Photography is a great way for couples to capture all the special moments that occur on their wedding days. Long after the final piece of wedding cake has been consumed, wedding albums remain to remind couples of all those moments that made their big day so special.

Photography preferences differ from couple to couple, but when weather permits, many brides and grooms prefer to take photos outdoors. Mother Nature can provide some awe-inspiring backdrops, and such beauty comes at no extra cost.

Couples using professional photographers should share their image preferences with their photographers, especially if outdoor photography is desired.

Photographers may have to do a little more work to achieve great outdoor photographs, even visiting a site in advance of the big day to scout areas that can produce great photos. Scouting and preparation can involve seeing the landscape, examining the way the light shines on photo subjects and getting an accurate light reading on a meter to adjust flash accordingly. Photographers also will need to ensure there are no obstructions that will appear in the background of the photos.

It’s also important for photographers to select locations that have shade. This way they can adjust the amount of light needed, rather than having to contend with the photo washing out from too much sunlight.

There’s much a photographer can do in production to fine-tune photos, but the couple can help things along. Bring along some powder or makeup to touch up between photos. Warm weather can cause shininess or beads of sweat on the skin. A light dusting of powder can tame shine, while any remaining moisture can be blotted away with a towel.

Although brides and grooms may think clouds on their wedding days are a harbinger of bad luck, overcast conditions can actually contribute to better photos. A healthy blanket of cloud cover can produce richer colors and pleasing shadows, making photos even more appealing. If the clouds are just passing, photographers may wait until a cloud passes over the sun to provide just the right amount of light filter.

Couples may want to change into comfortable footwear as they traverse the landscape to get into perfect portraiture locations. This will help keep their fancier shoes clean, and photos can be cropped to hide feet.

Bring along some refreshments when posing for photos, as it can be tiring. Couples can take frequent breaks as the photographer adjusts his or her camera for the next shot. Staying hydrated will keep skin looking supple and ensure that everyone feels refreshed when it’s time to return to the party.

Not every family member will be able to join the happy couple for outdoor photos. Elderly relatives or those who have mobility issues may find it difficult to stand in the sun or make their away across certain landscapes. Arrange for indoor photo shoots with guests who can’t handle the outdoors.