Photo: Taylor Golden Photography
Your wedding day will come and go…FAST. And your wedding photos and wedding video are the only ways you’ll be able to look back and reminisce. Plus, planning a wedding is basically a full-time job, not to mention that it’s more than likely this will be your first time putting a wedding together, so it can be difficult to predetermine what moments or images are going to be important to you.
Aside from the standard “first” shots—your first kiss, first dance, etc.—this is a day for gathering family members and dear friends. Having so many loved ones in one place, at one time, all beautifully done up and turned out, happens…almost never. So make sure you take full advantage of the occasion by capturing the most important people in your life in photographs to cherish.
Here are my 7 must-have wedding photos of the wedding couple, family and friends, to help you prepare for your big day. Oh—and one more thing: When selecting a wedding photographer, make sure she or he has ample experience in photographing each of the elements below. You can do this by asking to see at least a couple of weddings the photographer has shot, to make sure their talent and capabilities are consistent. And now, it’s time to smile…
1. Family Formals
This may seem pretty basic, but these classic family wedding portraits are also incredibly important. Remember, your wedding is likely to be an activity-filled day, and you may not be actually be around your family members all that much. These family photos may be the only pictures you have with your nearest and dearest, so you’ll want to make sure you take a family photo with anyone that is important to you.
It’s also important to select a photographer that is comfortable and experienced in a variety of different lighting scenarios. Family formals typically happen immediately following the ceremony, and if that ceremony happens to be in a church, the lighting may be extremely dim and poor quality—for photos, that is.
When selecting a photographer, be sure to look at that photographer’s examples of family wedding formals to see if you like the posing, lighting and composition the photographer offers. It also helps to create a list of the different family groupings you want to document. Your planner or maid of honor can assist during this part of the day by calling out people’s names for each picture, grouping them, and crossing them off your list once the photo has been shot, to ensure you don’t miss anyone!
2. Individual Spouse Portraits
Surprisingly enough, these individual portraits are often overlooked by many couples and photographers. There are a few variations of each portrait you’ll want to consider. For each portrait, you should have a close-up, a mid-waist, a full shot and an artistic shot. Diversity is key, so you’ll also want to include a mix of expressions, such as looking at the camera vs. looking away, and maybe some shots with movement, such as twirling the dress, or straightening the bowtie. It’s up to you!
3. Family Candids
These unposed, joyful shots are some of my favorites. As I mentioned previously, pictures with your family on the day of the wedding are sometimes hard to come by. For this reason alone, I always suggest that my clients have their immediate family with them while they are primping and getting ready for the big day. This is a great time to capture candid family moments that show more personality, and are often more emotional than family formals. I’ve also seen some fun parents join the bridal party for pictures on location—again another great opportunity to capture some unique and candid images with your family.
4. Wedding Party
There are many variations for this category. They may include:
- The entire wedding party together
- Groomsmen together
- Bridesmaids together
- Bride one-on-one with each bridesmaid
- Groom one-on-one with each groomsmen
To optimize these photos, I encourage my wedding parties to have fun and be themselves. Showcasing the group’s energy and personalities are what will make your wedding party photos unique.
5. Couple Together Close Up
Of course you will want some full-length photos of you and your spouse, but don’t forget about the close ups! Think of the 5×7 frames you’ll want to fill. Have your photographer focus on your gorgeous face, hair, makeup, jewelry…and the mega-watt smile you’ll be sporting on the happiest day of your life!
6. Bride and Groom Artwork
I like to give my couples artwork rather than photos for their home. What I mean by this is a dramatic image that incorporates nature, architecture and stylization. The couple themselves may only fill 1/8th of the image; my goal here is that when people walk into your home they say, “Wow what an amazing piece of art! Oh, wait, this is your wedding??” Many couples don’t care to have their faces plastered, larger than life, all over their walls. By creating a piece of artwork, I provide my couple with the story of their day without their appearing vain or self absorbed.
7. Bride and Groom Candid
This is all about your personalities. If you are anxious and stiff on your wedding day, it will show in your pictures. I tell my couples to escape into each other. Be yourself with your new husband or wife; laugh, kiss, do what comes naturally to you! It also helps to have two photographers on hand to do this, so that the primary shooter can focus on getting the must-have and more difficult posed images, while the second shooter can “stalk” the couple for special candid moments!
Multi-international-award-winning photographer Taylor Golden counts politicians, professional athletes and celebrities among her clientele. Newly returned to Houston after a long Midwest hiatus, Golden is HOT on the wedding scene. Find out more about Taylor Golden Photography & check out her gorgeous pix right here!
Photo: Taylor Golden Photography