I hear (read!) wedding photographers chatting amongst themselves on social media and when I notice the same topics come up time and time again, I write a blog post about it.

Because there's zero point in wedding professionals banging on about how brides and grooms 'just don't get it' when you're only planning on doing this once in your life and you've never been told. You don't know what you don't know, right?

So here are some of the hot-button subjects and expert tips to help you to form a better relationship with your wedding photographer and in the end, get better photos.


Preparation and Planning

#1

When choosing your bridal party, make sure it’s made up of guys and gals who are not only your nearest and dearest but those who are attentive, helpful and resourceful.

It may sound obvious but, with all of the goings on during a wedding day these guys are invaluable, not only to you, but to your photographer as well. You’ll be so appreciative of those who will put you and your needs front and centre of their minds throughout the day.

Zoe of Zoe Campbell Photography

 

#2

Get ready in an uncluttered or sparsely furnished room/house with LOTS of natural light.

Your photos will look better and, when a dozen family, friends and suppliers arrive, it will FEEL more relaxed (see above!)

Wes from Wes Beelders Photography

#3

Ask your parents to have a quick look over your photo list prior to the big day, just in case you've accidently overlooked an important family member or combination that you may regret later.

Natasha Botheras and Susan Callow from Teahouse Studios

#4

Find a photographer who you fall in love with - who you would catch up for coffee with on a whim, just to chat. Because that person is going to witness and capture some of the most important, intimate moments of your life to date.

If you have a photographer who you feel uncomfortable around (even if you love their work!) your photos will reflect this; you won't look comfortable in your photos. If you don't 'click', your photos won't either and you will more than likely end up disappointed.

Wedding photographers are people with big hearts who invest a lot in you and your day - we just want to love you! So, without a comfortable connection, nobody wins.

Rachael of Rachael Elizabeth Photography

#5

Don’t over do it on your wedding day and give yourself plenty of time to plan everything.

My husband and I gave ourselves 12 weeks (in peak wedding season) to plan our special day and whilst everything turned out okay, I ended up doing far more than I should have on the day to make it all come together.

Because of our lack of lead time, most of the suppliers that we wanted to work with were already booked for other weddings so I took on the role of doing makeup, flowers and music together with styling and decorating myself and leant heavily on our family and bridal party for help too. It ended up being very hectic and I wasn’t able to sit down with my family and bridesmaids before the ceremony and just enjoy a glass of champagne or be spoilt and pampered having my makeup done etc. Instead I was running around like a maniac and no one should be doing that on their wedding day.

Let others do that for you, hire the right people to make you feel special and just relax and enjoy the day for what it is, a beautiful celebration.

If you can get your hair and makeup people to come to you at the one location, that’s a huge stress reliever too. The less driving around between locations you have to do on the day, the better for you.

Emma of Emma Sharkey Photography

 

Timelines

#6

The day goes so very fast so, to keep a more relaxed vibe on your day, allow a little extra time, just to soak it all in, and reduce the rush.

It might seem like there is a lot of time between tasks; like getting ready and getting to the ceremony or moving on afterwards for photos - but there is always room for more!

Deb of Deb Saunders Photography

#7

Take time to consult with your photographer about the practical timing for your day and listen to their advice. 

I start working with my couples at least 6 -12 months out from their wedding date to ensure that no element is rushed and stressed. Your photographer, having attended and documented many weddings, will be able to guide you on timings but also just as importantly timing for beautiful light.

It's both the moment AND the light that make your images.

Emma of Emma Sharkey Photography

#8

Putting your dress on at least an hour before you're due to leave means that you'll have some time for bridal portraits - just you and your photographer - like a model photo shoot.

It's your big day and you've put so much time and energy into planning your hair, makeup and dress; you look amazing. Ask your family and friends to leave the room and pose for some fine art style portraits.

These are the shots that you, your husband/wife, your children and grandchildren will look back on for many years to come so make the time to enjoy the process.

Jewel of Jewel Chenoweth Photography

#9

It may seem obvious, but keep in mind that the more attendants you have (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flowergirls and pageboys), the more time you need to account for to do everything!

More people means that it takes more time to organise them, more time/space to get ready, more time to get in and out of cars, and even going to the loo!

Deb of Deb Saunders Photography

Photographer Insider Tips

#10

No, I can't just photoshop them in/out and that's not what you're hiring me for.

As a photojournalist, my job is to capture the story of your wedding day - how it unfolds, your emotions and the details.

I won't change the colour of your wedding flowers in every shot, I won't remove that family member and I won't make you thinner in all of your wedding gallery.

The things you think I can 'just photoshop' are more in line with magazine-level editing that costs thousands of dollars. But over and above that - this is you and this is your wedding day, for better or worse this is how it all happened. Embrace it and yourself and you'll love your wedding photos too.

Jewel of Jewel Chenoweth Photography

#11

You don't want to receive every single photo that is taken on your wedding day - trust us.

For example, you don't want the blinks, the unflattering ones, someone yawning etc. Please trust your photographer to give you a great series of images that showcases the best of your big day in all its beauty.

Natasha Botheras and Susan Callow from Teahouse Studios

#12

Listen to your photographer's instructions.

I know it may seem weird when you're asked to put your hand there, or tilt your head like that, but trust us, once you see the shot you'll understand: it's going to look awesome!

Vicki from PeopleBooth

#13

Please understand that talking excessively while we're trying to shoot portraits means that the camera is capturing your lips moving.

In deliberate, natural 'chatty' shots, that's awesome. But in more styled, artistic or family photos, it makes them very difficult to edit and look natural.

Lori from Photos Xposed Photography

 

On The Day

#14

It's important to work out ahead of time what you will do at the conclusion of your ceremony, after you have been announced.

Are you going to head straight up the aisle and be showered with rose petals or will you greet your immediate family in the front row first? Whichever you decide, you want your photographers to be positioned and ready to capture the moment.

Fiona from Two Tell A Tale

#15

Consider sending your bridal party off for a drink half way through the afternoon photo session.

Now it's just the two of you and your photographer, and two things happen: 1 - you get some quiet time together for the first time all day, and 2, the photos become something more magical. You can relax and focus on each other and what you've just been through.

The photos show so much more connection! Bingo!!

Pete of What Pete Shot

#16

Give us a good length first kiss - just long enough to get the shot.

I know not everyone is big on PDA and may get a little embarrassed but it's an important photo. So please try to at least hold it for a few seconds to make sure we can capture the moment for you.

Natasha Botheras and Susan Callow from Teahouse Studios

#17

Take time to enjoy your big day. I know this sounds cliche but it's so true.

The more you are enjoying yourself, having a great time with loved ones and are in the moment the more emotion and love your photos will express. So many times if you are stressing the small stuff or rushing around or so busy with 'things' that you can't simply enjoy yourself.

You want to be one of the best days of your life so let yourself be in that moment. Enjoy it and remember whatever you are feeling shows in the photos.

Also light and location are a big thing. Consult with your photographer about these things. They want to give you the best photos possible so let them guide you through making you want work with the surroundings and natural elements.

Carly from Stirling Photography

 

#18

If you choose to face the celebrant/priest for most of your ceremony, you're missing some awesome opportunities for emotive and unguarded shots.

A good officiant will gently remind you to look at each other (or your guests) and a good photographer will capture the raw, real and beautiful expressions that will show on your face at those moments.

Wes of Wes Beelders Photography

#19

Sometimes, slightly imperfect ends up being totally perfect. As long as you guys get married, everything else is just a beautiful detail. 

Have a really good idea about what you want on your wedding day and by all means make plans so that things fall into place but also be realistic. Sometimes, even the best laid plans don't quite come to fruition.

I worked with one couple once who asked a family member to bring their wedding cake to the reception... but they forgot! I ended up throwing together a tiered donut wedding cake for the bride and groom and it turned into a fabulous talking point.

Emma of Emma Sharkey Photography

#20

So those lists... the ones magazines and blogs make titled "10 shots to tell your photographer that you must have on your wedding day"... you know the ones.... yep..... so take it out of that magazine.... scrunch it up ... put it in the bin. 

I once had a shot list from a bride with a list of photos and one of them being "fun happy shots". I had a great relationship with my beautiful bride and I spoke to her about her list and she was wonderful in understanding that working from that list would be a disservice to her wedding day.

A wedding is an emotional and heartfelt occasion. The best photos are the ones of how your day is unfolding, right there, in the moment. If your wedding is full of laughter then, yep, your photos will be full of 'fun and happy'. If your wedding is full of intimacy and emotion, then guess what? You will get photos that reflect that.

It's about capturing YOUR unique story. Of course the beautiful details and flattering poses are a given, but a complete shot list doesn't actually help your photographer. I would much rather get the photo of the real moments, like of your beloved nanna with tears in her eyes as she sees you in your dress, than having to be focused on a list of shots that need to be staged.

Embrace your day and don't compare your weddings unique energy with others you have seen. This is another reason why you need to love your photographer's work and personality, so you can put your trust in them to capture your story.

Rene from Blush and Mint Photography

After The Big Day

#21

I know you're excited to see your photos, but messaging me every week after your wedding won't make the 8-12 weeks go any faster.

I edit my client's photos in chronological order so it's fair and I can certainly understand that for some couples the time between their wedding day and getting their photos can seem like a long time. But I promise I haven't forgotten about you and I am going as fast as is humanly possible because I want to get them to you asap so you can see for yourself how amazing they are; it's one of the best parts of my job. 

So please wait until your contract term is almost up before asking me when your photos will be ready. We know you're excited (we are too) but the time we spend answering your calls and emails is better spent working on your photos. 

Jewel of Jewel Chenoweth Photography

 

Did you know many of these tips? What did we miss?  

Let us know in the comments.

 

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