We see a lot of posts on social media about my photographer has asked for a list of photos, or even sadly posts where couples are upset because they didn’t get the photos they wanted during their special day.
Most issues or questions can be resolved easily with planning and communication, however there are a few other tips we would like to share that may also improve the quality and even number of the photos you get from your day.
Choosing The right Photographer
Firstly, you need to choose the right photographer, you need to make sure you choose the right style of photographer, if you decide you want a documentary style photographer, then get upset as they didn’t get a photo of you and your mum, they can’t always be blamed as they might not have been in the right place at the right time. Likewise, if you choose a photographer who specialises in formal photographs, you may not then get candid photos of your guests.
This is were you need to do your homework before and during the vetting process, and certainly don’t be swayed by a pushy photographer, cost, or a deal that’s too good to be true. Decide on your style preference, then always check full albums of work, cross referencing reviews.
For a full vetting guide please see our wedding planning guide on our download page.
So, you have chosen your photographer, now what? Certainly, that should not be the last time you communicate until the wedding, we encourage our customers to talk to us regularly, many add us as friends on social media, or at minimum follow our facebook page to see what work we are doing. If you have gone with another photographer, keep in touch if they don’t, they should not have an issue with that, if they do, have you chosen the right photographer?
Next steps, prepping for your big day. Before your big day you should have at least one final meeting with your photographer, either in person, phone, video call, whichever is easiest. During this meeting you should confirm the running order of your day, confirm times and addresses of where the photographer/s need to be, and finally confirm what specific photos you want on your day, this does not need to be a huge list as some group photos go without saying, however if you have specific people you must have photos with let your photographer know these, such as God Parents, Multigeneration, Guests from overseas, etc. Please remember often for formal photos we only have a limited amount of time, and some of that we want to concentrate on you the couple, so a list of 200 group shots may not be feasible, and your guest will not be cooperative in most cases, as they tend to wander off, not listen to instructions, or just be awkward in some cases as they don’t want to be in your photos.
There are a few things you can put in place before your big day to help you photographer and enable them to take a few better or extra photos.
Ask someone to help the photographer get people in the right place for photos, this can be the best man or a family member (Often one of the Mums), we often use the phrase “Like hearding cats” as an analogy of getting guests into group shots, so any help is appreciated.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, however if you are having prep photos taken at home, try to keep certain areas tidy, We have often had lovely photos spoilt as we couldn’t avoid items in the shot such as toys or washing drying, we really appreciate it’s such a busy time, however we just want you to have the best photos possible.
If you are staying at a hotel the night before, if possible, ask for a room with a big window or balcony, a shot of the bride looking out of a window or door is one of our most requested photos, and always much loved by our couples.
Your Big Day
Parking, too often we have had trouble parking either near a client’s house or even at venues, churches etc, please remember we are carrying camera bags, etc and often don’t know the area so any help is appreciated as we don’t want to be late getting to you as he have spent time trying to park, or having to walk half a mile to reach a church which could result in us missing very important shots.
Keeping rooms tidy also goes for the day itself, either at home or in your hotel room. Keeping the room tidy helps so much, which we appreciate can be so difficult as you have limited storage and often very limited space if you have several people getting ready in one room. Having room to take photos, and not having items reflecting in mirrors really improves your photos.
Have a nice hanger for your dress, this doesn’t need to be engraved or have bride on it, a simple white wooden or material hanger will set your dress of so much better than a plastic or metal hanger often supplied by the shop, this also goes for any bridesmaids and flower girl dresses if you are having photos taken of them.
If during your day you need a break from being the centre of attention, please tell your photographer, we always appreciate a drink break ourselves so will never be insulted if you just say can we have 5 mins, in fact we encourage you to take 5 mins to yourselves to take in your day.
Paparazzi Wedding Guests
Family and friends with Cameras, phones etc. Although we have a clause in our contract, it’s not always easy to tell your guests to not interfere or get in the way of your photographer/s. We appreciate family are excited about your big day, however from lots of experience your uncle who has a new camera and has read a copy of amateur photographer, or nan with an IPad will not get the same quality photos as your photographers will, although please don’t stop them taking photos as some will be lovely shots, you may still love. However, all too often in their excitement they spoil shots, or try and tell the photographer how to do their job or ask for the photographer to use their phone or camera to take a picture, which we do not mind doing, but not as we are trying to get the shots you asked for.
Finally have fun, the more fun you have the better photos you will get, nothing is too silly, and we are willing to give anything a go if it makes you happy and gets you good photos.