WHAT YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER WANTS YOU TO KNOW
YAY! YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!!! That is such an awesome thing to celebrate and be excited about! By the time it gets to your wedding day I hope you’re able to relax and take it all in. To help with that, I’m going to tell you somethings that will help you be prepared for the photography part of your day!
#1 LET US BE THE BAD GUY
We will take the lead and wrangle your bridal party AND family so you don’t have to. This day is about you and your love and the life you’re starting together and we don’t want you to feel like you need to yell at friends and family to get some good pictures. You can stay calm and we’ll take care of anyone who might have some trouble paying attention to direction - we’ve got plenty of practice!
#2 IF YOU’RE RUNNING LATE - LET US KNOW
Maybe hair + makeup took a little longer than expected - that’s ok, but we need to know. Either your coordinator or photographer has crafted a timeline of your day and if things need to move back a bit we need a heads up so that we can make adjustments where it will be most helpful.
#3 PLEASE TELL UNCLE BOB TO LEAVE HIS CAMERA AT HOME
It’s likely that you’ll have at least one friend or family member with a nice camera who wants to bring it to your wedding. We know they mean well but it can actually hurt the time that we have to get photos of you on your day - and that’s what you’re paying us for. Stopping every other photo for Uncle Bob to grab a shot will really slow us down and if we are already running a little behind that can really hurt our time. Also, if Bob is standing behind us taking photos then you’ll end up with photos where some people are looking at our camera and some people are looking at his. If you have a wedding website it’s a good place to put a little something like “we are so excited to see all of you and celebrate with you! please remember to leave your cameras at home - the photographer we hired is going to get amazing photos and we don’t want anything to distract from that!”
#4 YOU NEED TO HAVE AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY
and your officiant needs to announce it! Unplugged ceremonies are more and more common and for good reason! No one wants to get photos of their ceremony back from their hired photographer and see a bunch of iphones or ipads out from family and guests taking their own pictures. I know it’s hard as a guest to not grab that quick shot but it’s the fastest way to ruin the professional photos you’re looking forward to having. Having a sign AND asking your officiant to remind everyone before the ceremony starts are great ways to avoid this problem!
#5 MAKE SURE YOR FAMILY KNOWS TO STAY AFTER THE CEREMONY FOR FAMILY PHOTOS
If we have to track down Aunt Suzy and cousin Rachel, family photos are going to take a lot longer than they should. Most family photos can be finished in 10-15 minutes, as long as everyone stays put! Designate a family member on both sides (your’s + your fiance’s) to spread the word to family members that they should stay in their seats after the ceremony. This is also something that your officiant can and should announce when he dismisses everyone else to your reception.
#6 IF YOUR RECEPTION TIME AFTER DINNER IS GOING TO BE LONGER THAN 3 HOURS, BE PREPARED FOR PEOPLE TO LEAVE BEFORE YOU DO
Your close friends and family will likely stay but everyone else will start to leave after a few hours - which is totally fine! If you’re planning a big grand exit that you want everyone there for, consider doing a fake exit early in the night! Also know that if you plan your fake exit for an hour or so before your real exit, guests will likely get confused and start to leave if there isn’t super clear communication about the fact that you’re not actually leaving yet!
#7 IF YOU DON’T HAVE A COORDINATOR, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL LIKELY END UP DOING 2 JOBS
It’s totally your choice if you want to work with a coordinator or not. Just know that if you choose not to, your photographer will be the one who ends up doing that work in addition to their own, which can affect the amount of photos they are able to take. Other than your coordinator, your photographer is the only other vendor who is with you the entire day. We are also the only other vendor who helps you put together a timeline. These things mean that all of the other vendors will come to us with their questions and concerns if there isn’t a coordinator present. We are happy to do this but you should know that if we are busy coordinating, we aren’t taking pictures.
This list isn’t everything your wedding photographer wants you to know to be prepared for the photography part of your wedding but it’s a good start! Whoever you hire will fill you in on all the other details you need to know! Just keep these things in mind: let us be the bad guy, tell us if you’re running late, tell your friends and family to leave their cameras at home, plan to have an unplugged ceremony, make sure your family knows to stick around after the ceremony, be aware of how long people are likely to stay at your reception, know what can happen if you don’t hire a coordinator!