June 23, 2011

Niki M's Top Tips - Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photography

Niki M Photography has a brand new website! Visit www.nikimphotography.co.za to view all my latest work :)

Today's post is a bit off course compared to the usual Niki M posts, but my latest quest is a guide to resources and a collections of tips for clients. This is pretty important as most couples invest upwards of 10% of their total wedding budget on photography/videography, so I decided to share some of it on the blog. This is not a complete wedding guide. This is a forget-me-not guide; a small guide - partly to make sure you get the most bang out of your buck, and also to point out things that many couples forget (including me) during their planning stages or on the day itself. So here goes...

Prepare yourself properly - both before your big day and on the day itself...

When trying on dresses and going for your final fitting, make sure it fits properly and walk around - the aim is to find a dress that you will not have to re-adjust every so often. Sit in your dress to make sure you can still breathe (properly). Kneel in your dress if you plan on kneeling during your ceremony.

Start your facial treatments a few weeks before the wedding day, and steer clear of treatments closer to the day - your last treatment should be about two weeks prior. Use a vitamin enriched product during the week before your wedding to give you a gorgeous glow. Recommended product: Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Concentrate Capsule - apply once roughly three days before your wedding.

Don't wax your eyebrows - eyeshadow won't 'stick' and will wear off quicker. Stick to good old tweezers or alternative plucking methods. Most beauticians offer brow shaping without using wax.


Find a 'getting ready room' that has decor to suit your taste, has pretty features, and that has lots of natural light.

De-clutter your space and pack away anything you don't want people to see. Yup, your clothes on the bathroom floor too :)

Position yourself close to a natural light source for your hair and makeup

Set aside a few minutes by yourself in between hair and makeup and getting dressed - clear people out of the room and spend some time by yourself doing something that doesn't force you to think. Breathe, relax, smile.

This is a good time to take the price labels off the bottom of your shoes ;)


Buy your dress a pretty hanger - a lot of money goes towards your dress and plastic hangers just don't cut it.

Ask your bridal party in the room to be dressed by the time they help you get into your wedding gown - the difference this will make to your photos is really huge!

Draw up an order of events/day of schedule before the wedding. Allocate more time than you think to each item. Distribute to all service providers, the venue coordinator, and the MC. Include phone numbers of all important parties.

The bride should be 10 minutes late - its tradition after all. The groom... early.

Oh yes... Remember to add yourself and your fiance to the guestlist! And that counts for catering too (as well as any vendors who need food).


Family portraits are often pretty chaotic with lots of photos, missing family members, and others running off to find them. Make it a little easier on everyone by doing the following:

Write a list of the family portraits you really want. If the list looks too long to you, it probably is... so cut it down and only include the photos you really want.

Appoint a coordinator who knows everyone and give him/her the list before the day. Ask nicely and say 'super thank you' :)


If at all possible, try to book an engagement shoot with your photographer. This will not only allow you to get to know your photographer but it will also ensure you are more at ease on the day. And you will have pretty pictures to use for you save-the-date cards, invitations, and/or guest book.


Remove glasses if at all possible, or opt for contact lenses.

Try your very hardest to look straight ahead or at your guests when the confetti/petals is being thrown - don't cover your face with your bouquet/hand, and keep your hair out of your face.


The secret to getting  good shots of your important moments is as much about what is around you as what you do. The most important tip is to think ahead and ensure there is always enough lighting. It may seem like a good, romantic idea to only have fairy lights on in the reception area, but the chances are that your photos will not be as amazing as they could be if you concentrated on layered light. Layer different types of light sources such as dimmed wall/roof lights, fairy lights and lanterns, and also candles.

Lights that change colour on the dance floor will add a new level to your 'party-photos'. 


When placing the rings on each other's fingers, try hold your one hand underneath your partners hand and slide the ring on without covering his/her hand too much.

When you finally get to kiss... kiss slowly, kiss more than once, and enjoy the moment!
- Don't cover your partner's face with your hand for the kiss
- Don't tilt you head too much, your noses should be close to touching :)

Try having the cake delivered just before the time the photographer is scheduled to take detail shots of the reception area. Let the photographer know when you will be cutting the cake so he/she is prepared


Technology changes all the time. Your wedding DVD is not guaranteed to last forever - and your photos are irreplaceable. Make a new copy of your wedding DVD every one to two years on an updated media format. Store another copy on your hard drive (external is best). Finally, print your photos or get an album designed. Follow these three steps and you are covered :)

And so we reach the end... or perhaps the beginning. Enjoy your day, remember the tips, and most of all, relax! Whatever happens will happen and its your reaction that makes your wedding either good or great. Got smooshed cake in your face? Awesome! Laugh, wipe it off, and chase people around with your dirty hands. Niki M style.

1 comment:

  1. great tips.. my brother is getting married at the end of the year, i'll be sure to forward this to him.


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