1.Hire a PRO. Ok, that may sound obvious… but I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a horror story from someone who let Aunt Sally do it to save money. No matter how talented your photographer friend/acquaintance may be, there is NO substitute for a professional wedding photographer with years of experience. Only they will have the equipment, know-how, and tricks up their sleeve to make sure your wedding day runs smoothly and that the pictures will be fabulous no matter what challenges come their way. Moreover, hire someone who specializes in weddings: a talented newspaper or product photographer will not be efficient at organizing family group photos (do you really want those formals to take 2 hrs? Please, no.) And of anything you should sacrifice on to save money, photography should be at the bottom of that list. Why? After the wedding, the gowns hang in the closet, the food is digested, the flowers wilt… and what is left to show how amazing your day was? The photos. Enough said.
2. Communicate with your photographer. Again, might sound obvious, but sometimes it isn’t. It breaks my heart when a client says “I wish we had gotten a photo of just me holding the champagne glasses.” Well, I take hundreds of images at a wedding, and while I do my best to cover everything, some specifics might not be intuitive for me. Or maybe you saw a photo you loved and wanted to copy… Unless I know ahead of time, we are destined for regretsville. And speaking of copying other ideas:
3. Beware of Pinterest! Alright, we all love Pinterest. But when it comes to your wedding photos, Pinterest will show you 8 million different ideas. (Remember how we talked about portraits taking 2 hours..?) Keep your photos-to-copy to a minimum. If you’ve done your homework and hired a photographer with skill and passion, chances are they can create something UNIQUE for your photos, rather than something that has already been done. And of course, if you are getting married in a barn with rustic décor, don’t ask for photos in an elegant ballroom with a velvet chair or pictures with a giraffe. We’re photographers, not magicians, and we don't have a giraffe. ;)
4. Plan ahead, but remain flexible. We all hope that everything goes perfectly as planned on your big day. But if things change, try to remain calm and roll with the punches. Sometimes a spur of the moment change can create something magical. The couple shown here was planning to take their romantic portraits on the golf course, but a huge thunderstorm rolled in and had the whole place flooded. From my perspective, this photo is way more dramatic and unique than most any golf course shot I’ve seen.
5. Be yourselves. Years ago, had a client who must have practiced her wedding face in the mirror for months leading up to the wedding. She was sucking in her cheeks, puckering her lips, and in general looking like a mannequin. Let me tell you, this did NOT yield a cute expression for photos. Of course, I can’t spend the whole day telling someone to stop making duckface, and at the time I was too timid to tell her she looked silly. We all wish we were slimmer or curvier or had fuller hair or lips and blah blah blah. But do you know what happens when we spend our whole wedding worrying that our photos might show our so-called flaws? Our photos show us looking insecure. And you know what is not happy, romantic, and amazing? Insecurity. So just be yourself. That pro you hired knows how to capture the best moment, how to pose you in a flattering way, how to light you to highlight your best features. So relax. Be yourself, and ENJOY your wedding. <3