Grooms, this post is for you!
Your bride has spent the last few months planning one of the most important (if not THE most important) days of your life. She’s carefully kept track of even the tiniest details, wanting it to be perfect. Of course, as her future husband and love of her life, you want that day – and every day – to be as perfect as she could wish for it to be.
You spent hours searching for and selecting the perfect ring to place on her finger when you asked her to marry you. You know the intent and purpose given to its meaning, and that feeling is magnified a thousand times over when planning a wedding. So you also know that capturing that day in photos is probably the most meaningful part, directly following the actual marriage in order of importance.
On your wedding day, a professional photographer is there to capture every moment, every smile. You won’t miss a thing even though the day is a whirlwind, because your photographer is everywhere the whole time, capturing memories that you can’t always see. You’ll have those memories forever, because the photographer will ensure that you do.
But there’s no photographer traveling with you on your honeymoon! This amazing trip you have planned is probably to somewhere exciting, possibly even a place you would never make the time or financial commitment to go by yourself. It’s a vacation of a lifetime because it’s the beginning of your lifetime together! It will engage both of you with honeymoon memories that will last forever – as long as you follow these tips that professional photographers use to ensure wedding day pictures are perfect.
Back Up Everything You Shoot
Absolutely everything, no matter what. Even if you think to yourself “oh, we’re just taking a quick ferry over to the other island, I don’t need to back up the photos from snorkeling this morning.” Yes, you do. You don’t want to try and tell the story about the “one that got away” when it comes to the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime shot. Especially if it involved a crashed hard drive, deleted image or damaged equipment (maybe the 4×4 Jungle Excursion should be marked ‘Hazardous’)! Check out getting a few sd cards to take with you or even an external hard drive.
Think First, Shoot Second
Before you start snapping away, consider what you’re focusing on. How are you going to compose the shot? What are you framing?
Where’s the light coming from? Can you adjust your shooting angle? Is it harsh or flattering? Should you use your flash to fill harsh shadows cast by the sun?
Try to get lots of photos around the ‘Golden Hours’ of sunrise and sunset. Everything has a magical quality to it, and the light is soft and flattering.
What’s your perspective? Are you above your subject, making it appear small in relation to its surroundings? Are you crouched low, giving it an imposing height over its surroundings? The answers to those two questions depend on the story you’re trying to tell through your lens. Experiment with these and other perspectives.
Are you close enough? Often, if your photographs don’t feel ‘good enough’ to you, consider your distance. Fill the frame with your subject.
Check what else is in frame. Make sure to check for things that will throw off the look of the image. It’s always small, subtle things that are slightly out of place that turn into glaring blemishes on a final image. There’s only so much post-production and Photoshop can do, so be aware of what is in the shot, and what shouldn’t be.
Establish Dominance Over Your Camera
You are the alpha dog, not your camera. It’s a piece of machinery that a monkey can operate, so learn how to master this tool. Read the camera’s manual – it’s the best way to get to know your equipment. It’s a really important step a lot of people skip, and their photography lacks a certain ‘something’ because of it.
Work toward understanding how all of the settings work together, and shoot manually whenever possible. The more consistently you practice setting up shots with manual controls, the more proficient you’ll be when it comes time to snag the perfect photo.
Don’t buy more equipment because you think it will make you a better photographer. Buy and read books that can help you learn to BE a better photographer.
No Tripod? Improvise!
Again, unless you’re traveling with a professional photographer, you’re going to be the one taking the photos. Selfies aren’t just for smartphones, and candid shots of the two of you having a wonderful time together are important. Learning how to set up timed and long-exposure photographs is equally as important as learning how to ask people for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to take pictures of you! While it’s probably not a great idea to hand your expensive DSLR to a shifty looking street kid, wait staff, friendly looking strangers, the people – I mean, new friends – sitting next to you at the tapas bar…all of them are very likely to help you commemorate your moments!
If you have a small point and shoot camera, this is a great tripod for travel – it fits in your pocket and it’s under $10! This Amazon Basics tripod is under $15 and comes with a bag for use with a larger camera.
Print Your Work
The worst thing in the world, from a photographer’s perspective (if you’ll pardon the pun), is leaving your photographs on a flash drive or disk that gets lost or forgotten. Photographs used to be rare and precious, but digital photography has allowed us the luxury of taking unlimited photos. But we take them for granted when we post them to Instagram or Facebook and yet fail to have them printed out for display. The two most popular and highly rated at-home photo printers are both Canon: the Canon SELPHY CP910 Compact Photo Color Printer has the higher ratings, but the Canon PIXMA MX922 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax has more functions and therefore more purchases.
Take that extra step and preserve your best memories by having them professionally printed on archival quality paper in a variety of sizes. No need to stick to 5×7 or 4×6 prints, when you can have them in every shape and size – or even printed on canvas! A special photograph on canvas or in a larger format print surrounded by a gorgeous frame makes for a truly beautiful gift for any occasion. Such thought shows your spouse that you cherish the memories and want to continue knitting together the fabric of your relationship. Build a wall of memories starting from your engagement session, through the wedding, to the honeymoon and beyond.