We spoke to Edinburgh-based wedding photographer Philip Hawkins to find out all his insider tips and trick to getting killer wedding pics!
IMAGES | Philip Hawkins Photography
First things first, let’s look at the man himself!
Philip has been photographing weddings professionally since the age of 16 and it’s safe to say he loves this job.
“I’m addicted to the buzz of being part of such a special, unrepeatable day!” explains Philip.
As well plenty of passion, he also brings a versatile and flexible approach to the table.
“My default style is photojournalistic, or documentary style as it’s sometimes known,” says Philip. “But I also have awards in the categories of classical wedding photography, traditional weddings, bridal portraiture and more, so I’m happy to work to the style of my couples choosing.”
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Edinburgh who’ll happily adapt to your personal style and taste, Philip is the one for you.
An expert wedding photographer
Over his 30 years in the business, Philip’s built up some seriously impressive credentials!
Although he still works as a wedding photographer based in Edinburgh, his work has gained him a reputation across the country as one of Scotland’s top photographers.
As such, he’s now called in to offer his expert advice to several prestigious organisations.
As well as authoring over 100 photography-based magazine articles, some of his recent roles include being an SWI National Photography Judge, a BBC Best Ever Wedding Shots Winner and ITV Royal Wedding Photography Consultant for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding!
For the past 12 years, Philip’s also been sharing his expertise by teaching and training new photographers.
And now he’s generously doing the same for us!
We asked him to reveal his top tips for getting killer wedding photographs, and he did not disappoint.
So have no fear! Even if you’re more uncomfortable in front of a camera than Chandler Bing, this expert advice will see you right!
~ Philip’s guide to killer wedding pics ~
1. KNOW YOUR ANGLES
Try not to be square on to the camera – the most flattering angle for being photographed is 45 degrees to the camera!
It’s super easy to remember this on your your wedding day! Simply turn into each other so you form a V-shape in front of the photographer.
Your bodies will then be angled 45 degrees to the camera, so just swing your head around so that you’re looking into the camera lens.
2. GO FOR CURVES
When it comes to your arms, you want to focus on creating subtle, smooth, curves as these are more flattering than straight lines.
For brides, a great way to do this is to hold your bouquet at belly button height.
It’ll create a nice curve in your arms, whereas holding your flowers higher will cause your elbows to stick out too harshly and holding them too low will straighten your arms out.
3. FOCUS ON YOUR ARMS
For grooms, when you’re standing next to your bride, place your inside hand on the small of their back. Don’t throw your arm all the way around her as this makes the photograph appear messy! Then just let the other arm hang loose by your side.
Another option to look nicely relaxed in your pics is to hook both your thumbs behind your sporran, and then let your fingers come over the front.
4. WATCH YOUR CHIN
There’s an age old saying, ‘never pick a photographer who is shorter than you’. Whilst this is now viewed as a bit of an old wives tale, there’s still some merit in it.
If you’re taller than your photographer it means your head will tilt down slightly when looking into the camera, producing a double chin.
If your photographer is taller than you your head will tilt up slightly, which stretches out your neck muscles and is far more flattering.
5. LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
Make sure your photographer uses supplemental lighting, either as the main lighting source or just to enhance the natural light available at your venue.
“Whilst natural light can be very beautiful, we live in Scotland, so the reality is that for much of the time it is too dull and flat to produce high impact images,” explains Philip.
“To make the photographs really jump off the page supplemental lighting is crucial, as it gives me total control over power, strength, intensity, direction, angle and pretty much everything. That’s why I take supplemental lighting to every wedding!”
6. BE SPONTANEOUS
Spontaneous moments often make for the best photos, which is when hiring a super experienced photographer like Philip comes in handy.
“My experience is a massive help as my spidey-senses ensures I can successfully capture all the special moments that’ll make up your day!” says Philip.
But don’t worry, he also knows that you’ll want flattering photos that show you at your best. If there’s a great spontaneous shot of you both but you’re not keen on how you look in it, Philip offers airbrushing and other retouching!
7. ADD SPECIAL EFFECTS
Want your wedding album to be truly unique? Philip has lots of practise in special effects and love using it to enhance wedding photographs.
It’s a personal choice that won’t appeal to everyone, so he’ll always talk it through with you and send you proofs to make sure you’re 100% happy before finalising anything!