Quick wedding photo tips
Words by Joseph Haeberle
A photographer isn’t just another vendor on your wedding day. Your photographer is with you the entire day, capturing moments that matter to you with the people who matter most to you. Your memories are valuable and cherished. Tap into your wedding photographer’s talents to reap the most benefits and make your wedding more enjoyable and memorable.
Here are five quick tips I suggest from my years as a wedding photographer:
1. Book extra hours or plan an earlier schedule with your photographer.
Oftentimes, the few hours a couple has the morning of their wedding day can be the calm before the storm. The moments you have with family drinking coffee before things get started or the walk you take with your loved ones before the day gets rolling are part of your wedding day. They’re special. But if undocumented they might go unremembered. If you’ve only booked eight hours with your photographer, it might be worth it to sacrifice an hour of dancing photos to make sure your moments earlier in the day are documented. If your photographer allows extra hours, it is worth it to have him show up early.
2. Book a photographer whose work you connect with and love.
A good photographer can see beauty wherever s/he goes—as the sun sets behind the Tetons, in an open meadow on a cloudy day, on a dance floor lit with colorful lights, or during a heartfelt ceremony. Maybe you’re a couple who loves extreme sports, or maybe you’d both rather hang out at a coffeeshop on the weekends. Look for a photographer whose work speaks to you and whose personality you enjoy. It’ll make it much easier for you to relate to your photographer and feel relaxed while your day is being documented.
3. Find a venue that gives you the photos you want.
When you’re choosing where to have your wedding, make sure to find a place that has adequate potential for the photos you want. Do a bit of research on your wedding-venue choices. If you want naturally lit photos, consider an outdoor ceremony site like the Wedding Tree in Bridger-Teton National Forest. If you’d rather have an indoor wedding with a bohemian vibe, try to find a venue with good light, big windows, and a variety of colorful backgrounds for your pictures. If you want photos of grandeur, look for a venue with unbeatable Teton views, large windows, or a massive staircase.
4. What if it rains?
Let it happen. In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck. But what about your hair, the dress, the suit, or Aunt Jan who didn’t bring an umbrella? For photographers, rain can make their job easier. Soft light, cooler weather, and dramatic clouds can make for beautiful moments, so don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to capture them. Let it happen naturally. Overcome the bumps in the road, and make sure your photographer is there for all of it. (See “Expect the Unexpected” on page 42 for ways to ensure your guests are comfortable.)
5. Keep things as tidy as possible.
Many times, I’ve walked into the room where a bride or groom is getting ready and found it a mess—with Starbucks cups, makeup and accessories, miscellaneous food, clothing, and more scattered about the furniture. Not only does clutter add to the stress of the day, but it also gets in the way of having great “getting ready” photos. To avoid this, ask a few friends or family members to help you make sure things stay tidy and uncluttered.
Joseph Haeberle is a commercial and editorial photographer inspired by the West. He shoots weddings in the Jackson and Teton Valley areas. He loves getting to know his wedding couples in advance of the wedding, so he can capture their personalities in his images. Reach Joseph by phone at 307-761-2354 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at joepajamasweddings, or cruise through his website at joepajamas.com.