Drone Wedding Photography

Couples are always looking for new and exciting ways to make their wedding day memories stand out. One of the hottest trends on the photography front is actually quite old, which is to capture special moments of the day from high in the sky.

In the 21st century, drone photography can perfectly capture the grandeur of this special occasion.  And it’s a lot cheaper than a hot air balloon.

Hiring a professional aerial photographer offers the opportunity to capture both still shots and video in cinematic quality. Drone footage can complement rather than replace classic wedding photography, offering a unique perspective to stand alongside more traditional shots.

A couple may well have a budding amateur friend offering to fly their drone, but would be well advised to opt for a professional instead. With the risk of collision damage, couples should look for a professional who is compliant with safety standards, necessary permissions, and carries the appropriate insurance. A professional will establish if drones are allowed in the area and what restrictions apply. The bungling amateur may well end up flying their drone on a collision course with the mother-of-the- bride’s hat. Another advantage of engaging the services of a professional aerial photographer is the pictures will be professionally edited.

Drones come into their own for panoramic outdoor shots. They can be used indoors if the venue has very high ceilings, but as the noise factor can be an irritant they are best used outside. One of the most popular shots captured by drones is the bride walking down the aisle, but again, because of the noise, the drone should be decommissioned when the vows are exchanged. One other factor to consider is the weather as drones cannot be operated in rain, snow or wind. Last minute inclement weather may result in a drone shoot being cancelled.

When it comes to selecting a professional aerial photographer, couples should browse through the photographer’s portfolio and discuss any particular shots they would like to arrange in advance. Popular images are aerial views of all the guests together, and couples can arrange for something unique such as having all the guests standing to form a heart shape or spelling out the couple’s initials. Shots taken of the most special moments can be edited together in video format.

Drone photography is an amazing addition for destination weddings as footage of the happy couple can be woven into a video shoot of the exotic location, panning out to incorporate breathtaking scenery. Hiring a professional aerial photographer can be an extravagance worth including in the wedding budget. It will provide a talking point as the camera is remotely operated above the guests’ heads and offers candid shots as it is less intrusive for the camera shy than being posed by a photographer. Drone footage offers a unique and dramatic perspective that takes the wedding photographs and video to a whole new level.

For couples wishing to capture the magic of their wedding from a truly unique angle, drone wedding photography promises cinematic vistas, dramatic shots, and adds an extra frisson of excitement to the celebration. Aerial shots of this once in a lifetime moment are something unique to treasure.

(Feature photo from Playshoot Studio.)

Tips on Choosing A Wedding Photographer

The wedding photographer you hire for the big day needs to be more than just a professional with the right equipment. They need to be someone you can develop a rapport with as they will be with you throughout the day and must be someone you feel comfortable around. If you want wonderful natural shots that capture your joy you will want a photographer that brings out the best and makes you feel relaxed. If you are opting for a high editorial look with magazine quality photographs you will want a photographer that gives good direction and shares your unique vision of your best silhouette.

When seeking a wedding photographer, it is worth compiling a short list of several professionals to interview, rather than just choosing the first guy you can afford in the phone book. Different photographers have different styles and you should consider the style you want for your own wedding. Perhaps you prefer traditional portrait shots, or you may like the more informal style of reportage photography which involves the photographer blending into the background to capture un-posed moments. If you are wowed with the idea of a high fashion shoot then narrow down a list of photographers that specialize in this style but have your budget primed for their fees.

When compiling your shortlist you can take recommendations from friends, relatives and the wedding specialists that will play a part in your wedding. Perhaps the venue you have booked has a professional relationship with a photographer they can recommend.

If you see some stand-out photographs on social media that suit your style ask the name of the photographer, browse online recommendations and note the names of photographers that catch your eye in bridal magazines.

Look through professional directories such as the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, the Wedding Photojournalist Association, or consider wedding photographers with high accolades on Wedding Wire.

As you interview the photographers on your short list be sure to ask to see examples of full shoots of the weddings they have worked on, rather than just the brilliant headline shots they have in their portfolio. You will be looking for consistent high quality pictures. If budget constraints are an issue then consider the importance of a quality photographer over lots of images. You can prioritize the photographer above the album as the album can be built up over time from quality images if you have the flash drive or negatives.

And don’t forget about social media. Yelp is a great resource for brides-to-be when selecting professional photographers, caterers, musicians and the like. It’s very difficult to create “fake” reviews on their website and Yelp actively guards against all attempts to alter the true reviews from actual customers. Of course, take it all with a grain of salt, since getting married is a very personal experience and people do tend to get worked up over any perceived slight.

Photographers, like any professional business, require contracts and stipulations to be met prior to releasing their work to the purchaser. It is a serious line of work and one that should be performed by an artist with a camera; not just your Uncle Joe.

Experienced, professional photographers with an excellent reputation, and a style that is in sync with your own, may be in high demand, so book early. Do not leave your choice of a photographer to the last moment as the images they create will be a lasting memory you will pass on to future generations.

Different styles of Wedding Photography

At MQ Photography, we know your wedding is a once in a lifetime moment and your wedding photographs are a permanent record, evoking special memories through the years. You should give some thought to the different styles of wedding photography available to find the type that most reflects how you want to capture those most precious of moments. There are three main styles of wedding photography to consider: traditional, reportage and contemporary editorial.

Traditional wedding photography

The traditional style of wedding photography is the classic way of the photographer arranging posed shots of the happy couple and group shots of family and friends. The couple will compile a list of the shots they want and will know what to expect. The photographer will work on a timeline to create classic photographs that will stand the test of time without dating. If you are uncomfortable posing for photographs or feel that this traditional style lacks spontaneity or takes too much time away from the celebrations then you may prefer to consider reportage style photography.

Reportage wedding photography

Reportage wedding photography has taken over from traditional wedding photography in the popularity stakes, suiting modern couples as it focuses on spontaneity rather than set poses. The reportage photographer will blend into the background, taking candid shots that capture special moments as they unfold throughout the day. Photographs shot this way can create the wow factor when they are taken by an experienced photographer with an eye for anticipating perfect moments. It is a popular style as it allows the couple to enjoy their day without posing and the resultant photographs capture natural moments full of spontaneous joy and happiness. They are less stilted than traditional photographs.

Contemporary editorial wedding photography

Contemporary editorial wedding photography focuses on obtaining amazing shots that are dramatically posed with an emphasis on lighting. These are the high fashion shots associated with magazines and while they can create stunning images they not for everyone. Not every couple is adept at the type of posing required unless they have model training. The editorial photographer will stage a unique and artistic shot that involves posing, often against a backdrop, to create a high impact visual. While the result may be dramatic and stunning it is more about the couple and may exclude family and friends from the celebratory footage.

It is, of course, possible to opt for a mixed style of wedding photography.  Perhaps choosing reportage, but electing for some traditional group shots immediately after the ceremony.  Or slipping away after the ceremony for some highly stylized contemporary shots. These are questions to ask your wedding photographer.

Whichever style you select, ensure the photographer you choose is experienced in that style so your photographs are the best as they will last a lifetime.

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

As you narrow down a shortlist of wedding photographers with a style that suits your vision there are some key questions to ask which will help you determine which photographer to choose.

Asking the right questions can allay any anxieties you may have and help you to discover if you have a good rapport. You may fall in love with their portfolio, but still need to consider other factors such as experience, availability, flexibility and pricing.

Pricing may influence your choice thus it is important to consider the various packages they offer, what is included and how much you will pay for any extras. You may be happy to receive a flash drive of the images to print off yourself or want something more such as print albums and large scale portraits. Consider the length of time the photographer will attend your wedding and if they cover key moments you wish to record such as getting ready and the cake cutting.

Ask the photographer if they are familiar with your wedding venue, if they have shot there before, and if they are not will they scope it out prior to the wedding. You may have decided to go for a reportage style of photography but still wish to have some posed shots after the ceremony.

Ask if your photographer is skilled in both traditional and reportage style shots and if you would feel comfortable taking direction from them. If you elect to go with a traditional style you should ask how many requests you can put on your shot list.  You will need to be able to trust them to look your best.

You may not know much about photographic equipment but will want to know if they shoot digitally or with film. Film will take longer to process and you should ask when the photographs will be available to you as no doubt you will be on tenterhooks waiting to see the finished product. As to equipment you may want to know if they have a back-up plan to deal with any technical hitches.

It is important to ask if you have the copyright to digital photographs as you may wish to post them on social media and share them among your friends. Ask if the photographer intends to use the prints on social media or for advertising purposes. Some photographers create an online gallery made available to you and your guests. Similarly with film prints you will want to ask if you can have the negatives.

Other pertinent questions to ask include details of their cancellation policy, their overtime rate if things run over, if they charge extra for travel and accommodation, and how many weddings they have shot. A professional photographer will be able to answer all your questions and put your mind at ease.

More questions to ask your wedding photographer:
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer