Edyta Szyszlo Photography

February 4, 2008

A Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding

Photos: Edyta Szyszlo Photography

Us – wedding vendors know that when the new year begins the newly engaged brides begin to plan! After reading several discussion and message boards, I’ve come to realize that what seems like the most simple task (hiring a wedding photographer), many couples don’t know what it takes to create their picture perfect wedding. I realize there is a lot of reading material out there, which makes things overwhelming for most but the next few suggestions that I offer might be of great help for the bride and groom to be.

1. Finding the perfect photographer

Let me start off by saying…the photographer is the one person who will be with you ALL day (besides your bridal party). Please be sure it’s someone you want by your side and better yet, someone that you could almost consider a friend. The more comfortable you are with this person the better your photographs will be, that’s a guarantee. Start by looking at your friends wedding shots or check out “real weddings” through online wedding sources. Browse local wedding magazines, online portfolios and albums, noting what it is you like about the work to formulate your style. Do you like black & white, color, romantic, fashion inspired, photojournalistic, etc. After making a list of your favorite photographers, contact each for pricing and more information. Usually, you can get a sense of his/her personality through their work and their response. Plan to see a few so that you know what you’re options are.

2. Photography Prep

Once hired, the more knowledge your wedding photographer has about your wedding details the better he/she can meet your expectations. Chatting about your venue locations, schedule, & decor details will give them a better sense of who you are as a couple. You could even ask them to scout out the location with you so you can brainstorm about portrait locations and backdrops. I love it when brides get into showing me their details! Sending me pictures of her dress, telling me about floral decor, and site information always helps me get to know her better before the wedding day, not to mention referring other vendors that might work for them as well. Also, engagement sessions are another way to get to know the couple first hand while providing them with experience of how the photographer works, some wedding photographers include one in their packages.

3. Beauty Pros

I can’t stress how important this is for a photographer. And let me just go on the record now and THANK all the make-up artists and hair stylists for making the brides look absolutely gorgeous! Hiring a make-up artist and hair stylist is essential and worth every penny. The make-up artist specializes in making your features pop, especially for photographs. You don’t need to go heavy just smoothing out skin tones and defining your features is enough to look sophisticated and timeless. Chose someone that has done weddings before and can give you pointers for camera-ready makeup. One example would be – if photographed in red or darker lipstick, it will look black(certainly dark) in black & white photos. Most photographers will offer retouching but want to keep efficient in post-production so enhancing or minimizing as much as you can beforehand equals stunning results for both parties.

4. Practice Posing

This may seem like a silly idea but the more comfortable you are with yourself the better the photos turn out! Practice standing, keeping your back straight and shoulders back. The most flattering pose is when you angle your body 45 degrees from the camera with your head turned to face the camera. This slims your figure instead of being straight on. When standing, keep one leg slightly in front of the other, giving weight on the back leg (the classic Miss America pose) which will enhance your shape even more! Something that I always forget to do myself when in pictures, is to make sure your arms are not against your side. Flesh tends to spread and will make you look heavier in photographs so hold them slightly away from your body. Practice facial movements just to be aware of what you like and don’t like. Check out bridal magazines for favorite poses and make note of them for your wedding day.Usually, the best shots of the couple are ones that were unplanned and unposed, which for me is when the happy couple is smiling! No practice needed for your wedding day :)

Remember that this is a special day and it’s meant to create some of the best memories of your life! Stay as relaxed and calm as you can, the camera will notice it. And most importantly, be happy!!

References made from Martha Stewart Magazine

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