When I was a bride, I simply could not wait to get my photos back and begin creating my album.

It’s that tangible piece you can keep on your coffee table, bring out when family and friends are there to create community, or start a tradition in your new family of admiring every year on your anniversary. But as a photographer, I knew that planning for your wedding album starts long before getting your photos back from your photographer. Here are a few tricks of the trade to help ensure you get all those perfect shots for your wedding album.

Tip #1: Gather your details ahead of time.

Your wedding day is super exciting and wild and will go by like a blur. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about gathering pieces for detail photos for your photographer. Instead, pack a bag with all of your detail items. This can be your jewelry, your wedding bands and engagement ring, shoes, invitations, programs, your something borrowed or something blue, or anything else that makes your day special. With all of these things in one place, hand it off to a bridesmaid or personal attendant. That way, you can focus on popping champagne with your friends and jamming out to some ABBA while getting glam, not worrying about where your details are and if your photographer can get those shots that are perfect for your wedding album.

Tip #2: Be intentional about where you get ready.

Here’s the deal. Getting ready with your party is a time full of anticipation, giggles, and reflection on your relationship and the day to come. Getting ready photos are high on any photographers list of photos to get so you can accurately share the story of your day from start to finish. Would you rather have those photos in a location that reflects your day, or in a church basement with bright green carpet and harsh fluorescent lighting? 

You probably already have a vibe for your wedding you’re going for. Is it a cozy mountain elopement? A boho outdoor wedding? Or are you going for a romantic and timeless feel? Take that theme and extend it to where you’re getting ready. Your photographer and wedding album will both thank you!

Tip #3: Hangers!

I know, so simple. But even though it’s simple, it’s super effective. As you can see in the photos above, one small change can really elevate your dress photo. While both photos of the same dress do get the point across, one small touch of investing a few bucks into a wooden hanger show intentionality and heighten the overall photo.

Tip #4: Think through what’s most important to you and communicate that!

This one seems like a no brainer, but it is so important! As a photographer, I know each wedding is so different because each day has a different story for me to tell. Because of that, I never follow a set shot list. So while planning your day, make sure any shots that are important to you are communicated to your photographer before the wedding day. 

Are you super stoked for me to capture your bridesmaids’ reaction to your dress? Awesome, I’m stoked too! Just let me know so I can plan accordingly and be in the right place at the right time.

BONUS: With any super important shots, especially family photos, write out each photo you want and the names of who you want in that photo. I’m so excited to capture these memories, but I don’t know your younger cousin’s name! This helps your photographer out A TON.

Tip #5: Trust your photographer.

Remember, you can plan until you turn blue in the face. At the end of the day, you hired someone you should trust as the expert in making sure you have a kickass wedding album. Let loose the day of, your photographer has got this.

What are some ways that you are preparing for your big day? What photos are you most looking forward to getting back from your photographer? Share with us in the comments below!