Choosing the best photos for your wedding website
Last month we looked at how to take interesting wedding photos on the big day. But before that, you’ll need to choose some snaps to decorate your website with. You might already have some great photos from throughout your relationship or maybe from your engagement party. But if not, here’s the lowdown:
Should you go pro?
Well, that depends on how good you are with a camera and how much money you’ve got to spend. If you really wouldn’t know the difference between a focal length and a local fence, it might be worth booking a professional photographer.
A lot of couples book in for an ‘engagement session’ (or e-session) with the photographer who’ll be shooting their wedding. It can take place anywhere and it gives you a chance to get to know the photographer and decide what kind of photos you like. An e-session is a great way to get some classy, romantic photos to put on your website, but it’s not the cheapest way.
Obviously all photographers differ in price and some include an e-session in the overall package – although you don’t necessarily have to use the same photographer who’ll be shooting your wedding. Either way, the cost is the big downside.
Should you shoot yourself?
We mean in the photographic sense, of course. You don’t need to have advanced knowledge to do your own photography, but you’ll need to know what makes a good photo. Give a good, creative photographer nothing more than a smartphone and he or she will still be able to come up with some gorgeous, creative shots that’ll look great online. And you can always use Instagram filters to fiddle with the visual style later on.
So if you’ve got a friend who can point and click a smartphone then you can start coming up with your own ideas (and save a load of cash).
Composing a good photo
A lot of the techniques we talked about with pro wedding photographer Sam Reed are relevant here (remember the link in the intro?).
Simplicity is the key. Some of the best photos you can use won’t even have your faces in them. This is not because you’re hideously ugly – you could both be supermodels for all we know – but because emotion is best conveyed with as little information as possible.
For an example, think of a typical ‘selfie’ you might take while out on a country walk. It might have a really nice, romantic feel to it, but there’ll be loads of other stuff for the brain to process: facial expressions, clothes, hair, background, sky, clouds. What makeup is she wearing? Did he shave that morning?
Compare that to a simple, closeup picture of two hands – pinky fingers interlocked, white background, engagement rings glinting in natural sunlight.
Simple images convey emotion more purely.
This isn’t my GCSE history exam – it’s fine to copy other people. Have a look around different wedding websites and see what kinds of photos make you go ‘aww!’.
And although it’s fine to copy, don’t think you have to imitate exactly something you’ve seen elsewhere. You can always mix and match. You can take note of the lighting used in this photo, the composition of that photo or whatever individual bits you find pleasing to the eye.
Don’t get your phone or camera stolen though
We’re optimists – we always see the good in people. But don’t let a sudden moment of creative genius jeopardise your ownership of some expensive electronics.
“Excuse me, you there with the needle marks in your arm? Would you take a photo of us? We’re gonna walk up to the top of that cliff and start kissing and canoodling until the sunlight hits us just right. Here, take my brand new £2,000 camera and wait here next to your car until we give the signal.”
Make sure you’ve got some variety
If your photo folder is full of JPEGs called ‘beach selfie’, ‘concert selfie’, ‘barbecue selfie’, ‘barbecue selfie with hats’ then you’re doing it wrong.
Make sure you mix it up. You want photos that show a range of emotions, styles and compositions.
And finally… match your photos to your personalities
As a couple, are you romantic, outdoorsy and a bit silly? If so, get simple shots of cute intimacy and mix them with ones of you pratting around in your wellies.
Whatever you do, don’t pay for professional photos and then just get in a studio and do a cheesy grin for the camera. Whether you go pro or get creative on your own time, make sure the photos that end up on your website will make your friends say “oh, that is so them!”.
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