Ten tips on how you can help your wedding photographer make your wedding photography go smoother and give you peace of mind.
Shots those are important to you:
You must create a laundry list of shots that you absolutely want and discuss them with your wedding photographer before the wedding. Your uncle Bob flew across the pond to play bagpipe at the reception and you want that to be captured or specific family combination portraits that you must have. Of course the wedding photographer will always be on the lookout but you telling them beforehand will have them prepared and you will have nothing to worry about.
Visiting the venue with your wedding photographer:
Professional wedding photographers would want to visit the venue before the wedding to check out the space and lighting to plan the wedding photography. It’s a great idea to accompany the photographer on this visit. This will serve two purposes. Firstly, you will be able to describe the events as you have planned in your mind. This will not only help the photographer prepare the shots, cameras, lenses, lighting much more efficiently but also be able to see the event from your mind’s eye. Secondly, this gives both you and your photographer an opportunity to spend time together and get comfortable with each other. This is very important for wedding photography. The wedding photographer is like a family member on your big day and the more comfortable you are with each other the better the photos will be.
Other photographers at your wedding:
Most wedding photographers will have in their contracts that they will be the only photographers at the wedding. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, a lot of effort goes into directing people, getting the right timings and angles etc. So anyone following them and taking pictures and using them for their own promotion is intellectual property theft and is not going to help make the photographer focus on their work. Secondly, these days almost everyone has, if not professional, then close to professional level cameras and if they go about clicking photos then the flashes and the sounds affect the quality of both the photography as well as the video, and of course in the worst case when at a critical moment someone walks in front of your wedding photographers camera, then that shot is permanently lost.
Family portraits at your wedding:
In most weddings time is lost in getting the people together for the portraits. Of course it will help, and you must let people know in advance about the schedule of the wedding portraits shoot but in our experience what really works is having two people, one from the bride’s side and one from the groom’s side, identified in advance and introduced to your wedding photographer. These people will be responsible to get the families together for the portraits. This will allow the photographer to use that time to get better portraits without getting rushed and most importantly you will have nothing to worry about.
Rest of the guests:
All the guests at your wedding who are not going to be involved with the portrait shoots must know in advance where and what they will be doing at that time, so that you and your portrait group are left alone with your wedding photographer.
Specific rules for the wedding venue and ceremony:
Check out if there are any specific rules or requirements regarding wedding photography at the venue or from the officiant and let your wedding photographer know about them in advance. Some venues require liability insurance and sometimes flash is not permitted in some venues. Some officiants want the wedding photographers to stay at a distance.
Audio quality during vows:
Find out if there will be a microphone that will be fed into the DJ’s sound console. The DJ would know this. The videographer can pick up the sound directly from there. If not then check with the officiant if it is OK to place a small wireless microphone somewhere between the bride and the groom so that it captures quality audio from all three.
In case of divorced parents and step moms and dads at the wedding, speak with them in advance about what they will be comfortable with regarding getting photographed, especially for the portraits, and plan the portraits as you want, with each of them or together according to their comfort level and let your wedding photographer know in advance to avoid any embarrassing situation and also so that you don’t have to worry about it a bit on your big day.
Photographs that you DO NOT want:
It’s quite common for bride’s to want photographs while they are getting dressed, especially the shot of putting on the wedding dress, which for some can be a bit revealing. If you do not want such shots then let your wedding photographer know in advance. On the other hand some brides want to do a nude or partially nude boudoir shot and must discuss this with their wedding photographer in advance and specify any requirements like only having a female photographer. Not all wedding photographers will be doing these shots.
Trusting your wedding photographer:
Finally, at many times during the wedding you or your family and friends might want to suggest shots to your wedding photographer and if it is really important then you must. But trust your wedding photographer. They know what will look good and you are paying them for that. You will get better photography if you allow your wedding photographer to make decisions and provide direction.