10 Simple Ways to Instantly Improve Your Wedding Photos

Have you ever spent hours scrolling through Pinterest while admiring breathtaking wedding photography and hoping your photos turn out just as amazing?

Most brides will know what I’m talking about.

You probably have a Pinterest board full of beautiful inspiration for your big day. Or you might have a list of shots you want your wedding photographer to capture.

Either way, when it comes to wedding photography, there are dozens—if not hundreds—of mistakes couples can make.

Some of which could easily be avoided by simply adjusting a few key elements during the wedding planning process.
To get you started, we put together a list of 10 simple ways to instantly improve your wedding photos.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your dream wedding photos.

1| Hire a GREAT Makeup artist

A black bride
Credit: Yeyesbrides

Yes, I said it.

Some brides might think: “how dare you come for my makeup?”

But hear me out. For most brides, makeup will play a huge part in how confident they feel on their wedding day.
If you don’t feel confident with your overall look, it will show on your pictures.
Listen, if there was ever a time for your makeup to be ON FLEEK and your face to be BEAT, this is it!

Don’t compromise. And please, don’t try any wild experiments on your wedding day. Now is not the time to get “creative with your look”. Go for what you know looks good on you and make sure you trust your makeup artist entirely.

If you skip this step, your photographer will have to spend hours photoshopping your wedding photos and smoothing out that cakey lookin’ skin. And you will be paying. Trust me, nobody wants heavily photoshopped wedding pictures of themselves!

BONUS: If you are taking your official wedding photos after the wedding ceremony, get your makeup artist to do a quick touch up right before the photo session.

2| Make sure your wedding outfit is flattering

This one goes hand in hand with number 1. It’s all about feeling confident and comfortable on your wedding day.

If you are 100% happy with your wedding outfit, you will rock it.

You will stress less about how you look and actually enjoy your photo session

3| Introduce your wedding photographer to important family members

If your photographer doesn’t know your family—which is often the case— then introduce him or her to important family members.

It might not be as obvious as you think.

Figuring out who the parents are shouldn’t be a problem, but other family members might not be in the “spotlight” as much as your parents. Especially if you are having a big wedding.

Do yourself—and your photographer—a favor and give them the 411.

4| Do not let your guests get in your wedding photographer’s way

Couples! Don’t let your guests interfere with your photographer’s job! Advise them not to try to film and take pictures with their phones during the ceremony.

They will just get in your wedding photographer’s way. Some stubborn guests might even end up being in the final shots. And no, you can’t always crop them out.

Guests! Just enjoy the wedding and try not to watch the whole ceremony through your phone screens. Take it all in and leave the photographing and filming to the pros. And if you must take pictures, please do so from your seats.

Seriously. We’ve all been to that wedding with annoying guests blocking the view and standing in the middle of the aisle (cough, almost every African wedding I’ve ever been to, cough).

Don’t be that person.

5| Time management is everything

Brides and Grooms: don’t be late!

If you’ve been to a big African wedding, then you know that punctuality is almost always an issue. Being late makes everything else harder to manage. If you fall behind schedule, you’ll end up rushing through your program, which will ultimately make your photographer’s job harder than it already is. He or she will have less time to take those beautiful shots you’ve always dreamed of having.

Capturing beautiful images takes time, so be on schedule!

6| Hire a wedding photographer you feel fully comfortable around

DO NOT underestimate this.

Hiring a wedding photographer you trust and feel completely comfortable around will allow you to get the most out of your wedding photos.

Trusting your photographer means knowing he will guide you through your sessions and make you look your best. It also means you will listen when she or he tells you that the angle you’re aiming isn’t the most flattering (brides, you know exactly what I’m talking about).

If you are comfortable around your photographer, you will let go, be at ease, and your photos will look amazing.

Focus on your spouse and trust your photographer!

7| YOU decide what shots you want

Remember, it’s YOUR wedding, own it.

Your photographer can lead you and inspire you. But ultimately, you should be the one deciding what type of wedding photos you would like to have.

Do you want a shot of you running towards your husband? Do you want a photo of you two kissing under your veil? Or is that too corny?

Let them know your likes and dislikes and most importantly: talk to your future spouse to make sure both your visions align!

I remember once, I was shooting a wedding where the bride and groom had completely different ideas of how the official wedding photos should look. The bride wanted to be out in nature while the groom wasn’t too fond of the idea – Dazzle Jam

8| Get ready in a clean and tidy room

Messy hotel bed

Can’t stress this one enough!

Most brides get ready in a room surrounded by their bridesmaids, family members, and close friends.

By the time your photographer arrives to take the get ready with me shots, your room might already be a huge mess.

This is a big no no.

Brides, make sure your space isn’t too crowded and if you can’t help it, then at least try to get someone to do a quick clean up before your photographer steps in.

9| Organize transportation for your photographer

This might not apply to all couples. But if your wedding ceremony and your reception are at different venues and your photographer is from out of town, you might need to arrange transportation.

Will they be driving themselves? Will you organize a shuttle?

Talk this over with your photographer before your wedding. This will make everything easier by preventing your photographer from being late.

10| Put the stress aside on your wedding day  

Breathe in. Breathe out. Put all the stress aside on your wedding day and don’t let your thoughts take you hostage.

Remember, every single emotion you feel will most likely be captured in a picture.

Make sure your wedding pictures don’t scream: “I’m stressed out and I hate my life right now”.

Trust me, you don’t want to look back at your pictures and realize just how annoyed you were.
Don’t let what could have been amazing shots be ruined by your grumpy lookin’ face.

Not cute.

Key takeaway

There you have it. A list of 10 simple ways to improve your wedding photos instantly.

The mistakes we discussed aren’t talked about much, so feel free to pin this blog post on Pinterest!

Check out this interview with Ugandan wedding photographer, DAZZLE JAM for more insight on wedding photography.

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SERIES: Black Entrepreneurs in the Wedding Industry
10 Simple Ways to Instantly Improve Your Wedding Photos