Things to consider before the big day....
Every bride wants gorgeous wedding photos, but for many it will be her first time in front of a professional camera. While it's the photographer's responsibility to capture you in your most flattering light, there are little tips and tricks that you and your groom can employ to get the best photos. We turned to some of the most sought-after photographers in the industry to get their advice on everything — from how to wear your hair to where to get ready (and even when to have a drink!) — to ensure that every aspect of your big day is captured flawlessly.
"Don't ignore the mundane little details that could have a big impact on your photos. For instance: If you're drinking water while you're getting ready, a plastic bottle will be in all of your photographs. Instead, be sure to have a nice drinking glass, so it adds to the image rather than providing a distraction. Another example: Consider the ceremony. There are beautiful flowers, a gorgeous venue, a lovely wedding party — and then your officiant approaches the podium and pulls out his notes on an office clipboard! As a bride, something like this would be difficult to anticipate. Give your officiant something more aesthetically pleasing to read notes off, it will make a huge difference in all of your ceremony photos." — Christian Oth
"Get closer than what feels natural when posing with your groom. Gaps that might not feel awkward during the shoot can be amplified in photos and look like there's a lack of intimacy. Don't be afraid to snuggle up to one another!" — Kate Murphy
"Smile so there are no awkward lip puckers while kissing, and do something with your arms. Put them on your partner's waist or cheeks, or even keep your hands in your pocket — just don't let them hang." — Courtney de Jauregui, Erin Hearts Court
"Don't give your photographer a long shot list for group portraits. The key to getting great photos is to have a lot of time. With a shorter list, I can try different set-ups and allow each person to comfortably lean, sit, or turn at different angles that are most flattering to them. It takes time to place each person into the space and work with each individual — you can't rush through that." — Ira Lippke
"If all else fails, split a cocktail or glass of wine beforehand with your groom. It can help to take the edge off of the anxiety of being in front of the camera." — Brian Dorsey
"Photographers' Tips for Ensuring Picture-Perfect Wedding Photos." Brides. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
Write a list of family formals, and keep your photographer abreast of any family issues that might crop up.
Your photographer won’t know your family, so it helps a great deal if they have a list to work with when taking family photos. Let them know about divorces and/or deaths – this could help avoid some embarrassing moments. Most photographers will ask for this information prior to the day, but it pays to be ready if they don’t.
Prepare your party for the photo session
Family, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are ready to party after the long day (As will you be!), but if your party is too antsy, posed pictures can take much longer. Either by group email or at rehearsal dinner, it is good to have a huddle with your team and have them ready to be in formation after the ceremony.
Connect your vendors
Photographers, Cinematographers and D.J.'s can help make your ceremony a huge success when they are able to work together. Whether it be syncing audio for film with the event microphones or just knowing where each other are going to be operating, prior contact and rapport makes the day easier on all.
Just Enjoy the Day
Try not to sweat the small stuff, like a relocation of your portrait shoot because of rain or your flower girl melting down during the family shots. And allow your photographer to keep you on schedule, to frame the shots and to know what will look best -- remember, that's why you hired them. If you're always looking for the camera, it won't capture you quietly chatting with your new spouse or laughing with your friends. Your photographer should be the one worrying about capturing those moments -- not you!