We love Pinterest, too.
But please don’t send us a board filled with other people’s work. As a photographer, I absolutely want to know your style, your aesthetic and the overall feel of your wedding day. (In fact, I request it in my final meeting with you.) But it can be soul-crushing to receive a board of pictures, filled with other photographers’ visions for their clients. My hope is that my clients have hired me for my vision and creativity and I want to bring that to their wedding day.
Timing is everything.
And by that I mean time of day. Those pretty, glowy pictures? They don’t happen at noon. The best time for portraits is early in the morning or later into the day. Harsh light on a sunny day can take away from even the prettiest of locations. As photographers, we are constantly looking for the best light. If you have all of your outdoor pictures scheduled for 1 pm, we inwardly cringe wondering if we will be able to find a shaded area so that the lighting won’t be too harsh. Work with your photographer and talk about timing for family portraits, a first look if you decide to do one, and other shots. We are happy to help chat about the timeline for the day to ensure enough time for pictures and to work with the best light.
Speaking of light.
One of my favorite parts of the day is capturing the process of a bride getting ready for her wedding day. Unless it’s in a windowless room with a lot of clutter. I absolutely know that sometimes a pretty getting ready area is out of the bride’s control (and I work with what I have) but thinking about how you might like those images to look can really help the final outcome.
Let’s talk about Photoshop.
Yes, Photoshop is a great tool for both photographer and our clients who receive their final images. However, when your bridesmaid asks me to Photoshop out all of her tan lines or your sweet aunt asks me to help her “lose a few pounds” in the pictures, it puts me in an awkward predicament. We want everyone to feel great in the final picture but it’s not realistic in any way to Photoshop each file or just push a magic button to “fix” anything that might be less than perfect. I am always happy to fix an image that might be printed for a wall hanging or album, but if we could all unlearn the term “just Photoshop it,” many of us would breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Timing really is everything.
Determining a timeline for the wedding day is likely one of the hardest parts of the planning process. Logistics can be tricky and there is a lot to fit into a wedding day. I always appreciate being asked for help and am happy to give it when discussing the timing of a wedding day. If you are not doing a first look (which is absolutely your decision…I never try to force one if your vision is to have that first look be down the aisle), be aware that trying to get all of the family pictures, all of the wedding party pictures, and the pictures of the two of you is hard to fit into just an hour–especially if we are traveling from a ceremony location to the reception. Do you want to be a part of your cocktail hour? Considering a first look on your wedding day does allow for a more relaxed schedule and can give you the chance to mingle with your guests and enjoy a drink and the hor d’oeurves you so carefully selected. Also, pad your wedding day timeline. Makeup appointments run late. Getting to and from locations usually takes longer than you plan for. Large wedding parties can often be hard to corral together.
Keep your photographer in the loop about family drama.
When thinking about your family portraits on your wedding day, please let us know if there are any uncomfortable situations that might be awkward as we put family members together for pictures. If there was a messy divorce or family members who are uncomfortable being in the same room together, please let us know so that we can handle that delicately. Or, if your sibling has a long term partner/significant other and you aren’t sure you want them in your portraits, we are happy to help handle those situations so you aren’t put in an uncomfortable spot on your wedding day.
Trust is key in any good relationship. If you love your photographer, trust him or her. We often have a vision and even though it may be hard to see it, we are usually capturing something quite lovely. There are many times we are in a location and we see some ray of light, wonderful background, or pretty vista that we steer you toward. Trust the process and your photographer. Along the same note, remember that we are looking for lighting just as much as pretty backgrounds so if we don’t put you on that bridge you love at 1 p.m., it may be because the lighting at that time just isn’t perfect and won’t result in the image you imagine.