How do you take your wedding photos from so-so to so amazing? We asked Katherine Williams of Christchurch’s Tandem Photography, winner of the NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards 2015 Wedding Album category.
Is there a recipe for getting incredible images?
One of the most important things is to make sure the photos look natural. First and foremost, relax and enjoy. To capture the magic moments between you and your groom, you also need to pretend you’re the only two people on Earth and just focus on each other – that’s magic right there. We’ve also seen lots of fun things incorporated into photographs: supercars, dogs, parasols, cupcakes… We’ve had a few weddings where a horse-loving bride has arranged a horse for the shoot – white horses especially can look amazing.
What makes for the most flattering shots?
Every body and face is a little different, so what flatters one may not do the same for another. I like to tell my clients that when they’re standing and embracing, it’s normal to move – a gentle caress; a tender touch; whisper a secret. That makes it feel real.
What’s a common pitfall you encounter and how can couples avoid it?
Timing is probably the biggest one. Many people think that if their ceremony is short, they’ll be able to leave to have photos taken with their bridal party half an hour afterwards, but it’s important to allow some time for your guests to give you a hug and a kiss, and a good half an hour for family photos and a group photo of your guests before you head away. It can be hard to leave your guests for long, so a ‘first look’ shoot is a great option as it allows you to capture your images with your bridal party before the ceremony. If you do choose to do your bridal party photos after the ceremony, provide games and entertainment for your guests to enjoy while they wait.
What are the other advantages of a first-look shoot?
I love the first look – it’s always an emotional moment for the couple, and often for the onlookers too. Then, when the bride walks down the aisle to meet her groom at the ceremony, the couple gets to relive that moment all over again. Experiencing it twice has to be a good thing!
How can couples keep their photographer happy on the day to ensure they’re in a good space for getting amazing shots?
It’s part of our job to be in a good space for you! However it is easier for us if couples listen to our instructions, and try not to get too distracted by their bridal party when we’re just photographing the two of you.
We’re heading into summer, and that means sun. How do you avoid squinting if you’re marrying on a stunning day?
This is a tough one if you have sensitive eyes. Typically we shoot most of our work into the light, meaning our clients have their backs to the bright sun. However, if you are in full sun, close your eyes, relax and ask your photographer to count you in to open your eyes on the count of three.
Should brides be overly concerned if they wake on their big day to find it’s raining?
Not at all – rain is romantic and makes for beautiful photographs. And it’s another excuse to snuggle even closer to your new husband or wife!
For more of Katherine’s expert advice, see the Spring issue of New Zealand Weddings, on sale now.