Today we’ve got some great wedding tips from Los Angeles wedding photographer (and Bridal Bar rock star), Ray Anthony, who shares with us how to plan your timeline and day to get the best pictures possible.
BB: What are some tips to planning the timeline to allow for optimal wedding day photos?
RA: The question is often asked, “how much time do I need for photography?” Here is my breakdown: an hour minimum to two hours of getting ready photos; three hours minimum to four hours of reception coverage. 30 minutes for formal portraits before or after the ceremony (for a maximum of ten; any more, add three minutes per group). Determining the getting ready start time and the ending time for the reception coverage will give you the actual time needed for the photographer. The only other consideration for the day is making sure realistic time is given for transportation to and from each location that will be visited.
BB: Anything to avoid when prepping the timeline?
RA: Planning family and group formal portraits in advance is a must. I ask for a specific list from the client a week before the wedding. I also recommend to my clients that they inform everyone who will be required for portraits to be emailed a day or two in advance, or told at the rehearsal dinner, the time and location they will need to be for the formals on the wedding day. If these VIP’s are not informed, you will risk not having them available, or putting a delay in your day, because time will be spent trying to find a missing person or two.
BB: What photography style(s) do you think works best for weddings and why?
RA: I think this all depends on the needs and subjective preferences of the bride and groom. I do think it is important for bride to be informed about the different styles of wedding photographers so that they can pin-point the best photographer for them. As a documentary style wedding photographer, I provide the best style for clients who love real, non-contrived, non-posed photographs. Documentary-style wedding photography is for those who want authentic, behind-the-scenes, emotion-filled photographs that reveal the unfolding stories of the wedding day.
BB: How can couples differentiate what is what and determine the difference?
RA: You can see the difference between photographer’s styles by paying attention to what they display on their websites and blogs. A documentary-style photographer, like myself, you will not find any posed or contrived imagery. Yes, I do photograph family portraits, and even a few posed images of the bride and groom, but you won’t find me putting them on display because I want it to be clear to clients where my heart and soul is regarding how I approach a wedding.
Many photographers that will call themselves wedding photojournalists, but are actually more of a hybrid of styles. You will know this by seeing how much of their portfolio is actually portrait-like or staged. Photos of the bride and groom laughing or walking along the beach – though more lively or showing action – doesn’t mean the image is documentary. If the photographer interacts with the client, giving them any direction, telling them to walk and hold hands in front of a beautiful background is really a “moving portrait,” not a documentary photograph.
BB: How can couples pose or plan to make for the best photos on the day of?
RA: What I would say, is to relax on your wedding day. Let whatever will happen, happen. Many brides are overly worried about wanting to have the perfect wedding day, and that actually affects the outcome in a negative way. Treat the day as care-free as you can, excited about the meaning of the event, and being willing to accept imperfection and they find that their photographer will be able to capture better, more appealing photographs of them. I think that people actually look more attractive when they are not camera aware.
For more photos of this wedding, see Ray’s full coverage here. Thanks Ray for your tips and insights today!