Tips for a great wedding photo session

Wedding photography is a big investment, folks! I know that as well as you do, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to find someone you’re not only comfortable working with, but excited to work with. The wedding photographer you choose can have an enormous effect on the wedding day itself, not just how it looks in pictures. So, make sure you look at lots of options, and meet with at least 3 different people. Ask friends for recommendations, or see who the photographer was from wedding pictures you like! The key thing is to really like your photographer on a personal level, and to trust them to really get what you’re looking for from an aesthetic point of view when it comes to the photos they take!


-Know what you want:

browsing the internet


No matter how inexperienced you might be at photography or art criticism, you definitely have your own personal taste and style! So, before you make any decisions, spend some hours looking at as many wedding photos as you can. Keep a folder of the ones that really speak to you, and keep working until you’ve got a hundred or so. Then, sit down and start to figure out what’s drawing you to those specific images. Is it the natural lighting, or the touch-up work? Is it a grainy film texture, or a polished finish? Are your favorites candid moments, or posed tableaux? Do your best, and remember that you can always bring those photos to your photographer interviews to make sure they’re seeing what you’re seeing!


Pro-tip/warning: as a wedding photographer, I’m happy to cater my shooting style and technique to the sorts of images you like. However, I am still my own artist. I’ll help you capture the feel of the images you bring me as examples, but I won’t be copying or trying to duplicate the work of other wedding photographers. Think of this album as your inspiration board, rather than a strict blueprint! After, all your wedding should be a completely unique and personal experience.


-Have a budget before you start choosing between photographers:

camera lens

Being really aware of how much you can afford to spend on your wedding photography is one of the absolute musts of planning your wedding. You can’t have a productive conversation with prospective photographers unless you can give them a concrete sense of what you’re looking to spend, so plan ahead! I know I would always appreciate being told up front that things might not work financially before I start helping to plan things out. I would also say that sometimes, if a couple is feeling a bit strapped, we can come up with something creative to help you get the most from my time so that if we work well together, we can still do so without wrecking your budget! So always ask and be up front with numbers. It’s not crass, it’s actually more polite!


-Figure out your scheduled shots:

couple kiss

Some people prefer it if I don’t plan any shots, and just wander around compiling moments. Others want lots of tableau shots through the day, as people change outfits, and you move through the different events of the wedding. I’m open to any format you want, and so are most other photographers. Having said that, it is much easier for everyone if there is a timetable of when planned shots need to happen. That will give you a chance to change and get everyone ready, so we’re not running around and stressed about missing the perfect light. These are things to talk about up front before you make too many decisions about the big day itself.


-Get a really good first look photo:

wedding pictorial

A lot of people under appreciate the power of a first look photo, which is when I snap you seeing each other in your outfits for the first time on the wedding day. If you’re going to have a first look moment before the ceremony, make sure you make the most of it. This is a chance to have a candid shot with genuine surprise, excitement, and joy, and most of all love radiating from both of you! So plan it out in advance as part of the schedule, make sure I’m ready to go, and then just relax and know that you’ll have some amazing photos to remind you of the first time you saw your spouse all decked out.


These are just some of my thoughts, but there are some wonderful guidelines for general wedding photography etiquette on the Boston Globe website:

Making the most of your wedding day photography opportunities

Your big day is stressful enough without thinking of photography all the way through it. So, here are some tips I offer to help get the most out of your wedding day photos without driving you crazy:


Keep yourself and your guests happy: it’ll make for better photos! Remember, I can take posed photos, but most people agree that the best photos from their weddings are unplanned candid moments, whether it’s a loving glance, a beautiful laughing face, or someone resting happily in a chair and watching everyone else. So, the more you can keep your guests and family members relaxed and happy, the more of those precious, spontaneous moments there’ll be for me to capture.

newly wed couple

People want to see impressive outfits and stunning scenery in a wedding album, but what they really want to see is people enjoying themselves! It’s the little moments of joy that spark fun memories and sentiments, not the tableau.


To make the whole ordeal easier on you, make sure you take breaks and wear what you need to wear to be happy and healthy all day. Don’t suffer through a whole day in heels, trust me. We want to see you glowing and exuberant, not tottering around and swearing in pain!


Celebrate the whole process, and take some great “getting ready” photos! The preparations for your wedding and especially for the ceremony make for some of the best shots, in my experience. People are excited, which means that there are so many opportunities for a great shot, and these photos also help you remember the whole day, not just the walking down the aisle part. Speaking of walking down the aisle, I wish someday designers can come up with heeled bridal shoes that feel as good as walking shoes, so the walk down the aisle would be more comfortable. What do you think?

wedding gown fitting

Finally, don’t forget to make a good timeline! You can never plan too much for a wedding. It’s a big day, and there are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. If you’re going to make sure it goes off without a hitch, and to give me as many opportunities to capture moments as possible, you want to have everything meticulously planned out, from meals to planned shots, to the transitions and changes.