How to have picture-perfect wedding photos

How to have picture-perfect wedding photos Images

  • Wedding photographer
Thursday, August 31, 2017

We work with a lot of wedding photography partners and asked for advice on top wedding shots and how to plan your ceremony and reception for their wedding photography tips and tricks.

Picking your photographer

You absolutely need to like and trust your photographer for your wedding photos to turn out well. You’ll be spending most of your wedding day with him or her and you’ll want your smiles and poses to be authentic instead of forced and awkward. You should also like the style they shoot in and how they edit their photos.

Opting for a second shooter

Many photographers offer the option of having a second shooter to help capture your big day. While it might eat into your wedding budget a bit more, having a second shooter is generally a good idea as both photographers can capture getting ready moments and each will have different angles for major moments like the first look and walking down the aisle.

Wedding photo album

Creating your shot list & identify VIPs

Most photographers will want a shot list from you where you’ll outline specific shots that are important. Your photographer will probably also have their own ideas based on your schedule. This is also a good time to outline any VIPs like grandparents or godparents that you know you’ll want photos with and then just be sure to point them out to your photographer(s) during your wedding.

Some popular shots include:

  • Getting ready – both the bride and the groom
  • The dress
  • Rings and your marriage license
  • Accessories
  • Bouquets
  • Bridal party first look
  • Pre-ceremony moments – Reading a love note from your partner or sharing a quiet moment with your parents
  • Artistic shots of the bride and groom
  • Groom at the altar
  • Recessional
  • Wide shot of ceremony site – You could also opt for a drone for aerial photos and video
  • The cake
  • Dances – your first dance as a married couple, the father-daughter and mother-son dances
  • Speeches – Both the speaker and the couples’ reactions to their thoughtful or funny words

Do a trial run

Do a trial run with your hair and makeup and snap some photos to ensure you like the look in print. That hairstyle you love on Pinterest might not photograph as well as we’d like.


Lighting is an important aspect for your photographer(s). Ask if they’ve shot in your venue before or if you’ll need additional lighting or if they need to bring additional equipment to correctly capture your ceremony and reception.

Set a realistic schedule

You could have your wedding day planned down to the second but chances are good someone’s going to run overschedule or arrive late to something, so it’s important to be flexible and add buffer time between each event. Your photographer can also provide some input on your schedule and how long photography might take for your getting ready shots, first look, and family portraits so you can better plan your day. 

first look at wedding

Go with a first look

Determine when you want your portraits taken. Are you okay missing your cocktail hour or would you rather get some of the couple’s portraits done ahead of the ceremony with a first look shot? Many of today’s brides and grooms go with a first look for their photos before the ceremony and family portraits afterward so it cuts into your schedule a little bit less.

Relax and have fun

Enjoy your day and forget about the camera! It can be uncomfortable posing for so many photos or corralling your whole family for portraits, but it’s still the happiest day of your life so try to relax and just enjoy the moment. If all else fails, have some champagne on hand to take the edge off.

Of course, another important part of your wedding photography is your backdrop and venue! If you’re starting to look at wedding venues in the Los Angeles area, we invite you to see what Pacific Palms Resort has to offer for your big day!

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