As your wedding photographer, I’m photographing one of the most significant days in your lives. It’s my goal to make sure your day is full of laughs and stress-free while capturing pictures you’ll treasure.
Often, when I meet with couples they share their worries and questions. For this reason, to help you get the most out of your wedding photographer, I wanted to share some advice.
Before the big day
It’s not worth imagining what it would be like to spend your wedding day with a photographer who doesn’t get you.
I always say that it’s best to meet with your photographer before booking to ensure that everyone clicks and that you feel at ease in their company. This is a sign you’ll be comfortable with your photographer documenting the most intimate and treasured moments of your lives.
What does this mean for you?
Before you commit, I recommend we find time to call out for a coffee and a chat and to have a look through my wedding albums. If you live abroad we can catch up on the phone or video chat. There’s no obligation, and the benefits are significant as I can put you at ease, answer questions, and share advice while you can ensure I’m on your wavelength.
Like your marriage, this is a special union, so let’s take the time to talk.
There aren’t many people who are comfortable having a lens pointed at them, and for lots of couples, their wedding day is the first time being with a professional photographer, which is why engagement shoots are so popular.
I recommend that you think of your engagement shoot as a first date, as now’s the time when we can get to know each other in an informal setting.
On the shoot, there will be lots of laughs, and I’ll get a clearer sense of your personalities, which will guide my creativity to capture photographs bespoke to you. Meanwhile, you’ll get familiar with being shot, and will feel relaxed and ready for it on your wedding day.
You can read more on why I feel engagement shoots are brilliant for all of us here.
The next piece of advice that not only helps working with your photographer, but helps your day to run seamlessly is –
Give yourself extra time
When you’re making your plans, schedule extra time for each part of the day because everything takes longer than you expect. From the morning’s preparations through to the dinner bell, without clever planning there’s nothing worse than time slipping.
To ensure you have time for all the craic, tears and laughter, putting an extra few minutes into the schedule will create opportunities for extra photos, or more time at the drinks reception enjoying the party.
If you’re not sure about the timings, or if you don’t have a wedding planner, another secret tip is that a good wedding photographer can advise you on how long things take.
On your big day
I remind my couples of this when we talk the day before the wedding, but remember to:
Set aside accessories & bridal attire
Prepare a place to hang your wedding attire and accessories away from the madness of the morning’s preparations. This means I can pop in, quickly shoot everything, and you don’t have to worry about running around trying to find everything for the shot.
Because you’ll be out of the door sooner than you know, putting everything in one place will save time, too.
And, while we’re talking about how quickly your morning goes,
Be ready to leave 90 minutes before
An experienced make-up artist will understand when you tell him or her that you want to be ready ninety-minutes before you’re due to leave. While it seems like a lot of time, hair and make-up can overrun, which then disrupts the rest of your day.
My advice when you’re thinking of group shots is to allow five minutes per group shot and grab group shots immediately after the ceremony.
I know that if it’s a choice between waiting around for photographs or being on your way to the drinks reception, most of your wedding party will want to get on with the drinks!
In my opinion, though, group shots can be a lot of fun, and it’s my aim to capture the personalities in your bridal party with contemporary images that encapsulate the happiness of your day as quickly and as easily as possible.
Shooting group shots immediately after the ceremony helps to encapsulate the emotions and makes for a seamless transition from church to group shots with limited disruption. I promise it won’t be long before you’re on your way to the party.
Be sure to:
- Supply your photographer with a list of names of the wedding party included in each group shot e.g. Bride & Groom with bride’s family, Bride & Groom with groom’s cousins – Patrick, Niamh, Selina;
- Give someone who knows the groups a copy of the group list;
Additionally, my pre-wedding survey makes it easy for you to arrange this list so don’t worry too much about preparing it as I’ll remind you closer to the time.
It’s my job to capture everything, and we’ll have talked a few times before the special day, so I will know what’s important to you.
However, if there are special items or places that I won’t obviously see to capture, let me know, as it’s my goal to make you happy and to shoot everything that’s meaningful.
If you think your wedding photographer won’t spot this detail, put it on the wish list. As I mentioned with the group shots, my pre-wedding survey asks you to make notes about special requests to ensure I have all the information about your special day.
Finally, I won’t ask for much, but…
I believe in being unobtrusive and capturing your day in an informal manner. However, to get the very best out of your wedding photographer, allocate us – that’s me, you and your partner – a little time so that we can go and have fun with photography.
Many couples thank me for this time, as it’s a respite from the attention that weddings bring. It will give you precious private moments, and it will give your wedding photographer the opportunity to get creative and deliver truly memorable shots.
We wedding photographers live to capture the moment, to immortalise slices of time. Occasionally, I’ll make suggestions. It could be that I’ve found a wonderful backdrop to your couple’s shot, or it might be that I’m shooting group shots in the shade. All of this is because I’ve got the end image in mind.
Like the old Bryan Adams song says, everything I do, I do it for you.
Fuelled by the moments, the laughter, the people and the trust you’ve put in me, this is my promise: to leave no stone unturned in my mission to capture you, your guests and your day at their best.
If this advice has been helpful or if you do have any questions you think I can help you with, I’d love to hear from you.