Wedding photos today are all about capturing those little moments when you think no one is watching. It could be the first romantic kiss after the first nuptial kiss, the first look, a quiet moment with mom and dad or grandparents.

It’s the way the groom looks at his bride and the way the bride returns that gaze.

Wedding photography is no longer just about the walk down the aisle or posed photos at the reception.

Liz Parker of Liz Parker Photography said today’s brides want to capture the candid, intimate moments of their wedding from the moment the groom sees his bride for the first time to the couple riding off into the sunset to begin their life together,

“They want the pretty details, not posed (photos) like their parents had,” Parker said.

But some families and brides still ascribe to tradition so Parker said she likes to blend the old with the new to give the bride and groom what they want for their wedding day.

“You don’t want to regret not taking posed photos later on,” she said.

Once homage to tradition is complete, Parker said, “Then we start to capture the storyteller moments as they happen.”

The first look

Despite lingering superstition about seeing the bride before the wedding, today’s couples want to capture that first look, the moment the groom sees the bride for the first time.

“Just before the guests arrive we’ll let them sneak a peek,” Parker said. “You are marrying your best friend. This puts them at ease.”

Once the wedding reception begins, Parker said the couple is so anxious watching the wedding that by capturing the first look lifts some of the anxiety off the bride and groom.

“We’ll do first look, then some pre-wedding portraits,” she said. “After the ceremony, guests want to get to the reception so this gets them to the party faster.”

Multi-generational hands

Another new trend is the multi-generational hand photo that can include the bride and grandmother, the bride and her mother, grandmother and mother of the bride.

“Brides with close family generational relationships and who want to acknowledge the role their mothers and grandmothers have played in their lives choose to capture that moment with their hands,” Parker said.

Photo booths

Parker said photo booths remain a popular item at weddings, but today’s brides are setting up their own “photo” booths with props purchased from a discount store.

A drape or special background is hung at the reception and guests can stop by to take photos with their cameras or cellphones.

Key elements

Parker said there are three elements to choosing a wedding photographer. They are:

1. Know what you are looking for in a photographer

2. Know your own personal style

3. Experience matters

When choosing a photographer couples need to have an idea of what they are looking for. “They need to have an idea of what they want to see captured,” she said. “Most people have been thinking of their wedding day since they were little. What is it that they are looking for in that photo?”

Finding the right photographer takes time and Parker said find one that suits your own personality, someone you can be comfortable with.

“Weddings should reflect who the couple is,” she said. “I like it when the bride and groom incorporate their personality.”

Don’t shy away from asking the hard questions, like how much experience

do they have. Experience can make the difference between cherished photographic memories or photos that stay in a box.

“Make sure whomever you choose understands the use of light,” Parker said. “Photos are taken over time — outdoors, indoors, bright light to dark light — the photographer has to be someone who can handle lighting. Lighting is so important.”

Booking a wedding photographer should follow right after you set the date and choose a venue. Your favorite photographer may not be available on short notice, so as soon as you have someone in mind, book him or her as far as 12 months out to secure the date.

Catherine Hosman is editor of Tex Appeal Magazine. Contact her at editor@texappealmag.com or 54-501-7511.

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