Featured: The Five things spoiling your wedding photographs you don’t know about
As professional photographers there are a couple of things at weddings that we really wish we could ban entirely, (not because we are killjoys, but because) they really drive us potty when we are at home sat in front of the computer editing your big day! None of these are obvious things you would think of either – nope not that you got a stain on your beautiful white dress (that’s not a problem as you won’t see it in the photos anyway) or that it rained (again we have that covered). It’s the little things that you won’t have even have noticed, the biggest five things spoiling your wedding photographs.
This week I asked Graham to tell me what his top 5 wedding day “bug bears” are – the things that he would put money on you wouldn’t even think of. Here is what he said…
Unless your wedding morning is being sponsored by Ormo Bakery or Deep River Rock…
Lets talk branding… Hannah spends a lot of her time in the morning of the wedding day moving things “out of shot”. Things like cake wrappers or plastic bottles. It is important to keep hydrated at a wedding (I know, we ourselves have a car full of Ribena), and you should absolutely eat something in the morning (it’s a very long time until dinner!), but please grab a pretty drinking glass and a plate, or trust me that bottle of water and cake wrapper will be in every shot!
Guests in the aisle
I know everyone wants a photograph of you as you come down the aisle… it is one of those classic shots! Unless you are the really shy type then you want your guests to admire your stunning frock. After all, you spent a lot of time and effort choosing it and we have no problem at all with your guests getting a quick snap. The ones I’m talking about are the guests who think they are David Bailey and leap out of their seat into the aisle right in front of you because they must have “that” shot. They not only spoil that emotional shot for us but they also spoil the moment for you too. So please ladies and gentleman when the officiant says “would everyone please stand” please “would everyone please stand STILL”
Microphone stands, huge center pieces and other top-table junk
Simply put, if I can’t see you behind a centre-piece or candelabra then I can’t take a photograph of you! (Something to think about too if you have having a HUGE floral arrangement at the front of the Church). Some venues are worse for “top-table junk” than others and have little table top mike stands that they put in front of each of your speakers on the top table (which are fine when the person is stood up speaking, but completely obscures their face when they are sitting down – often when we want to capture their facial expression as someone else is talking about them!). For example I always want to be able to see the grooms reaction to the best man’s jokes, this can be really tricky if he is hidden behind a mic stand or candelabra. Same goes with large floral arrangements at the centre of the table – if you are hidden from view it can be very difficult to capture the laughter during the speeches. I try to stay as far back away from the action during the speeches so I don’t obscure the view of your guests. If I have to battle with “table junk” it can often mean having to “move in”.
Handbags and Jackets
Something most brides don’t think about, but want to remember is their reception room. I love to take pictures of a beautifully prepared room just waiting for the guests to come in. Please try and let the photographer come in to the room before the guests do. Firstly it’s best for you to get in first, just to double check that the venue have everything set up just as you want (OOOohhh and a great time to do that “fake cake” shot!). The problem with letting your guests get in first is, they have a habit of leaving stuff at their seat. Things you probably won’t notice, but they will really draw your eye right to them in a photograph – such as hand bags, wraps and jackets on backs of chairs or drinks on the tables. These things really spoil the over all impression of a pristine room in a photograph.
Other vendors & staff
Inevitably during the day there will be some shots with your other wedding vendors in them. Weddings are all about team work. Your drivers may well be in some of the shots of you getting out of the car, or there maybe the odd one of you during the ceremony where you can see your videographer (although the ones I work with are great at staying out of shots, and I am great at staying out of theirs!), but for the most part these can be edited out and not spoil feeling of the day. What I’m talking about is the member of venue staff who stands behind you throughout all of your speeches, or the waiting staff who are dashing around the whole time getting in every shot. If you see them lurking behind you you might want to ask them If they wouldn’t mind standing to the end of the table 🙂 If they haven’t poured you wine before the speeches start, just tell the co-ordinator you want to wait until the wine is pourse for EVERYONE before the speeches begin. It can be terribly distracting when the groom comes to say “My wife and I…” and all you can see if a waiter’s head popping over his shoulder!
Graham Crichton is an award winning professional wedding & portrait photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With 10 years of experience and having photographed hundreds of weddings he has photographed weddings all over Ireland, the UK and abroad.
Hannah Crichton is the principal photographic assistant, blogger and studio manager (and other half of Graham Crichton Photography). Hannah and Graham recently married themselves in Ynysybwl, Wales, where Hannah is originally from. Hannah loves “everything wedding"!
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