Special to the E-T

There are a few things that last beyond the wedding as reminders of this special day. Photographs are among the most important.

An album full of professional photos and the amateur pictures guests take offer a vivid recreation of a wedding, which can take years to plan, but seems to be over in an instant. Couples should take an active role in planning wedding photos, working in conjunction with their professional photographer to capture the magic of the day. To do so, consider these strategies for lasting wedding day memories.

Get to know your photographer and have discussions about what types of photos you want. Many larger photography businesses have a number of photographers working under one business name. In this case, you may not actually meet your photographer until your wedding day. Rather than have this happen, consider a smaller photography business or make it a point to know who will be handling your wedding and have a conversation with this person. You need to have a rapport with the photographer — a give and take relationship — so you feel comfortable posing for photos and, in turn, look comfortable in them.

Create a photo wish list. There are certain photos that will be standard in a photographer’s repertoire (cutting the cake, first dance, exchanging of vows) that you will not need to request. However, there may be special shots or people, such as an out-of-town relative, you want in your album. Make a list of what you want and share your ideas with your photographer well in advance so that he or she can plan to include these shots.

Think outside of the box when designing a wedding album. Thanks to digital photography, photographers offer many types of unique photo touches that can make for a very unique album. Consider black-and-white photos, sepia tone or black and white with hand-colored effects. Mix and match to vary the visual interest throughout the album. Also, interchange portrait shots with candid moments. Candids offer a great way to remember the energy of the day. You may also want to include still-life pictures in the album. Ask your photographer to take photos of the wedding gown on the hanger or the groom’s tux next to his shoes.

Encourage guests to take their own photos, but not impede the work of the professional. Guests will be able to capture the great photos professional photographers just won’t have the time to take, such as those candid moments when the bridal party is lining up for posed shots or all of the wacky antics of family members at the reception tables. But guests should not try to move in on the photographer’s territory. If he or she is setting up lighting and posing for a shot, a guest should not sneak in one of his own. After all, the professional is getting paid for his or her effort and those photos will likely be better than those from the amateur, so why have duplicates?

Leave enough time for the photographer to do his or her work. Rushed photos may result in a less desirable finished product. Schedule ample time before and after the ceremony so that the photographer can take the desired shots, such as an hour or more.

Have a backup plan for inclement weather. What blushing bride doesn’t want beautiful outdoor elements as the backdrop to some photos? Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. Have a plan if it’s raining, snowing or a tornado blows through. Your photographer may have an indoor studio where you can take some lovely portraits. Or, scope out interesting spots around the church or reception site.

-Metro Creative Graphics