The date has been set, you've connected with all the major vendors, and now its time to talk photography! What questions should I ask? How do I help prepare them? Well, here are a few tips that can help your photographer be the best they can be, and in doing so, capture the best, most unique wedding photos that you'll cherish for a lifetime.
6 Tips To Get The Best Wedding Photos
1. Meet With Your Photographer Beforehand
This step alone can either make or break your wedding photography. As with most things in life, relationships are key! Take the time to meet with your photographer and ask questions. Get to know them a little bit, hear their story, and listen to what they're passionate about. If you can make a connection between your love story and their passion, your wedding photos will be the very best.
Secondly, this time can be a great way to build a foundation of what your wedding day will look like. Wedding photographers attend and experience more weddings than almost any other career-type, so utilize their knowledge and ask them questions. Get their opinion on how long certain photos will take, and then schedule your day accordingly. By doing this, it will not only make your wedding day more flexible and smooth, but it will create a more enjoyable schedule for you to have fun with and remember the 'unplanned' moments that arise.
2. Prepare For Missing Family Members
Okay, not every wedding has a missing family member, but it definitely is one of the more common occurrences that happens on the wedding day. If they aren't missing, they may be simply running late (stalling the photos in the meantime), or have just decided to not show up.
But, that's okay because you're prepared, right?
Take the time among your wedding planning to list out each family grouping you'd like taken and share it with your photographer. And I mean all of them. Start with the biggest groups and work your way down to individual shots. By working large to small, once a family member has taken their photo, they can leave freely. You won't need to worry about them disappearing or distracting the others.
And in the case that a family member doesn't show up or is running late, your photographer will easily be able to go down the list and utilize the people in attendance because its nice and organized. No time is wasted and everyone is happy — perfect!
Bonus: Here's another great resource!
3. Reserve A Seat For Your Photographer
This may be one of the most overlooked parts of working with your photographer. During the reception it is super important to reserve a seat close to the head table so that the photographer can stay in-sync with your schedule. When you eat, let them eat. (Just taking a guess here, but you probably don't want photos of yourself eating, anyway.) By sticking to the same pace, they'll be available to photograph the expressions of your guests, the food, and cake cutting, at the same time that you are.
Plus, everyone loves a good glass-clinking moment where the bride and groom kiss. By having your photographer nearby, they won't have to run a mile to capture the moment, and instead, can perfectly position themself for the grand kiss so that its not distracting, yet makes for a really beautiful photo.
4. Guest Photography
In today's digital age, its expected that almost all of your guests will either have a smart phone or digital camera with them on your wedding day. In fact, there's actually a lot of apps out there that encourage guests to Instagram or tweet their experience on your wedding day so that you can look back and see it from their perspective. These are all awesome tools, but there are a couple moments that you may want to advise your guests against taking photos. Here's a few tips:
Communicate with your guests that all devices should remain in the pews during the ceremony. There are countless photos out there that capture the perfect moment of the bride walking down the aisle, but then someone's cell phone completely destroys the photo. Don't let that happen to you. Here's even some sign ideas to help you out.
Discourage any flash photography. While some situations might have dim light, guest flashes can greatly affect your photographer's ability to light the situation correctly. In fact, the photographer may be using a flash themselves, and so if others are constantly using the flash, too, you'll simply receive a completely white photo.
Remember, you've paid good money to have the professional photographer be there with the right equipment... the last thing you need is others getting in the way. Let them be apart of the day, but also politely limit when their photography is welcome.
5. Provide Inspiration.
There's this thing called Pinterest. Everyone loves it, and I'm sure almost every bride uses it. I fully admit that I do too — it's awesome! I can find recipes, clothing styles, DIY projects, and even photography inspiration, but that's just it, its simply inspiration.
Giving your photographer access to your wedding photography board is really great and can be very useful so that they can get a feel for the style of your wedding, but please don't expect them to copy or duplicate any of those images. The most popular images on Pinterest weren't created because someone copied another pin, but because the moment was genuine, real, and one-of-a-kind.
Every couple is different which means every wedding is different, too. Give your photographer the ability to be creative and capture the one-of-a-kind moment at your wedding that's unique to you! Do yourself a favor, and let your photographer do their thing so that, at the end of the day, you have the most perfect, 'Pinterest-ready' photos of your own to share.
6. Be Unique.
Like everything else in life, there's trends that come and go, and the same can been seen in weddings. While trends can be a great place to start, try to think out of the box. Consider your personal love story: How did you meet? Where was your first kiss? What are your inside jokes? Really dive into what makes your love story, yours, and run with it! Be unique!
Maybe you met at a local theatre? Think about having your reception there instead of the local hotel ballroom. Maybe your first kiss was on vacation with friends? Then consider having a destination wedding. The options are truly unlimited, and are waiting for you to get creative with them. Make your wedding day personal and custom to who you are, not simply to match the latest trend.
By doing so, I promise you your photographer will only feed off your creativity and produce some of the most genuine, unique photographs that no one will ever be able to replicate. Start small and then think big. You can do it!
Its Simple, Just Be You.
Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life, and your photographer wants to experience every emotion with you. They want to be present, capture the joy, the tears of happiness, and the fun moments that fill your day. They want to tell your story. Develop a relationship with them, keep them nearby, and let them do their thing! Plus, if you get creative with your wedding day, the photos will only get better. Now you're ready to get the best wedding photos ever, let's do this!