With wedding season upon us and many in planning mode for late summer and fall events, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the best tips I’ve acquired as a wedding photographer. I’ll be sharing these tips with my nephew and his fiance as I prepare to photograph their nuptials near D.C. this fall!
1. Make photography a priority!
Of course a photographer would say that, but it’s not a sales gimmick – it’s because photographs are one of the few elements of your wedding that you will continue to enjoy and share years later. Those images are how you will remember all the little moments of your big day so make sure you have someone you trust to capture those memories. Your venue and attire are the other two things that should be considered carefully as they will be in all of your images too.
2. Do your research when choosing a photographer and other wedding vendors.
Each photographer has their own unique style and pricing. Find one that fits your vision and BUDGET! The same is true for other wedding vendors – DJ’s, florists, cake makers and even wedding planners – which leads me to my next tip…
3. Don’t wing it. Have a plan and someone designated to help you make it happen.
Prepare a schedule and have someone in charge – either a wedding planner or friend/family member – who will not only keep everyone on schedule, but handle any problems that arise. Your photographer and other vendors are there to provide the service you’ve contracted from them, not make decisions on how things will run because that’s up to what you want. However, most wedding vendors are usually happy to offer suggestions if you want expert advice on particular aspects of your planning.
4. There will be hiccups to your plan. Be flexible when they happen.
If something doesn’t go as planned and it can’t be fixed, just smile and roll with it because no one but you and your planner will know that’s not how you intended it to be. By not making a big deal of it no one else will even notice the issue, instead all they will remember how enjoyable your wedding was and how happy you looked.
5. Think about how what you’ve planned will photograph.
Will the sun make you squinty in all your pictures or the will the wind blow your veil like a sail? Will your photographer have a clear shot of you at the altar? Will where you stand during the ceremony look awkward? These are things to consider and discuss with your vendors ahead of time so everything is the best it can be and you’re not stressed.
6. Schedule some alone time for portraits of just the two of you.
It’s tough to be romantic in front of a crowd. Give yourselves at least a few minutes alone with your photographer. You’ll be much more relaxed and it will show in your photos, plus you’ll be glad to have a few minutes alone with your beloved after all the hectic activities!
7. Communicate with your photographer so they are ready to capture the special details you have planned.
This allows your photographer to be positioned in the best spot to capture each of those details, rather than trying to catch it as they realize it’s happening.
8. Minimize family/friends competing with the photographer.
Most photographers are used to friends and family also wanting to snag a shot, but it’s distracting for those being photographed and it can eat up precious time in your schedule if it’s allowed too much. Plus no one wants a shot where half of the group is looking at one camera and the others are looking at another.
9. If you’re uncomfortable, it will show in your expressions.
Choosing garments and shoes that fit your style and comfort level will ensure that you’re not fussing with pinching wardrobe items or forcing a smile through a blister. And you’ll be in a much better mood at the end of the night too!
10. Get comfortable with your photographer ahead of time.
Having someone show up on one of the most stressful days of your life and point a camera at you to document every little expression will only make you self-conscious. I offer my wedding clients a free engagement session so they can meet me well in advance and get a sense of how I work so they know what to expect. This makes them much more comfortable in front of the lens on their wedding day and allows me to blend in with their friends and family to catch those candid moments they would otherwise miss because they are too aware of being photographed.
These tips also translate to other events you might be planning – graduations, family reunions, etc. so they’re good to keep handy! 🙂 For more tips on things to consider as you prepare to work with your photographer visit my photography website.