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As a couple, your wedding day is one of the most memorable and special days of your life, and you want it to be perfect. Whilst you can choose, arrange and control items such as the invitations, wedding dress, flowers, table and venue decoration, cake and menus, there are some aspects of the actual day which you are unable to control. These are arguably the most important parts of the day which are sometimes intangible, such as the atmosphere and love of the occasion, and the small unspoken communications between people such as the bride and her father, the bride and her attendants, the groom and his groomsmen and, of course, between the bride and groom themselves. These are the moments which an experienced, skilled and artistic wedding photographer looks for and captures for the future.
It is understandable that the focus of the day is on the bride and groom, but the occasion also includes so much more. Artistic photographers also centre on aspects such as the rings, the wedding bouquet and flowers, the wedding cake, and even seemingly unimportant things such as the bride’s shoes - often photographed with the bride and groom’s rings - the bridal car, close-ups of the veil and garter, the wedding cake and the table settings. All these items are integral to the success and memories of the day, but are easily forgotten in the excitement and momentum of the occasion. Nonetheless, they evoke so many memories for everyone in the months and years after the day itself has passed.
We all plan our wedding days with extreme care, leaving nothing to chance. After all, we enter into marriage for a lifetime so the start of the formal adventure together should be something to celebrate with our family and friends. All couples are different, with their own ideas of what would make their day memorable to them. Some couples want a very romantic feeling to the occasion, whilst others will go for fun and laughter, and yet others will choose a simple setting in the environment they love the best, such as the beach or in an unusual area which is special to them, including the bushveld or a farm. Many couples want their wedding ceremony to reflect not only the love they have for each other, but the values they hold in life. Wedding photographers need to adapt to the wishes and of their clients and be able to produce photographs which will have deep meaning for the couple.
An experienced and artistic approach to wedding photography involves so much more than simply taking both carefully posed and spontaneous photographs. Lighting is a major factor in producing photographs which stand out from the rest. Many wedding photographers include a selection of black and white photographs, as well as sepia-tones which convey a feeling of sentimentality and can be wonderfully evocative of a bygone era in emotional and gentle photographs. Clever photographers make best use of the light available, either early morning bright light and shadows, or evening sunsets which are used to frame the bridal couple or cast a halo around them, encapsulating them in their own magical world.
There are many photographers who specialise in weddings, all of whom have a different approach to the occasion. It is up to the couple to choose a photographer who will capture the celebration in the manner which appeals to you both, as the focus of the day. For this reason, you need to choose your photographer very carefully. Many wedding photographers now have an online presence, and their websites will show samples of their previous work. Sites such as Uptasker, in particular, are excellent resources, not only listing the various photographers in your geographical area, but giving you links to their websites and showing their online ratings and client reviews. From their portfolios, you will be able to gauge whether the style of their photography suits you both. It is no use contracting a photographer who specialises in quirky and fun pictures when you are looking for a romantic and atmospheric feel to the photographs. The wedding photographer must be able to capture the essence of the day, as you have planned it and wish it to be remembered. You will find wedding photographers by looking in magazines (particularly bridal issues), through wedding shops, and in the Yellow Pages. Whichever method you use to select the person who will capture your Big Day, you need to look at their portfolios - the wider, the better - to see if their individual style suits your needs. The best recommendation is still always going to be through word of mouth, although this might be a difficult undertaking unless you know couples who have the same approach as yourselves and whose weddings you may have attended. Personal testimonials and photographs will provide you with the assurances you need that your wedding will be remembered as you would wish.
Your wedding day is one of the most loving and memorable days of your lives as your start on your journey together as man and wife. Be it a fun and light-hearted occasion or a more formal and traditional day, you need to be able to rely on your photographer to capture and preserve this element in the photographs taken on that day. You need to concentrate on yourselves and trust that the wedding photographer will capture the start of your new venture together in photographs which will evoke memories of the day exactly as you would wish. For more tips, see our wedding photographer articles.