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D is for Digital Files and Dancing {A-Z of wedding photography}


What a strange combination right, well, much like the letter C in the last post of this series, there was more than one thing that came to mind when I thought of the letter D.

So today I’m going to talking to you about digital files, how to protect those images but also why you should also have physical copies of some of the images. And then I’m sharing some of my tips for dancing photos at weddings – from your first dance (if you want to have one) as well as those great shots of your guests.

Glass USB drive for wedding photography digital files.  Image by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography

Digital files

These are ultimately what you see as the deliverable from your wedding, the “hard copy” of the images and memories that have been captured lovingly by your photography team so that in years to come you can look back and remember them.  And they usually come in the format of files on a USB drive (historically DVDs, and one day, even the USB drive will be obsolete) and / or they’ll come to you via an online password protected gallery.  We do both – an online viewing gallery so you can share the link with your guests for them to see without having to send the USB drive round the family and potentially be without it for a while, and then the USB drive which has all the files on so you can print them to your heart’s content!

One thing to note with digital files, is that it’s always worth making a back up of them.  Naturally I think of these things as I had a 12-year career in crisis management and so backup plans etc were my life, but in all seriousness, making a copy of the files and saving on dropbox or another external storage device just means that should you lose the USB drive (it can happen) or you accidentally drop it in a drink (has also happened) then you won’t have potentially lost the images too.

For us, whilst digital images are a great way to have all the photos from your day, if you’ve spent any time on our blog before, you’ll see that albums and prints are important to us – having something physical just feels so much more special and real.  Plus, you can’t walk past a USB drive on a desk and be instantly transported back to that moment – whereas a framed image in a gallery wall in your hallway, or just flicking through a gorgeous album on your coffee table can do just that.

Three couples having their first dance at their wedding.  Images by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography


Now, we might not have done a lot of this in 2020, but dancing at weddings will come back, and they offer some incredible opportunities for photos!  Especially if you have lots of enthusiastic dancers rather than gentle side to side shuffling. 

My biggest piece of advice for getting great dancing shots, well two things really, is to make sure that you have a real crowd pleaser as your second song, so that once you’ve finished your first dance, you can fill the dance floor.  The second thing, when thinking about your evening food, don’t have this come out really early into the evening, like within the first 45 minutes of dancing, nothing clears a dance floor like more food!  And more often than not, just like us, there is usually a cut off after the first dance that your photographers will be done for the day, so you don’t want them having to just photograph an empty dance floor whilst people line up for gourmet hotdogs or big pans of paella! 

Disco or band, that is the question!  Well, from a photography perspective and your guests dancing, it’s more important that the music is what your guests want to dance to, yes you’ll get great band images too with a band and the feel of live music is incredible, but if that’s not in budget, then a great set by a DJ will also get people up on the dance too.

Now, first dances – I know for some couples it can be one of those things that are daunting, a song can feel like a long time to be shuffling around in the middle of the dance floor.  So firstly, if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to!  But, if you do decide you want to do a first dance, please at least give your photographer 1-2 minutes to get lots of gorgeous shots of you both dancing before the DJ or Singer call in the rest of the guests to join.

Also, and then I’ll leave you to the rest of your day from this post, if you have any other dances planned, such as with a parent, flash mob, choreographed dances, best to give your photographer the heads up so that they know it’s coming and get those precious photos for you.

Right, that’s it from me for the letter D, I’ll see you next week for a gorgeous styled shoot at That Amazing Place.

Take care,

Amanda x

Guests dancing at a wedding.  Image by London wedding photographer Amanda Karen Photography