Your wedding photos are the one thing that will help you remember all the sweet details of the best day of your life. When the dust has settled from your big day, the photos are the piece that will live on forever.
While it’s easy to fill up Pinterest boards with all the photos you want to be sure your photographer captures, it’s even better to choose a photographer whose style and personality is in line with your own.
Through your selection process, you will have the opportunity to ask the questions that will guide you to the photographer whose approach feels comfortable and natural. Invest in a photographer whose work you admire. When you find the right fit, the photos you’re inspired by will soon feature you!
Photography: Del Sol Photography
As you decide on who will capture your day, keep this list of dos and don’ts in mind, and keep your communication with your photographer open and honest.
DO highlight the little details and special moments of your day that your photographer wouldn’t naturally know to focus on. If your “something borrowed” is a family heirloom or your partner’s grandma is their hero and she’s sitting in the front row, or table ten is full of your crazy college roommates that you HAVE to have a photo with before the tequila starts flowing, you should point those things out. Often, sharing the little details that your photographer wouldn’t have known to focus on will help paint a clearer picture of what you hold most valuable, and will help inspire their creativity.
DON’T share with them a long list of specific images you “have to have.” That perfect picture you saw on Pinterest likely took hours to style and create, and trying to make that one shot happen could cause them to miss out on more original ideas or important images. Forcing a photographer’s hand to try to recreate a specific image can create unnecessary pressure and time constraints, and likely won’t result in the image you envisioned anyway.
It is alright to share a gallery of images that inspired your day – it can be a great way to communicate your aesthetic! Just be careful not to say, “I want THIS photo.” If you trust your photographer to do their job, you will end up with images way better than the ones you found on Pinterest!
DO give all the timeline details of your day during your pre-wedding conversations with your photographer. It is common for photographers to have their own method to collect this information, but be sure to take extra care to point out the little moments you don’t want them to miss (like when your dad sees you for the first time, or when you’re dancing with your niece at your reception). Just like the details you don’t want to forget, share the less obvious, must-capture moments. The things that may seem insignificant to others could hold the most meaning to you.
Photographers will make suggestions for day-of-event flow based on their experience. Take their suggestions into consideration. While you are not obligated to follow their lead, it is important to note that their expertise can have a very positive impact on your day. They know when the light will be best to shoot your bridal portraits, how much time it will take to capture your family formals, and can help you establish a schedule for the day that both feel relaxed and gets all the photos you want and need.
DON’T dictate every minute of their schedule. The professional you hire has participated in many, many weddings before yours. They know exactly what is required to deliver a result that you are looking for, and are experts at managing wedding day time frames.
DO provide a list of family members and friends you would like a formal portrait with. If your grandfather traveled all the way to Mexico to see you get married, it’s pretty important that your photographer snap of shot of you and him together for your album. This goes for any person in attendance who must be included in formal photographs.
Keep in mind – the more formal portraits you have on your list, the longer it will take to get through them. Carefully consider who is included in the formal shots and who you can point out for a more casual snap during the reception.
Create a comprehensive (but not excessive) list of family members and friends, and let them know ahead of time that they are on the photo list. Assign a person to be the contact for formal photos on the day of your wedding, and ask that person to round up the people on your list, assembling the group about ten minutes before the scheduled photo time. It is easiest when formal portraits all happen at the same time and getting everyone in one spot is often the hardest part. Make it the responsibility of a member of your bridal party or family to ensure that someone who knows your guests will be partnered with your photographer to keep things running smoothly.
DON’T allow your family to interrupt the photographer. This goes both for photos with you and photos of you.
When your photographer is working to capture a certain moment or details, it can be impeding to their workflow to have to stop and shoot a portrait of you with one of your guests. While most won’t mind and will happily oblige to all requests, it is most helpful to allow them to focus on their work. If you notice they are standing off to the side with a moment to spare, requesting special shots isn’t uncouth – it’s when you’re asking them to move away from actively shooting that could cause them to miss a great photo.
Paparazzi wedding guests will be working hard to share your perfect day on social media, but you can help your photographer out by giving a few gentle reminders to your guests. Professional photographers that have to work around wedding guests don’t get to capitalize on all of the perfect lighting and the precious little time they have to make the images you want. It is so helpful to them to remind your family that you have paid a professional to capture your day and that their iPhone image won’t nearly do you justice. This is especially true in the case of your ceremony and during your bridal portrait session (if you don’t do a first look). Simple signage and asking your officiant to mention your unplugged ceremony before you walk down the aisle can be key to deterring your guests from whipping out their phone to record every minute.
Lastly, DO relax and have fun! When you choose your photographer, you’re choosing someone who you will spend a lot of time with on your big day. Their personality and the way they interact with you through the booking process will help set the tone for your partnership. When you find the perfect fit, they’ll be as excited to work with you as you are to get married.
Like all the vendors you hire for your wedding, your photographer is committed to providing you the very best work they have to offer. Trust their instincts and skill and they’ll deliver images that are absolutely picture perfect.