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Wedding photography 101

For the rest of our livesThe biggest international name in wedding pics, Jose Villa, shares his tried-and-true rules to help you make your wedding your most photogenic day ever.

Before hiring your photographer, ask yourself two things

One, can he handle a dim-lit room? And, two, is he nice? A wedding is a living, breathing, unpredictable thing. He has to be very go-with-the-flow and technically consistent no matter what. Vet him in person, and look at full galleries – not just his greatest hits.

I prefer outdoor weddings, but if you’re inside, here’s the secret to album-worthy photos

Get the space as close to daylights as possible, and add some candles for warmth. Avoid colour gels in your lighting, especially if they change throughout the night; even yellow and orange are too warm. People won’t photograph well.

Try an “unplugged” wedding 

Send an enclosure with the invite asking guests to power off – at least during the ceremony. It’s awesome not to have to tell them to put down their phones and stop instagraming so I can get the picture!

Consider booking a boudoir shoot 

I’ve shot brides wearing lingerie, a veil, or nothing at all. Most are in the best shape of their lives for their wedding, and the portraits are beautiful. It helps, of course, that I’m gay. Your boobs just don’t excite me that way!

Rent a well-lit, crazy fun, propped-out photo booth

Especially if your are hosting a formal affair because it breaks the ice.

Have your photographer show up an hour before getting-ready shots 

He can snap your invite, preferably on a set of table linens. Please don’t make him iron them for you!

And be sure you get ready in a neat room

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve moved suitcases and furniture out of the way.

If you’re shy, a 20-minute “first look” session is a good idea

You’ll feel more relaxed in front of the camera later. After that, my ideal time line os a 30-minute ceremony two hours before sunset, followed by a couple of portraits in private, family pics, and lots photos of cocktail hour as the sun sets.

Know how to pose

Turn toward the centre of the frame. Don’t drop your chin. Relax your shoulders. Bend one knee, and hold the bouquet at your hips. Breathe! Got all that? You’ll look gorge!

Avoid colour pics of the dance floor

late night, things can get messy: Hair comes down, people sweat. Switch to black and white so everything looks a bit more… timeless.

Still not sure about the DOs and DON’Ts of booking a wedding photographer? Our guide to wedding photography will help you plan your big-day snaps. 

Glamour International