There’s a reason that one of the things brides are most excited about when it comes to their wedding is their wedding photographer. I mean, your wedding photos are the one tangible thing (well, besides your wedding video) that you can look back on for a lifetime. You spend so much time looking at wedding inspiration on Pinterest, and you can’t help but imagine how your wedding day will be captured in the midst of all those pretty images.
My planning style is authentic.
It’s no secret that my approach to wedding planning is simple and authentic. I prefer to tell it like it is, and I know I’m not the only one. From the outside looking in, being a wedding professional can sound like a glamorous job. However, there’s a lot that goes into making your wedding day your best-day-ever.
Last week I took the liberty of asking wedding photographers from all over the world about what they wish their couples knew about wedding photography and their wedding. And, oh boy, did they deliver! Grab some coffee and sit back, they got extra real for you. (But, I promise it’s in a good way!)
What Your Wedding Photographer Wishes You Knew – Straight From Professional Photographers Themselves
“I had one of the worst reviews I have ever gotten from a wedding guest that I didn’t even know. They said that we ‘wasted time’ creating a same day slide show for the bride and groom. (I did it 30 minutes before the ceremony and while guests were eating.) They also said we sat around the whole reception and didn’t take pictures. But, we sat down to eat dinner when the guests did. I wish this person had been informed that we are working 8-10 hour days often and deserve to sit down and eat as well. We aren’t being lazy just because you see us sitting down for a short break.” – Mandi of Mandi Mitchell Photography (Roswell, Georgia)
“I wish my clients knew how important the little details are. We love those tiny little touches that they add to make the ceremony unique to them.” – Beth of Beth Waterman Photography (Mooresville, Indiana)
You all know I’m a sucker for the little details!
“I always tell any couple I know who is getting married, whether they are my clients or not, one thing. Make sure you genuinely enjoy being around your wedding photographer! They will be around you for about 90% of one of the biggest days of your life, so be sure to hire someone whose work you love and whose personality fits well with yours!” – Heather of Heather K. Purdy (The Netherlands)
“I wish my clients knew how much a simple thank you means at the end of the night. Were fortunate it almost always happens, but it just makes the sore body all worth while. 🙂 ” – Tracy of This is You… (Atlanta, Georgia)
It absolutely melts my heart when I hear the sweet couple thank me before they do their grand exit!
“Remember that your photographer is a photographer and not a planner. We help in as many ways as we possibly can and love to help. But, in the end, we are photographers.” – Malachi of Shell Creek Photography (Schuyler, Nebraska)
Should you hire a wedding planner? The answer is always ‘Yes’! Read why, here.
“I wish they knew how beautiful they look – regardless of their body type or the texture of their skin or what they are wearing. Love brings out the best in people, and it shows!” – Melissa of Melissa Miksch Photography (Marysville, Washington)
“I am a single person business and so there are times when I am out shooting, at a meeting, or running errands and I am not checking my emails or my phone. We live in a world where it is very easy to get a hold of people technology wise. But, as a one person business, I need to delegate time to be the editor, the photographer, the graphic designer, the face of the company, and the secretary. On top of that, I need to have time to myself so I don’t burn out. It is difficult to run all these functions of your business at once, so it is hard to have communication around the clock.” – Livi of Livi Shaw Wedding Photography (Toronto, Ontario)
“Hire a really good experienced photographer – not just someone ‘trendy’ or cheap. I’ve done tons of bridal/portrait sessions because the random wedding photographer aka ‘my cousins friend thats starting out or this girl my aunt knows’ didn’t get decent, if any, portraits that they liked. Also, hire a great professional makeup artist! Have them stay extra time if the portraits will be later on, or on a hot day. Great makeup makes a huge difference in photos. Contouring, false lashes, and lip stick will make you a legit supermodel on your most important day!” – Bella of Bella Dorsey Photography (Roswell, Georgia)
If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.
“It is so important to have a family/people herder who has a shot and name list for the family portraits! Also, whether you have a first look or not, bride and groom portraits are that time when you both can just take each other in and take a breath together. So important!” – Kelsey of Kelsey Butcher Photography (Atlanta, Georgia)
“Lighting isn’t something a bride is often thinking about when planning her wedding day. I wish more brides knew the importance of timing an outdoor ceremony well. I’ve had bride’s in the past consult me before choosing the time of their outdoor ceremony & it has made ALL the difference in their photos! (and prevented lots of guests from squinting!)” – Amanda of Amanga Donaho Photography (Cincinnati, Ohio)
“Listen to our advice…and trust it! I have been shooting for 14 years. I have a pretty good idea how timelines, family photos, sunsets and locations will play out.” – Jason of Jason Angelini Photography (Tampa, Florida)
“Sometimes a list of who not to put together is just as important as what combinations they do want. Also, unplugged weddings are the best.” – Mike of Mike Glatzer Photography (Atlanta, Georgia)
I totally agree, unplugged weddings are the best!
“Three Things: Tell me if there is any family drama, of any kind. On the questionnaire when I ask “is there anything I need to know”, this is it! Also, would you prefer to not have inebriated guests or family members photographed? Sometimes we think these moments are funny and candid and we have to capture them. However, if you’d rather not see them, tell us! We won’t waste our time. Finally, communication is key. If you don’t tell us something that means a lot or is specific to you, we won’t know. Don’t assume as photographers we should just know to capture certain things. What may not be important to me might be very important to you. Tell me.” – Kandi of Kandi Daniel Studios (Newnan, Georgia)
“Ask your photographer for videographer recommendations. (and vice versa, if you choose your wedding filmmaker first) The photo and video teams need to work well together to capture everything.” – Steve of Sonnet Wedding Films (Chicago, Illinois)
“When considering which photographer to hire, think beyond the pretty posed shots. A good wedding photographer is a portrait artist, a photojournalist, and a sports shooter, all wrapped into one. Ask to see a whole wedding or several finished albums so you can get a sense of their ability to handle different situations.” – Chris of Witzgall Photography (Annapolis, Maryland)
“Timelines matter in order to leave lots of rooms for photos!” – Heather of Heather K Cook Photography (Atlanta, Georgia)