Ever wondered how your wedding photographer decides what photos to capture, or how they catch those once-in-a-lifetime moments? We caught up with luxury wedding photography Alexandria Hall to find out her top tips for couples booking their photography…
How do you make the most of your surroundings when it comes to getting the right wedding photos?
Pre-wedding, I always do a recce of the venue, especially if I’ve not been there before. I make it my mission to find the unusual and undiscovered spaces that I know will make a stunning backdrop. If it’s not possible to attend pre-wedding, I arrive super early to get a good feel for the place. On destination weddings, where generally it’s not possible to arrange a pre-visit, it’s always good to arrive at the venue the day before and explore properly.
I believe scoping out beautiful backdrops and striking architecture for the portrait session with my clients is so important. This makes for just as much of an incredible experience as any other component of their big day.
I adore beautifully-made things with an element of design or character, whether that’s gorgeous, landscaped gardens, exquisite interiors, furniture or paintings or simply a breathtaking view of the sea. All my clients choose venues that resonate with them in some way or another. So for me, this is an important part of the way that I document their day.
How do you capture the true emotions of a wedding day?
I’m a big believer that capturing the honest and raw emotions felt at a wedding is down to the deep connection forged between me and my clients. Nearly all my clients’ guests or family have assumed I was an old college friend, because my brides and grooms are so relaxed around me. They can be their true selves, safe in the knowledge that I will always deliver with their best interests at heart.
It’s this approach that allows me to absorb beautiful, authentic moments through my photography and why so many of my bookings are via referral and recommendation.
What is your top advice for couples who want their wedding photos to be unforgettable?
All my clients have said that their wedding photographer
’s personality is everything for them – a real deal-breaker. So, my top advice for couples would be to meet your photographer before your big day, or if a face-to-face meet isn’t possible, arrange to Skype them.
Choose someone you would feel entirely comfortable to spend the whole day with; through the happy moments, the tears, the inevitable but soon-will-pass stresses and all the many joyous bits too. Someone who feels more like a friend than your wedding photographer. How you feel with them on the day will make all the difference when it comes to the amazing results you want to see.
Consider carefully what you love about the photographs you’ve seen when you were searching. Is it fun or candid? Did you love the exquisite details? Or were you wowed by the striking portraits set against beautiful landscapes or settings? Choose a photographer whose work genuinely reflects what you like. Often, this means you’ll love them when you meet them in real life, too.
It’s a fine balance, but for me it’s about having a photographer who will always have your best interests at heart, rather than their portfolio, to deliver those memories and create unforgettable photos that you will always cherish. It’s your day, after all.
What’s the one thing you wish couples knew when it comes to wedding photography?
One, how you view yourself in selfies is not what you will look like on camera! A good photographer will show the REAL, beautiful moments; where things may not always be perfect or polished, but are definitely irreplaceable.
These are the images that you’ll always cherish. The crazy dancing when everyone’s hair is let loose, the heartfelt speeches where tears are shed, the first glances from the guests of the bride walking down the aisle when their eyes can’t lie about what their heart is feeling at that instant. You can never capture these moments the same way on a phone. So, I would definitely advise couples to invest wisely in choosing the right person to capture their day. It’s your photographs you will look back on in many years to come with your family.
Two, natural and artificial light can dramatically make a difference to the photographs, especially when capturing the church, the venue and the speeches for example. I always tell my clients to be aware of the difference and talk them through how I work with light – and with them – to get the best image.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly for the couple and me as the wedding photographer, I ask clients and guests to put their phones away! To be present in the moment and enjoy every second. Many guests, unwittingly, ruin a professional photo in the pursuit of capturing their own which, in reality, they may never use. It’s my job to capture the expressions of the guests when the bride is walking down the aisle, the wiping of happy tears, the swishing of the dress – and I feel a proud sense of responsibility to do just that.
Thank you to Alexandria for her amazing wedding photography advice! Alexandria Hall is a London-based wedding photographer who travels all over the UK to capture weddings. Enquire here for pricing and availability.