After months of planning, stress and the odd set back here or there (yes everyone has them), everything is finally perfect and the big day flies by. Your wedding pics are a photographic journal of memories that you will look back on time and time again…so here’s how to make each image count. Ok it may make the photo choosing session at the end a little harder but it is worth it.

1. Engagement Shoot

While it may seem strange, the best way to anything is practice. No seriously, it may sound a little cliché and perhaps it is, but practice really does make perfect. A tad camera shy, a little awkward at posing, not used to all eyes on you? If this sounds like someone you look at every day in the mirror, then an engagement shoot is the best way to get rid of those wedding photo nerves. Practice those poses and get comfortable in front of the camera. When it comes to your wedding day you will feel like a pro.

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2. Feel Comfortable
It is important to feel completely at ease with your photographer. After all, you will be getting up close and personal right in front of them. You need to connect with your photographer from the get go as both a person and a professional. Personality clashes are not conducive to getting the best images or getting the best out of you. The lens doesn’t lie. Awkward smiles and cumbersome stances will look as forced as they feel.

3. Watch your Budget
Know that you are getting good value for your money. Everyone has a financial limit and feeling that you are paying over-the-top for your photographer, will only place your budget and ensuring you get your money’s worth at the forefront of your mind, rather than the task at hand. Don’t let your budget steal your focus.

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4. Venue research
While your wedding photographer will be able to make suggestions, your on-the-day wedding photo shoot time is limited and will go extraordinarily quickly. Do your homework on your venue and source some places that you would like to take advantage of for your first photos as Mr and Mrs. Don’t expect your photographer to be 100% familiar with your venue and taste is….well, personal…what the professional may like and see as artistic, you may think otherwise. Your photographer can’t read your mind and the last thing you want to be thinking when choosing your wedding photos is ‘I wish we had done this’ or ‘I wish we had gone there’. Whether it is a terrace, a landscaped garden, a floral archway, an elegant ballroom or a combination of all of the above, having your own suggestions of where to go and communicating what you want with your photographer will ultimately save a lot of time on the day itself and get you the wedding photo album you have always dreamed of. Make every second count.

5. Google it!
Everyone has easy access to Google so your homework here is not hard. Research some wedding images and poses and save the ones you like to discuss ideas with your wedding photographer later. There are lots of motivating and inspiring images out there you might like to recreate or put your own spin on. Quirky, fun, natural – whatever your style, you won’t regret having some unique images of your own rather than simply an array of the traditional line up of friends and family. It’s your wedding day photo shoot – don’t be afraid to let your hair down and have some fun, you won’t regret it.

6. Props
Don’t be afraid to pull out a range of props such as photo frames, sunglasses chalk boards etc. Get creative and enjoy this time as there is no other like it. Props are great way to vary up your photos and giving yourself something to hold other than your partner can also help ease those nerves, displace the disconcerting ‘what do I do with my hands’ scenario and settle the adrenaline.

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7. Post Wedding Shoots
A post wedding photo shoot is a wonderful way to catch up with all the photo opportunities you may not have had time for on your big day. Couples are often more relaxed; free from the stress of getting back to friends, family and the reception. This post wedding photo shoot time can be taken to explore new poses or really capture that sunset. Does it matter that the photos weren’t taken on the actual wedding day – no not really, it only matters if you make it matter. If you don’t want anyone to know, then redo the hair and make-up and who will be able to tell the difference? We don’t really think you ladies need any more encouragement for a 2nd round of the dress!