Over my six seasons of capturing weddings, I’ve discovered that there are certain moments I capture that make the artist in my squeal (inside) with glee and I’ve decided to narrow those moments down to ten captures that I consider must-haves for your wedding day. I’m sure you can guess at least a few of these, but I hope to also surprise you a little and give you some insight into what goes on behind the lens, in the mind of your wedding photographer.
1. The Anticipation
When I arrive for your getting ready moments, the excitement is palpable and amidst the rush to complete last-minute details you’d nearly forgotten about, to learn how to tie a tie and to ensure that the rings are located and secured, there are pauses, brief moments when you can catch your breath. While you get your hair and makeup done and while your favourite humans help get you all dressed up, you may notice me tiptoeing around trying to remain inconspicuous as I catch those pauses, those breaths to capture the anticipation.
2. The First
Whether you choose a first look or to wait to walk down the aisle, you probably could have guessed that capturing the first time you see each other is a priority. I will admit that I do prefer the former, a “first look” as your wedding photographer because that way I have more control over the setting. As a hardcore introvert, it’s also just far more appealing to me to have that moment away from everyone else. But all of that is subjective.
3. The Ceremony Joy
In my humble opinion the perfect ceremony lasts about 20 minutes, maybe half an hour. Any longer and the images tend to become redundant; any shorter and I won’t be able to play around with creative angles too much, and I do love to play! While I play, I’m waiting for you and your favourite humans to crack a smile at the officiant's joke or a cute line in your personalized vows. I’m waiting for your joy to spill over into a laugh or into tears.
4. The Kiss
For a number of years, I have strived to capture your first married kiss from the perspective of the officiant, backdropping you with your guests. This works great if I have a second who can capture the scene from the traditional side, with you framed by your arch or altarpiece. This one is an obvious must-have that I expect on any couple’s shot-list.
5. The Exit
You’re married and it is time to party! I run to the end of the aisle to capture your elation as you exit. These shots are usually some of my favourites because they really set the scene and the emotion of your day.
6. The Favourite Humans
Another obvious must-have is in the form of all of the photos with your favourite humans, whom I assume you have invited to your celebration (pandemic restrictions allowing). They all came to see you and I know they want at least a selfie with you. Let me help with that!
7. The You Time
One of the reasons I love to see a timeline that includes a “first look” and bridal party portraits before your ceremony is that you can schedule some time post-ceremony for just the two of you (and me!) to capture some creative portraits for your day. Whether this brief break happens just after the ceremony or at sunset to take advantage of the golden hour light.
8. The Details
You spent a good chunk of time and money for the details that make up your wedding day; of course, you need some photos to remember how beautifully you styled your day. In a wedding gallery, detail shots are a good way to frame and bookend your portraits and candids, helping to convey the atmosphere and mood of the wedding as a whole.
9. The Laughs
When it’s time for speeches, I position myself with my camera ready to snap away when your faces burst into laughter from an inside joke your best man used for the introduction to his speech.
10. The Connection
In the end, my goal is to capture points of connection between the two of you, and between you and your cherished community. I attach myself to you like a shadow, waiting to catch your smiling guests embracing you, or your tears flowing at a shared memory, or a secret kiss shared between the two of you before rejoining your celebrating guests.
What are your must-haves? Make sure to leave them in the comments!