Even when we have the opportunity to meet and communicate with wedding clients prior to shooting their big day, there is still plenty of information we wish they knew. Here are some tips and bits of advice for clients from professional wedding photographers from across the globe.
“Understand that creating images sometimes takes time/is an involved process. There have been plenty of times that I’ve had couples point to waterfall/mountain/picturesque images that I have in my portfolio and say they want them, but then when I explain that it is a day-after session/we hiked 2 miles in/insert any level of off-roading, and then the photo isn’t quite as important. To achieve a lot of the images that couples expect from me, we wind up doing day-after hikes, so I try to educate couples on that to manage expectations from the start. Beyond just epic portraits, understanding that family formals take time, and they can allot 2-3 minutes per grouping generally causes a pause when there are 25 groupings listed out. Make sure to have realistic expectations of time constraints on your wedding day to ensure you get the images you want the most!”
“Pinterest boards are great for planning your wedding and remembering great ideas you’d like to implement. However, sending us a board with your top 100 must-have favorites poses really hampers our ability to be creative and work within your particular parameters to deliver stunning & original imagery.”
“I wish someone gave me this advice for my own special days: Let go of small things. The day won’t be perfect, and because of the imperfections, it will become awesome and more memorable.”
“One of the things that will most influence your photos for the better is your positive energy and attitude about the day. Prepare for an amazing day and once the wedding day has begun, let the day flow organically and let those that are deligated do their jobs and you focus on having an amazing time. If you’re tired, stressed, grumpy, etc. it will show through in our photos. Who wants grumpy wedding photos? Equally, if you’re excited, happy, in love, etc. your photos will show this and forevermore you’ll remember the beautiful stressless day you had.”
“The details are important to a wedding, but once the wedding day itself comes you want to have someone else prepped to take care of them. Whether this is a planner, a family member or a friend, you will want someone to handle this so you can just focus on getting married. It always breaks our hearts when a client is stressing about chairs, table placements, or things being delivered late instead of just being present in the moment.”
“You can’t hire photographer A to try and replicate what photographer B does. When you hire a photographer, you’re not hiring them because they know how to use a camera. You’re hiring them for the way they see and experience the world.”
“Take time to be alone with your new wife or husband on your wedding day. You will be so excited to celebrate with friends, family and guests you haven’t seen in a long time and your wedding day will seem to fly by. Take 15 minutes after your wedding ceremony to just be alone with one another and soak up the feeling. It’s magic!”
“Focus on creating the wedding YOU want, regardless of what other people think. Whether that means a forest ceremony, a mountainside elopement, or a banquet hall filled with hundreds of guests. The biggest challenge I’ve faced as a wedding photographer is battling the stress a couple takes on when their wedding is designed to appease the expectations of others.”
“Your wedding photographer should be spending quite a bit of time getting to know you and your loved ones. They should want to know everything about you and your relationships: what you love the most about one another; who are the most important people in your lives that may or may not be at your wedding; the good and the bad, etc. Why? That’s how your photographer will best be able to fade into the background on your wedding day, and best capture the moments that will mean the most to you. So how does that happen? Lots of time on the phone. You absolutely have to be willing to talk on the phone, and so do your friends and family (so prep them for that). Of course, FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom should work too!”
“Consider giving your photographer unfettered access to you and your special day. Warm up to the idea of inviting the camera into your most intimate moments, including your ceremony. Of course, you’ll have situations when this doesn’t apply such as hard rules from church officiants, but if you have a flexible officiant, prep them to expect your photographer to be in close proximity. Guests might take notice, but if you hired a ninja, they’ll pay attention to the most important part of the wedding, you.”
“This is a practical tip for brides. Regardless of the size of your wedding party and the number of makeup artists you’ve hired. Put yourself on the seat first. The longer applications take, the more stressed I’ve seen brides become because the nerves settle in and eventually they worry that their look won’t be completed in time. Even if you’re done early great. Touch ups closer to first look/ceremony time are still wonderful to be photographed and you’ll look amazing with your bridal look almost finished.”
“No matter how much you love someone’s work, and how much the world loves their work, always articulate what YOU want from your big day. Don’t assume your photographers know what is important to you. Style, craft, and great photos are just a part of wedding photography. Briefing your photographers is as important as hiring them. How someone wants to remember their big day is a question that we as wedding photographers should extract out of our clients, and clients should be able to articulate this. For some, it may be the food served at their wedding, for others it may be their outfits, and for some others, it may be their extended family from another corner of the world.”
What is the one thing you wish your clients knew?