Singaporebrides | Photography

August 2014

How to Get A Wedding Album You’ll Love Without A Photographer’s Shot List

Getting the best shots of your wedding day doesn’t mean handing your photographer a shot list of 80 must-have photos to check off. We speak to veteran wedding photographers to find out how to capture the best wedding day photos.

Your wedding photographs capture the love and joy of your special day, of your family and friends celebrating with you while you marry your favourite person in the world. You want to be able to look back on your treasured memory of that tearful mother-daughter hug and laugh fondly at your adorable niece as flower girl with cake on her nose. Of course you want your wedding photographs to capture every meaningful moment. But it’s not necessary to list down every particular shot you want in order to get gorgeous mementos of your special day. In fact, keeping your photographer glued to a list might make him or her miss the most beautiful moments of your day.

Instead of handing your photographer a 5-page print out describing 200 shots to take with instructions like ‘Candid moment with bride and bridesmaids in the mirror, laughing and applying lipstick,’ get wedding photos you’ll treasure for a lifetime simply by talking to your photographer about these three key things.

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Discuss your expectations

Before your wedding day, meet your photographer to discuss what kind of photographs you hope to get. Every photographer has a certain signature style of shooting, so you have to be comfortable with his or her artistry before selecting your photographer. Even though you love your photographer’s style of work, it’s important to discuss your expectations and desires for your wedding. Tell him or her what kind of feeling or type of photos you like. Do you love photos with everyone laughing and having a good time? Do you want to capture the sacred atmosphere of your matrimonal ceremony? Let your photographer get to know you and your personalities to understand the style of photos you’re after.

Wedding photographers Oiffel Photography asks couples to start a Pinterest board of wedding photos they like to better understand whether a couple prefers candid or formal photos, crazy and silly shots, or photojournalistic images. “A Pinterest board of favourite images is great to see what a couple has in mind, about the wedding photography approach they’re interested in,” says the Oiffel team.

It’s not necessary to print out a list of every single shot you want taken at your wedding. An experienced wedding photographer knows the shot of your first kiss is a must-have; you don’t need to list it down! But you should let your photographer know if you expect lots of formal family or group portraits, or if you much prefer to remember your crazy bridal party in silly poses. Your photographer won’t know that you only find photos of your favourite nephews adorable—other kids, not so much. If you have pet peeves, now is the time to voice them. Don’t throw off your photographer’s creativity by suddenly telling him or her on your wedding day that you hate it when you aren’t giving full, megawatt smiles in every photo.

Don’t want lots of photos of the guests that you hardly know? Tell your photographer you want the focus to be on certain people. Let your photographer know which photos in his or her portfolio that you particularly like, and why. By communicating your expectations and helping your photographer understand what you want, you’ll be much more likely to end up with wedding photographs you’ll love.

In the end, though, you have to trust your photographer. You chose your photographer because of his or her particular style, so let the creative professionals do their thing. Don’t stress them out with checking off a lengthy list the whole day, so that they miss creative shots of beautiful moments. Rather than trying to imitate a shot you found online, let your photographer use his or her skill to frame the shot to best suit your unique wedding. Every wedding is different, and you want to capture the special moments that only happen in yours.

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What’s important to you?

Every wedding is different. Your wedding day celebrates all that is important to you and your spouse-to-be. Know that what’s meaningful to one bride might not matter so much to another, so don’t assume your photographer will know what details or people you treasure. Let your photographer know what’s close to your heart.

Oiffel Photography makes it a point to ask couples about significant details on their wedding day. “We have to know so that we don’t miss any detail that’s special to the couple when they already went above and beyond just to make sure that one tiny detail is there on their wedding day,” says the team. Is it really meaningful to you to get shots of the people you love having a good time? Did you spend months handcrafting the table centrepieces and want lots of detail shots of them? Is the five-tiered wedding cake lovingly baked by your sister? Or perhaps you’re wearing an heirloom necklace that belonged to your grandmother who couldn’t be there with you. Make sure you point out what’s important.

Also, let your photographer know which details don’t matter as much to you. If your photographer knows you don’t really care about your programs, he or she can spend more time getting good shots of the floral centrepieces you designed yourself instead. Weddings are very fast-paced days, so informing your photographer beforehand of what matters most to you will help them focus their energies on the things you love, making your wedding photographs a beautiful record of all that’s meaningful to you on your wedding day.

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Keep them informed

Finally, make sure your photographer knows what’s going on. Give him or her a schedule as soon as it’s finalised, so that they know exactly when and where the teary moments are happening on your wedding day. Veteran wedding photographer Yeow Ming of Blessed-i Photography always asks couples about the wedding day’s programme to be well prepared. “I have to understand what is going on on the day so that I will not miss any moments or surprises,” he says.

With a timeline in hand, your photographer will know when to get shots of the dessert table before the beautiful display is gobbled up by arriving guests. He or she will make sure to be around for the toasts and speeches, and be primed and at the ready for the singing performance you’re surprising your spouse with. Fleeting special effects such as light shows and smoke screens, or flying things like confetti and bubbles should be made known to your photographer beforehand. You don’t want your photographer caught unawares with the wrong lens or camera settings and unable to catch those few minutes of your sparkler exit.

Capture the most beautiful moments of your wedding day to remember for a lifetime by communicating with your wedding photographer. Make the time to get to know each other, so that your photographer really gets you and what type of memories you’re hoping to preserve in your wedding album. Keep your photographer up to date with all that’s happening at your wedding. Then let the creative professional do what he or she does best.

Photography credits: Feature image and first five images by Oiffel Photography, latter five images by Blessed-i Photography.