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FAQ: 8 Things Every Bride Should Know

8 things every bride should know about wedding photography and her big day!


It is our job as photographers to do the very best we can with what we have, but there are a
few things you can do as bride to help ensure you get the best photos possible. Interestingly enough there are things that at my wedding I didn’t think twice about when it came to photography… and I really wish I had.

In 2011 I had yet to purse photography at all. I had no idea of the challenges my photographer would most likely face on my big day. My choice of venue when I got married was my sister-in-laws, in-laws (follow?) gorgeous home. It was stunning, I could not have chosen a more beautiful location in my mind. As a photographer now, I most likely would have chosen the same venue but there are things I may have thought twice about regarding my big day. Here is my list:

1. Think lighting

Where I got married there was no shade as you can see below, it was a wide open field with the sun blazing down on us. Would I have done anything different? Probably not. But let me tell you a bit about sun and photography. The best times to shoot are dawn and dust. The sun is soft, it is easy to shoot into the light and makes for gorgeous lighting on clients faces when shining on them. The worst time of day is noon… when the sun is the strongest and is shining straight down on clients causing dark spots under eyes, and lots of shadows and contrast. Another no-no is spotty lighting, when lighting is shining through a tree causing splotches of light on clients faces. Sure it feels beautiful but it makes for potentially bad, bad photos. My recommendation is open lighting as I had at my wedding, later/earlier in the day if you can… or shade.

Sean & Julie Ceremony-23-2+

Photo credit: Mathais Fast Photography

2. Tie hair back

I had these two long strands hanging down each side of my face during my wedding, my photos still came out gorgeous but as a photographer I have faced numerous times where brides have had long hairs hanging close to the front of her face. The challenge for us is to actually take a great profile picture of your face without your hair obstructing your face. I’m not saying you have to have a ponytail or have all your hair up, I’m just saying try to pull back loose (thick) strands that would block a side shot of your face. My recommendation, pull your hair back so we can take great profile photos and its not just a lump of hair in the photo.

Sean & Julie Ceremony-73+

Photo credit: Mathais Fast Photography

3. Keep your “getting ready” room tidy

Oh my… my “getting ready room” looked like a hurricane hit it. It was a disaster. I remember my photographer asking to grab my shoes to take some photos (he was a guy), getting my hair done I pointed to a white box on the ground peeking out from under some clothes. As he grabbed it my bra clung to the side of the box as he lifted it. Ummmm… sorry about that. I am not sure exactly how my photographer made it around that room, he never asked us to clean things up.. but seriously who wants junk in the back of their photos! My recommendation.. keep it neat and tidy if you can.. find closets or rooms that can be used to store everything.

Georgia Hotel Wedding with Jamie Delaine Photography+

Second shooting with Jamie Delaine Photography

4. Find venues with lots of natural light

Most venues are conference rooms with not a single window in it. And again, you can still have great photos. But if you want really excellent photos at least until the sun goes down, try finding venues with natural light shining through. If you are local (Lower Mainland), places such as Wonnock Lake Venue or Fraser River Lodge both indoor locations and have big windows allowing tons of natural light to shine in.

Sean & Julie Reception-12-2+

Photo credit: Mathais Fast Photography

5. Cloudy days don’t = bad pictures

Don’t get bummed if your wedding day is not super sunny. At least not when it comes to photos. I love overcast days. When us photographers are working with no overcast at all we are having to find locations often around the sun, and finding natural reflectors. When it comes to overcast days, you can make pretty much any place work (that is not too dark obviously). Overcast days I don’t have to worry so much about the sun when choosing a gorgeous location instead I can look around and make pretty much whatever I want work. You can predict the weather, so I have no recommendations.. just know, overcast days don’t always make for bad pictures.

Mikaela Ruth Photography Fraser River Lodge+

Second Shooting with Mikaela Ruth Photography

7. Feed your photographer

I will be honest, I am pretty sure I did not feed my photographer. I am hoping he just decided to walk up there and grab a plate of food anyways. I know it is not always in the budget but if you can, please do. When you have been shooting for who knows how many hours, there is little to no time to take a break and even have a snack yet alone a meal. Please feed your photographer, they have been working a long day and need to refuel.

Sean & Julie Reception-16-2+

Photo Credit: Mathais Fast Photography

8. Try your very best to be on time

Oh I can not advise this enough. Try your best to be on time. As a photographer you have hired us for a set of time, and in that time gap we fill our time. Photographers are not hired to have tons of free time in case someone is running late. Often photographers are hired for 8 maybe 10 hours and our time is filled with tons of beautiful things to shoot. When everyone is running late, that cuts into shooting time. We need you to help us get everything we need by doing your very best to be on time.