1. Have an engagement session
There is a reason I gift a complimentary engagement session to all my wedding clients. They are game changers! Engagement sessions are just a big practice run before your wedding day. All big events have a rehearsal beforehand– your wedding should be no different! So choose a fun location, put on a nice outfit, and let's take some pictures!
2. Find a photographer that fits your style
Romantic portraits are when you’re going to find the most variety from photographer to photographer because this is really the one time where they’re running the whole show. Find the style that you jive with the most! Some different portrait styles are:
High fashion: very posed, very editorial. Less candid. Focus is on you both looking a million bucks.
Candid & casual: lots of walking and genuine interactions between you both. Less direction, more authentic smiles and laughter.
Lighthearted & prompt focused: a super popular style currently. You’ll receive lots of prompts and direction to help you loosen up. It might feel silly but you’ll get some intimate and genuine looking photos even if it wasn’t 100% candid.
Romantic & intimate: get ready to get all touchy feely. Lots of kissing, closeness. A good amount of direction but a good photographer will just fade away.
3. Browse for loose inspiration but trust your photographer
Photographers love open dialogue. Our number 1 goal is making our client happy and capturing their day perfectly. We want to hear your ideas, input and expectations. Inspiration is everywhere these days and that’s great– find what you like and don’t like and let your photographer know. But also trust them. If you come to your wedding with 50 must have photos you want to recreate you’re going to be disappointed. So many factors go into that gorgeous photo you saw on pinterest, the location, time of day, dress, lens, etc. The best images are captured when a photographer has your vision in mind but also is allowed the space to be creative. So enjoy the moment, let your photographer do the job you hired them to do.
4. Pack a touch-up kit
These are great to have on hand! (Usually the maid of honor is in charge of holding onto them). I encourage my brides to include power, blush, lipstick, oil blotting sheets, a tide stick, a small compact mirror, and a small brush.
5. Give yourself time
I like to keep my portrait time as concise as possible so that my couples can get back into their party and celebrate with their family and friends, this is super important to me. But, I also want couples to have lots of gorgeous photos, this is your one chance to get these photos (unless you do a day after session! More on that later). So give yourself time to take portraits during the best light, at a great location. I can get lots of variety in 30 minutes but an hour is my dream amount of time.
6. Have a few smaller portrait sessions throughout the day
Depending on the time of year and if you’re having a first look, your main portrait session time will be either after ceremony right before reception or after your first look. However, if you’re having a summer wedding when the sun sets late, these times might not be ideal for optimal light. Us photographers go crazy over golden hour (aka the hour-ish leading up to sunset). If your main portrait session time doesn’t fall within this time consider taking 10 minutes during the reception to sneak out for photos. It’s so so worth it! Another great time for fun portraits is at night, you can get some super cool unique and cinematic images. If your wedding photos are super important talk to your photographer about the optimal time on your wedding day!
7. You might want to bustle your dress
If you're walking around a lot during your portrait session you might want to consider bustling it so it doesn't snag or drag. Bustling will keep it clean and out of the way.
Most of us aren’t professional models who feel 100% at ease in front of the camera. That’s why I like to start with something easy, walking. It creates such an organic, authentic looking image and allows my couples to connect and relax before more difficult poses. Just remember this is supposed to be fun! Shake those shoulders out and just enjoy the moment with your new husband/wife! This just might be the only alone time y’all get all day!
9. Laugh it off!
Similar to the above tip. If you feel like cracking up, do it. The photos will be so much more natural and candid. And you'll love looking back on these images of you and your partner letting loose!
10. Consider a day after session
These sessions are awesome if you want lots of wedding photos but don't want to compromise on hanging out with your family and friends on your wedding day (or if you just want to attend your own cocktail party!) They definitely don't have to be the day after your wedding, though I recommend scheduling them within two weeks of your wedding so your photographer can ensure they're delivered with the rest of your wedding gallery. You can go back to your venue or choose a fun, unique location!
Leah Goetzel is a Dallas based Wedding Photographer capturing bold imagery for fun and authentic couples! She serves Dallas, Austin, and Denver but is passport ready for wherever your wedding is located! If you're interested in learning more send us a message HERE! We'll get back to you within 24 hours! We can't wait to chat with you!