Recently I had a bride that really loves photography email me asking me if I had any tips to give her to make sure that her ceremony pictures were perfect. It was an interesting question because I would never, ever, ever insert myself into a ceremony but sometimes I do wish I could! It was an interesting question so while I was editing my next wedding I jotted down things that I wish I could have magically fixed and sent her my reply. I thought perhaps other brides and grooms out there may be wondering the same thing so I decided that it would be my next installment in my “Corey Talks” column. These are not things that will ruin images but just little details that make the moments during the ceremony shine a bit brighter in your images.
1. Don’t look at the camera! I try my utmost to be as unobtrusive as possible and hidden away from wandering eyes but some people seem to just naturally follow the camera with their eyes at all times and can’t help it – which I totally understand. If you know you are one of those people, try to remember this and keep your eyes on your future intended during the ceremony. They are way more appeasing to the eyes and it looks much better later on in pictures.
2. Center. One thing I’m always mentally doing during my edit is tilting my head to the left or right trying to center my couples on the altar if they are a tinge off center. I know that a few clients have told me after they wished they had known they were off center as it bothers them later on in pictures. Even if I move so that the couple is centered, often the altar is set up in a certain way that you still know that you were a bit off center. My biggest recommendation for this is that during the rehearsal find out where your “mark” is to be center and put an unobtrusive mark there (but please make sure it blends so it doesn’t stand out in pictures). I’ve had quite a few clients do this and it works beautifully! If you don’t want a ton of tape marks, even just centering the officiant generally means that everyone else will fall into line.
3. Hold hands. I know that it is a sacred ceremony but it’s totally okay (and encouraged!) to hold hands during the ceremony. I HIGHLY encourage you to hold hands and it makes a HUGE difference in pictures. Plus, what is better than holding hands with your loved one as you say your vows to one another?
4. NO PECK!!!! This is the big one to me and I try to tell my clients this before the moment but sometimes I forget or time doesn’t allow it but here it is – kiss for longer than a peck! I’m not saying you need to have a full on make out session but make it more than a lighting fast peck and that will allow people to take in the moment and for me to get a couple different looks of your first kiss captured (I love when I’m able to get a full length and a closeup).
5. Slow it down. When processing and recessing, take your time and drink in the moment. Look at the people along the aisles, look at one another, smile and enjoy! It’s not a race and the longer you take, the more photo opportunities that come.