Confetti shot

How to Get the Best Out of Your Wedding Photographs – James Andrew Photography

How to Get the Best Out of Your Wedding Photographs

James Andrew Photography

Choosing Your Photographer

You’ve spent ages poring over wedding photography websites, you’ve scrolled endlessly on Instagram and you’ve finally found the one. Your wedding photographer.

You can sit back and relax, knowing an all-important supplier is ticked off your list. But as your wedding day draws closer it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about how you’re going to get the very best out of your wedding photographs.

Yes, having a fantastic wedding photographer is 90% of the battle, but there are some things you can both do to make sure you’re getting as much out of the day as you can. After all, these are photographs you’re going to look back on for years to come.

I’m a creative documentary wedding photographer, which means I do very little posing with my couples and instead spend most of the day capturing all the laughs, smiles and hugs as they happen.

The Morning

You’ll arrive at your venue if you’re getting ready on site, and then you’re straight into the whirlwind that is pre-wedding prep!

If you’re not getting ready at the venue then I’d highly recommend hiring somewhere nearby to stay the night before. If you both want morning preparations captured then have a chat with your photographer about a ‘second shooter’ for the day.

When you arrive, unpack your dress / suit and get it hung up. That way any slight creases from travelling will drop out and I can start by taking detail photos.

It can get pretty chaotic when everyone’s with you in one room. Try and keep the space as clear as you can. The less clutter there is then the better your photos will look. You don’t want to see a load of half-eaten pastries and bright coloured plastic bags in the background of your wedding photographs!

Your Wedding Ceremony

Try to have a chat with whoever will be leading your ceremony ahead of the day. See if they have any rules around photography. Some places, especially churches, can be pretty strict with where they allow us photographers to stand and it’s always good to know that in advance. I’ll also have a quick chat with them on the day.

Smile as you walk down the aisle. And walk nice and slowly! You’ll be tempted to get to your partner as quickly as possible but take your time and enjoy the moment.

When you’ve said your vows and exchanged rings it’s time for the kiss. You don’t need to go for a full on, passionate kiss. You’ve got family watching after all! However, a quick peck on the lips is easily missed in wedding photographs. So go for somewhere in between.


A few weeks before your wedding we’ll put together a list of family group photographs. I recommend around 6-8, that way you get all the important people in the photos but you’re not away from the reception for too long. Once that list is all done just give everyone on it a heads up.

Consider how much time you’d like for your Drinks Reception. Have a chat with your venue too as they’ll be able to advise you. I always recommend at least 90 minutes as that gives you plenty of time to relax as well as have any more formal photographs taken.

For your confetti shot, nominate your wedding party to hand out confetti to guests. Have them work with your photographer to help get everyone in position and then you two can walk out straight into a shower of confetti!

Portraits of the Two of You

These are the wedding photographs lots of couples worry about. I get it, having your photo taken can feel really awkward! But I’m here to put your mind at ease.

Why not book a documentary wedding photographer? 95% of my day is spent taking candid photos. When it comes to portrait time, I just ask you to go for a walk. Nothing posed, nothing cheesy.

Trust your photographer. Remember you booked them because you love their work, so relax and let them do their thing. Make the most of this time together. Have fun, and if it feels awkward, then just giggle through it.

If the weather is looking a bit iffy then chat with your photographer. I’m really flexible and happy to just go and get my couples whenever the weather clears. It’s always worth having flat shoes / wellies / a brolly / a warm shawl on standby!


Speeches make for great candid wedding photographs, especially of your guests as they laugh or get a bit emotional.

My biggest tip here is, just be genuine. Speak from the heart and definitely don’t talk for too long, especially if there are a few people doing speeches.

Try not to read off phones, people are more likely to look up and engage with the guests if they’re reading off cue cards.

And finally, perhaps most importantly, don’t have your speeches between courses. Either have them all before, or all after, your meal. That way your guests are all sat down and the tables are clear.

Evening Photos - Party Time!

All formalities are done and you can let loose.

If you’re having a cake cutting then the best time to do that is either straight after your meal, or just before your first dance. It always looks great on photos if you cut into the middle tier. Look at the cake as you cut it, not at the photographer. We want that action shot of you both with big smiles as you cut into the cake.

Let your photographer know if you are planning a choreographed first dance or anything out of the ordinary. That way we’ll be prepared for it!

If you’re worried about an awkward first dance, then prime your friends / parents to join you on the dancefloor after the first chorus!

If you want those awesome party photos then make sure you stay on the dancefloor for at least four or five songs with guests.

Enjoy Yourselves!

So there you have it, some hints and tips to get great wedding photos on your special day. I’ll leave you with the easiest tip of all - but it’s the best one - enjoy yourselves!

The one thing that guarantees amazing photos is the two of you having the best time ever. Huge smiles, lots of laughter and loads of fun. You just can’t beat it!

Huge thank you to James Andrew for sharing his top tips for getting the most out of your wedding photographs. Love the look of his work? Check him out below!

James Andrew Photography