Building Your Portfolio - Tips to Get the Shots You Need

Building Your Portfolio - Tips to Get the Shots You Need
April 07, 2016

Let's be real here for a second. Have you ever poured your creative soul into a wedding, so excited to submit the photos and then realized there were shots you missed staging? It's happened to us all...and it's definitely a bummer.

We all want to end up with beautiful images of our work because, in addition to wanting to wow our couples, we are building portfolios for our businesses too. But on wedding day, photographers are just as busy as we are as planners. Bouncing around, skipping meals, herding cats, you know, the usual. So, what can you do to best work with your photographers and make sure that every one of the weddings you work on ends up with images you can use on your website, on social media, and go after those big-fish features with? Here are 3 tips to make sure you get the images you want from the weddings you work so hard on.

Aisle Planner Jen Wojcik Photography
Photo courtesy Jen Wojcik Photography

Come Prepared

You’ve already got an emergency kit that has saved the day a time or two; why not add some editorial save-the-day props? Flat lay shots always need extra love to make them interesting and they are also must haves for submitting! Don’t let yourself get caught just laying the invitations on whatever flat surface you can find (unless, of course, the floor pairs seamlessly with the paper suite like you see above!); have ribbons, stamps or flowers on hand to help you tell a story. Taking the time to gather the props and pack them in your emergency kit will ensure that you aren't scrambling on site.

The other thing you should prepare for is knowing what your photographer has time to shoot. Sure you want them to capture staged shots (or not-so-staged shots of your working behind the scenes for your website - always a bonus!) for the submission but do they actually have the time to? Have a conversation with the photographer ahead of time to create a timeline that will accommodate both of your needs. Discuss the shot list of what you are looking to get photographed and talk about how to best make it happen - the photographer's priority is to capture the couple on their wedding day after all.

Aisle Planner Jen Wojcik Photography
Photo courtesy Jen Wojcik Photography

Be Resourceful

Have you ever worked with a couple whose vision was amazing but whose budget, not so much? This is the perfect time to fake it, 'til you make it baby! Pick the “best” table (think location, lighting) and load it with flowers, votives, etc. from another to have the photographer shoot. Another trick? Pull a bloom from the centerpiece and place it on one of the place settings for that one close-up shot. Don’t be afraid to move things around! This way you can create the illusion that every table was that fabulous and get all of the detail shots you need. (Don’t forget to get the "from above" shot and bring a step stool to make it happen.)

The other thing you can do? Practice your modeling skills. Be strategic with your outfit for the day and make sure your nails are camera ready so that you can jump in and hold whatever you need to to get that detail shot.

Time It Right

As a logistical master, you know that time is always of the essence. I know we already talked about timelines but, yes, it is that important. Ask your photographer how much time they will need to get all of the shots you are asking for and include it in your timeline.

A couple more tips:

  •  Make sure to always shoot the details and reception site in the daylight and prior to the guests arriving
  •  Don't forget to light the candles on the table the photographer is shooting – it makes a big difference
  • Work on setting up the next shot while the photographer is working with the couple. You want to keep everyone moving and on time

  Have any expert tips on staging your shots for submissions? We'd love to hear them! Join the conversation on Instagram!


Hero photo courtesy Jen Wojcik Photography


About the Author

Aisle Planner Editorial Team
Aisle Planner Editorial Team
The Aisle Planner Editorial Team is a collective of creative writers, editors, and former event pros who obsess over weddings and special events—and the businesses behind them! Drawn to refined details, design, and creativity, our team provides intelligent and straightforward articles with insights, practical tips, and expert guidance in putting Aisle Planner's "Power of One" behind your business.