Who resonates with the whole “I don’t know what to do with my hands” bit from Talladega Nights? This girl. And I have a feeling some of you might too. So we hit one of our longtime vendors, Apollo Fotografie, up to chat all his best tips to ensure great wedding photos. Based in San Francisco, Jonathon and his team of photographers and cinematographers know a thing our two about beautiful images that are both authentic and artistic. And today he’s sharing some major expertise to ensure you’re comfortable in front of the camera (and that it shows)!
So without further ado, let’s hear from Apollo Fotografie below!
YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! Ohhhhh, my darling, your wedding day is approaching!! Congratulations on your everlasting love. You’ve got the human to be. You’ve got the ring. Let’s assume you’ve got most of the wedding plans squared away… what’s left, you ask? OBVIOUSLY executing the cutest effing photo gallery social media has ever seen. What’s that? You don’t know how to make that happen? Well, lucky for you, I am your wedding photography genie in a bottle. Here, for your convenience, to whisper all of my best kept not-so-secret-secrets through this screen, and into your ear. Are you listening?
1. CONNECTION IS KEY
Remember that it’s your WEDDING DAY. This should not be the day that you spend fighting with your lover. Enjoy the process of creating on camera chemistry between the two of you. Try to go with the flow of the day and take it easy. Stress shows up in photos, and no one likes a forced smile. Embrace your human, and embrace yourself! When in doubt, I tell my couples to ALWAYS BE TOUCHING. In any small & natural way. Whatever feels good between the two of you. Intertwine fingers, kiss, flirt, admire.. Make each other laugh, or just start dancing. Interact with each other – just be your CUTE OL’ SEXY SELVES – you can never go wrong with chemistry!
2. DATE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Kissing your lover in front of a complete stranger holding a camera can be intimidating for anyone. I recommend scheduling a photo session with your photographer before your wedding so that you can get to know each other. If you haven’t had your engagement photos done already, schedule your engagement session with them! This will allow you to get the awkwardness out of your system before the big day. If a pre-wedding photoshoot is off the table, schedule a Skype call with them so that you can get to know each other “face to face.” This small gesture will help connect you to your photographer, pre-wedding, and get some of those day-of jitters out of your system. If that doesn’t work…
There’s always tequila.
3. LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
Lighting absolutely can make or break your wedding photos. It’s important to keep this in mind both indoors & outdoors. Your best bet in achieving great wedding photos is to shoot in shade, overcast, or direct sunlight. When shooting inside, find the windows and avoid excessive orange, yellow or blue light. If you have your eye on that gorgeous old chapel, keep in mind that those photos usually won’t wind up looking light & airy. I suggest finding a nice, well lit spot to do couples portraits before or after your ceremony. Also, make sure to plan to escape right before sunset for a warm portrait session filled with sunset magic!
4. STYLE YOUR WEDDING
If you feel comfortable playing with fashion, incorporate chic & fun elements into your wedding attire! Styling your wedding with what you’re wearing can be a very fun way of personalizing your day. There are a wide array of options to explore when shopping for your wedding looks! Play with textures, jumpsuits, fabrics, suits! Even if you’re going down the traditional route of standard white wedding gowns or suits, feel the freedom to express your personality in the small details. Wear fun socks, a tie, or hair piece. Incorporate boutonnieres made of feathers or wild flowers… Every detail that reflects your personal style feeds the outcome of your wedding photos.
5. DON’T GIVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER A PINTEREST BOARD TO REPLICATE
There are two points to be made here. First, be aware of the fact that your photographer already has so many things on their radar. They have a list that they keep in their minds to ensure they get all of the expected shots of your event from start to finish. Adding to that list with a variety of specific poses & photos you want to replicate just adds to that list, and will ultimately pull from the authentic moments that your photographer is trying to capture. Secondly, I’m going to go ahead and assume that if you’re hiring a photographer for your wedding, it’s because you love THEIR work. It can be insulting if you send them pinterest boards filled with other photographers’ work. So I recommend finding example photos from your photographer’s portfolio and sharing with them which looks & poses you gravitate towards and then hand them the reins. Trust your photographer!
6. FEED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Wedding photography is EXHAUSTING. Though rewarding, it’s physically, emotionally, creatively, spiritually, and mentally exhausting. Wedding photography takes a tremendous amount of focus & energy, and over the course of 6-12 hours, your photographer needs FUEL. Make sure to inform your caterer that your photographer receives food as soon as you sit down to eat, so that it allows time for your photographer to break & refuel. No one wants a hangry photographer. Hangry photographer equals vengeful reception photos.
7. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Listen to me. Although we wedding photographers are magical sprites sprinkling beauty all across the internet does not mean that we can read your mind! You need to communicate with your photographer. If you want the traditional smile and look at the camera styled photos, then GREAT, I’m for it. But many wedding photographers are inherently photojournalistic – we look for genuine moments, so it’s important to relay your expectations to your photographer before your wedding day. This goes both ways. Whether you are desiring candid moments, more traditional photos, or both, it’s important to discuss those details with your photographer.
8. LOSE THE PHONE
Please, for the love of dogs, give your phone & keys to a friend to hold onto for the day. It may seem like an insignificant and minute detail, but trust me, having bulging pockets adding awkward shapes to your silhouette is not a cute look. Try to remember to empty your pockets at the start of the big day. I also urge you to remind your wedding party & family members to empty their pockets before group photos!
See? Knew you’d reach pro model status by the end of this! Apollo Fotografie is a world of wisdom, and you can view some real wedding examples of this advice in action here. So much happy!