The Secret to Great Wedding Photos & What Not to Do

Published by Sam, Editor -
The Secret to Great Wedding Photos & What Not to Do

When it comes to your wedding day everyone wants to look their best for the wedding photos, however unless you are a model or work in front of the camera you maybe feeling a little nervous and camera shy. Fear not, with these simple steps you can feel relaxed about your wedding photos and lose the camera nervousness.

Wedding Photography Tips for Brides

We share 7 tips to great wedding photos and also what not to do too!

Get Inspired.

Once engaged and the wedding planning begins, so does hours of pinning on Pinterest, reading wedding magazines and blogs, and checking out tons of real weddings. When it comes to wedding photography all of these are great sources of inspiration where you can find different styles and ideas for wedding photos you like, this is great for getting a feel for the photography style you would want when researching for a photographer, and also great for getting an idea for natural looking wedding photos.

Getting over camera shyness is about just being yourself and forgetting the camera, when you look at photos in different weddings there are some formal poses and styled shots, however usually the most beautiful photos are the natural shots where they don’t even know a photo is being taken. Help lose any fear by being yourself as this will create the best photos.

Photo by Love oh love Photography

Hire a professional.

That’s right, if you want beautiful wedding photos then you need to hire a decent wedding photographer. In our wedding photography survey the average spend by couples in the UK is around £1,500 on photography, of course photographers can range anyway between £1,200 – £2,500 depending on their experience, location and package they offer.

If you haven’t budgeted this much then we would certainly advise looking at making savings in other areas to increase this. Anyone can pick up a camera, press the button and take a photo. However, if you want beautiful wedding photos then you want someone with years of experience as a wedding photography that knows exactly how to compose capture and take a stunning photo of a moment that will only help once, why would you want to chance it with your friend who got a new camera for Christmas?

Prioritise photography and ensure you capture a beautiful story of your wedding day that you can tease and look back over for the rest of your life, don’t be left regretting not hiring a professional wedding photographer.

Feel relaxed.

When searching for your perfect wedding photographer it is important to meet up with them, view completed albums to make sure the stunning photos on their websites are reflected with high quality and consistency throughout. You may have found a couple of photographers that match your style, are within your budget and their works just  ‘wow’s’ you, which should you go for?

The experience and quality of a photographer is very important, however so is how you get on with them and how you feel around them. If you feel relaxed and at ease chatting away to them then you will feel relaxed and at ease when they are taking photos. If you feel tense and nervous talking to them, then it is possible you will feel this when they are taking photos of you.

Find a photographer that not only takes stunning photos and creates beautiful stories, but one that you also feel relaxed around, one that when speaking to you feel like you are just chatting to a friend you have known for years. If you feel relaxed with them, then it will make for more relaxed, natural and beautiful photos.

Photo by  Charlotte Bryer-Ash Photography – A Gorgeous Autumn Engagement Shoot

Have an Engagement Shoot.

You may have found your perfect wedding photographer, feel like you have known them for years but still feel nervous about being in front of a camera, a great way to overcome this fear it with an engagement shoot. Engagement shoots are popular and are usually offered by most photographers, some even include it with their wedding day package for this reason.

An engagement shoot helps you feel more relaxed with having your photo taken, helps you to get to know your photographer better and makes for a fun few hours and you get some lovely shots at the end of it too.

Trust them.

You hire a professional photographer with years of experience to capture you wedding day so trust them, let them do their job and do what they do best. Photography is a creative art and your photographer may have some fun ideas to try, different places to go that are off the beaten track to a perfect backdrop or sunset.

Let their creativity flow and go with it, not only will you end up with some stunning photos, they may well be the ones that make you go wow, or go ‘I forgot about that!’.


In step 6 it was about trusting your photographer and going along with the creative ideas, with that be said you also need to allow time for this. When planning the time scales for the day ensure you have some blocks of time for those beautiful couple shots down by the bridge, as the sun sets or on the hillside.

As well as these types of shots there are also photos of you and the girls getting ready in the morning, and also those group shots of you and the family.

Groups shots can be a bit of a task ensuring everyone is there that you want to be, so perhaps delegate some of this and ask the groomsmen or bridesmaids to help round up family members when you are ready to have those group shots taken. Make sure you allow enough time, think about the shots you want and speak to your photographer about how much time to allow, this could be anything between 20 minutes to an hour and a half.

Photo by Fabio Mirulla Photographer

Keep them informed.

You can have beautiful photos, but you want beautiful photos of the whole day, if you are planning a surprise fireworks display after the first dance then make sure our photographer knows, if you have a little surprise up your sleeve for your guests then make sure your photographer know. This is not so they spoil the surprise, this is about ensuring they know what is going on so that they can position themselves to capture these moments.

Make sure they have a run down of the day, what time you are getting ready, what time you are leaving for the church, shall be arriving, the time of the ceremony, how long it lasts, all these details help ensure your photographer can be where needed to capture your day as it unfolds.

So there we have it, 7 simple and easy step to help ensure you get not only beautiful wedding photos, but a beautiful story of your day that you can treasure forever.

What Not to Do?

You may have booked your wedding photographer and all set for the big day, however there are a few things that you should bare in mind to ensure you don’t ruin your wedding photos.

Don’t be a director

You have hired a professional wedding photographer to do what they do best, to do what they have years of experience in doing, so let them do what they do best. Don’t give your photography a long list of photos you want, be it you with family members, your mum and dad, then with your sisters etc etc.


Don’t tell your photographer you want photos down on the little bridge in the grounds, and then on the steps in front of the venue, let your photography find the best spots, let your photographer direct and just relax and go with the flow. They may have shot before at your venue and may already know some great little spots for that perfect photo. You hired them to do this, so let them do it.

Cables & Microphones

Be it inside or out, you may have a microphone and sound system set up so everyone can hear, this is fine, however try to ensure that it is discreetly set up, you don’t need to see it, just be able to hear it. So try and hide those speakers out the way, or at least so that they are out of shot. Your photography will do all they can to ensure they are not in shot, but if they are directly behind you while you are saying your vows, it is a little tricky to not include them. The same can be said with cables and cords, keep them out the way, if they are going to be there try and cover them up, be it running them under carpet or between chairs so they don’t stand out.

Your Guests

That’s right, all the people you love and want to be there on your special day can also ruin your wedding photos, how? iPhones, iPads, Cameras, selfie sticks, not only are your friends and family there, but also all their gadgets and tech too!

Consider having an unplugged wedding, where you ask your guests to refrain from using their phones and cameras during the ceremony as you have hired a professional wedding photographer. Remind them that they will be able to see all your photos online and that you will let them know. Check out our article here on Unplugged Weddings: Put Down your Freakin’ Phones!

Tan Lines

Depending on when your wedding is you and your bridesmaids may have recently been away on holiday, however you don’t want your photos ruined by strap lines and tan lines on group and portrait shots. You want yourself and your bridesmaids all looking beautiful, not like a lobster with extreme tan lines.

Pocket Bulge

Tan lines maybe more for the girls but when it comes to the guys they seem to like to carry everything around with them in their pockets. Keys, wallets and phones! Are they really needed on your wedding day? Do not let wedding photos get ruined by the pocket bulge. Ensure all guys have empty pockets, leave keys and wallets in a safe or at home.


I’m not sure anyone looks good while eating, however no one looks good with food down them. When selecting food choices make sure you bare in mind the day. If you are having n outdoor relaxed wedding instead of a formal sit down meal, ensure the food is easy to eat, burgers are great, just make sure the toppings don’t fallout and down the grooms crisp white shirt.

So there we have it, 6 things to consider and think about to ensure you don’t ruin your wedding photos, have we missed any?

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