Expert advice on getting wedding photos that last a lifetime
Photographs by Amy Lombardo of Tres Bien Photo and Video
You know that your wedding day could be one of the happiest days of your life, but it’s also known that this anticipated celebration, after months (or even years) of planning, can seem to fly by in the blink of an eye.
One way to truly cherish the moments is to hire a wedding photographer who can document the scenes that you’ll look back on for the rest of your lives.
With an abundance of photographers in the Crescent City, it might seem difficult to narrow down the options, but New Orleans Bride has spoken with local experts who can help you figure out what you want, and what you need.
How do you find the right shutterbug?
Local wedding photographer Mike Lirette reminds us that the art of snapping pictures requires technical skill and savvy.
“Balancing natural light, artificial light, depth of field and subject” are all issues a photographer deals with. Wedding photography, he says, is the pinnacle of technical photography, because there are no “second chances” to get it right.
“A photographer must know their craft and their tools even better than the back of their hand to deliver spectacular, noteworthy images of a couple’s wedding day,” says Lirette.
Photographer Patrick Niddrie says many clients approach him via word-of-mouth. As the client, that translates to asking your married friends for recommendations and their experience with the photographer.
Social media can also be a helpful tool. Most wedding photographers have adapted to the digital age at this point and post their portfolios online, so you can get an idea for their style. It’s also a good idea to meet in person so you can get to know them, ask questions, make suggestions, and make sure it’s someone who will make you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Did you know?
We’re living in an era where technology is rapidly advancing, but Niddrie and Lirette have both noticed that some couples have been requesting a return to film-style photography. “Cameras have gotten to the point where they are so good that some people want a more imperfect and not as polished look,” says Niddrie.
Getting into the moment
Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, and on a day that’s likely to generate some nerves, there’s some simple advice to follow.
“Everyone always says that they don’t want something too ‘posey’,” says Amy Lombardo of Tres Bien Photo and Video, referring to shots that seem overly contrived and awkward “in order to achieve a look that doesn’t look too staged or forced, you actually have to start off with a standard pose.” She encourages improvisation and personalization, allowing the couple make the pose “their own.”
“The best portraits, in my opinion, happen when [couples] are generally being themselves. Let’s face it; it’s awkward to have two people stare longingly into each other’s eyes with their noses touching while several people are watching. The laughter that follows the awkwardness makes for a dynamic image.”
Lirette agrees, saying it’s best to act natural.
“Relax and enjoy the time with your significant other and do your best to forget the camera is there,” he says. “The real laughs are the best.”
Engaged in the Moment
Get great engagement photos, one snap at a time
For save-the-dates and other pre-nuptial festivities, it’s common practice for couples to opt for a photo shoot announcing their engagement. These sessions tend to be more casual and relaxed — a chance for the soon-to-be newlyweds to demonstrate some intimate, tender moments in front of the lens that reflect their excitement and anticipation of saying, “I Do.”
It’s also a time to express some individuality and creativity.
New Orleans has such an abundance of photogenic, iconic architecture and beautiful outdoor spaces that exude romance. City Park, Audubon Park and in front of St. Louis Cathedral are all popular spots to stage a photo shoot.
Mike Lirette of Mike Lirette Photography has also noticed that many couples opt for lifestyle-themed photo shoots, set right in their own homes (and maybe even posing with a beloved pet). Ultimately, he says the photography should express warmth, he says.
“It’s a lot less rigid,” than the actual wedding shoot, and “more intimate and cuddly,” says Lirette. Amy Lombardo of Tres Bien Photo and Video echoes this sentiment.
“Engagement shoots give the photographer and couple the opportunity to chit-chat while shooting, without the rigorous schedule of the wedding day,” says Lombardo.
Timing is not as “of-the-essence” for these either, so they can go at a slower pace and couples can experiment with multiple locations, whether they are in the home or out in a public space.
“Generally the couple is not bogged down by formal wear, and they can engage a little more with each other,” says Lombardo. She also says that it is an excellent opportunity for the photographer to really get to know the couple, and learn how they interacts with each other before the Big Day approaches.