Inside Information Your Photographer Wishes You Knew
Professional wedding photographers have a huge responsibility on the day you get married; they have to capture every special moment, and produce an album of gorgeous photos that show the world your unique love story. To help them do their job better, here are 21 snippets of advice that your photographer wished you knew.
Pre- Wedding Advice
Great photographers – just like beautiful wedding venues – get booked early, so save yourself the disappointment by securing the photographer that you like, well ahead of your wedding day.
Hire a professional
Weddings are notorious for their hiccups and unpredictability, which is why your want a professional to help you smooth over the bumps. An experienced wedding photographer has been to countless weddings and has probably seen it all. Not only will they take your photo, but they become the person who has to sew the bridesmaid’s torn seam, the counsellor for an apprehensive bride, and the supplier of a hipflask of whiskey for the nervous groom or partner.
Love your photographer and their work
Yes, you want a professional photographer, but perhaps more importantly, you and your photographer need to have a good relationship, you must “click”. They’ll be glued to your side on one of the most memorable days of your life, and so you need to be comfortable in each other’s presence. This way you’ll be more relaxed and this results in better photos.
Communication is key
It’s vital that your photographer understands your expectations and you’ll want to know what they can deliver. It’s a two-way conversation that requires you both to be open and honest.
Booking your photographer for your engagement party, or for a pre-wedding shoot, is highly recommended, as it’s the best way to see how you work together. It gives your camera-shy partner some practise in front of the lens, and it’s an opportunity to iron out any problems that may arise.
Your own soap opera
It may be that your uncle and aunt haven’t spoken in 10 years, your mother and stepmother can’t stand being in the same room, or it’s your cousin who just loves to hog the limelight. All families have their own drama, and it’s essential to tell your photographer all they need to know, so they can prevent unnecessary and awkward situations.
Your photographer should scout out your venue ahead of time, but you must also inform them of any unusual conditions. Perhaps your ceremony venue has banned flash photography, or your photographer won’t be allowed to move during your service. The more information you can supply, the better prepared your photographer will be.
Pinterest isn’t real life
There’s little denying that this is a brilliant tool for inspiration, but it can also be a creative handicap for your photographer. The shots that look so effortless are more than likely staged, using models who’ve sent hours getting expertly spruced up, and they’re simply not attainable in the few hours that you have on your wedding day.
You shouldn’t want to replicate the poses that you see, because they’re probably not a true reflection of you and your partner. Take the ideas, but firmly stamp your own personality onto them. And finally, your photographer is an artist who has their own signature style, they won’t want to copy the exact poses you’ve supplied from your Pinterest wish list.
It’s all about the details
Are you wearing a locket that belonged to your great grandmother? Did you sew a special message on the inside of your partner’s tie? Does the best man have a signature dance move? Tell your photographer about the little details, so they can be sure to catch them on camera.
Wedding Day Advice
No matter how much of a drill sergeant you are, your hair and makeup session will probably take longer than planned. There are usually interruptions (your maid of honour can’t find her shoes) and surprise visits (your gran has come to say hello!) so it’s best to give yourself a little buffer time. The worst that can happen is that you’re ready early, but you can use this time to catch your breath, have a glass of champagne, or chat to your bridesmaids.
Choose a big room, if possible, so that everyone can move about freely, and no one will stand on the back of your dress. If it has plenty of natural light, it also helps your photographer take great pictures. Remember to keep it tidy!
Your photographer certainly won’t dictate how you should style your hair on your wedding day, but brides should know that hair worn down, can hide your face when you’re not looking straight at the camera. Pulling it back a little on both sides of your face will make a huge difference.
You might like surprises but your photographer certainly won’t, so ensure that they have your wedding schedule ahead of the big day. Speak to them about the photos that you want, but be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you’ve allocated. Try to have a short, concise list, so you don’t feel rushed to fit in all your photos.
You’re getting married – your family is excited – that’s why it’s crucial to factor in some extra time to organise them for the formal photos, or to find those members who have wandered to the bar. Send your schedule to your wedding coordinator and immediate family members, so that everyone knows what time they’re needed for photographs.
Your photographer doesn’t know your family
Even if you’ve given your photographer a list of family members, other than mums and dads, they probably won’t know who is who. It’s a good idea to give your photo list to a sibling or friend you can trust, so they can help round up people for your photos. If there’s someone you absolutely have to have a picture with, make sure your photographer is aware of that person. You don’t need a photo with every cousin you have, and remember that bigger group shots will make the process quicker and easier.
Nothing ruins the perfect picture quite like having the back of a head caught in the frame. Many guests become amateur photographers on your wedding day, and they don’t think twice about stepping into the aisle to take a picture, not realising they’re obscuring the professional photographer right behind them. Flashes from cameras and smartphones also interfere with the lighting, so tell your guests to simply enjoy the day – a pro is handling your photos.
It’s not a race to get down the aisle, take your time and ensure that your photographer gets this special moment. It’s worth noting that while rose petals look gorgeous sprinkled down the aisle, they can be slippery when you step on them, and they can stain the bottom of your dress.
You’ve seen the perfect pose on Pinterest however, if it doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t do it. This awkwardness shows up in your photos. Photographers understand that you’re probably feeling a little uncomfortable being in the spotlight, but if you’re willing to experiment with poses and settings, tell them so, and then listen to their suggestions – after all you are paying for their expertise. To help release the tension, roll your shoulders a few times before you pose.
Allocating some of your wedding budget to proper lighting can make the world of difference in the quality of your photos. Not only will the soft uplighting help your photographer, but it also sets a romantic mood for your reception.
The number of drinks that you have at your wedding is completely your own decision, but eyes at half-mast don’t make for flattering photos.
Feed your photographer
Unless you want your photographer to faint (and get grumpy!) during the day, make sure they’re fed and given something to drink. They’ll often bring their own food, but some venues don’t allow this. The perfect time to give them a plate is just after the newlyweds have eaten, because no one wants photos taken of them with fillet juice running down their chin. This natural break in events means they won’t miss any big moments.
Relax, smile and have fun
You probably won’t please everyone on your wedding day, but you need to be firm (without being Bridezilla) because today is your day. Things may not go exactly as you planned, so be flexible and go with the flow. The important thing is that you’re getting married to the person you love, so smile and enjoy your day. Your happiness shines through in your photographs.
Post- Wedding Advice
Your wedding photos
Your photographer is a professional, but even they will have some images that they need to delete. They want to showcase their best work, and give you phenomenal photos, which is why they won’t give you every picture that they take. You might remember a certain pose, but don’t realise that you blinked just at the wrong time, or that the lighting wasn’t quite right. Trust their judgement and you’ll be rewarded with a few hundred stunning wedding photos.
The job of wedding photographer is hugely rewarding, but equally quite demanding. By following this pre, during and post-wedding advice, you can make your day run just a little bit smoother. The less stressed you are – and the more you relax and smile – the better your photos will be, and this is precisely what your photographer wants. This way they can deliver beautiful photos that perfectly capture your magical day.