Planning a wedding is no easy feat. You’ve got to search through hundreds if not thousands of venues, suppliers and outfits to try and find the ones that speak to you the most. So I’ve decided to make a series of blog posts that have some handy tips to make your planning less stressful and maybe even give you some awesome ideas for your wedding day!
Today’s post is about location photography. This is one of my favourite parts of the wedding and allows us some fun before the reception. After the formalities of the ceremony, guest congratulations and group photos, that’s when we get time to go on location for the bride and groom portrait photos.
A common question I’m asked is ‘How long do we need for location photos?‘. The answer is varied because it does depend on what time your ceremony finishes and what time your reception starts, but as a rough guide you’d need a minimum of 1hr to get a good variation of different images ( 1hr is the minimum preference – 2hrs being the perfect balance).
Did you know that most government parks and buildings close to the city require permits to photograph there? If you try to go there without a permit you could face a fine or get kicked off in an unceremonious fashion. Booking a few weeks in advance and payment is required to acquire the permit. Fees can range from $45 for 30mins to $200 for an hour. Here are a few of the most popular places I photograph that require a paid permit:
- King’s Park
- Queen’s Gardens
- Hyde Park
- St George’s College
- His Majesty’s Theatre
It’s up to the bride and groom to organise these permits as the booking needs to be in your name. Other things to consider is other events that might be on at the time. King’s Park and Hyde Park often hold concerts or events so check with the park authority to ask them if there is something on at the same time.
Popular places for photos are sometimes packed with other wedding couples on Saturdays and I love to encourage people to go somewhere different so their wedding images are unique. Here are some awesome places that have a different vibe that are my faves:
- Como Treasury
- Perth CBD
- Bells Lookout (Brigadoon)
- Sugar Loaf Rock / Canal Rocks (Dunsborough)
- Fridays Studio
- Gnangara Pine Forest
Often the location of your ceremony/reception will dictate where you can get photos. But it’s great to be open to different places that other couples may not have thought of.
The Best Time for Location Photos
The best light is also 2hrs before sunset, that’s when you get that yummy golden light. The sun often sets around 7pm in January and sometimes we can jump out of the reception for around five minutes or so. It’s definitely worth it for great light. If you’re getting married in winter then sunset is more like 5pm/5.30pm so it varies depending on the time of year you’re getting married.
Another thing to keep in mind is traveling between locations. We all need to be realistic when it comes to planning our wedding day, and if you’re getting married in the Hills and you’ve only got 1hr for location photos, it’s reasonable to assume you won’t have time to travel to the beach and back.
I recommend to keep the locations to 1 or 2 places if traveling between ceremony and reception. If you try to squeeze in too much the afternoon is incredibly rushed and you won’t enjoy it. More couples are choosing to have their ceremony and reception in the same place so they don’t have to worry about transport, but that’s up to you.
You’re A Bit Camera Shy
Almost every one of my couples will say that they’re not good at having their photos taken and that they feel awkward in front of the camera. And you know what? I do too! Being a photographer I much prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it, so I know the feeling.
Part of why I love photographing weddings is because I get to help you feel more at ease in front of the camera. I will guide you on what to do so you don’t feel lost or self-conscious. I love giving couples ‘something to do’ when having their portraits taken so it takes the focus away from the camera and it becomes more about you two and your love (and I get some great photos).
Out in Nature
Another great tip is to bring an extra pair of shoes if you know you’ll be trekking somewhere. For example, thongs for the beach, flats for longer distances, enclosed shoes for muddy or wet terrain. You don’t want to ruin your lovely bridal shoes and half the time you don’t even see the extra pair in the photos. It’s a win-win situation.
For the ladies – expect to get bugs in your dress. I know it sounds strange, and even if you’re not venturing out in to the bush, I guarantee that at some stage there will be an ant on you somewhere. I’ve had bees getting caught in the layers of tulle, ants and moths in the lace, crickets getting stuck to veils…the list goes on. Bugs happen.
We just take the time to remove them and get on with the photos. If you’re allergic to bees, don’t panic – I’m not and I get rid of them all the time. Photographer to the rescue 😉
Luckily I’ve never had a bridezilla and all of my brides have been up for anything when it comes to my crazy ideas for photos. Of course I’m not going to put you in a situation that’s dangerous or will ruin your outfit, but I get some really creative and different shots if you’re willing to go along with me.
I’ve had couples climb trees and rocks, hide in the bushes, cross rivers, stand on narrow walls, trek up mountains…the list goes on. It all pays off. If you’re not comfortable with something I suggest, feel free to say no! I don’t get offended and I’d rather people say something if they really don’t want to.
And lastly, I can honestly say the best photos are the ones that you don’t expect. The ones where you’re enjoying yourself and laughing with your beloved.
It’s easy to get carried away with our expectations and want all these epic images of dramatic landscapes and sweeping dresses. But at the end of the day the photos should be about the one you love and have a mix of intimate, landscape and candid photos.