Great wedding photography ideas

So, you’ve booked the venue and set the date, high on your ‘to do’ list must be choosing the photographer and you will be knocked over by the choice of wedding photographers out there.  Brides fall into two distinct categories when it comes to wedding photos, either they know exactly what they want and can give the photographer clear instructions, or they don’t have a clue and need to rely totally on the creative genius of the person they have hired.

Great wedding photo ideas that will stay with you for ever

Wedding photos also tend to fall into different categories and are either classified by when they are taking during the ceremony or reception, for instance, the exchange of vows or cutting the cake or, who is in them, so traditional group shots of the two families or individual pictures of the bride and groom having their first kiss or perhaps the first time the groom sees the bride when she arrives – the big reveal!

Most brides and grooms want a selection of traditional pictures but there are also some specific poses which you can discuss with your photographer and which will make the final collection truly special.  There is tons of inspiration online and plenty of celebrity weddings to pour over and take hints from but here are some of our top suggestions.

  1. The big reveal – if you are having the ceremony and reception in one location like a hotel and the bride is already in residence then the big reveal can be done before the actual wedding starts and somewhere private and intimate.  These shots are very popular currently, sometimes called pre-wedding images or a pre-wedding shoot, they are often the most touching and genuinely romantic images of the happy couple.  Pre wedding photo shoots can also serve a useful purpose and act as a total icebreaker so that the ceremony is just a little less nerve wracking for both the bride and groom
  2. The first dance – a traditional but very touching moment with the wedding guests in the background
  3. The forehead kiss – this is a lovely shot and actually much more tender and romantic than a full on first kiss on the mouth, it is also perfect for couples who are shy and feel constrained by the presence of the camera.  This pose shows connectivity and makes for a very natural and sweet shot, a clever photographer can use a saturation effect to effectively blur the background and make the couple stand out even more
  4. Walking or running – this image works at its best with a flowing bo-ho style or vintage dress and it does have to be a dress the bride can actually walk rapidly in or run in.  This pose is to show movement and has the bride and groom hand in hand walking quickly or running beside one another, it’s very natural and the happy couple are usually talking together for a totally relaxed look.  Marry this with a sumptuous outdoor or beach setting and this will showcase the pose to perfection
  5. Blind-folded by the bride – a shot of the bride standing behind the groom with her hands over his eyes, anticipating and replicating the big reveal which is the first time the groom will see the bride in her dress
  6. The V-pose – a traditional pose which never fails to capture hearts.  The bride and groom hold each other near the waist and then lean towards one another, this can make a great distant shot silhouetted against the setting sun or another equally spectacular backdrop
  7. Strolling hand in hand – this is a stunning image which works equally well with the bride and groom walking towards the camera or walking away from it, a metaphor for their start on life’s journey and it can often be one of the few images of the back of the wedding dress and the train
  8. The Groom hugging the bride from behind – this classic image with the bride looking away from the camera and the groom resting his head into the nape of her neck.  Some stunning scenery as a backdrop makes this shot even better

These poses are just scratching the surface, there are literally hundreds of variations and some more unusual ideas to look at online for some true inspiration.

Top Tips to bag the best wedding shots

  • Visit the venue with the photographer, preferably in the same season and at the time of day you will be married so you can explore some location options and poses together across the site – this may be a venue which is familiar to your photographer or it could be completely new which is even more reason to view it together before the wedding day
  • Ask the venue for images of previous weddings, you might just spot a picture that you really like using a feature in the building or grounds that you then incorporate into a unique image of your own
  • Browse through the photographer’s portfolio and take a note of any images which catch your eye – the photographer can reference what you like about these shots, it might not just be the pose or the location, it could the lighting or another special effect like a different camera lens or filter
  • Almost every wedding guest will be taking photos with their phone throughout the ceremony and reception, consider setting up a wedding website which is a lovely central location for everyone to upload their pictures and view the whole gallery.  Even if you have a professional photographer, it can be nice to keep a record of other people’s snaps and there are bound to be some casual, off the cuff or even funny pictures that your own photographer won’t have captured
  • Many wedding photographers will tell you that the best light for photography is not the brilliance of the spring and summer but the light of the autumn and winter, this can create mood, romance and drama so its worth considering an out of season wedding for the ultimate in wedding images especially if you are choosing a dramatic windswept backdrop

Drone wedding photography

Drone wedding photography and film…well, it had to happen as drones are becoming more and more popular for personal usage and not just for commercial photography and filming.

A drone gives a unique perspective on both static shots and film, taking wedding videography to a whole new level.  Take unique aerial images and film which give a whole new dimension to wedding memories particularly if you are getting married in a spectacularly beautiful or striking location. 

Drones can be used in a variety of different ways but particularly capture the grandeur of a stately wedding venue, castle or country house or a coastal location.  Not all filming is aerial, a drone can actually come in quite close but all the filming will be done by the drone pilot who has to follow safety rules whilst the drone is in flight.  Popular drone sequences include the time between the ceremony and the reception when the guests are socialising and a classic drone shot is assembling all the guests together in the outline of a heart with the bride and groom in the centre and then sending the drone skyward so the group appears smaller and smaller, just like the ending to a classic Hollywood movie.  Most wedding photographer drone operators will edit the film before it is sent to you and also isolate still images from a camera mounted on the drone.

Always make sure you use a drone operator accredited with and licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and make sure they have the appropriate insurance.  Discuss drone usage with your venue before you pay a deposit and secure a booking as not all venues will permit it.  You will need the permission of all the landowners over which the drone will be flying and this may extend beyond the immediate wedding venue.  Drones cannot fly in high winds but also need to stay on the ground if it is raining so bear that in mind.  There is also an element of noise associated with drone flying so if you are having an outdoor reception then taking drone film or photography during the speeches could drown out what everyone is trying to say.

Conclusions

Whether you want a drone style extravaganza or just the usual simple classic shots of the family lined up with the bride and groom in the centre, there will be a photographer who can capture your big day.  It is worth taking the time before the wedding to get to know your venue with the photographer and decide the shots that you want as there won’t be time during the ceremony and reception to experiment.  Planning and preparation are the key to successful photo images and film of your wedding – those seemingly natural and unposed pictures actually take a lot of work and forethought.