From why you selected them to what your wedding photography vision is, here are 11 things you should tell your wedding photographer before the big day.
For many couples, photography is one of the most important aspects of their special day, ensuring it is documented beautifully for years to come. Your wedding photographer has a huge responsibility and there are expectations on their shoulders to capture images that resonate with both you and your partner. But unless you communicate effectively with them, it’s impossible to assume they will know exactly what each and every couple wants.
So to ensure they understand your expectations and how they can deliver the best service possible, here are 11 things you should tell your wedding photographer.
1. Why you chose them.
Whether it was their unique style, the quality of the images or the price bracket, most wedding photographers are interested to know just what it was that made you chose them over others. It helps them establish their niche in wedding photography and discover what works (and doesn’t) in their branding and marketing. It may be less important for you as a couple and the images which you come away with on your wedding day, but it can help your wedding photographer immeasurably in the long run.
2. Your preferred style.
Do you want all those special candid moments and emotions captured in a documentary style or do you want your photographer to stick to more classic, posed images? Make sure you indicate exactly what you want from the outset so you don’t end up disappointed with the results. If you loved your photographer’s previous work and trust completely in their capabilities to photographer your wedding in a beautiful, compelling manner, then give them the go-ahead to do just that.
3. Your dream photos.
Remember that your photographer is not a mind reader and unless you tell them about a specific shot you really want or show them a gorgeous portrait you saw in a magazine and want to be replicated…they’re not going to know. Chances are they will be more than happy to capture special shots as requested by you to create your dream wedding day album
4. Any insecurities/concerns you have about photography.
Unless you’ve worked as a model or have extensive experience in front of the camera, you might not be feeling overly comfortable about having a lens focused in your direction for an entire day. It’s normal to be nervous about being the center of attention and, if you are, communicate this to your wedding photographer. They will be able to give you some tips about how to relax in front of the camera or schedule in an engagement session so you can have a trial run.
Likewise, if there are things you haven’t liked about wedding photographs you’ve seen and are worried about this happening to you, just give your photographer a heads up. This way they can make it a priority to avoid those shots/angles/styles when capturing your special day.
5. Your anticipated timeline.
You’re going to be booking your wedding photographer for a certain time period, so make sure you use it wisely. This starts with giving them an anticipated timeline of what will happen when, allowing them to plan how they will capture details shots in between portrait sessions and the logistics of where they need to be then. Be realistic in your anticipated timeline and add in plenty of “buffer time”, because if you’re running behind schedule, the entire photography timeline goes out the window.
6. The dress code.
Your wedding photographer might be a vendor, but they will also be in amidst your wedding guests throughout the day and would prefer to blend in with the dress code rather than stick out like a sore thumb in other people’s photographs. So if you’re having a relaxed ceremony on the beach with feet in the sand, let them know so they don’t turn up in a black tie. Likewise, if it’s a formal affair, they’d prefer not to come underdressed.
7. Any surprises.
It’s nice to have a few surprises up your sleeve for your wedding guests and even your future spouse, but don’t keep these a secret from your wedding photographer. If you’re doing a choreographed first dance with a big dip, then make sure they know where it will happen and when so they can be there to capture it. Or if you plan on serenading your love at dinner, make sure your photographer knows so they don’t slip out to eat or go to the bathroom at that moment.
Ideally your photographer wants to shadow you for most of the day and be on hand to capture each and every moment, but in reality, there are going to be moments in that 12 hour day when they have to take a breather and refuel themselves.
8. Your DIY wedding details.
All those carefully selected wedding details and design elements are an important addition to your wedding album. Provided you allocate enough time in the schedule, your wedding photographer will try and capture as many as possible. But if you’ve put in the time and energy to create some yourself, make sure you highlight these in your final meeting with your photographer (and let them know where they can find them on the day) so they can make a point of getting beautiful photographs to document them.
9. Awkward family relationships.
There are few families out there who don’t squabble from time to time, with strong personalities sometimes resulting in clashes when under stress. If this is the case, make sure your photographer knows so they don’t step on any toes or position those family members alongside one another in photographs. Perhaps your parents have split and don’t always see eye to eye or you have siblings who always end up bickering at family gatherings. You might not feel comfortable revealing these family insights to your photographer, but it will assist in helping things run as smoothly as possible on your wedding day.
10. Mobility, vision or hearing impairments.
It’s also important to let your photographer know if there are family members with mobility, vision or hearing impairments who will be involved in family formals. They don’t want to plan a portrait location which involves clambering upstairs if there are family members in wheelchairs or by asking someone to look at the camera if they have vision impairments. Just a quiet word to your photographer will prevent them from putting their foot in it on the day and help them plan portrait sessions that are inclusive of everyone.
11. Names and contacts of fellow wedding vendors.
In your eyes, the florist, DJ, and wedding photographer might be independent vendors, but in truth, they will be working as a team of colleagues to ensure your wedding day is executed to perfection. So it’s a great idea to let them get in contact with one another to discuss any areas where they will overlap. This will reduce the amount of “middle-man” work that you have to do and create a teamwork mentality from the get-go.
Establishing a great working relationship with your wedding photographer is not as difficult as it sounds and experience means that they’ll probably take the initiative and ask you many of these questions themselves. Provide as much information as you feel comfortable with to help your photographer create a dream wedding day album and offer the best service possible.
May 22, 2020