Thank you for choosing me to capture your special day! It’s an absolute honour.
Below are some general wedding advice to get the best wedding images for your special day.
Communication with your photographer
Communicate with your photographer about the events that will be happening during your wedding. The photographer can give you input about your schedule and timing from a photographer perspective. The photographer will cover all events to her best ability, but if there are clashing events or limited time, coverage will be limited. Please also communicate with the photographers about the images that you want. The Pre-Wedding Questionaire is a great way to let the photographer know about your wedding and needs. If there are any restrictions with regards to photography, please let the photographer know.
Communication with your venue wedding planner
Many venue wedding planners have lots of experience in the running wedding events. However, they may be very used to the traditional Japanese approach of wedding photography or to the usual photo studios they have contracts with.
Please communicate with your wedding planner about the kind of photographs you want and support the photographer in order to help you achieve the best wedding photographs you want. For example, if you would like your photographer to cover your wedding in a photojournalistic style, such as start shooting from the getting ready of your wedding day, you should let your planner know. Japanese venues are used to photographers who only spend five to ten minutes shooting staged getting ready scenes. In Japan, there are some unspoken rules in photography. Photographers are not allowed to step on the aisle during ceremony photography or shoot from the front of the wedding hall. If you would like a full frontal shot of your march out or certain specific shot angles , please communicate with your wedding planner.
Your wedding dress, rings, bouquet, shoes… all these details that you have carefully chosen for your special day. These are important details that will help to tell your wedding story.
Assign someone, a bridesmaid or your sibling to gather these details and hand them to the photographer for photo taking. Once I arrive at the venue, I will go to your bridal room to greet you, and start shooting the wedding details there. This is also the time to pass to me the other special items you want to be shot, such as special letters, wedding invitation card etc.
The wedding planners may collect your rings or items when you arrive, but I’ll really appreciate if I could shoot these wedding items before you pass them to the wedding planner. If the photographer has to run around to gather the items, it will mean less time on photojournalistic coverage of your getting ready.
Weddings go by so fast, and the wedding couple is constantly surrounded by venue staff, stylist, family and friends. It’s the one time the couple can slow down and be alone together. I highly recommend doing a couple portraits or first look with just the photographer.
It’s a special moment—I’ve seen couples read letters to each other, say their vows or affirm each other, exchange gifts. Your wedding day - it’s also the day many couple reflect on their relationship journey and their new life ahead. This private moment alone really sets the tone for the rest of the day, calms nerves, and gives the couple a chance to connect before the moment they are standing at the altar together.
I recommend at least 45 minutes quiet bridal portrait time. The private photo session can include just two of you and the photographer.
I also recommend a short bridal portrait session after the ceremony and after the reception. The final bridal portraits after the reception is great because couples are more relaxed after this fast moving day and it's always lovely to have a beautiful finale shot for the wedding album!
Think about the Small Things
Help your photographer out by trying your best to be mindful of the setting of your photos. A good photographer and videographer can make any space look beautiful, but help them out by removing as many obstacles as possible.
For example, when getting ready, have your stylist or bridesmaid put all their stuff in a condensed corner of the room, away from your styling area—This way there aren’t any shoe boxes, garment bags or messy robes in the background of your beautiful photos.
During the wedding ceremony, encourage your guests to “unplug” during your ceremony
Instead of being an observer behind their phones and cameras, encourage your guests to put their phones down, open your hearts and enjoy the ceremony. There are times when a flash from a guest’s camera has ruin precious moment and there is nothing the photographer can do to savage the shot. There have also been cases of mobiles phones or cameras blocking the beautiful scene of the wedding couple walking down the aisle.
Guest Shooting List
Group pictures are important memorial keepsakes. If you have a list of group pictures that you wish to be taken, assign someone to help you gather the people for the photographer. I do recommend keep the list compact as a long list of group photos may hinder the photojournalistic coverage of the wedding. Kindly note that I shoot group photos in largely causal settings, without big set up of steps, chairs or lighting. If you require a very formal group, I'll recommend you approach the venue photographer or studio photographer to shoot this specifically.
Last, but not least, relax, enjoy your partner’s company, kiss, hug, look into each other’s eyes lovingly on this exceptional special day!