6 tips for getting the most out of your wedding photographer


You’ve shopped around, looked at portfolios, and finally settled on the package and wedding photographer of your dreams.  You’ve e-mailed them examples of photographs that you want, and don’t want, maybe suggested some cool locations for photographing around the venue.  They may be shooting in a photojournalistic style or setting up for more formal styling, or some combination of both. 
No matter how much preparation you’ve done, however, the day may not go completely as planned.  To get the most out of your wedding photographer–not to mention the most fabulous photos possible–use the six simple tips below to help you on the big day.


Tip #1.  Be time abundant.


The quality and quantity of photographs that are possible is directly related to how much time you can dedicate to them.  Although you may have scheduled the day with military precision, everything takes longer on wedding day than you thought–everything.  Allowing for extra time, though, takes the stress out of the usual wedding day hiccups (getting lost, forgetting the rings, late deliveries).  For example, for getting ready photos allow some time before you leave for the ceremony for some candid, lighthearted photos with the all the girls before you leave in the Limo. Allow at least twenty minutes after the ceremony for congratulations from family and friends. Often this time is not allowed for and can eat into the plans for the rest of the day.


Tip #2.  A little kindness goes a long way. 


For many couples and their families, wedding day can be a stressful time.  Professional photographers understand that and do everything that they can to smooth over the rough spots.  In turn, you do your photos a favor if the photographer isn’t badgered, rushed or left out of the loop.  You’ll also find that you’ve won a friend if you order them a meal or some refreshments at the reception, something many couples will overlook.


Tip #3.  Ask for the countdown.


You may understand your wedding photography package, be it the total number of photos included or the finite length of time that has been booked, but ask your photographer to update you as the end of the package nears to make sure you’ve got the important shots you want.


Tip #4.  Add flowers to the inner circle. 


Putting boutonnières and corsages on important family members, in addition to the bridal party, helps the photographer identify the important candid shots to get.  You’ll always find the photographer more attentive when someone with a flower wanders near.  To that end, have the flowers ready early in the day, especially since photographs without flowers are generally not as festive as those with a splash of color.


Tip #5.  Think about your feet. 


Many men may not have worn a tuxedo or morning coat before they wear one in a wedding.  While they may come with vests, cummerbunds, shoes and ties, they may not come with black socks.  Grooms, bring black socks for you and all your groomsmen.  It’s a small detail that can make or break the full-length photos.


Tip #6 Slow down, be present.


No one wants to look at themselves in their wedding photos and see a straight faced Bride and Groom. Whilst most people do not enjoy having their photo taken, it is something that you may have to work on. No Photoshop wizardry will make you look romantically in love if you have a stern stressed look on your face. Slow down, be present. Think about every moment and enjoy it for what it is on the day. Enjoy walking down the isle, take your time. Celebrate the kiss and the recessional. The photos will reflect your enjoyment. And you will remember the day with more clarity.


Few of the people that you employ for the wedding will work as closely with you as the photographer.  Often they are there from start to finish:  photographing the bride and her ladies as they arrive, herding all the relatives together for the formals, photographing the cake first thing at the reception, suggesting that it’s time to move on to the garter toss, and snapping those last few of the bride and groom waving from the back of the limousine.  By using the six tips above, you’ll help to ensure that they can do their job to the best of their ability as they document one of the most important days in your life.


Finally, though, here is bonus tip #7:  Relax.  Wedding day isn’t about photos, it’s about getting married.  Enjoy your day and your guests.