The process of hiring a photographer to capture perhaps the most important and exciting day of your life seems like a pretty important task, one that bears a lot of weight on capturing significant memories. But, if you put in the time and effort to find an experienced photographer, you can have confidence that you’ll have amazing photos to remind you always of how special your wedding day is.
Do the research. Stalk social media photos of numerous photographers. Talk to other couples about their past experience with their photographers. Schedule over the phone consults and sit down meetings with photographers you’re considering. While hiring an experienced photographer will help ensure your wedding photos are something you will treasure, you have to put in work to seek out the perfect fit for you as a couple.
When you officially book a photographer, it’s crucial to take time to focus on the end game for what you want in your wedding photographs. It’s important for you as a couple to have an idea of specific shots you want captured from your own wedding day. About a month or two prior to wedding day, be sure to send a list of photos you want your photographer to make sure he or she takes. This list should include names of family and friends to guarantee that no VIPs are left out of particular groupings. By having names written down, it not only helps organize guests, but it helps the photographer be direct when calling on people to step in for a photo or to be dismissed and let another group of people know they are to be photographed next. This is important and makes an effort to be concise and to the point as there is a short timeframe before a ceremony or reception to cover all photos. Also remember to write down notes for the photographer for anything out of the ordinary for day of. If there are pictures that should be avoided, this also needs noted. By telling your photographer information like this ahead of time, it shifts the responsibility from the couple to the photographer to make sure that the right pictures are taken.
When there are personal sticky situations involved that can be avoided with proper planning, the photographer can take charge which in turn takes pressure off of the couple so that they can enjoy their day. You want to have a smooth and enjoyable photo sesh, not a family feud or lead to any disagreements. For example, say the bride wants a photo with the immediate family, but Aunt Mary doesn’t get along with Uncle Paul. The photographer can direct and place those two people strategically on opposite sides of the frame, so as to avoid any troubled waters. By handing a photographer these details ahead of time, this shifts the responsibility of directing people, being cut and dry and moving things along to ensure that a couple has all the pictures they would like, and gets them and their guests on to the party! A photographer can double as a time-keeper.
We asked our friend Alyse Gardner, owner of Bright Light Imagery, about wedding day photo tips. Alyse has many years of experience photographing weddings, and they just might be her favorite thing to capture behind her lens. “Little moments throughout the day are so crucial, because a wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye, and it’s my job to capture all of those details that a busy bride and groom might not get to truly enjoy on the day of their wedding! You’ll see a lot of genuine smiles and candid photos in my work, but you’ll also see that I pay a lot of attention to detail and decor; I try to document everything that the couple has been planning and perfecting for months,” Gardner noted. A seasoned photographer will know timing and what to look for to capture certain candids and must have shots.
Gardner said, “If I had to pick THE most important photo, it would just be a photo of the bride and groom having fun together! That could be during their first dance, right after the ceremony when they’re walking back down the aisle, or when they’re being introduced at the reception. I make sure to get these photos during our portrait session as well, in between posing, when I’m thinking of the next pose. I love to get those images of the bride and groom giggling and whispering to each other, those are my favorite shots.”
Inquire about packages that your photographer offers. By asking what a particular session or photo suite includes, you will know important details ahead of time such as how many hours of your day will be covered by your photographer, how many edited pictures you will receive and if a second shooter will be included. Alyse makes sure to sit down with her couples prior to wedding day to write down any and all details necessary to successfully execute wedding day greatness. She asks about whether each location will be dimly or brightly lit, family dynamics, and who the important people, besides the couple, to focus on for that day are. She commented, “When it comes to being photo ready, it’s all in the details! I love working weddings where someone went through and perfected everything they could. Decor is very important, because that’s what’s going to be in the background of all of your photos throughout the day. A simple romantic touch can go a long way!”
Wedding Photography To Do List:
Describe your relationship as a couple to your photographer. This will help personalize your big day and help the photographer look for special details that might not be mentioned.
Think of the end result. How do you want your pictures to describe your love story?
Are there family wedding photos that you want to replicate with your significant other?
List all family groupings you’ll want photographed, include names.
List any photos or situations to be avoided.
Name the locations and addresses where all wedding day photos will be taken at.
Include the timeline of your entire wedding day, start to finish.
Ensure you pick a photo package that works with your budget and fits your needs.
Determine a backup plan for outdoor photos in case of poor weather.
As a couple, you will spend a lot of time and effort to personalize your wedding day and incorporate many special details. The point of a wedding photographer is to help you relive your magical day over and over again with the utmost happiness and pure joy. These photos will be something you will share with future generations and loved ones and will forever portray the love shared between you and your partner.
Alyse loves any opportunity to photograph the true joy that wedding days bring. She has shared some of her much loved work with us. To see more of her portfolio and for her contact information, please visit BrightLightImagery.com.