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Nearly every photographer in Nigeria is a wedding photographer. Is this because these photographers have the skills? Or is it because weddings are a means to making money since they occur frequently? In Nigeria, and I’m very sure all over the world, there are over 100 wedding events each weekend. Whatever the reason, there are only very few wedding pictures that have stood out for me. Couples in Nigeria, particularly, do not have the opportunity to take good wedding pictures. From the moment the newlyweds proceed out of church, there is a long list of pictures to be taken (order of photographs): couple with groom’s family, couples with bride’s family, bride with long lost friends, and on and on. At the end of it all the couple is so exhausted; and they still have a wedding reception to attend. I know everyone is excited during a wedding, but the newlyweds should be given some time to take personal wedding photos. Most wedding gowns are worn once in a lifetime, so the bride deserves to have stunning pictures that can be hung up on a bedroom wall. Once again I shall refer to Miller & Miller Photography for some stunning wedding day photo concepts. These are not models or celebrities, these are professionals. For me I would hang such pictures up on my wall proudly. And as a photographer, I would be proud to claim such pictures. Below are some of my tips to creating stunning wedding day photos: 1. The couple should create a time slot for their photo session on the wedding programme. 2. Your wedding background must not always be in front of the church. A corner beside the church might have a better scenery, or maybe behind the church. This is why photographers should visit the church a day before the wedding to decide what area of the building would be most suitable. 3. The couple could decide to use a venue other than the church or reception venue. This is why fixing a time slot for photos in the programme is necessary. An advantage of using a separate venue for the pictures, especially for Nigerian weddings, is to get away from the crowd. A good picture could be ruined when grandma’s gele somehow creeps into it. Another advantage of using a separate venue is that couples would be more at ease to pose romantically. 4. Try engaging the services of one photographer. This would help that photographer have full control and access to you. I have attended so many weddings, especially Nigerian weddings, where photographers scramble for space. 5. The couple and photographer should develop an understanding before the wedding day. If the couple has a particular concept in mind or a preferred theme, all these should be discussed beforehand. 6. Once again think outside the box. 7. Lastly, plan for the pictures just as you would plan for the cake, the wedding dress and the venue.
Author’s Bio Ibifaka Ben-Kalio is a commercial lawyer and owner of Swan Lake Studios, a contemporary photography, dance and creative arts studio based in Lagos, Nigeria. A professionally trained ballet and Latin ballroom dancer, she currently runs daily Latin dance fitness programs at the Life Quest Gym, 37 Glover Court, Ikoyi, Lagos. Visit to read more articles like this and view her photography and dance programs.

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This article was first published on 29th March 2012 and updated on April 15th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

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