Top tips for the perfect wedding photographs

01 Nov 2017

Expert advice from the professionals on how you and your photographer can ensure you secure the most perfect wedding photographs

Image gallery

Image gallery

Offering the hard copy memories of your wedding, the photographs are one of the only aspects of the day that stand the test of time. As such, the pressure to find a wedding photographer who can capture each and every special moment can be overwhelming, so follow this advice on how to choose the perfect photographer.

Once you have met your perfect match, it's time to think about the photographs and while this can be left in the capable hands of your photographer, here are a few points to consider to ensure beautifully executed images...

Get to know your photographer

"My tip for perfect photos would be to set up a meeting with your photographer prior to the wedding, ideally at the chosen venue if possible. I really believe that preparation is key; running through the schedule of the day, discussing the shot list (if required) and possible shoot locations for portraits will ensure smooth running on the day. Everything in between will just fall into place and you can leave your photographer to do what they do best... capturing the moment." Tracey Warbey Wedding Photography, who covers Devon and Cornwall

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Invite emotion

"A perfect photograph to me is one that has emotion in it, where the couple are interacting with each other or maybe with me. This is achieved through a combination of having a good relationship with my clients and also having a few good ‘dad’ jokes up my sleeve. I would say that my top tip for a perfect photograph is to choose a photographer who you bounce off and can bring out the best in you to make sure your photographs are full of real emotion.” Emily Hardingham of Little Phat Dog Photographic, who covers the South West of England but who "will travel anywhere in the world for a wedding"

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"My top tip would be to try and take natural shots that capture the emotion. The best time for these is during the ceremony and/or during the speeches when the person holding the camera becomes ‘invisible’." Peter Anslow Photography, who covers Lancashire

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Trust the professional

"Trust your photographer. Your photographer will have a good understanding of what locations, poses and lighting work best. The obvious shot is rarely the best one as your eye doesn't always see things in the same way as a camera. This photo is the perfect example. To the eye it just looked like some trees and a pond. The couple definitely weren't expecting something so magical." Sam & Louise Photography, who cover Essex

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Be yourselves

"Our biggest tip is always be yourselves; almost everyone hates having their photo taken, so drop the pose and show us your happy face. We are firm believers your wedding day should be full of smiles and personality and your photography should completely reflect this”. Richard and Christine at Kazooieloki who cover UK and Europe but predominantly Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

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"Don't try and recreate the faux emotion and unrealistic poses seen on Pinterest and Instagram. Get to know your photographer so that they can capture the real you and the emotion of your wedding day as authentically, beautifully and creatively as possible." Karen Fuller of Fuller Photography, who covers Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

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Capture unique moments

"One of my top tips for the perfect photograph would be to let the photographer know if anything unusual is about to happen. The below photo was only just captured when the bride told me at the last minute she had confetti canons for the first dance. You only get one chance with a confetti canon and without prior knowledge you could easily miss the event." Dave at Bigphatphotos, who covers Norfolk and the rest of the UK, as well as abroad

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The big reveal

"After finishing your hair and make-up, get changed into your dress in private ready for the big reveal to your bridal party. Your photographer will be ready to capture their priceless reactions; this is a must have photo for your album. The same 'reveal' moments can be captured when the father sees his daughter bride for the first time and the groom's first glimpse of his future wife as she descends the aisle." Jodie and Tracey at Powder and Pearls, who cover Bristol and the South West

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Consider lighting

"Put down the flash gun and use the available light to your advantage – from the beautiful golden hour shortly before the sun sets when your photographer can get creative with silhouettes and sunbursts to the artificial light cast by the disco lights." Angela Gibson of darkstar Corportation Ltd, who covers Berkshire and can venture further afield across the UK

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From candid moments to staged shots, here's a list of the key photographs for your photographer to capture:

  • Getting ready for both the bride and groom 
  • The bridal 'reveal'
  • The groom waiting for the bride
  • Walking the aisle 
  • Wedding readings
  • Exchanging vows
  • Signing the register
  • Confetti exit
  • In your wedding car
  • Outside the venue
  • Individual group shots of friends and family
  • Group shot of all guests
  • Guest shots throughout the ceremony and reception
  • Children and/or pets attending the day
  • The speeches
  • The catering
  • Cutting the cake
  • The entertainment 
  • First dance
  • Outside at sunset
  • Dancefloor shots

For more wedding photography inspiration, follow Bride on Pinterest and Instagram, and if you're still searching for your perfect photographer, browse local listings on Bride's FREE Supplier Finder