It’s one of the most important parts of your day, providing the memories you’ll look back on for years to come, so it’s only natural to worry about your wedding photos coming out anything less than perfect. However, with some savvy planning and guidance from your photographer, it’s easier than you may think to make beautiful memories that even the most camera-shy couples will be happy with. We asked celebrity photographer Anna Fowler, who took photos at the weddings of Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh and Union J star Josh Cuthbert among others, to share her expert advice…
1) Choose the best photographer your money can buy
Photography is often quoted as the single most important thing at a wedding – these are photographs that will be treasured forever, and your amateur friend with his camera just will not cut it. Your dress and the photography are two things that it pays to splurge on.
Anna Fowler photographed Kimberley Walsh's wedding for HELLO!
2) Build a rapport with your photographer before the big day
When you meet a photographer, you need to see the whole set of photographs, not just the one that the photographer has deemed to be best. Also, it may seem obvious, but you need to have a connection with your photographer – this person is going to be working up close and personal with you on one of the biggest days of your life. Top UK photographer Anna Fowler says: “It is important to look at an example wedding that is a similar time of year, a similar venue and in the same country as you are getting married in if you are marrying abroad. We all love looking at weddings shot in Australia or California, but if your wedding is in a castle in the north of England it’s never going to look the same!"
MORE: Look back at Kimberley Walsh's wedding day
3) Practice your poses in advance
The best photographers will notice your body language and the chemistry between you as a couple. Sometimes the best photographs are natural and un-posed, but occasionally photographers will introduce sure-fire poses and looks that they know will work for you. In the meantime, you should practice good posture and smiling. Find your best side! “The most natural shots are often, in fact, posed. A good photographer will know when to direct and when to stand back. All couples have different chemistry and will feel comfortable with different poses," says Anna.
4) Pick out the best spots for photos at your venue
If possible, you should visit your venue with your photographer to work out the best spots. At this time you should also work on a wet-weather plan. Decent photographers aren’t fazed by inclement weather – in fact in can throw up real photographic opportunities. Bright sunshine might be your dream, but it can make you squint in your photos!
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5) Take cues from your photographer
Photographers know all the tricks. For example, did you know that if you fake a laugh, it can often end in one of the most natural smiles? Fabulous photographers are also body language and movements experts, meaning that you won’t be disappointed with a single shot. They know the best angles and slimming tricks, they can read light… they just know!
6) Carry an emergency beauty kit
You should make sure that you have an emergency kit on hand to make sure you look picture-perfect all day long. We aren’t suggesting that a makeup artist follows you around, but your chief bridesmaid could keep a stash that included your lip colour or gloss, blotting paper, waterproof mascara and eyeliner and hair pins if you have gone for an updo.
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7) Implement a social media ban
You really won’t want your guests to be posting photographs on the day without you approving them first. You should change your settings on Facebook so that you have to approve any tagged photos before they appear on your timeline and either ask one of the ushers to have a word before you arrive at the ceremony or pop it on the order of service.
"Please don’t upload photos onto social media until we have posted our professional ones" should do the trick. Also, it’s horrible to walk into your ceremony to see one hundred phones held in the air, so you might like to ban mobiles altogether. Anna says: "So many walking back down the aisle shots or first kisses are ruined by a guest moving out into the aisle with a mobile phone, blocking the professional photographer at the most meaningful of moments."
8) Ask for help from your groomsmen
"When it comes to some for the more formal family or group shots, enlist the help of the ushers," says Anna. "Give them a list of who is needed and in what order and make sure they know that it is their responsibility to go and collect those people. It makes the day go much smoother and gives everyone much more time to enjoy the reception."
9) Consider hiring a professional makeup artist
As with your photographer, it will really help you to get those perfect wedding photographs if you hire a professional makeup artist. Your makeup will need to be a little heavier than normal, including eyelashes and brows. A well-trained experienced makeup artist will know exactly what needs to be done to accentuate your best features for the photographs.
10) Enjoy the moment
Being photographed all day long might seem daunting and oh-so exhausting, but if you have the right photographer, we can assure you that you will forget that they are there. You will be relaxed and happy, surrounded by the people you love. The perfect opportunity to get the perfect photographs – the ones that you love to leaf through time after time, forever.
Words: Rachel Darke
Photography: Anna Fowler
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