It’s a cliche, but one that, nonetheless, rings ever true: a picture really is worth a thousand words, but the case is doubly true when it comes to your wedding photos. So, it’s crucial to choose a wedding photographer who suits you and your preferred style of wedding photography.
The images from this day will be cherished forever, shared among loved ones and passed on through your family in years to come. So, it’s important to make sure you get the right shots on the day without any awkward smiles or poses, dodgy lighting or strange camera angles.
“They’re memories that will last forever, so you want those images to capture that one day perfectly for you and your future generations,” explains experienced photographer Morgan Wilson, from ShadowCast Images and Perth Kombi Booth.
Morgan and business partner Daniel Ashman have more than 40 years of photography experience between them, and have shot hundreds of weddings along the way. Additionally, the pair also own Betty, a charming, revamped Kombi van from the ’70s, which is fitted out with a photobooth and games to entertain guests.
Here, Morgan shares some of his top wedding photography tips for couples, from finding your most flattering angle to figuring out what to do if it rains.
How to strike the perfect pose
On the day of your wedding, you’re guaranteed to look beautiful. After all, your hair will be done, you’ll be wearing an incredible outfit and, most importantly of all, you’ll be incredibly happy about marrying your soulmate – and it will shine through in your wedding photos.
However, if you’re a little worried about how you’re going to look in front of the camera, Morgan suggests practising a few different poses in a mirror. Yes, you may feel a little like Derek Zoolander in doing so, but it’s the best way to determine your most flattering side.
“Make sure you practise and pose, and look online at different shots that you like for inspiration,” he says.
What made you choose your celebrant?
“Being in front of the camera can be a little awkward, because having a photographer there is not normal for most people, but try to be as natural as possible.” A good photographer should also be able to help you relax and gently direct you.
“Photographers and videographers are often there from the beginning to the end of weddings, and need to offer a lot of personal attention, so make sure that when you first meet them, you feel comfortable with them, because they’ll be there all day,” Morgan explains.
How to get a shot of everyone
With so much happening on the big day, it can be really tricky to get shots of all your loved ones, but there are a couple of ways to make it happen.
“You can do a big group shot, and the best time to do that is after the ceremony and also after the thank yous or when people have hugged and kissed the bride,” offers Morgan.
You could also let your guests unleash their creative skills and leave a few disposable cameras or digital Polaroid cameras floating around at your reception.
Another idea is to hire a photo booth, which is a great way of getting people in lots of different shots and doing funny poses. It’s also a nice change from some of the more formal shots on the day.
Betty the Kombi also gives guests a variety of different background scenes they can use, as well as a range of crazy hats, wigs, oversized sunglasses and moustaches they can try on.
“A photo booth is a nice form of alternative entertainment for people at receptions,” Morgan says.
“Dancing doesn’t start ‘til later on in the evening, and there are a lot of formal things that go on in between, so it’s a great way of getting friends to have some fun together, by putting a few costumes on, hiding behind a mask and letting their hair out, as well as having some good memories to take away.”
Betty is more than 40 years old and, in a previous life, she transported music equipment between venues in the ’70s. When Morgan and Daniel found her, she was well-loved but “dented like a golf ball”. After an extensive three-month revamp, her interior was customised to include a photo booth, air-conditioning, curvy wood paneling and a screen for guests to interact with.
“Kombis are cool and they’ve had a resurgence of late,” Morgan says. “They’re a lot harder to find now, since manufacturing stopped in 2013. It’s just something a bit out of the ordinary at weddings and receptions.”
How to deal with bad weather
“There’s no such thing as bad weather when it come to photography – you can get good photos in any weather!” declares Morgan. “If it’s overcast, there will be beautiful soft light, and if it’s raining, you can get dramatic dark skies and sometimes stormy clouds with the sun peeking through the clouds.”
So, if it should happen to rain on the day of your wedding, perk up with a good attitude and feel confident your photographer can still capture some wonderful moments on film. Just think a little bit practically as well. For example, you may want to bring along a few cool umbrellas – not only will they shield you from the rain, they can sometimes also add a quirky touch to photos. And if it’s cold, bring along a coat to keep warm in between shots.
It’s also a good idea ahead of the big day to check out your venue and look for alternate locations for photo opportunities, just in case it rains.
Morgan recalls one wedding he shot in Fremantle a few years ago.
“It was the wettest year on record and it flooded. The wedding had been set up outdoors, so we had to come up with some alternative scenes. We shot under a lot of bridges and enclosed spaces, but it ended up being a really good shoot,” he says.
“Initially, the bride was disappointed because it was such a wet day, but everyone really got into it and they all played up to the weather. Some of the guys were skipping in the rain with umbrellas and stuff. It was a really good shot and a good example of the attitude you need to have if the weather is bad and how you can make it work.”
Create a moodboard
Black, white and romantic? Quirky and fun, or bright, technicolour and happy? Before you meet with your photographer, it’s a good idea to start putting together your own moodboard and begin collecting images of photos you like to share with them.
“A good photographer will always try to come up with different shots and angles, but it’s always good to get some input from the bride or groom.
“We’ll always try to make your shoot as different and dynamic as possible,” says Morgan.
Shop around for the right photographer
Most importantly of all, Morgan advises couple to take the time to look for the right wedding photographer.
He says this is definitely one of the wedding services you should take your time choosing,
“Sometimes, people don’t look at a photographer’s portfolio or they don’t look around enough and they’ll just book someone,” he says. “Then they’ll find a photographer later that they actually do like, but they’ve already signed up with someone else.”
He says when you do meet with a potential photographer, it’s important to make a careful study of their previous work.
Talk about the style of images you like and ask lots of questions. Make sure you feel comfortable with them, know exactly what you’re paying for and also understand what services the photographer can offer you.
“Some people think wedding photographer is easy (and finding a wedding photographer is easier still), or they may just get a friend with a DSLR camera to do it.
“Often, they simply won’t get the result they want,” Morgan warns.
“It’s worth remembering: these are the memories that will last a lifetime, so it’s worth investing to make sure you choose someone who can capture it just as you want it captured – and someone who will do your big day justice.”
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