When I was planning my wedding, a lot of people said to me, “Why are you spending so much time/money/energy on one day of your life?”  And, I said to them, “Well, the pictures last forever.”

And, you know what?  I was right! Wedding photographs are handed down from generation to generation, and so long after the dress, flowers, shoes, and cake is gone…your wedding photographs will still be around.  I sat down with Ahmed, from AA Creation, to talk about some tips to get the most out of your wedding photographs.

Shawna : Hi Ahmed. Thanks for your time today.

Ahmed : Nice to see you, anytime.

Shawna : So, when does a bride actually need to start buckling down and booking her wedding photographer?

Ahmed: Well, that depends on her wedding date!  Peak season for weddings is from May to September and November through January. If you are planning your wedding during these peak seasons, brides should be booking at least 6 months, if not a year in advance. However, if you are having a Friday or Sunday wedding, your chance for booking your favorite photographer will skyrocket as Saturdays are the most popular day. South Asian families love to have their celebrations on long three day weekends, so if that is your plan you need to book as soon as possible.

Shawna : Oh wow, so 3 day weekend-ers listen up : after you book your venue, before you get your invites, get your photographer! What other things are vital for great pictures?

Ahmed : I cannot stress lighting enough. You can have the most beautiful ceremony, and most extravagant reception... but if the lighting is poor, your pictures will suffer. 

Shawna : So, what tips do you recommend to make sure you have good lighting?

Ahmed : Well, if possible, take advantage of beautiful weather and have some of the wedding outside! Two hours before sunset is ideal, as that time of day eliminates all those unpleasant dark shadows or blinding light that is characteristic of noon-time weddings. Two hours before sunset is the perfect environment for golden, natural, and powerful images that will never truly compare to indoor lit pictures.

Ahemd : The Photo on the left was taken in golden light, two hours before sunset. On the right the afternoon light (around 12pm) is harsher, whiter, and takes the blue out of the sky in order to expose for faces.  

Shawna : I think that an outdoor, snowy ceremony would be lovely, but the guests might not! So, what should my winter time brides do?

Ahmed : If the wedding has to take place indoors, you can still utilize natural lighting via windows. If you have the beginning of the ceremony during daylight hours, allowing for beautiful, flowing light, it is perfect for dramatic side lighting. Also, consider consulting with your photographer about what venues have bad lighting, and which have good lighting. Some venues seem made for beautiful photos, others have so many problems that even the world’s greatest photographers can only do so much!

Ahmed : The windows in the example on the left allows for even, flawless light. On the right we are able to add some dramatic, yet wonderful side lighting. 



Shawna : What about for my brides whose celebrations last after sunset?

Ahmed : For the late night, indoor pictures, ask your photographer if he or she plans on bring a strobe light. A strobe light, which is a powerful, indoor flash unit, will help overpower difficult lighting situations as well as allow for some wonderful flexibility and affects that would be impossible without it.

Shawna : Anything else?

Ahmed : Our last insider's tip - If your budget allows you to utilize professional lighting companies to light up your venue  so it looks like a dream.

Shawna : A lot of brides ask me if they really need two wedding photographers.  What are you thoughts?

Ahmed : Weddings are a big day, full of people creating precious moments, which are usually happening simultaneously. It makes a HUGE difference if there are two or more photographers instead of just one. Photographers can't be everywhere at once, and they can't always move with the shot during ceremonies. If one camera is outside waiting for the groom to arrive, who's upstairs with the bride getting ready? Having two photographers means double coverage and multiple angles (front and back) during the most important moments. It also frees up one or more photographers to go around and get the fun, candid pictures to help tell the story and capture the night while the other photographer trails the bride and groom to make sure no moments are missed there either. So how many should you have? We recommend one photographer to every 200 people. But at least two.


Ahmed : Do you see how in this example having 2 photographers means you can have 2 different angles to catch 2 special moments - often one from further away, and one from close up?  I can’t imagine a wedding album without both of these pivotal moments.

Shawna : Me neither! I just love that close up shot. Big thanks to Ahmed and the entire team at AA Creation for spending the day with Maharani Weddings!