What Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

What Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

We are always so excited to be a part of all our client’s Big Day! Here are the helpful pieces of advice that we want all our couples present and future to know that will hopefully make their day as smooth as possible:

Voicing Your Expectations

 Sometimes we look at our pictures and think that we are magicians, but we are only magicians when it comes to light and composition, not reading minds. We will use our experience and creativity to come up with some great shots for you, but if you have a specific idea of the kind of pictures you want to have, please let us know. You can send us some shots you like to put together what we call a “mood board” and if you want us to take an exact copy of a shot or two, please point them out. Our goal is for you to adore your wedding photos and we’ll do our best to make that happen, so please help us by letting us know if you have specific expectations

Family Photos List/Coordinator 

We realize that family and friends are a crucial part of your wedding, so if you want to make sure you have picture with specific people, like family members and friends, please create a shot list to make sure no one gets missed. Since most of the time we have our hands full of cameras, it really helps to have someone like a coordinator, a member or the wedding party or a relative help get people organized and lined up for the shots. Also please make sure to allocate enough time for these shots depending on how many you have on the list. 

The Hours

We know that weddings are an expensive affair and you want to keep things within your budget, so sometimes the number of hours you have us for is limited. We always try to cover as much as we can in the time we have, but please keep in mind that the more time we have, the more creative we can get rather than just try to cover the basics.  Although we work well under pressure, we work better when we have the conditions for creativity to flourish. Also keep in mind that 80% of weddings end up having delays here or there, so please plan accordingly as to not turn your wedding into a rat race. We recommend allocating 1.5 – 2 hours for bridal preparation and 2-3 hours for prep if you want to get both bride and groom and 2-3 hours for your pictures after the ceremony not including the family photos (or before the ceremony if you’re doing a first look).

1 vs 2 or The More the Merrier 

Although we always recommend having at least two photographers (and two videographers where appropriate), here is some information about what the difference between having one and two shooters is. If you are having a small wedding (under 70 people) in one location and are okay with having one angle of photos per each moment, you can probably be okay with one photographer. The photographer would mostly concentrate on you guys and will be following you throughout the day.
For bigger weddings or weddings with multiple locations we really recommend having at least two shooters as otherwise some things might get omitted, for instance while we are doing the couple’s session after the wedding, the second shooter would go to the reception venue to get some shots of the empty venue before the guests pour in. With one shooter things like this are very difficult to arrange.
For video we strongly recommend having two shooters at all times. Besides the reasons mentioned above, videography requires a lot more equipment and more complicated tools and setups, for instance we can’t switch from one lens to another quickly or from monopod to glidecam. With two shooters the variety of shots we can capture is much greater, for instance a
shot of one of you saying your vows and the other’s reaction or a wide shot of the cake cutting and a close up.
Having said that we always strive to do the best possible job with whatever resources we are given, big or small as we realize how important these memories are for you.

Beauty Watcher

 We know that the way you look during your wedding day is very important to you. You want to look your best and we also want you to look your best as that contributes to us producing beautiful images. While we try to point out things like a loose strap or smudged lipstick, at that moment we are most likely concentrating on a thousand other things, like the right camera settings and finding the best lights for the picture and may simply not notice if something is a bit off. Unless you have a makeup artist with you for the whole day, we suggest allocating a bridesmaid or a groomsman to keep an eye on how you look and make necessary adjustments. We would also suggest that he/she has some powder or blotting paper to touch you up when your face becomes shiny. Also, those little straps on the inside of the dress pop out very often in the wrongest possible moment, so if you can, cut them off, if you can’t, secure them well so they don’t pop out. 

The Toll of Being Human

It’s your wedding and you are excited and anxious! You just can’t wait to marry that special person and you forget to eat and can barely sleep. No one would ever blame you for skipping the necessities that one day, but believe it or not, getting married is EXHAUSTING! It’s a marathon that you have to run dresses in attire you generally wouldn’t wear to the gym. Down the line the lack of fuel in your body will start showing itself and your energy might get low. Many times that happens towards the end of the couples’ session and we start seeing the fatigue in the pictures. Please do us both a favor and sleep, eat, carry snacks and get plenty of sleep before.
While we’re talking basic necessities please also note that your photographers are people too. We often shoot on weekly basis and if we don’t take care of ourselves it takes it’s toll on our health. If your wedding is more than 5 hours we ask you to please provide a meal for each member of the team or if you can’t, please let us know ahead of time so we can bring our own.

The Crowd
Everyone is a photographer these days either with a cell phone or their amazing new DSLR. Most of your guests will be courteous and aware of our presence and our need of space to work, but in our experience unfortunately some won’t. You know your friends and family better than we do, so if you think they need an extra reminder to leave their cell phone in their purse and be respectful when it comes to our working space and equipment please give them a little reminder either in your save the dates or before the wedding.

Ceremony Turnabouts
We love variety and during the ceremony we try to take shots from many different angles, which means that often we go around you or get pretty close, like in case of photographing the rings exchange. If you’d prefer for us to keep a distance and give you some space during the ceremony or if your venue has restrictions (for instance some churches wouldn’t let us get on stage or cross the isle), please let us know. We want you to be able to love every moment of your ceremony, whichever way you want us to shoot it.
Home Base
Depending on the size of our teams and the services we’re providing, we will mostly likely bring a lot of equipment with us that we will need to station somewhere and have easy access to (especially if we’re doing videography for you). Most often we can find a space by asking the venue staff for one, but if you could run the question by them ahead of time that will save us time once we arrive there.
For the End of the Day
It’s sad to say goodbye, but at some point of your wedding we’ll have to leave. 15 minutes before that time we’ll come up to you to see if you want any final shots to be taken before we start packing. If you do, please keep in mind 15 minutes is not 45. If you feel like you would need us to stay for more time (most of the time we’ll be available to stay for overtime) just let us know how long you want us to stay for. If you have a balance, it might be easiest to take care of that once we arrive, but if you prefer to leave the business side of things for the end of the day please have the check or cash prepared, so you don’t have to take time out of the celebration to go get it.

If You’re Doing Video with US
We view wedding photography and videography as a form of art, so we are going to shoot and edit your highlight reel with creativity in mind, making a mini-movie rather than just a chronicle of events, so if you want it to be shot and edited in a specific way rather than giving us full creative freedom with it, please give us the following:
– a list of what you want to have included in the video
– a sample of an edited video that you like either from our website or somebody else’s
– music that you want us to use in the video

Please provide this list BEFORE your wedding, otherwise we’ll shoot and edit it the way we see fit and you would be able to only make minor changes to the editing.
Some Final Thoughts to Keep In Mind (all of this may be completely obvious to you, but a little reminder never hurts)
– When you walk down the aisle, look at the person that’s waiting for you there, not at the floor or the photographer.

– Enjoy it! Have fun during your ceremony, it is an event to experience, not something to get done and over with. If you screw something up, like make a mistake reading your vows, it’s ok! That’s a moment to laugh about not get upset over.

– When you say your vows or repeat them after the minister, look at your beloved. When you hear them saying the vows, look at them, listen and take it in.

– Don’t rush it. Take your time putting on the rings, doing the sand ceremony and especially the kiss. Make that kiss count!
Finally, a wedding is a part of life, like everything else. There may be thing you didn’t plan for, like weather changes, people running late or the wrong frosting on the cake. You can either let those things upset you or you can catch yourself realizing that today is your wedding day. It’s about you and that other special person who is the reason you are there and those little misshapes are water under the bridge. See you on your Big Day!