All images © Nitram Photography 2014
I get excited when I shoot a wedding where I find countless amounts of details. I absolutely love them. I go about finding them like I'm on an Easter Egg hunt. The more I find, the more excited I get. I think even the smallest details really help me tell a little bit more of a couple's story. In fact, I've shot details that many of my couples have never imagined existed.
When I walk in to a church or to a house and see all sorts of preparations done to add to such a special day, I grin from ear to ear. What's even better is listening to the stories that a bride and groom will share with me about details when I present their photos to them. I remember one bride telling me, “Oh I remember my mother and I staying up all night to get those done!" I wonder what kind of conversations people have when they spend that kind of time together in the late hours of the night. I imagine they talk about life, love, and what’s yet to come.
Triggering a memory with a photograph is a powerful thing. Some of the biggest reactions I get from a couple are from the smallest details that most other people would otherwise overlook. Every couple and family are different when it comes to how involved they get with preparations for their wedding. Some do more than others. Some like the simplicity of keeping things basic. Even so, I tell my clients that even the things they wear or heirlooms they carry I love to shoot.
The reason I mention this this week is when I go to make an album for a couple, I look for photographs that balance out the emotions and the actions of the day. When planning your wedding, help your photographer by making sure items are available to photograph and don’t be afraid to share what they are, where they come from, and what meaning they have to you. For instance, one of my favorite detail shots are usually of generational heirlooms. Something passed down that has been in the family for decades not only makes a great treasure to have with you, it gives you a story to share when friends or even your own children see it. My own children often ask about my heritage and having pictures to help me bridge the gap of understanding where I came from and stories to explain from a picture are absolutely priceless.
Some tips I have for making sure you get plenty of eye candy details for your wedding album are:
Send an invitation to your photographer early along with any other specially printed items such as placeholders so he/she may have the option to take pictures of them before wedding day which also leaves more time for other pictures on the big day.
I like to have access to the rings as soon as possible after I book a couple so as to capture the beauty of the jewelry before daily wear-and-tear dings show up more prevalently. (Also a good cleaning really helps!)
Having access to heirlooms early in the day or before wedding day if time persists. Sometimes just having them handy on wedding day helps as sometimes I like to also have the bride or groom actually holding them. I’ve included a classic example in this post with the bride holding several heirlooms each respectively belonging to her, her mother, and her grandmother. That’s something you can’t produce before wedding day.
Share who may be contracted to do decorations or when decorations are arriving at the church, reception area, etc.
If I have the time, I like to have access to the cake a day early and near natural light. Often times, it’s hard to get any natural light when inside a reception hall. Typically natural light shots are the kind of pictures that really sell any detail’s appeal. Don’t believe me? Type in a search for Wedding Cake on Pinterest and look at the first ten pictures. :)
Overall, I wouldn’t mind if my brides and grooms dropped off a tub of items that I could shoot before the wedding day. Anything from champagne flutes to cake knives, to any little knick knacks. If I have the time before hand, it actually makes my job easier.
To wrap up, don’t worry too much about having everything laid out for your photographer because as a professional they will do their absolute best to get those kinds of shots regardless. That’s our job. The more effort that you'll put into your day will help me help you to have a good balance of images for your wedding album. And don't forget that I'll be on the hunt! Make sure to relish in all of the small things in life because in the end, you will always appreciate the details!
PS, I'll post one of my favorite detail shots to part with! My wife and I had decided to update our wedding bands for our 15th anniversary. Needless to say, this was very personal for me. I toiled and tinkered until I got it just right and when I did, I absolutely loved it. I can't wait for my extra large 30'x40' print comes for this from Mpix (the print lab I use), I think I know just where I want to put it!