Wedding photographs are keepsakes, so any photography tips you can garner ahead of time take you closer to the perfect wedding momentos. These photos will become family treasures passed down to your grandchildren and eventually theirs. You want to look timeless, classic, and of course, beautiful. A few general photography tips and those from professional photographers ensure you meet all these goals.
Photography Tips for Looking Your Best
LoveToKnow (LTK): Are there any dress colors that are bad for outdoor weddings? Indoor weddings? Nighttime weddings? Weddings during the day? Are there any colors that just aren't the best to choose anytime for photography's sake (because they're not flattering to many skin tones, don't photograph well at all, etc.)?
Brian Marcus (BM): With digital photography, we always color correct so I wouldn't say there are any terrible colors to wear, but I always say, keep the colors and designs simple. Pastels in the summer are beautiful.
Dress Style and Pose Tips
LTK: What are some wedding photography tips for the best poses when it comes to a bride's dress style?
BM: If a bride chooses a very elaborate long gown, it is difficult to sit her down. What I do is lift the dress around what ever she is sitting on and incorporate it into the shot. The lens that I use will dictate the final look of the shot. So, for big, long dresses, I try to keep the bride standing as much as I can and then come in close when I sit her down.
Bridal Beauty Photography Tips
LTK: If there's any set a photos a bride wants to look good in, it's her collection of wedding photographs. What are some of the tricks you've learned over the years for making a bride look her best in pictures?
BM: The most important thing I can tell a bride is keep it natural and to not overdo the makeup and hair. When your groom sees you he should recognize you. I once had a groom who really didn't recognize the bride. She changed her hairstyle, color and wore tons of makeup. I definitely do not recommend doing that. Keep it soft and natural, and the photographs and your groom will be thrilled!
LTK: A trick for looking slimmer is normally to wear all black. Not many brides go with that option on their big day (quite the opposite!), so how do you suggest they go about looking smaller in their wedding photographs? What are the best wedding poses?
BM: Looking slimmer in your dress is all about posing. If you hire a photographer who doesn't usually do "posed" pictures, you might be unhappy with the result. Experienced photographers who really know how to pose a bride will never have her feeling that she looks too heavy in her dress. I always have my brides lean forward in the photograph to eliminate double chins. A bride who is worried about her figure should also purchase an appropriate dress that she feels comfortable in and accentuates all of her positive features.
The Moments Captured on Film
LTK: What's your favorite type of wedding photograph-- posed, candid, black and white, color, sepia...? What makes the best, classic photograph in your mind?
BM: My favorite type of wedding photograph is one that captures the couple's true personality. There are so many moments that are amazing. When the bride and groom see each other for the first time, there is always a great sequence of photographs. I love shooting candid shots of the couple's first dance and I always love my "reaction shots" during the evening. They really capture the true emotion of the night. I capture most of these using a very long lens so my subjects are completely unaware of where I am. After the party, they are always shocked at how many moments were captured during the night, as I try to remain as unobtrusive as possible.
About Brian Marcus
LTK: How did you get started in photography?
BM: Fred Marcus Photography has been around now for 67 years. My grandfather started the business and my father and I both run the company now. Initially, I started by taking a Photo 101 class in high school and assisting my father whenever I could.
LTK: What is your favorite thing about wedding photography?
BM: My favorite thing about wedding photography is being the only person responsible for bringing back the most important memories two people could ever have. Life is short and a wedding is one of those life changing events that must be captured the way my client wants. I love to see their faces when the photos bring them right back to the emotion of that night for them. It is really rewarding.
LTK: What's the biggest challenge when it comes to taking wedding photos?
BM: The biggest challenge is really managing time. Every wedding party is different. Just recently, I photographed a bride who had over fifty members in her family. Getting that many people to listen to you is a real challenge, but one that I love taking on.
LTK: What is your favorite type of wedding to shoot? Outdoor, indoor, beach, etc.?
BM: I have to say how lucky I am to shoot such beautiful indoor weddings. Shooting at New York City 's finest hotels is always fun, but I have to say my favorite weddings are the outdoor events. Partially, because they are so rare in New York . Natural light is my favorite light to shoot in and as a photographer, working outdoors is very rewarding.
LTK: Tell me three random things about yourself.
BM: How do I pick just three? I love poker, I never go to sleep before 1 a.m. and I was in my high school a capella group! There I said it.
Summary of Wedding Photography Tips
- Pick a color that flatters all of your bridesmaids' colorings, but don't worry about how it will show up in pictures; color correction will make any color look incredible.
- If you choose a big, long dress, try to have most of your photos taken of you standing up. When you want to sit, incorporate your "seat" into the pictures by wrapping your skirt around it.
- Go for natural makeup and hair. Looking too "done" will date the photos.
- Lean forward in pictures to eliminate a double chin.
- Be sure to choose a dress that flatters your body. Don't depend entirely upon photography tricks.
- Look for a photographer that will take posed shots (that don't look posed) as well as candid photos. You want your photographer to capture the emotion of the occasion, your personality as a couple.
- Make sure to allot more than enough time for photographs, especially if you have a large party!
LoveToKnow thanks Brian Marcus of Fred Marcus Photography for taking the time to share his thoughts on wedding day photography and portraits.