Guest Blog by Photographer Dragana Rankovic:
For all the unique weddings and couples out there I have created a little guide, that will help you to get an overview from a photographer’s point of view. Tips and things to consider when you are planning your wedding day and what to think about in collaboration with your photographer. This will make sure that you get the photos you want.
Some couples feel that a pre-wedding shoot is not necessary. However, if the budget allows, you should consider them, as these are shoots where you and your photographer can have fun and be really creative. For me, these are shoots that I really love doing!
The engagement shoot is also a good time for you and your photographer to get to know each other and get relaxed in front of the camera before the big day.
A pre-wedding shoot allows you to choose a location that you would not normally have available on your wedding day. It also lets you have fun with outfits and to be creative with ideas and concepts. It is a great opportunity to spend some time with your partner alone without the pressure of rushing off to your wedding.
The best time for a shoot is either the last couple of hours of the day when the sun is at its lowest or if you are an early bird during the first hours in the morning. Discuss with your photographer what suits you the best. For us who photograph, both are equally beautiful.
The Getting Ready part is one of my favourite parts of the day to shoot. It is a time filled with anticipation and emotions and always allows for great photos and helps to complete the story of the day.
I recommend 1-2 hours on location with the bride and more time for preparations shots at the groom’s home. If locations allow I will be able to cover both, otherwise I would recommend a second photographer if needed.
From a photographer’s point of view, the ideal space is a spacious, light, and bright room that is kept tidy, free of clutter, and with open curtains. I know that is not always possible, and that is ok, and if there is a little bit of a mess that also helps to tell the whole story. Prepare your room with all the important things that you will be wearing, including your dress, shoes, jewelry, and flowers. Ideally, the makeup artist applies the finishing touches next to a window for the best available light.
Plan to get dressed 15-30 minutes before you leave for the ceremony, this way it allows me time to capture some shots of you just before you leave.
The Wedding Ceremony
Be it a church or civil ceremony try to schedule the ceremony time to allow for a few hours of daylight afterward for some couple and family shots and for the photographer to cover your reception during some daylight hours.
This is the time when I shoot and document your story as events unfold. I will be there every step of the day, from your arrival until you sign the register and during the congratulations from your loved ones.
If you are planning to have confetti, please let me know so I can organise the guests and allow for the perfect timing as you exit the church or venue.
Most churches do not allow flash photography, so the best is if you plan to get married in a well-lit venue and during daylight hours. If this is not possible, then I will make sure that the reception will be well lit.
Wedding Group shots
Group shots are essential as they include closest family and friends as well as the bridal and groom party.
The photographer will help you decide at the location where to shoot these. Sometimes these can be done right after the ceremony or at the reception venue.
This would mainly depend on the time of the day and what is most practical.
I always try to avoid taking these during the midday sun as it is not the most flattering light to shoot in. If this can not be avoided, I will move the groups to a shade spot or indoors.
My recommendation is to keep the groups at a maximum of 8. Like this, we are not spending precious time away from the guest or cutting into the time for couples shots.
Couples portrait shoot
This is my absolute favourite time to shoot, but sometimes it’s hard to plan as I don’t want to keep you away from your wedding party for too long.
I only need 30 minutes of your time, ideally just before sunset or during the late afternoon if time allows. Together we will find the best location just before you reach your reception venue or around and in the area of your party.
It is a time where you will be alone, away from your guest and family, and a time where you can spend a few intimate moments together with your partner. I love working in natural light and capturing those sweet moments of love that you share as a newlywed couple. I will help to make you at ease while allowing for you to be intimate without feeling that you’re posing. You can see these natural, beautiful shots throughout my portfolio.
Make sure you include time for this when you plan your day, as these moments are equally important when telling the story of your day. I promise that before you know it you will be back at your party and continue your evening of celebration.
The Wedding Reception
The reception is a great time to capture some candid shots of you and your guests. I will cover the speeches, the unguarded moments, the laughter, and fun moments.
This is the time when I will shoot all the wonderful details and decor that you have arranged and make sure I get some mood shots of the space including flowers and the cake on display.
My focus will always be on you and all the buzz that you create while socialising with your guest. I will also cover speeches and any other fun moments that you have planned. If you are having a sit-down dinner, this would be time for me to have a break as well – nobody likes to have photos of themselves while eating!
A little tip when planning your choice of venue, decor, and lighting. Some venues can be quite dark and don’t offer ample ambient light. Try to speak to your wedding organizer or venue owner and arrange for some nice decorative light that will light the venue evenly with warm white light as to allow for the best photos.
First dance and cutting of the cake
The first dance and the cutting of the cake are always great moments and are usually are over before you know it. This is the time where you let loose, dance, and enjoy your party and celebrate the last moments of the day.
Just relax, forget about me, I will be there to capture the intimate moments during your first dance. Most likely I will use flash and get creative with some dance shots. When it’s time to cut the cake I will position myself to get the best photos, while you share a toast with your loved ones.
Usually, this would be the time when I say my goodbyes and leave you to continue the night until you can not dance or laugh anymore!
After the wedding
Usually, you can expect to get your final images, fully edited, 4-6 weeks after your wedding day. Ask for some sneak peek shots for you to post and share on social media and so that you can thank your guests and family.
The images will be uploaded to a private gallery where you can share, download, and use as you like.
Make sure you backup your images once downloaded and save them on cloud or a drive or both. And remember to print to some of your wedding photos – nothing beats photos actually printed and framed!
For more information about my work please get in touch, let me be part of you team and help you plan.
You can find more examples of my work here.