Do you want amazing wedding portraits? I think we all know the answer to that question. Brides today understand the value of wedding photography because they know that their photos will last forever. Their love story forever immortalized in beautiful images. Today I’m going to share with you a wedding photographer’s top tips for amazing portraits that you’re going to love and cherish the rest of your life.

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Find the Right Photographer– You’re going to be spending the majority of your wedding day with the your photographer. We arrive while the make-up is still being applied and leave after you’re already on the way to your honeymoon. Make sure you choose a photographer you love! I always tell my brides that the right photographer is someone you’d get a latte with, just to catch up.Not only is personality match important but look through their portfolio. Do you like the look, the poses, the overall way they capture a wedding day? Make sure you trust that photographer to get the shot, it makes a huge difference!

Book an Engagement Session– Once you’ve found the perfect photographer you need to schedule an engagement session. Engagement sessions are so important for amazing wedding portraits. It gives you a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera. Your photographer learns how you two interact as a couple. The photographer will learn your most flattering poses & angles. I even teach my couples how to pose during their engagement session so they’re pros by the time their wedding day rolls around. This keeping wedding day portrait time short but efficient.

For Unique Portraits Include Some Fun Elements– My two all time favorite additions to wedding portraits are toss items and a long veil. Toss-able items can be incorporated at many different times and can be many different things. Confetti during getting ready pictures, fresh petals during your first kiss or dried lavender during your big exit are all great ideas that make for fun unique pictures. Veils are probably my favorite element on wedding days though. They can be incorporated into many different shots and add an amazing touch of elegance and romance to your wedding photos.

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Do a First Look– First looks are important for many different reasons. First, it might be the only time during you wedding day that you will have some time alone with the groom. Couples that choose to do a first look get to enjoy a private moment together before the rush of their wedding day. During this time your photographer will put on a zoom lens and give the you the privacy to enjoy this special moment without any intrusion. Once the initial contact is over we can then move directly into bride and groom portraits. A first look also allow your photographer more time to capture some amazing shots without the time press of waiting wedding guests. If bride and groom portraits are a priority for your wedding photography then you should seriously consider including a first look.

Consider an Unplugged Ceremony– You’ve planned the perfect entrance to your wedding. You photographer is standing there ready to capture the sweet moment when you walk down the aisle on your wedding day. When suddenly someone steps in front of the camera with their cell phone. Trust me, it’s happened more than once. I encourage all my couples to consider an unplugged ceremony. Ask your guests to put away their devices and be fully present during your ceremony. Pictures can wait till the reception.

Your First Kiss– It’s finally time, your first kiss as husband and wife!! Make sure you don’t rush anything. I always tell my couples that a nice sweet kiss lasting about 3 seconds makes for the best first kiss shots.

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Family Shot lists- The family shot list is an important tool to make sure your photographer captures all the different family groupings that are important to you on your wedding day. Weddings are usually a unique time where a whole family will be together. Make the most of capturing people who mean so much to you. And please, ask your parents to have a quick look over your photo list. It will mean a lot to them, trust me.

Try to Smile and Enjoy Yourself– Wedding’s can be stressful. There’s a lot going on. But try to be present and enjoy your wedding day. Surround yourself with encouraging and loving friends and family who will help your wedding day go smoothly. Consider hiring a wedding planner. These are all things that will help you enjoy your big day. When you can relax and enjoy your wedding it makes a huge impact on your pictures. I can capture more smiles and sweet little moments if you make time and relax. So please, make it a priority to enjoy your wedding day, your pictures will thank you!

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