Wedding photo ideas for your big day
Before every wedding, I ask my couples to write a list of must-have shots they want captured throughout their wedding celebrations. I often suggest the more the merrier! As a photographer, this works as a great guarantee that I meet their expectations and ensure I leave no room for disappointment. With this being said, when you choose your wedding photographer, you want to choose them for their eye. For this reason, every photographer will be different. Some will prefer wide open landscapes. Others will capture tightly cropped high emotion driven images, with a focus on expression and faces. Now, if you find someone who can do both - well then, that’s a good photographer. A great photographer is someone who is able to capture truly unique images that don't follow the set pattern of a conventional wedding photo ideas. With this in mind, I have a list of shots that many couples (or photographers) don’t consider, but actually make for truly sensational wedding galleries...
Two Become One
Weddings in their purest form are quite literally about two individuals becoming one entity. So why not take the time to have your individual portraits captured?
Can’t Touch This
In a post COVID world, one thing we will no longer take for granted is the power of touch. And on a wedding day, what is more important than touch? Photographs that capture touch by interpretation capture connection and then in turn, intimacy. Shots like this can take all kinds of forms. By nature, each couple will capture differently depending on their relationship. Some couples love public affection. For others this is a more private thing, thus two hands connecting can be the most powerful shot of the day.
21st Century Man
In the 21st century, technology plays such a massive role in the way we live our lives. As a photographer, it’s immensely frustrating having to avoid and dodge smartphones. So, my verdict is embrace it (at times, I hasten to add). Unplugged ceremonies are highly advisable. Technology changes so fast - just think how wedding photos would have looked 10 years ago. Capturing a little technology grounds your wedding in history. Time and place. If you like documentary photography, this an important part.
These are the moments people don't notice. Why? Well, because they are the simple and the normal, yet they tell the story; very often much more powerfully than highly constructed groups shots, or even dare I say it, those amazing big editorial moments. These shots also really help to give your wedding gallery a sense of a time and place. They provide an odd sense of humanity. Weddings are about people. They move, eat, drink and breath.
Oddly enough, this is a very old concept, which has somewhat had a resurgence the past few years. We have all seen those old rather gothic Victorian family portraits next to their best china or prized clocks. Well, this is one for those who appreciate aesthetics and aren’t afraid of being the centre of attention. Logistically, this one does require planning, and potentially the help of an accomplished florist or wedding stylist. But don't be scared off by the perceived cost, these can be done fairly cost effectively. Particularly worth considering if you are scaling down guest numbers for whatever reason.
The Editorial Look
I have already eluded to this shot before, it is perhaps my personal favourite. Think Vogue, think glossy fashion magazine, slick imagery and well posed individuals. Over recent decades we have run away from posed photographs and rightly so. However this is one for the fashion lovers. Whether it's just you and your partner or your entire wedding party. Those who feel confident enough to pose for a few select shots will be thrilled with the results. Black tie and martini glasses take these sorts of images to a whole new level.
A Private Dance
This section is perhaps not what you think. For a good number of people, the idea of a first dance in front of everyone fills them with dread. Others relish the opportunity. Either way, this is one I have found works every time. For the accomplished dancers (and for those with two left feet). When I take a couple off for 20 mins during the day, I usually pull out a small bluetooth speaker and create a relaxed environment for them to simply take a breath and enjoy one another's company. On occasion I have been know to turn up the tempo and encourage a little movement. This is great fun whether you're dancing the salsa or falling over each other in the process. These candid moments produce fanatic and usually very romantic results.
The Flat Lay
This is a huge growing trend in the industry. Did you spend hours pouring over wedding invitation designs? Perhaps you made your own wedding stationary? This is a great way of documenting all the work that came before. After 10 years, these are the photos you will be so grateful for. What better way to document all the little details that went into your day. Naturally, this requires some forward thinking. Reserve one item of each invite, menu, save the date etc. Put them in an envelope and address to your photographer.
This has become somewhat of a trademark of mine over the last year. For most photographers, group shots can be boring. If you have ever seen a Dolce & Gabbana family campaign, this is what they do so well. This was the inspiration for what I affectionally call ‘The Chaos’. Semi-posed group photography that requires very little order, allows space for anything to go wrong. Best served with a large glass of alcohol.
My last suggestion is really very simple. Photography is an art form. Constantly evolving and developing. As I said before, your photographer will have developed his or her own style. But here’s the thing, they are only one side of the creative process. On the other side is you. This means your photographer needs your help and your input. This recipe means that every wedding photo captured has the capacity to be so immensely unique and individual. On behalf of wedding photographers, please accept this invitation to create with us. Together, we will craft something truly special and one of a kind.