Help Me Help You

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Help Me to Help You


Here are some tips to help you get the very best out of your photographer!

We’re all working towards you having a smooth and problem free day.
These seemingly small suggestions will combine to help you have a
drama-free time with an improved photographic result!

Allow enough time for your photos

*     Talk to your photographer BEFORE your invitations are sent out so that together you can prepare
          a time schedule for that day that will enable you to achieve the photographs you’re after.
          If relevant, check the tide and sunset times.

*     Be ready on time – in fact, be early!
          You’ve paid for a professional to begin at a particular time, to achieve a particular result.
          If you’re not ready, they simply can not do their job, and you’re paying for nothing!

*     Make sure the groom, your parents and the bridal party are all well aware of the plan for the day.
          Ensure they’re clear about who’s meeting the photographer where and at what time.

*     Lay everything out the night before and ensure the details are thought through and nothing is missing.
          Remove labels from your gown and the bottom of shoes.
          Take your garter and other bits and pieces out of their packaging.
          If you're wearing heel stoppers, put these on your shoes the night before.
          And so on.  All these little things take time, and if your photographer is at the Bride's House for only an hour, 
                  it's silly to waste half that time fluffing with these sort of details.

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Give me as much detail as possible

*   Tell me all about your wedding day plans with as much detail as possible.  I love to hear all about it!

*   Tell me your photographic likes and dislikes.

*   Tell me which post-production techniques particularly appeal to you (black&whites, sepia etc).

*   Tell me how far you’re willing to go for that perfect shot.
         For example, will you kick off your shoes and splash in the water, or do you hate having sand between your toes?

*   Are there any difficult family relationships I should be aware of?
         I don’t want to cause a raucous by putting feuding in-laws together and asking them to cuddle closer!

*   Are there particularly special people you want photographed (especially elderly guests, or anyone suffering from terminal illness.)
        Sadly, I may be capturing the last good photo of them, so don’t let the opportunity pass.

*   What interests, hobbies, pets, places or moments are special to you? How can we incorporate these into your photos.

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Brief your bridal party

*     Sit them all down and lay out your expectations (laying off the alcohol until the reception might be one!)
          Tell them straight that they’ve been chosen to assist you on YOUR big day.  (More bridal party tips here.)
          You want them to be involved and having fun at the photo shoot, not skiving off somewhere for a beer and ciggie.

*     Ensure a bridesmaid has the ‘emergency kit’ handy (see Photoshoot Goodie Bag tips sheet for ideas).

*     Having a bridesmaid to consistently fluff your dress can be most helpful.

*     Delegate a bridesmaid to ensure you’re ‘fed and watered’ at appropriate times.
          You’ll rarely get an opportunity to look after your own needs so it’s important that someone’s thinking of you throughout the day.

*     Assign a PA (Photography Assistant) for your obligatory family photos.
         Choose someone who knows most family members and is persuasive enough to be able to corral guests
         and have them ready for their shot. This will save you both time and energy!

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Food and wine glasses

*     It’s essential to pack some bite-sized, protein-based morsels to keep your energy up.
          However, if you’re planning an elaborate picnic, make sure your photographer is aware of this,
          and that the time this requires has been planned for. 

*     Wine glass shots are cute, and can be quite stunning at sunset.
          However, taking wine glasses down to the beach can be quite a time consuming distraction.
          If you want to use stemmed glasses, see if you can find a spot close to where you’ve parked
          so that your photographer can grab the shot and then the glasses can be safely stashed back
          into the car for later.

*     Make sure you pack and drink plenty of plain water to keep hydrated.
          Avoid too much alcohol as this dehydrates you very quickly.
          The quickest way to become tired, grumpy and ‘over’ your photo-shoot,
           is for your body and brain to be dehydrated!

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Reserve a car park for me at the wedding and reception

*     It’s awful if the bridal party have to wait around while I jog, with all my gear,
          from the last remaining car park 100m down the road!
          If you’re reserving space for the bridal car, put out a cone for me too!

Makeup tips

*     Check that your makeup artist will use product suitable to photograph
          – they should understand the difference between Event Makeup and Photographic Makeup.

*     Avoid makeup that has light reflecting illuminates in them.
          These can make you look either very pale or very sparkly in photos.
          Go for an oil-free foundation with matte finish.
          Brush translucent powder over your face and neck.

*     Choose a lipstick to compliment your skin tone, and ensure that it doesn’t clash with your bouquet. 
          Avoid high shine. “Wet lips” or frosted lipstick look nice, but super glossy will bounce light badly.

*     Avoid body glitter and sparkles as these also reflect the light, giving you a look of sparkly chickenpox!

*     Test your spray tan well before your wedding day, to ensure the colour is right and that it won’t mark your gown.

*     Make sure you carry a pat-down powder foundation to cover shiny skin during the day.
          While most products and make-up artists promise you 'long lasting coverage',
          my experience is that this is very rarely the case. 
          By the time you get to your couples portraits,  the flash is bouncing off the oil on your t-section.

*     If your groom or groomsmen have bare heads, do consider a light pat-down with powder foundation for them too!

More on Makeup the Camera Loves, here.

Other helpful tips

*     Skin dents, caused by tight underwear, are most unflattering!
          Choose carefully what you’ll wear during your hair and makeup session
          so that you’ll be photo-ready as soon as you step into your strapless gown.
          And remind your bridesmaids too!

*     Clear the clutter - especially at the 'Brides House' (or wherever she's getting ready).
         All those gorgeous Pinterest pics you've pinned ... look in the background of the shots.
         So many of these shots are made at hotels or perfectly groomed American homes.
         Typical NZ homes are much smaller and full of clutter, making getting clear shots extremely difficult.
         On the morning of your wedding, have a bridesmaid or friend grab a box and
         clear off the surfaces in one nice bedroom, and the lounge

*     In case of emergency, who will be the easiest for someone to contact on the morning of your wedding?
          It’ll probably be the Maid of Honour.
          Make sure your photographer, celebrant, florist, drivers, cake decorator, etc, all have their number.
          And make sure you’ve stored all their contact numbers on that phone too,
          just in case someone or something’s not where they ought to be!

*     If 'Uncle Bob' does have to be there to take additional photos or video, ask him to stay on the same side of proceedings
          as the photographer - that way we won't be in each other's shots.

*     After the ceremony, everyone will gather to congratulate you.  These happy images are very special.
          You can help me capture the best angles by:
                  *    Stepping out to give me space to shoot from behind you (to capture the reactions of your guests over your shoulder).
                  *    Sticking fairly closely together.  Often, the groom gravitates in one direction while the bride is drawn in another,
                               and I have to make a choice as to whom I'll follow.

*     Consider learning some posing tips so that you’ll feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera on your big day.
          A ‘Posing 101’ workshop is included in my Diamond Package, or may be purchased separately.

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