I have such a special treat for you today.
The beautiful and talented Laura Anne Watson, from Laura Watson Photography, has swung by Mind Body Bride to share some stellar tips that will take your wedding photos from vow to WOW.
I first started chatting with Laura Anne on Instagram, where I instantly fell in love with her photographs and personality; her enthusiasm for her brides, and gratitude for the work she gets to do, shines through every photo.
Despite being a busy lady this wedding season, Laura Anne was still super excited to come and hang with us today.
So let’s dive in!
Meet Laura Anne Watson
The Who: wedding photographer; founder of Laura Watson Photography
The Where: based in Atlanta, Georgia, but available for weddings anywhere
The What: to go above and beyond in providing fun-loving brides with images she’ll hang in her home forever…and to specifically plan and curate branding portraiture for the creative entrepreneur.
The Why: my heart is set on mission and service; I want to serve and equip my clients in a way that fills them with joy and adds value to their life.
The Random: I believe that belly laughs go a looooong way, and I’m also far too obsessed with elephants!
Jennifer Dene: What research should couples do before deciding on a wedding photographer?
Laura Anne Watson: A lot of brides are advised by wedding blogs to send a 20-question list that covers everything from: “do you have insurance?” to “can I see a full gallery from a recent wedding?”
While many of these questions should be asked, the most important thing to do is to find a photographer that makes you feel comfortable. Comfort leads to confidence, and confidence will give you those banging images you’re going to love!
I meet all my brides in person, or screen-to-screen if we’re in different cities, after the initial inquiry and pricing review. This let’s her see if she’s comfortable with me, and is the perfect time to ask any questions about the photography process.
I also tell my brides that I’m not just their photographer, I’m basically a bonus bridesmaid! From start to finish I’m there for every bit of their wedding day and, unless they do a “first look”, they’ll likely see more of me than their husband…crazy, right?
JD: What is an important photo opportunity that couples may not think about?
LAW: I’d love to see more couples customize their engagement sessions to represent them as a couple.
Weddings are great, but there are a million little details to think about. Your engagement session is your one chance to have professional photos together in a setting that is completely controlled by you.
Think about what you love to do together and use that to influence your engagement pictures. Photographers adore when couples take the lead and pick out spots that are specific to their relationship, or have quirky ideas like going Ikea shopping together.
JD: What 3 tips will help the Mind Body Bride’s have the best wedding photo experience?
LAW: It’s important to embrace who you are and what you want from your images, and not get caught up in what others have done. Here are my top tips on making it a great experience:
- Just Be Yourself: as quirky, goofy and crazy as you are! Laugh off the awkwardness of being professionally photographed and enjoy the moment. Plan your photos to reflect you guys as a couple, and show off what makes you unique and fun.
- Have A Plan. I love it when my brides and grooms have thought through their engagement session and their wedding. We photographers want to take photos you’ll cherish, which takes some coordination and planning. I always create a custom (photo-specific) timeline for my brides & grooms to keep us on target and ensure that you’ll get the images you want.
- Trust Your Photographer. When planning this timeline I ask the same question:
“Are there any images that you’re dying to have captured? Any images that you’ve always imagined you’d see from your wedding?”
This recent reply came from one of my brides, and it was one of the best things anyone has ever told me. She said: Laura, I’ve seen what you’ve done before and I love how you capture moments. I trust you!
Tears. For. Days.
Dear brides, your photographer is a professional, and if you love their body of work, then you’re going to love your wedding photos. Trust them behind the camera to make you feel beautiful and capture your heart.
Bonus tip: Make sure your flowers arrive in time for portraits…this is pretty self-explanatory but I feel like it needs to be said. Everything is better with flowers!
JD: Do you recommend a practice shoot (or engagement shoot) before the wedding day?
LAW: Absolutely, it’s one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your nervous fiancé. This shoot allows you to get comfortable with your wedding photographer, and shows you that it is fun having your photos taken.
I include an engagement session in every wedding collection I offer for this very reason.
JD: My final question is for people like me who find it SO awkward to have their photo taken! Do you have any tips for what to do with your face? I always feel like a deer caught in the headlights and have no idea what to do if it’s not a big goofy grin?
LAW: I love this question! Even as a photographer I still forget what to do with my face and my hands. Everyone struggles with not knowing what to do in front of a camera (unless you’re a professional model), so there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Here’s what I ask my couples to do:
- Smile at each other
- Always have your hands on each other
- Keep moving
This gives you something to focus on, and makes the photos more natural, genuine and emotional.
Gents, I want you to pull her close and whisper something funny/dirty in her ear to make her laugh. Ladies, I LOVE when you cuddle up close to him and gaze up at his eyes.
For solo shots, keep the motion; play with your dress or your hair, move subtly back and forth, or shift the weight of your feet.
Finally, just keep smiling and trust that your photographer will capture your personality and the love you have for one another.
Stay In Touch With Laura:
Website: Laura Watson Photography