Interview With An Expert: Millie Kuyer Photography {part 2}

Last week we kicked off our interview with Millie Kuyer of Millie Kuyer Photography and shared her advice on the early stages of choosing a photographer, this week we’ve got her insider info on what follows that selection. Read on (especially if you’ve always been self conscious in front of the camera!).

WiV: How many photos should you expect from a photographer after the wedding?

MK: First, it’s important to distinguish between prints and files. Prints are actual printed images and are usually offered in a set amount as part of the photographer’s package. His or her print price list will let you know how much extra you should expect to pay for each print. I’d highly recommend taking a look at this price list before you hire the photographer and estimating how many prints you might want, that way you can budget more appropriately.

As for the number of digital files, it really depends on the photographer, how long they’ve been hired to shoot for, and whether or not there’s a second shooter. More is not always better. Be careful with someone who tells you how many photos you can expect to get if the number is too specific, but, in general, a photographer will shoot between 1,000 and 2,000 images within a full-day wedding. Out of those, expect about 70 percent to be edited out, leaving you with anywhere between 300 and 600 images. That’s just to give you a rough idea, remember that every photographer is different.

WiV: What are some do’s and don’ts when posing?

MK: I’d say that many photographers these days don’t want you to turn to the camera and smile every time the lens is nearby. It may make a nice profile shot, but if you do that for every photo, you and the photographer are going to be hurting by the end of the day. Give your cheeks a rest and let the photographer leave your line of sight. Your photographer wants to be able to capture different angles, expressions, and social interactions. Act natural, and unless the photographer says something to grab your attention or make you smile, you can pretty much ignore him.

Having said that, I know it’s virtually for most people to forget that there’s a camera following them around. They’re convinced it’s waiting to capture the most embarrassing, awkward, unflattering moments, and that there’s nothing they can do to prevent it. Not true. If the camera is pointed  in your direction, this isn’t the time to fix your hair, pick spinach out of your teeth, or check that your dress/tie is hanging right. If you start fidgeting with all of these things, you’re not going to get a nice image out of it. Just be comfortable the way you are. The photographer obviously saw something she liked, so don’t go changing everything to what you think will look good.

Finally, some quick gender-specific tips.

Women: When standing, try and keep your weight on one foot or the other. Dividing it between the two can look tense and unnatural. Shifting your weight also flatters your womanly curves. If you’re subconscious about broad shoulders or wide hips, do a little rotation so that you’re not square to the camera. You can also put your hand on your hip to accentuate the narrowest part of your side. Try not to have your arms pressed against your body (whether you’re skinny or curvy, moving your elbows away from your torso ever so slightly can take a pound or two off your upper arms). If you have to fix your hair, don’t do it during group photos when everyone else is posed, and use the arms that is away from the camera so that you aren’t blocking your face.

Men: Act natural. If you don’t know what to do with your hands, put them in your pockets or drop them at your sides. Once in awhile, crossed arms are also appropriate. Just try not to cover your crotch like a soccer player every shot, which will end up looking stiff and formal. Also, don’t be afraid to smile, you aren’t sacrificing your manliness by showing some emotion. If you want your shoulders to look bigger, stay squared to the camera and try not to look over your shoulder. If you feel self conscious about being tall, you can lean forward just slightly and take off an inch of height without being too noticeable.

WiV: What if it rains on your wedding day?

MK: Don’t fret! Rain can provide a fantastic creative element. I think the best advice here is to relax, accept what sky gods have given you, and embrace it. If rain has been forecast, I recommend purchasing or borrowing some photo-friendly umbrellas. They could be black, white or colorful, it doesn’t matter (as long as you like them!). Also, if you don’t already have some gumboots, you might want to invest. And, if you’re worried about your hair holding up, rest assured knowing that the hairstylist probably put in enough hairspray to keep it in place for a week.

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