With the average cost of a typical professional wedding photographer costing $3000 and up, more and more couples are taking their own wedding pictures. Chances are you probably know someone that has a knack for taking great pictures or someone that has a professional digital camera. Why not ask them to take the pictures at your wedding and save yourself money you can spend on your honeymoon trip?
Here are some tips to make your wedding pictures look like a pro shot them:
Make a List of Must Have Shots
A professional photographer does not need a list to know what photos to take at a wedding. They know from experience where to be to get the best shots, after all isn't this what you are paying for? Assuming you are having a friend or family member taking the wedding pictures you will want to sit down with them and go over what pictures you absolutely must have and make a list. This list will be key to ensuring those once in a lifetime moments are captured.
Have a Practice Photo Shoot
A wedding is one of the most exciting days you will ever experience, it can also be a little stressful. You can eliminate much of the worry surrounding your wedding pictures for both yourself and the photographer by having a practice photo shoot. It is a good idea to take pictures in a variety of settings and light conditions, both indoors and outdoors, to get some experience with the capabilities of the camera(s) and flash that will be used. Chances are that you may need to borrow or invest in a decent flash for those shots where the lighting is not adequate.
Pro Tip: Use continuous shoot mode which will take pictures in fast sequential bursts. This will allow you to get not only the formal posed photos but the spontaneous and unexpected gems!
Be Prepared for Your Wedding Day
You will need to have a good idea of the order of your Wedding Ceremony so that whomever is taking your wedding pictures knows where to be. A couple must have shots is of the bride just before she walks down the aisle and of the groom's first gaze of his beautiful bride. Take a few minutes and create a schedule of the wedding and reception with instructions for where your photographer should be. It would not be ideal for the bride to be giving instructions to the photographer on where to take the next photo as she is walking down the aisle. And last but not least, be prepared for the unexpected bad weather or other mishap, you will only have one chance to capture your wedding day so it is best to have a backup plan just in case.
Pro Tip: Appoint someone who is assertive and knows both families well enough to be able to corral everyone for those group photos.
Use a Quality Service to Print Your Wedding Photos
The last thing you want to do is have some great images of your wedding day and be disappointed with the quality of the prints. Most major cities will have professional photo processing shops that can do amazing things with your digital images and print them on a variety of specialty photographic papers for that professional looking photo album.
Pro Tip: Take the best wedding pictures to a professional photo processor to have prints made for the bride and groom and share digital copies with friends and family on a photo sharing site online for free.