing out on getting-ready photos is like opening a book a few chapters in. You miss the beginning of the story.”
7. Listen to your photographer’s direction
Your wedding photographer is there to make you, and the shots, look as incredible as possible. If you use an experienced photographer, they know the process like the back of their hand. Trust their expertise.
“If I have a bride that asks me every minute ‘does this look good? How is my hair?’ Etc… I spend my creative energy answering you rather than being an artist. Trust your photographer and keep laughing and smiling. I’ve got your back — wait for direction!”
8. When in doubt, laugh!
If you’re feeling insecure or unsure if your photographer is getting great photos (don’t worry, they are) — laugh! Laughing looks great in photos. Tell your partner an inside joke, make each other smile, and have fun with the process.
9. For group photos, chat with each other
Group photos, just like individual shots and couple portraits, have the potential to end up a bit cheesy. To combat this, Jessup suggests less posing and more talking. The more natural-looking the subject, the better.
“Sometimes it’s fun to just have the group of friends surround the couple and talk,” he said. “If the energy feels off, I’ll tell them to take a walk with me and photograph them strolling the property — margaritas in hand.”
10. Don’t ask the photographer to take a photo with your phone
This will do nothing but slow down the photoshoot and put a damper on the artistic process. Your photographer’s photos will be leaps and bounds better than an iPhone photo. Remember, your photographer is an artist. Trust the process.
11. “Where do I put my hands?”
The most common question that Jessup gets asked? “Where do I put my hands?” If this is something that’s been on your mind, we have a few ideas for you.
If you’re wearing a dress, putting one hand on your hip and letting the other hang loose is a good go-to. Crossing one hand over your waist and either letting the other hang loose or holding it up by your face is another. This one sounds strange, but playing with your fingers, almost like you're picking off your nail polish, looks great in photos.
If you’re wearing a suit, a good go-to is always using one hand to adjust the cuff links on the other. If you’re wearing a watch, pretend you’re checking the time. Adjusting your tie or your collar is also a fabulous option.
When in doubt, just have your hands hang loose naturally with your shoulders back and you’ll be good to go. For more ideas for posing, check out our post on wedding photo pose ideas for every type of couple.
12. For natural-looking photos, don’t look at the camera
If you’re wondering how to pose naturally, Jessup has an answer for you.
“There is no such thing as posing naturally,” he said. “Focus on flirting with each other and don't look at the camera. Every moment you spend asking questions, discussing the timeline, or making decisions is a missed photo opportunity. Just smile and be pretty and laugh all day.”
Put these wedding photography tips for couples to use!
Whether you feel super confident in front of the camera or not, having these tips and tricks from an actual wedding photographer will be sure to help elevate your photos.
Up next: Wondering how long it takes to get wedding photos back? We’ve got you covered.