Hi, Tim Hensel here, a wedding photographer based in Kent. In the final post of my summer wedding ideas series, I decide to put myself out of business by sharing some trade secrets. Here are some tips on how to get the best summer wedding pictures possible. Good luck with your summer wedding photos. If you need me, I’ll be at the job centre. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Summer Wedding Pictures
It’s probably not wise for me to reveal too many of my secrets as a wedding photographer. But over this summer wedding ideas blog series, I feel we’ve grown closer. What are a few hints and tips between friends? Ok then.
Here is my advice on making sure you get the best summer wedding pictures possible.
Smile and go with it
I’m no advocate of forced fun for the sake of your summer wedding pictures. But leaving behind your wedding anxieties to focus on the moment is vital on your big day. It’s difficult to stay upbeat when things don’t go to plan.
So, my advice is to assume everything won’t go to plan. Then you won’t be surprised. See what I did there – clever, huh?
Something going wrong on your wedding day won’t ruin the whole thing. As long as you don’t let it. So, when the hitches happen, take the wrongs as they come and raise them with rights.
You don’t want an album full of crying wedding guests to look back at. Sudden flashback to the escaped goats rampage wedding of 2004, but let’s say no more about that.
Make everyone useful
This ties in to the above point. To make sure things go as smoothly as possible and to keep everyone cheerful, turn your wedding guests into slaves for the day. Not really – only some of them.
Assign small jobs to willing participants. For example, ask one of the groomsmen to help if anyone looks lost. Enlist your bridesmaids to sweep the room for lost property after everyone leaves and so on.
If there are any project managers among your party, this will be their dream come true. Take them up on their offer of help and you won’t regret it.
As we all know, this is not the Caribbean. Even planning weddings in summer is no guarantee against impromptu showers. Instead of seeing this as a disaster, work with it.
When the rain pours on a Hensel wedding, we laugh at it. Then we turn the weather’s tantrum into an opportunity.
This is the time to create unique photos. Equip your guests with rainbow umbrellas and create a sea of colour. Request that people bring along their brightest wellies.
Clash or coordinate colours to get some fun out of that dreary drizzle. It can be done. See my portfolio for some rain-aversion tactics and summer wedding inspiration.
Stay away from the dark side
This is a more technical point. But at summer weddings, the light will be dynamic as the sun moves across the sky during the day. One minute a shadow will be here, the next, it’s over there.
If you’re planning to get any of your summer wedding photos taken in woodland, under trees or in shady groves, this can be a challenge.
My tip is to remember that if one of you is under a tree and the other is in the bright sunlight, the shots won’t work. Likewise, if you both stand in front of the sun or a light source, your pictures will be backlit and everything in the foreground will be a shadow (unless you have an awesome photographer who knows how to compensate **cough** in which case it will look marvellous.
If you’re planning summer wedding photos that play on light and dark, get the advice of your photographer. If they’re professional and a bloody good egg, naming no names, *cough* me, they will know best and guide you through the pitfalls.
Forget about your photographer
Please note, this rule doesn’t apply when it comes to payment, fun or food. But when it comes to enjoying the beautiful, perfect day you’ve worked so hard to plan, posing is a no-no. I’m a strong advocate of the no-posing method. In fact, I am the president of the no-posing on your summer wedding pictures fan club.
We’ve all seen photos where everyone is smiling or pouting so hard their face may fall off. Nothing looks fun anymore and everything feels staged (see Instagram influencers for reference).
On your big day, I urge you to forget I exist. All the best summer wedding photos are those taken when everyone is focused on what they’re doing. Saying vows, weeping, laughing, vomiting and so on. Natural is always best.
Don’t worry about your wedding photographer missing anything. It’s their job to scope the best moments and snap them.
I’ve crawled on floors, hid in bushes and even got up in a crane in pursuit of the best shot. Let me worry about insects/nettles/falling from heights and you’ll love your pictures when they come in.
Smoke – lots of smoke
Smoke bomb tricks are one of my many trademarks and give a great effect. But they need all kinds of prior thought. Don’t try at home without a Tim close by.
With me taking your summer wedding pictures, you can be sure my smoke bomb snaps will look amazing. I will also make sure you don’t end up with spluttering guests and everything covered in coloured powder.
After a decade and more of experience, I hope some of these tried-and-tested methods help you plan the perfect summer wedding pictures.
You’ll be sure to end up with a beautiful album to leaf through after the sun has set on your big day.