How to set up your wedding for great photos.

best wedding photography uk

Whilst the vast majority of my photos are documentary in style, meaning that the more you ignore me, the better the photos will be, there are always things that can be done which take very little effort just to make your wedding photos a little better. By guiding my couples and making some plans for the day, you’ll love your photographs all the more.

I start to guide my couples a few weeks ahead of the wedding with some written info. And during the wedding day I am continually offering advice on how to look good in your photos. These can be simple things like turning your head towards the light, or where to put your hands. And yes, I do bang on about natural posing and real connection. But there will still be little things that I know will make the image better. And that’s what you would want, right? The last thing you want is to look back over your images and not like the way you look in them.

The importance of good wedding photography

Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life. It is a day to celebrate your love and to gather with your friends and family. It is a day you will remember forever. Wedding photography can help you do just that, capturing beautiful moments as they happen and ensuring the day can last into posterity. Many people think long and hard before booking a wedding photographer, making sure they choose the person who will match their energy and create the memories they want to hold on to forever. However, sometimes planning the other elements of your wedding carefully can be just as important when it comes to making a great environment for those perfect shots. Of course, you don’t want to be sidetracked completely by photo considerations – that’s not what this day is about, after all – but it doesn’t hurt to add a little extra thought into those big decisions. The tiniest details can transform your wedding photography into something truly special; and here’s how you can help.

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If you’ve ever picked up a camera, you’ll know just how important lighting is to getting great shots. It’s absolutely vital. A good photographer can adjust for bad lighting, but they will never be able to entirely mitigate its effects. And whilst modern cameras can cope in really low light, the results are just ‘fine’ and not ‘great’. In order to receive photos that do your wedding justice, you’ll need to give at least a moments thought to the lighting conditions you are asking your photographer to work in. Is your wedding scheduled at twilight, on a beautiful beach, lit by candles and fairy lights? If so, congratulations! That sounds beautiful. It is also creating the hardest conditions for photography. So it’s really important that your photographer is confident with flash. (Just make sure your celebrant or registrar allows flash during the wedding).  If the setting and time are non-negotiable, letting your photographer know about beforehand will allow them to bring specialist lighting equipment if possible. However, if you really care about those beautiful sunset wedding shots, the lowest risk option is to have your wedding in the morning or late afternoon so your photographer can see well and use daylight when the sun is lower in the sky. This is particularly important in winter, when the sun can set at 4pm.  High noon in the summer can be just as difficult as night time because the overhead sun will make everything look too contrasty and cast dark shadows under noses and eyes. It’s definitely something to bear in mind!

Ceremony and Speeches Positioning

In most cases you won’t have much of a say in where you stand during the ceremony. This is down to the officials. But if you’re having a humanist wedding then you can choose where you want the ceremony. So you have say over which way you face and whether or not you’re in the shade if the wedding is outdoors. If it’s indoors you can make sure you’re near to and facing the biggest window in the venue.

Sometimes in churches, there are specific rules for the photographer. the vast majority of churches are great, but some will have strict riles on where photographers can stand. It’s important to negotiate a good spot for your photographer so your images will be well-framed and clear.


The same applies for speeches. Making sure the photographer can see your faces in amongst the foliage, not sitting under halogen spotlights and making sure your table is relatively clear of empty plates and glasses, are just a few tips for better images during the speeches.


Just as your photographer’s work will improve through establishing a good relationship with you, it will also be helpful for you to let them know what your priorities are. No photographer can be everywhere during your day, and it is inevitable that there may be more than one thing happening at a time (apart from during the ceremony, of course). Would you rather your photographer focussed their lens on the Best Man’s speech, or on the reactions of the guests? They will be able to capture both, of course, but it might be helpful to know which is your priority! Do you want more photos of the bridal party getting ready, or your guests arriving at the venue? All these decisions are ones your photographer will have to make on the day, and it will help them create your perfect vision if they know what you want as much as possible. You can eliminate some of this but booking a second photographer. Most photographers will have this option. 

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Posed Shots, Background

Whilst you will want some natural, unstaged photos of you and your guests enjoying the day, posed shots can be a really important part of the wedding experience and memories. These allow you to enjoy images of you looking your best during your big day, plus they’re the perfect shot for your parents to frame and put on the mantelpiece. As part of planning these shots, your photographer should have a knowledge of the venue from a previous shoot or will have had a good look around the day before or on the morning of the wedding. They should know when and where the sun will set so you can get those beautiful golden hour photographs. They will also choose other locations in line with their style, so it’s not something you need to thing about. 

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Group Shot Location

Group shots! One of the most {you can add your own word here} parts of any wedding! This is when you, your family, and your friends, all gather together for beautiful image before everyone starts letting their hair down. It’s important that everyone is evenly lit, so your photographer will suggest somewhere in the shade if it’s cloudy, or if there’s no shade, then with your backs to the sun. 


Your wedding day is a day to remember. Photography can play an important role in that, allowing you to revisit those memories whenever you want. Wedding photography is a beautiful, stylish way to remember every aspect of your day, from the emotion of the ceremony to the joy of the dinner and dance floor. However, if you want to truly optimise your photography experience, you can help your photographer by considering a few simple factors as part of your planning, that will set up your wedding for the perfect photos.

I have plenty more tips to get the best out of your wedding photographs, so please get in touch if you need any advice as you move forward with your wedding planning.

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Take only photographs, leave only footprints