5 Words of Advice To Achieve Better Wedding Photos

5 Words of Advice To Achieve Better Wedding Photos

Ottawa Wedding Photographer Blog

Over the years I’ve seen quite a few brides.  So, I’ve seen many good and bad things people do at weddings.  Here are 5 words of advice to achieve better wedding photos from someone who has probably seen it all (or close to it):



First of all, you should hire a professional makeup artist to do your makeup.  They know how much makeup is needed to look good in wedding photos.  Make sure they’re using waterproof mascara.  I shot a wedding this past summer in which a bride cried during the ceremony and afterwards she looked like a raccoon.  I blame the makeup artist for that mess.  That should never have happened.  The bride’s makeup should look good no matter what.  Many brides will cry at some point during their wedding day and they don’t want to look like a mess afterwards.  I actually polled several makeup artists and they all said that waterproof mascara is the norm for bridal makeup, unless the bride specifically requests not to have it (due to an allergy or some other reason.)

And although your makeup artist will apply lipstick or lip gloss on your lips, it’s not going to last all day, so you should have something with you all day for touch ups.  One of my brides told me that when she had her makeup done, she purchased the exact same lipstick that her makeup artist used so that she could reapply it throughout the day and it would look the same.  You can do this when you have your makeup trial and you can ask your makeup artist what lipstick they used.  Or, you can bring something similar.  Just make sure that you have something to reapply throughout the day so that your makeup still looks put together throughout the day as well as in your photos.

5 Words of Advice To Achieve Better Wedding Photos


Secondly, you should hire a professional to do your hair.  Over the years I’ve seen a lot of brides.  Of course, most brides and bridesmaids will have a professional style their hair.  My advice to you:  don’t ask or let your stylist style little curls or wisps of hair around your face.  Here’s the reason why:  any wind will move those wisps of hair everywhere.  It’s SO annoying waiting for the wind to die down, so that I can take the shot with those curls in place.  It’s also even more annoying to me to see those curls and wisps flying everywhere in the shots if the wind doesn’t die down and I had to take the shot as is.  Please note that since the hair and wind are out of my control, I won’t be spending extra time photo-shopping the fly away hair.

No matter how your hair is styled, whether in an updo or down, make sure it’s sprayed with hairspray to keep it in place all day.  You’ll be happy when you see how awesome your hair looked in all of your photos.

Skip Washing Your Hair for an Updo or curls:

I highly discourage you to skip hiring a professional to do your hair.  However, if you decide to go that route, make sure to not wash your hair the same day as your wedding.  If you have an updo or have curls put in your hair, a hairdresser will tell you that the hairstyle will last longer with unwashed hair.  Why?  Because washed hair, becomes really sleek.  Thus, the curls fall out (I’ve seen this happen several times with brides).  Updos won’t stay up properly as they’ll start to slip and unravel in spots.  When I got married, I was also told not to wash my hair on my wedding day as it would be easier for the updo to stay put.



Grooms and groomsmen shouldn’t carry things in their pants pockets.  It doesn’t look very good seeing strange lumps on the men’s pant legs. I won’t spend extra time photo-shopping the lumps out.  So, you’ll be stuck with those lumps in all of the photos.  This includes cell phone, wallet, sunglasses, etc.  Get someone else to hold those things for you.  Or carry your own bag.



I’m actually talking about the spacing of your wedding party and all involved who will be walking down the isle during your wedding ceremony.  You need to put enough space between the people walking down the aisle that your photographer can get a shot of them before the next person is coming.  I recently shot a wedding in which the groom’s parents walked down the aisle with the bride’s mother directly behind them (like, so close she could have put her arm out to touch them), so I wasn’t able to get a shot of her because she was hidden by them.  Luckily, my second shooter got a photo of her before she started walking down the aisle.  The same thing goes for walking down the aisle.  Walk slowly enough that we can take a photo of each person going down the aisle.  It’s not a race to see who gets to the end the fastest.



Don’t pack everyone in like sardines.  It’s a lot easier for your guests (and photographers) to move around freely during the reception.   I don’t really care how many people you cram at a table.  What I’m talking about is when the tables are so close together that when people are seated there’s no room to move between the tables.  This hinders your photographer’s movement.  Thus, it limits where we can shoot during the reception.   I’ve been stuck in one spot during speeches at weddings because I couldn’t go anywhere.  It’s frustrating to say the least.  And I can’t shoot different angles.

Also, please don’t cram the tables right up in front of the head table or the podium where speeches will be.  There’s nothing like going through the photos of speeches and a big head is right in front of the podium.  No amount of cropping is getting that giant head out of it either.


Thanks for taking the time to read this wedding advice.  If you’re looking for an Ottawa or Gatineau wedding photographer, I would love to hear from you.  Contact me today to get my pricing guide and to book your consultation.

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