MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO COMMUNICATE TO YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TO ENSURE YOU LOVE YOUR PHOTOS
Making sure you and your photographer have set your big day up for success is hugely important to getting all those images you’ve envisioned. They way to do this is: communication. Communicating all the details, and what you both expect is super important to how you feel about your wedding images in the end. Expecting something to go one way when it wasn’t communicated to your photographer can lead to upset feelings and trust me no photographer wants to disappoint their clients. I have found there are many important things to communicate with your photographer leading up to your wedding but here are the top things I think are most important to flesh out in oder to get all the photos you are looking for.
Your timeline- more importantly padding your timeline
Being on the same page about when things are starting, or important moments are happening are the most important reason to be very clear on your timeline. However there is something else that’s important to add to that timeline-padding. I don’t think I’ve ever shot a wedding that was 100% on time, I’ve even had weddings where there ended up only being 10 minutes for bride and groom photos instead of the planned 30 minutes because it was running that far behind. Not padding in enough extra time to the timeline can lead to a lot of stress for you, and your photographer and also lead to not getting all the shots you wanted. I suggest adding at least 30-45 minutes more than you think you need to the getting ready part of the timeline. This is usually where things start to fall behind. Tell your hair and makeup team they need to be done at 10:30 even if photos aren’t till 11:00-this way if they go over there’s still some time; and if they do finish on time this will allow you to hang out with your friends and family rather then stress about how late your running. As photographers we can only work with the time we are given, we want to make sure you get the best photos possible so padding that timeline will help everyone in the end!
List of names and relationships for family photos
Having this list during the family photos is very helpful to keeping this part running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Most guests want to be enjoying cocktail hour during this time so getting these photos done as quickly as possible will benefit your guests, and ensure that you get all the time you planned for bridal party and bride and groom shots. Being able to just go down a list and call out names is much easier than trying to wing it the day of. So make sure to write it out like this
Shot list of important pictures unique to your wedding
As wedding photographers we know the important moments to look for and capture at a wedding. Things like the first kiss, cake cutting, first dance are all a given. However if you want to make sure you get a photo of all your sorority ladies and you together then you should share that with your photographer, or is there a certain spot at your venue you absolutely must have photos done? Share that! That way we can add it to the list of shots we need to get to ensure you are thrilled with your photos and not bummed that a certain shot wasn’t captured
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Wedding planning can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. Lots of details should be considered, from the colour of napkins to the music being played and the food that is being served. The photos from your wedding will be your best memories of a very special day in your life, so its important that they’re done right.
Consider the weather for each season
When deciding on what season to get married in, here are some considerations you should take for the weather
Cons: Can be very rainy and possibly rain all day. Can be damp and cool. Usually the leaves have not come out on the trees until the end of May causing there to be less “open shade”. The lack of leaves can cause the light to be very stark and the backgrounds may have a lot of branches coming out of people’s heads.
Pros: Pretty blooms of Red bud trees and Magnolia- unique to spring time.
Cons: July can be extremely humid sometimes! Not a great month for people who are really sensitive to extreme heat. It’s especially important to pick a photo location with a lot of shade.
Pros: By far, June- September is usually Ontario’s most pleasant weather.
Cons: Not every day has a pretty dusting of fresh snow. Usually a bride and groom can get outside for a 20 minute portrait session, but it’s necessary to have a good indoor location to complete all the family photos.
Pros: You can sometimes get a “Winter Wonderland” day that is magical looking.
Have a backup plan for bad weather and light conditions
Rain, hail, high winds or snowstorms may cause unexpected problems on your wedding day. The bottom line is it’s critical to have a Plan B option for photos to account for difficult weather and light conditions.
Things in Mind When Choosing a Wedding Photographer
Once you’re engaged, one of the first tasks you’ll want to check off the list is choosing a wedding photographer! As the person responsible for documenting all the memories of your #bestdayever and delivering images you can look back on for years and years, it’s an important decision, no doubt. Not sure where to begin or exactly what to know when choosing a wedding photographer? We’ve got five helpful tips to guide you through the process.
Know what you’re willing to spend.
Quality wedding photography is not something to skimp on. Often, photography (and videography) can end up being one of the largest single expenses of your entire wedding. You can expect an experienced professional wedding photographer to charge anywhere from $2500 all the to way to $10000 and beyond. Packages vary, but remember their prices factor in not only their creative talent and honing of their craft, but their equipment costs, travel time and many, many hours of preparation and editing in addition to the time they’ll spend actually photographing your day.
Decide which style you feel most drawn to.
Photography, like any art form, can vary immensely from artist to artist. It’s up to you and your fiancé to decide which artistic style you like best, and let that heavily influence your decision. Are you drawn to fine art photography? These photos tend to have more muted colors, less contrast, more brightness and cool tones. You’ll tend to see more posed, “still life,” artful shots. Often, fine art photographers use film to help achieve this distinct look. Because film has been around for generations, these photos will definitely stand the test of time, but film is also more expensive to shoot and requires a different skill set than digital photography, so you can expect to pay more for someone who incorporates film into their work.
Do your research.
When it comes to narrowing down your short list of photographers, you’ll want to rely on word of mouth (who have your friends used and loved? what are reviews saying?), Instagram (remember to use location-based hashtags to your advantage) and local photographer listings on resources
Be clear with your goals.
Do you want these photos to be published in a magazine or online publication? Do you NOT want them to be published or shared? It’s important for your photographer to know these things ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to let them know which types of shots are most important to you – not specific poses or copies of photos you’ve found on Pinterest, but do you care more about the details, the candids, the family shots, the portraits of just you two?
Things Wedding Photographers Want You to Know
We can say without a doubt that your wedding photos are going to be the BEST reminder of one of the most amazing days of your life. Long after the wedding cake is eaten, your wedding dress is put away in storage, and all your thank you notes are mailed out, your wedding photos are going to be what you look back on to relive all those sweet, fun, and joyous moments from when you said “I Do” to the partner of your dreams.
That’s why wedding photography is often one of the most important parts of a bride’s plans. But finding the right wedding photographers in a sea of talented artists can be overwhelming, and figuring out details like hours, style, and specific shots can be an exhausting addition to an already stressful day. Add on top of that the fact that your wedding photography will most likely be one of your biggest budget items…well, it’s a lot to think about!
You get what you pay for. At the end of the day, wedding photography is like most things—the cost you pay oftentimes reflects the quality you receive. Wedding photography is a lot more than pressing a button on a camera; it’s expensive equipment, hours editing, and multiple shooters. If a photographer’s low price seems too good to be true, it probably is! If you need to save money on your wedding photographer, consider prioritizing your timeline for them to attend fewer hours or putting photography on your wedding registry. Get more wedding budget tips here!
They want to help with your timeline. Many wedding photographers have been to literally hundreds of weddings. They’re experts! Letting them help plan your wedding timeline ensures you’ll have a smooth event with lots of time for photos. They can often provide tips on details like how early you should start getting ready and whether or not to have a first look.
Having an unplugged wedding may be the best decision you ever make. It seems fun to scroll through social media with your new spouse in the morning checking out photos from your wedding, but allowing guests to snap 8 million shots of the ceremony can be a photographer’s worst nightmare! Guests often don’t recognize the fact that a paid photographer is taking photos and can jump in the way of important shots. Consider asking guests to put their mobile devices and cameras away during the ceremony.
The best wedding photography tips for capturing the big day
Whether you’ve already shot a wedding (or three, or 33) and are looking to improve your work, or are debating dipping your toes in the water, we’re here to help you take your work to a whole new level with wedding photography tips for newbies and pros, alike.
Understand the business side of things
If you’re looking to do more than a one-time gig as a favor for a friend, one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a photographer is to go into wedding photography without a solid business plan. First and foremost, no matter how close you are to the bride and groom, have a contract ready to sign
Having a signed contract ensures you and the couple are protected in the event something doesn’t go as planned. It doesn’t take much Googling to see numerous examples of photographers and couples clashing in court because of a miscommunication that wasn’t backed up in writing.
Payment is another thing to keep in mind. It’s easy enough if your fee is going to be paid via cash or check, but make sure to have clear guidelines in your contract about when final payment must received and what your cancellation policy is. If you’re going to be paid online or via credit/debit card, make sure you have the appropriate accounts set up through your payment provider. Keep in mind, you’ll also want to set aside some of your income when tax time comes around, as you’ll likely have to pay income tax plus self-employment tax, depending on the state you’re in.
Know every piece of your gear
There’s no such thing as knowing too much about your equipment. It isn’t so much about having the right equipment as it is knowing how to use what you have. The better you understand the features and limitations of your gear, the easier your shoot will be. Know which lenses you’ll need in which situations, how long your battery will last (and how many spares you’ll need), and how many photos you can fit on a memory card.