The last thing you might be thinking about in the months leading up to your wedding are honeymoon photos, but consider this: You've spent a year planning your dream wedding, sweated out the stressful final days before the main event, had the most epic day ever, and now, you get to enjoy the best part about getting married: the honeymoon. Sure, your post-nuptial getaway will be perfectly intimate and private—memories that just the two of you will cherish forever. But just as you wanted your wedding day to be captured for eternity, so too should you aim to document every moment of the honeymoon (especially the beach pics, considering all your hard work getting in shape for the wedding). While iPhone pics are great in a pinch, couples should give serious thought to their photography plans to get the absolute best honeymoon pics. This could include registering for a top-notch digital camera, or, at the very least, borrowing one from a family member or friend. To help you get the best possible shots, we spoke to Lindsay Silverman, senior product manager at Nikon; here are his honeymoon photography tips:
1. Invest in quality gear.
If you don't already have a digital camera, consider this the perfect opportunity (and motivation) to spring for one. Do some research online or visit a local camera or tech store to get an up-close look at the latest models. You'll find everything from sophisticated DSLRs to more basic point-and-shoot cameras. Choose the size and type of device that suits your needs, but know that you can also grow into a more complex model—if you start the search early you'll have plenty of time to get to know its features before the honeymoon!
2. Do some research.
When planning your trip, get to know the places you'll visit ahead of time. Research "must-see" spots on travel websites and browse Instagram to find inspo from other travelers. Once you've picked out places that you might want to photograph, plan to visit outdoor spots in the early morning, when the light is soft. Likewise, aim to avoid shooting in midday sun, which can be harsh and cause you to squint in photographs; instead, use that time to explore museums, caves, and anything indoors. Pinpointing these photo ops in advance and scheduling your itinerary around the right shooting times mean you'll maximize your time on the ground—and get those epic, Insta-worthy honeymoon pics.
3. Bring extra memory cards.
Your honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—make sure you're well equipped. No one wants to face the tough choices of having to delete photos to make room for new ones. Silverman suggests purchasing the latest cards with as much capacity as the camera allows (for most cameras, that means a class 10 card with at least 32GB of storage).
4. Look for unique angles.
Don’t be afraid to get low or climb high to capture the perfect shot. Many of today's DSLR cameras have a tilting LCD screen, so you can still explore new perspectives and change your viewpoint but still keep the your eye on the frame and snap at the perfect angle.
5. Stabilize your camera.
Honeymooning in Hawaii? Chances are you'll embark on one of the most popular adventure activities in the state: a scenic helicopter ride that lets you cruise over epic coast lines, spot lava flowing from a volcano into the water, and watch crazy-high waterfalls cascade into garden-green forests. Before embarking on the journey, Silverman says to make sure you turn on the VR image stabilization feature (one that's found on many NIKKOR or other top-quality lenses) to help get steady and sharp photos.
6. Take food photography to the next level.
Your honeymoon will (hallelujah-emoji) be filled with exotic new foods. Many of today’s DSLR cameras have a built-in "food scene" mode that corrects for indoor lighting (without flash) so that your photos will look as good as the food tastes. (Because you want to remember that trofie pesto pasta from Italy forever.)
7. More is always better than less—if you edit correctly.
True, you can never have enough honeymoon pics, but there's an art to telling the most complete, interesting story of your trip. While on your honeymoon, take a variety of photos from different angles and positions to capture the entire scene at each memorable moment—this will give you plenty of choices. But when you return home and are editing down an album, limit the number of photographs to what you would want to see if someone else were showing you his/her pictures, Silverman suggests. "Too much can be a bit boring to the viewer," he explains. "Just show the most impactful highlights that tell your story."
8. Remember the rule of thirds.
Let's face it, one (or more) of the places you're headed on your honeymoon probably includes a supersexy beach. And with every beach comes a beautiful nightly sunset over the water. To capture these perfect romantic backdrops for your honeymoon album, Silverman suggests following the "rule of thirds," a.k.a. dividing the frame into three parts (left, center, and right) and always placing the sun off-center—never directly in the middle of the frame—for a balanced composition that draws the viewer's eye into the photograph.
9. Upload on the go.
If you went to the effort of carrying a camera with you on your honeymoon, avoid snap-and-upload only from your phone. Today's quality cameras are Wi-Fi enabled, which allows you to transfer your photos to a smartphone device (through apps like Nikon SnapBridge), so that you can share your favorite honeymoon moments in real time with family and friends on social media.
10. Don’t be afraid to get candid.
Sometimes the best photos happen when you least expect them! Capture candid moments of your significant other to save the most authentic moments and genuine expressions of happiness and love.