A Pro's Guide to Wedding Photography

Louise Shrigley, Head of Photography at The Studio, on the dos and don'ts of creating stunning memories that last forever
ByNathalie ViranyiTuesday , 04 November 2014
A Pro's Guide to Wedding Photography
© The Studio
Get some important wedding photography tips from Louise Shrigley

Louise Shrigley knows all about the importance of great photography, when it comes to the biggest day in the life of every couple. Having shot over 50 weddings across the UAE over the past six years, including the nuptials of celebrities and royals, she understands that every couple is unique and therefore, not one photo shoot could ever be the same as the last.

Lavish or laid back, the style depends on the bride and groom, the venue, guests, decoration and so much more. But there are some general things, every couple should consider when planning for their wedding day photography. From the perfect lighting to striking a stunning pose, Louise shares it all with Ahlan!:

The location
Choose the best location you can within your budget, keep in mind that it will be the backdrop of your wedding photos and video.

Dubai has fantastic locations with truly beautiful scenery which are absolutely perfect for couple portraits. From the sandy beaches, to the stunning hotel grounds and the gorgeous desert, you are really spoilt for choice in terms of locations.

The photographer
Always chose a quality photographer for your wedding photography and videography. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. The memories from this day are timeless and you want the images to reflect all the day's emotions.

You should always meet the photography and videography team before your big day, to make sure you are comfortable with the team and to ensure your expectations can actually be met.

The makeup artist
Choose a makeup artist who makes you feel comfortable. Someone you trust will make you look and feel like a million dollars with their magic brushes.

The brief
Good communication is key between the photography team and the bride and groom before and during the big day. Always be specific about moments you want to focus on, moments or situations you don't want photographed, or any other little detail that is important to you and that they must know.

A thorough timeline and good briefing are essential for the photography team to ensure we capture all the important details of the day.

Also remember to let the photo and video team know how many guests are attending and if there are any guests that have specific cultural beliefs that we need to be aware of.

Any family situations that we photographers to be aware of - such as names, divorces and deaths etc. This is important mainly because the last thing a photographer wants is to embarrass anyone on the day!

A point of contact on the day is crucial so the bride and groom are not disturbed unnecessarily, and the photographer can leave them to enjoy the experience.

Always let the video and photo team know if there are any specific dress requirements.

The couple's shoot
The couple's shoot is usually a few of hours before the ceremony with what's called the 'first look' or immediately following the ceremony, but that is entirely up to the couple.

Shooting before the ceremony allows you to check one more thing off the day's to-do list early on and, more importantly, to afford you and the wedding party a chance to enjoy the cocktail hour and mingle with your guests.

Shooting after the ceremony, depending on the time, could allow you to take advantage of the setting sun and its softer light. The couple can also consider doing a pre-wedding or post wedding shoot, as sometimes the wedding day is just too hectic to fit this in!

I would recommend for the couple's wedding shoot to take place outdoors and ideally before 10am or after 3pm to get the perfect soft light needed for stunning portraits.

During the summer months we'd suggest avoiding the outdoors as it can be an uncomfortable experience for the couple, as well as the photographer. During these months fun and fabulous images can be shot at our studio in Al Quoz, with the comfort of an air conditioner to keep you cool.

How to look best in your wedding photos
1. Light yourself right

When indoors, always stand facing wherever the light is coming from, it will soften the wrinkles and hide any bags under your eyes.

Whether indoors or outdoors, don't get photographed in strong sunlight, it will cast dark shadows. The best time to take photographs is in the early morning and closer to the sunset when the light is softer.

2. Makeup is key

Shiny skin is always difficult to correct when editing the images, to avoid this, the men should always blot their face with a tissue, and the ladies should always carry some powder they can quickly apply during the photo session.

Focus on your eyes, make sure your eye makeup makes them look much more pronounced than usual, it will make a big difference in your pictures.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Your legs, arms, feet, everything! It will make a huge difference to your skin tone and your skin will look luminous on the images – just gorgeous!

3. Be a poser

Don't be afraid to strike a pose! Try something new and always remember to keep your eyes wide open and keep smiling.

For a full body shot, stand at an angle to the camera, this will give your body a much better body shape. Always keep a good posture and sometimes sticking your hip out a little creates a good effect.

4. Use your best profile

We all have one so make sure you use your best side. Most of us aren't perfectly symmetrical and if you don't know already just ask a friend to help you figure it out.

If you are sitting down you really want that camera above you a little to look good – same rule of thumb for selfies – look up!

If you're standing it's always better to have the camera at chest height to avoid any deformations.

Louise Shrigley and the fun, friendly & welcoming team of dedicated photography and videography professionals at The Studio in Al Qouz is giving away a pre-wedding shoot worth Dhs1,200 to one lucky Ahlan! reader, check out the competition details here.