The wedding day is a big day for any bride, groom, and family.

There are so many things to do that it can be hard to know where to start. Here are 20 photography tips from a professional wedding photographer in Northwest Indiana William Dettman of Dettman Photography on how you can take care of the photo needs as well as make sure you have fun at your event! Aside from hiring a professional photographer, you may take several measures to assure great photographs as a bride. From conducting the first look to selecting that flowing veil at the bridal boutique, we've compiled the top 20 wedding photography tips for you.


1. Think about your photographer before the wedding

William Dettman: A bride could plan for their wedding day shoot all day long, but that doesn't matter much if they don't have a photographer! There are many great photographers to choose from in any area, so interview them before making a choice.


2. Hire a Videographer and Photographer who have either worked together or are from the same company.

Seasoned wedding photographers will make a point to work with the videographer they are paired up with. Sometimes this happens naturally, but if there is no chemistry between the two then it can be a disaster- especially in big families where everyone thinks that their one shot deserves an hour!


3. Create a Vision Board at home for your wedding day.

Remember what you liked and didn't like from every wedding you ever went to. Think about what kind of photos you want and put them on the vision board for your photographer. This will make it easy for all involved, especially if your photographer is new or not familiar with your tastes.


4. Schedule enough time for each part of your wedding day.

It's best to allot 30 minutes for photos before the ceremony and up to 2 hours after. This gives your photographer time to set up lighting, reflectors, etc. It also gives them enough time to get photos of all the details and family shots without feeling rushed. Most importantly- it allows plenty of time for formal groupings during the formal photos with family and the bridal party. It's also nice for you and your groom to have plenty of time to get photos done and not have to rush them. It's easier to get nice photos when you are not rushed. You also get some of the more creative shots that look great when you hang them on your wall.


5. Hire Venders That You Trust.

Quality suppliers can have a significant influence on the way your day goes. This is why we emphasize the need for careful vendor selection. Would you want a makeup artist to come 2 hours late or a photographer with no wedding experience? We suggest high-quality vendors to avoid having to deal with that tension once it's over. Hiring a wedding planner is a smart idea since it may assist you in making your planning process simpler and allow you to focus on the big day without having to worry about any unimportant details. Your wedding planner will take care of any problems that arise throughout the day so that you and your partner can enjoy yourself. With so many vendor possibilities, choosing the appropriate companies for your big day may be difficult. Do your homework, check your venue's preferred vendor list, and most importantly, follow your instincts before hiring each vendor. Contact your photographer, venue, or any other vendors you trust to get ideas of who to hire.


6. Give Yourself Enough Time With Your Hair And Makeup

Hair and makeup delays might make the rest of the day go by slowly. It's a good idea to complete the procedure ahead of time, as we've seen brides rushing because of unforeseen delays too often. Create a timetable for yourself with multiple amazing hair and makeup artists during wedding preparations. In the case of visuals, one hour is all that you'll need to document final touches, focus shots, and candid interactions with your closest pals and relatives. Take a look at my Ideal Wedding Timeline to see how much photo time you should allot each hour during the day.


7. Choose a Long Veil Instead Of A Short One

There's something special about slipping on that delicate piece of fabric to make you feel like a bride for the first time. The beautiful long veil produces some of the most stunning photographs, which is why we urge brides to wear a long veil on their wedding day. During bridal photographs and engagement sessions, the veil may be incorporated in a variety of ways to get some amazing creative shots.


8. Incorporate Items To Toss In Your Wedding Photos

Confetti, flower petals, paper planes, rice, and the list goes on! These photos exude joy, enthusiasm, and achievement. From you and your guests, they elicit genuine smiles and laughter.


9. Travel With Your Photographer

You may think this is unnecessary but it will save time before the wedding. If you travel with your photographer or your photographer travels with you. Limo rides and party bus rides can often capture some great and exciting images for you to look back on in the future.


10. Add A Sneak Away Session To Your Itinerary

Twinkling stars and dark skies provide for a wonderful photo backdrop. The Sneak Away session lasts no more than 20-30 minutes, and it's typically held at the end of your reception or after dinner. Another option is to get these images immediately following all of the guests who have left. The night sky adds a touch of passion to the images. It's a great way to get some romantic wedding night images.


11. Get Outside!

The great outdoors provides for a wonderful setting for your wedding photos. The Northwest Indiana and Chicago area have many great locations, from downtown cityscapes to nature preserves that provide a rural feel in the heart of our cities.


12. Consider A First Look Session

A first look session can be a great way for you and your fiancee to take some private time together on the day of your wedding. If you feel nervous, shy, or even guilty about being away from everyone on your big day, this may be a good option for you. You can have all of the fun that comes with a wedding. However, if you don't want to, there is also a first touch session that could get some great emotional shots. There are other ideas like father-daughter first look and groomsmen first looks. There are many options to choose from. Creativity is the key.


13. Get More Pictures Of Your Guests

This way your guests are getting pictures too. I know it is not about them but they deserve to be remembered! People won't remember you spending time taking pictures of the event, but they will remember if they were not in any pictures during the wedding! You can hire a second photographer or bring a Polaroid camera. Table shots with your guests can become a fun game during the reception as well. Let the guests at each table come up with a creative photo idea and they all have to finish before the music finishes up.


14. Use Golden Hour For The Best Couples Photos

Golden hour occurs about an hour before sunset, and it's one of the most creative and romantic moments for photos. If you booked your venue because of the amazing ocean or the gorgeous vines in the winery, you'll want to schedule your couple's session 60 minutes before sunset. The lovely colors during Golden Hour make it our favorite period of the day to get amazing lighting and capture some of the most romantic and creative photos.


15. Always Have A Plan B

If you are hoping for amazing weather, be sure that it will not rain or be too windy outside because you may lose all outdoor photos. Try using "fake" lighting indoors by using studio strobes to mimic that effect. Not all photographers have access to this type of lighting and even fewer are willing to put in the effort to bring them with them. So, make sure to get a plan B with your photographer beforehand.


16. Don't Underestimate The Power Of A Great Dress

Depending on the time of day or location, sometimes a bride's dress alone is enough to make an amazing picture without having to do much editing. There are numerous locations where you can find some really good spots for your dress to stand out, especially if your photographer knows how to use your dress as a prop. Using it to create different foregrounds and backgrounds. Also using it to affect the light and even just as a prop for the bride and groom to work with.


17. Capture Your Reaction To The Ballroom

This is when you'll get to witness the reception of your dreams. It's an excellent chance for your photographer to catch a genuine reaction as well as a brief couple's session. This is the ideal moment to snap photos on the dance floor and throughout the gathering area without guests being in the background and intruding on your reaction to the ballroom.


18. Add Candids To Your Photographer's Official Shots

This is a great time to ask your photographer for candid photos of you and the groom, grandmothers, parents, etc. It's also an excellent opportunity to take some additional shots with people you especially want in the shot. Just make sure that you get the photographer's attention to what you are wanting to be photographed. Especially when they don't have a second shooter to lean on for photos like this. It is easy for a single photographer to get caught up in so many moments happening all at once. This helps focus your photographer on what is important to you, and even gives you a sense of relief that they are getting the shots you want.


19. Include A Grand Exit With Something Like Sparklers At Night

Romantic, fun, and different. The grand exit is so much fun to do at night. There are some legalities around using sparklers within the city or state you are in, however. You'll want to check with your county clerk's office for what is allowed. Make sure the photographer is aware of it and can work with you to get those amazing shots you’re looking for. Some prefer bubbles, confetti, rice, etc. Always check with your venue as to what they allow and they will be aware of what is allowed by your local governments.


20. Make Sure The Photographer Knows How To Get Around

The venue, if it’s out of town or in the middle of the big city, can make a huge difference in the photographer's ability to get around to take shots. Some photographers are better at getting around tight corners and small spaces while others are amazing with unique angles. Giving your photographer a heads up on places and times for those places will allow them to scout out the location beforehand and even get a good idea for different shots for when light is hitting in a specific spot. However, a photographer that is very familiar with those locations often doesn't need much notice because of their familiarity with the area, but it is still very courteous to give them that heads up with a timeline of the day.


21. BONUS!!! Make Sure There Is Open Communication Between The DJ and The Photographer

This one tip can save you time, money, and your sanity. The DJ is responsible for the timeline of the evening. Along with being aware of key points during the evening such as bouquet toss, cake cutting, etc. The photographer should be well versed in these key points so they know when it is time to capture an epic picture of a certain moment. Because the photographer needs to do whatever he can to capture those moments. And communication with the DJ is a great way to give your photographer a heads up on everything that is going on.


"I am a Northwest Indiana Wedding Photographer who specializes in candid wedding photos."


My Blog, Articles, and Photos are for Brides, Grooms, Students, Parents, and Photographers alike.


I hope you enjoy this article on tips for brides.


Thank You For Reading!


William Owner and Photographer for Dettman Photography


Northwest Indiana Wedding Photographer and Chicago Wedding Photographer


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