The Real Wedding Photographer's Guide to Wedding Photos

When it comes to wedding pictures, you simply must get them right. Splurging on a good wedding photographer is worth it, trust me! Every couple wants to be able to crack open their beautiful wedding albums and feel those same emotions that they did the day they tied the knot. We want you to feel as special as your relationship is, so I spoke with eight different photographers to get all their advice on all the must-have wedding shots that your wedding album simply can't live without! Plus, they all gave me their favorite shots of all time for you to see for a little inspiration! Special thanks to all the photographers that contributed to this blog (more on who they are in a minute)!

The Real Wedding Photographer's Guide to Must-Have Wedding Photos

When I was thinking about the wedding pictures I want to have in my wedding album, I wasn't really sure where to start. How would I know which pictures would look best? So I turned to real wedding photographers, and they came through! Not only did they give me their advice, they also showed me their favorite pictures! All of these pictures blew me away, and I know they'll do the same for you! So when you're getting your pictures taken the day of your wedding, be sure to request that you take these pictures from your wedding photographer! We promise that you won't regret it. Read on for every wedding photographer's must-have wedding pictures!

Getting-Ready Photos

Getting ready for the big day is a momentous few hours as a bride and groom! Getting ready with all of your best friends is bound to be filled with laughter and memories that you'll want to cherish forever, and that's why Bellagala Photography recommends these types of photos to all brides! Bellagala's advice on bridal getting-ready shots? "You’ll want some of the bride putting on the dress – especially if grandma or mom is buttoning or zipping the back – and a few shots of the bride slipping into her shoes are also essential. Even though the girls definitely steal the spotlight for getting ready, have the guys do some tie-tightening and shoe lace-knotting for classy detail photos."  Eric Vest from Eric Vest Photography recommends bridesmaids' first look shots and groom detail shots, too. The first reveal is so special to all brides and bridesmaids, and you'll be thankful that you captured those first reactions! And don't forget groom details! Your husband looked dashing on the big day, and all of those little elements were so important! The little details are always worth capturing. Check out some of these beautiful getting-ready shots!

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Lena Lakoma wedding photographerLena Lakoma Photography

 

wedding photographerAminda Villa Photography

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Bouquet Shots

Couples often spend thousands of dollars on flowers for their weddings, so don't forget to capture those beautiful bouquets! Sarah Kaufman from Sarah Ellen Photography says the best way to debut the bridal bouquet is to showcase the bride with it! She has the bride hold her bouquet while looking down at it, perfectly capturing the beautiful bride, bouquet, and dress! Mariah Talbot from Mariahmac Studios emphasizes the importance of capturing the bride's beauty and never forgetting to get those details, bouquets included! Check out these gorgeous bouquet shots!

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Mariah Mac wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Sarah Ellen wedding photographer Sarah Ellen Photography

 

Lena Lakoma wedding photographerLena Lakoma Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographer

Bellagala Photography

 

The First Look

This is an obvious must! Tracy Hansen from RKH Images perfectly summarized why these couple shots simply must be taken: "First looks are the best. One concern so many people have is that their significant other won't react the way that they hoped, such as dropping to their knees and crying. But odds are that you already have a good idea of how your significant other is going to react, and you will love it! We have never had a disappointing first look in our near decade of shooting weddings." You've heard it from the pro! I personally can't wait to do first look shots with my fiancee! I know I'll be a sobbing mess, but those are just the moments you want to remember forever. Check out these first look shots! Challenge: try to keep from crying from the pure love in these shots!

RKH Images wedding photographerRKH Images

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

The Dip

Everyone loves a good dip shot! These shots are so versatile and can be set against some gorgeous backgrounds that you'll "ooh" and "ahh" over for years to come! Sarah Kaufman from Sarah Ellen Photography says that dip photos are one of her favorites! "They let the couple get lost in their own little world, and they always create some fun movement." You don't have to be a dancer to do this shot, we promise! Check out some of these GORGEOUS dip shots!

Angela Divine wedding photographerAngela Divine Photography

 

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Sarah Ellen wedding photographerSarah Ellen Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Detail Shots

The reason these are a must-have is because you probably won't be able to remember all of those tiny wedding details without pictures! Make sure your wedding photographer grabs all of those floral shots, shoe and accessory shots, food shots, dining table shots, and more! Just like Mariah Talbot from Mariahmac Studios says, "Couples might forget the details with time--my job is to make sure that I capture those memories so that they won't!" Check out these beautiful details! I love the ring shots, too!

Sarah Ellen Photography wedding photographerSarah Ellen Photography

 

RKH Images wedding photographerRKH Images

 

Lena Lakoma wedding photographerLena Lakoma Photography

 

Eric Vest Photography wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Intimate Kisses & Touches

This is another obvious must! Kissing and snuggling are one of the most intimate expressions of love, and there are so many various ways to picture those intimate moments! Sarah Kaufman from Sarah Ellen Photography says that snuggling photos are one of her favorite photos for couples! "This is such a great intimate pose for couples. I tell them to snuggle in forehead to forehead and close their eyes. I also love to have the bride put her hand up on the groom's shoulder to show off her ring!" Lena's (Lena Lakoma Photography) thoughts on couple shots perfectly summarizes what every wedding photographer should think about wedding photography: "I always try to have at least an hour with the bride and groom. It takes a bit of time for couples to feel comfortable. I have the privilege of getting close to them and creating a trusting atmosphere to get those truly unposed, intimate shots that show them as a unit. There is always something new and refreshing with each couple. Some are funny with each other while others have this incredible chemistry and some are bubbly and up for any adventure. This is truly what wedding photography is all about: the couple. Couple shots are all about capturing the couple's energy and the way they expressed their love to each other on the very day they promised each other to be together forever." Check out some of these beautiful shots! I definitely teared up while looking at these!

Sarah Ellen wedding photographerSarah Ellen Photography

 

Angela Divine wedding photographerAngela Divine Photography

 

RKH Images wedding photographerRKH Images

 

Lena Lakoma wedding photographerLena Lakoma Photography

 

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Mariahmac Studies wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

The First Touch

The first look is an obvious must, but wedding photographers recommend "the first touch" photos, too! Michelle Huber from Michelle Huber Photography says that these shots are one her favorites to take. "The emotions of this moment cannot be duplicated and might end up being some of your favorites of the day." Wedding photographers recommend that the couple writes letters to each other and reads them while holding hands but not looking at each other quite yet. Look at these emotional, loving first touches! Yet another tearjerking moment!

Michelle Huber wedding photographerMichelle Huber Photography

 

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Bridal Portraits

Bridal portraits are so important! Although groom portraits are important as well, you have to remember how much more time, effort, and money was spent on the bride! As Mariah from Mariahmac Studios says, "I want the bride to feel as good as she looks, and I want to capture that beauty." Perfectly said! I am a firm believer that all wedding photographers should have this same opinion on taking those bridal portraits! Check out these gorgeous brides on their big day!

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

The Kiss With a Gorgeous Backdrop

This is a specific yet necessary shot if your special day is at a venue or near a location with gorgeous views! I mean, what's more romantic than you and your partner kissing in front of a field of flowers or a picturesque lake? These types of shots are perfect to have framed or printed on a canvas for you to remember forever. Check out some of the most gorgeous kissing shots that we've ever seen!

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Angela Divine wedding photographerAngela Divine Photography

 

Michelle Huber wedding photographerMichelle Huber Photography

 

Evening Shots

I've never once thought about getting pictures taken in the evening (or late night!), but after seeing some of these GORGEOUS shots, I know that I'll be requesting these shots from my wedding photographer for sure! Bellagala Photography says that their favorite time to take evening shots are during "the Golden Hour." According to Bellagala,"The Golden Hour is that time right before sunset when everything looks, well, golden. The sky gets more vibrant, and the scenery has a kind of glow that makes for excellent photos. Your photographer will know when golden hour is, so try taking a few outside your venue during this time (probably after dinner and before the dance). The light during golden hour makes anywhere look magical and straight out of a rom-com ending."  Eric from Eric Vest Photography suggests that couples take late night photos after dinner/some dancing! Why? "At this point, couples have been talking for hours with guests, and they usually need a break from all the people! Taking night shots gives them some much needed alone time and gives them the opportunity to soak up their wedding day that has just flown by so quickly!" Convinced? I thought so! Check out these stunning photos for inspiration!

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Michelle Huber wedding photographerMichelle Huber Photography

 

Sarah Ellen wedding photographerSarah Ellen Photography

 

Ceremony Shots

There are so many different parts of the ceremony that wedding photographers suggest you capture! Definitely get pictures taken of the bride walking down the aisle, the groom's reaction as she does so, shots of the couple as they say their vows and put their rings on each other's fingers, the first kiss (of course!), and those few moments after the ceremony has finished! Bellagala Photography recommends that you mention to your wedding photographer that they capture certain details throughout the ceremony because "these detail shots are timeless and often missed in the fast pace of the ceremony." Michelle from Michelle Huber Photography loves those few precious moments right after the couple finishes walking down the aisle together as a married couple for the first time. "You and your spouse will have a flood of emotions during this moment--make sure your photographer captures that!" Check out some of these romantic shots taken during and after the ceremony for inspiration!

Michelle Huber wedding photographerMichelle Huber Photography

 

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

RKH Images wedding photographerRKH Images

 

Candid Couple Shots

You definitely want to make sure your wedding photographer has a hawk's eye and seizes those camera-worthy moments! There are so many fun moments on your wedding day, mishaps and all. Candid couple shots are bound to make you smile and laugh. Tracy from RKH Images says that "even the things that go wrong on the day of the wedding sometimes make for the best moments to remember." Definite words to remember! Check out some of these giggly and touching shots that these wedding photographers did such a great job capturing!

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Lena Lakoma wedding photographerLena Lakoma Photography

 

RKH Images wedding photographerRKH Images

 

The Couple & Their Entourage

Although you and your spouse-to-be are hard at work planning your wedding together, you can't forget that your wedding entourage is too! There are so many little (and big!) tasks that your entourage takes care of for you, so you definitely want to remember every single person who helped put this special day together! Make sure your wedding photographer snaps shots of them with you both; we promise your party will cherish them just as much as you! Check out some of these adorable and fun shots of these couples and their trusty entourages!

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Mariahmac wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Eric Vest wedding photographerEric Vest Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

The Grand Exit

This is such a happy moment for the couple because they know that leaving the venue signifies the beginning of their lives together! What an exhilarating feeling! Lena from Lena Lakoma Photography recommends to all of her clients that they have a grand exit. "A grand exit adds so much more excitement and spontaneity to the first moment they said 'I do.' I often inspire them with different ideas for their grand exit that I know will add so much fun and glamour. Guests love special exits, and they make for a great shot! Make sure your photographer shares their strategy for the best exit shots with you and your guests so you can get everyone in place for the best pictures." Check out some of these truly glamorous exit shots! Look at those happy couples!

Bellagala wedding photographerBellagala Photography

 

Angela Divine wedding photographerAngela Divine Photography

 

Mariahmac Studios wedding photographerMariahmac Studios

 

The Featured Wedding Photographers

Liked the pictures we featured in this article? Here's a little about each of the wedding photographers that contributed! Angela Divine Photography: Angela Divine is a wedding photographer located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She describes her style as genuine, candid moments with a touch of artistic flare. Her specialty is creating those magical moments that you'll cherish forever! Bellagala Photography: Tim George started Bellagala with the intention of becoming an ultimate resource for all couples who were planning their weddings in Minnesota. Bellagala has 8 different services for couples to use, making wedding planning much easier. Of course, Bellagala does photography! They have four levels of award-winning photographers to fit couples' unique style, personality, and budget! Eric Vest Photography: Eric Vest was born and raised in the Twin Cities, and his current studio resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is most passionate about wedding photography and capturing a couple's love story in the moment! Lena Lakoma Photography: Lena Lakoma was born in Poland and moved to New York City where she worked as a photographer for years before establishing her photography business in Minneapolis. She takes a wide variety of pictures: fashion, lifestyle, wedding, etc. She describes her aesthetic as intimate and glamorous yet comfortable and traditional with a twist! Mariahmac Studios: Mariah Talbot has owned and operated her photography studio for over 15 years. Her current studio resides in Elk River, Minnesota. She is passionate about photography and has taken a large range of photos from weddings to family portraits to commercial shots. She loves being a part of each of her clients' histories and taking those shots that they'll get to cherish for the rest of their lives! Michelle Huber Photography: Michelle Huber and her husband own a Minnesota-based photography business but do travel worldwide to do what they're passionate about: wedding photography. They describe their style as "vibrant, fun, romantic, and candid." Michelle has been taking photos since 1988 and has been loving the adventure that comes with taking wedding photos ever since! RKH Images: Kyle and Tracy Hansen have been taking pictures together for fifteen years and are still very passionate about it. They describe their photography style as "true to life" and pride themselves in their pictures' abilities to vividly bring you back to the day it was taken. Sarah Ellen Photography: Sarah Kaufman is the owner and lead photographer of Sarah Ellen Photography, a photography business based in Minnesota. She views photography as "the best way to capture a moment that can never be replicated." She is most passionate about people and photographing people during their most important moments. She loves to get to know her clients so that she can perfectly capture their love to remember for generations.

Let's Chat

We hope that you feel inspired and excited for your wedding day after looking at all these must-have wedding shots! What type of shots do you want to make sure are taken on your wedding day? Do you have any advice on choosing the perfect wedding photographer?

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