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Wedding Photography Checklist
One Year to Go
• If you're having a destination wedding, you'll need to book your photographer now. This may seem a little extreme, but you need to give them time to clear their schedule, especially if you're getting married during peak season (spring/summer). Aside from nutting out the details of the style of photography you'd like, you'll need to include extra travel expenses in your contract, if you’re hiring a local photographer and flying them out. Get these sorted out a soon as possible. If you’re planning on hiring someone from where you’re getting married, now is the time to begin to narrow down exactly whom you like.
• Once you've got your venue booked, it's time to start thinking about the types of photos you'd like taken on your wedding day. These include poses, angles, venues and group shots. Check out this article for some inspiration.
• Start looking around for photographers who have experience in taking the photos that you're dreaming of. Ask your friends for referrals and/or go to bridal expos. Do your research. Don't just browse the photographer's website – call their referees and ask past clients whether or not the photographer was easy to work with. This applies to all photographers, including if they’re foreign (for destination weddings).
• Sit down for consultations with a few short-listed photographers and take a good look at their portfolios. Write down notes about what you liked and didn't like – this will help to jog your memory after you've met with a dozen photographers and need to decide on just one.
• Book your photographer now, especially if your wedding is during peak season. Same goes for ‘destination’ photographers.
• Read the fine details of your contract and make sure that you keep up to date with your instalments.
• Write a list of the shots that are most important to you. These could include moments like when you are having your hair and makeup done, close-up angles of the bridesmaids' bouquets, the groomsmen getting in the car before the ceremony, your parents sitting at the ceremony, etc. Keep in mind that most shots take an average of four minutes to set up, so it may not be possible to include all of your dream shots. Send the list to your photographer, as soon as possible, and they will be able to advise you on which shots can or can't be achieved, within your timeframe.
• Send your photographer a timeline with details, including when your makeup artist will arrive, what time the boys are heading to the ceremony, when you expect the guests to start arriving and what time cocktail hour is, as well as the all important start and finish times for the ceremony and reception.
• Ask your photographer to send you a timeline of when each shot will be taken. This will only be a rough estimate, of course, but if you notice any outstanding problems – for example, the photographer is planning to photograph the cars at the time you'd like them to photograph your mum helping you into your dress - this is the time to correct them.
• If you haven't already done so, ask your photographer when you can expect to receive your photos – you may receive prints later than digital copies. This is also the time to confirm exactly what you will be receiving, for the package you have paid for.
The Big Day
• Take a big breath and smile for the camera.
• Try to ignore the camera's presence, while your photographer takes candid shots. Leave any self-consciousness at the door – you look b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.
• When those photos arrive, sit down with your sweetheart and flip through them, giggling and savouring the moment.
• Spend time carefully putting your prints in albums and frames.
• Upload your favourite photos to your social media accounts. Let out a sinister laugh as you tag your friends and family members in particularly embarrassing photos.
• Gaze at your photos and remember your special day, as often as possible.