A wedding is one of the most special occasions that anyone could hope to be involved in, in their entire lives. If all goes well, a wedding will be a time for joy, mirth, merriment, and love, and the memories of the wedding itself will be carried down fondly throughout the years.
One of the key ways that people commemorate their special days, has always been through photography — at least, for as long as photography has been around. In recent times, with the amazing advances in photographic technology, photography has become an even more essential part of the wedding experience for many people around the world.
When you’re posing for your wedding photos, you want everything to be as perfect as possible. You want to look your best, you want your photographer to know exactly what he’s doing, you want the backdrop and scenery to be superb, and you want to be able to show the pictures proudly to your future children and grandchildren.
Of course, all of this takes a bit of careful planning, thought, and work.
Here are a few tips for taking the perfect wedding photo.
Speak to your photographer about the best props and staging for the photos
Your photographer will — at least, if you’ve done your due diligence and hired an experienced photographer with a good record — have a great understanding of the best ways to stage a photo, and the right kinds of props to be used in a given shot.
For example, wedding photographers will typically instruct brides to use smoke-free, a.k.a. wire, sparklers, rather than wooden ones which will give off a significant amount of smoke.
This small detail alone can completely change the nature of a photograph.
In fact, a good photographer can create magic using little more than his camera equipment, you, and the right kind of sparkler. Just so long as he knows his craft, and you consult with him carefully about the staging of different shots. Writing in the air, in fire, has become a popular photo trick for weddings in recent times, and relies on the photographer’s knowledge of exposure times and other photographic technicalities. Read more about that here.
Get a good night’s sleep beforehand
Yeah, yeah, it’s obviously easier said than done to get a good night’s sleep when your wedding is looming large. But all the same, it’s virtually impossible to overstate the enormous impact that having a good night’s sleep can have on your appearance.
People will go to extreme lengths to look their best in photos, often spending hours on makeup, relying on all kinds of digital touch-ups, and even going on off-the-wall diets and cleanses. The simple fact, though, is that perhaps the greatest anti-ageing therapy in the world is a good night’s sleep.
The phrase “beauty sleep” isn’t just a throwaway phrase. Many great photographers will underline the importance of a good night’s sleep to their subjects, particularly because sleep has such a tremendous impact on the way people look.
You likely already know how you look when you’re sleep deprived. Bloodshot eyes, dark rings around the eyes, a sickly complexion, blackheads and pimples, wrinkles, a general look of unhappiness, and more.
Get as much sleep as you need in order to feel rested, on the other hand, and you’re well on the way to putting your best foot forward.
Hire a wedding photographer with a good portfolio and testimonials
There’s no accounting for experience and expertise. If you hire a wedding photographer who isn’t very good at what he does, and who has poor reviews from past clients, and no testimonials on display, you shouldn’t expect a very good result.
If, on the other hand, you hire a wedding photographer who is well known for his excellent work, and who has a portfolio full of excellent shots done on behalf of overjoyed clients, you can be fairly confident that he’s going to be able to do a decent job at your wedding.
There are many issues involved here, of course. Cost is one issue — and it’s certainly unlikely that you’re just going to be able to hire the best photographer in the world, off the bat. Nonetheless, it’s important to do your research and to develop a sense of what you’re getting yourself in for.
Take some test shots in your dress in advance
If all goes well, you will have chosen a wedding dress that makes you feel overjoyed, and that brings out your best “you” for the wedding. But it’s worth keeping in mind that just because you like your dress, doesn’t mean that it’s going to automatically turn out the way you imagine in a photograph.
It’s really a good idea to do some test shots in your wedding dress in advance of a main wedding photoshoot, or of the wedding itself. Perhaps you’ll get a sense of which poses work best for you, or of any modifications you’d like to make to the dress in advance.
Ironing these potential issues out in advance helps to ensure that you’re not going to be blindsided and disappointed at the last moment.
Try to reduce your stress in the days leading up the photoshoot
Again, it’s easier said than done to reduce your stress in the lead-up to your wedding. Of course, wedding planning and preparation just tends to be stressful by nature.
But you can still do things to reduce your stress during this time. For one thing, you can be sure to eat nutritious, filling meals, instead of starving yourself out of worry or a last-minute effort to lose weight. Getting enough sleep will also help here, dramatically, as will finding some time in your days for a bit of laughter, entertainment, and relaxation.
Even just having a hot bath can help you to relax and may relieve stress.
The more stressed you are, generally speaking, the less likely you are to look your best. Chronic stress is damaging to health, and certainly also to looks.