Okay, ‘5 Things You Must Tell Your Wedding Photographer’ sounds a bit dramatic. I wouldn’t have used the word ‘must’ if I hadn’t felt from my experience as a professional photographer, that if you can remember to do these things it will truly benefit your experience. It’s easy to forget in the midst of intense wedding planning to keep communication flowing with your suppliers. But I promise by doing this, you’ll foster fantastic relationships where they’ll understand your needs. And most importantly, you’ll get the best photographs.
1. Be honest about awkward family members.
My mum always says ‘forearmed is forewarned’. And there’s no better way to explain the massive benefit that comes from having an open relationship where you share awkward family members with your photographer. If you’ve got an extremely interfering Auntie, a Granny that’s likely to take over your planned and agreed shot list. Or a drunken Uncle Bob who annoyingly tries to get in every picture. Please tell us! Experienced photographers have seen all sorts of quirky behaviour (let’s politely call it that) and have dealt with zesty, demanding characters plenty of times. Letting us know in advance can be massively helpful. Why? Because we can work with you to manage big characters so they don’t call the shots on your special day. Give us the info and we can work together to manage and negotiate so everyone is kept happy.
2. Share what your other suppliers are doing on the day.
Knowing if you’ve booked a videographer can really help your photographer – especially when checking out the venue at your pre-meeting. A photographer will have a slightly different plan of angle capture if they know a videographer, for example, is in the middle of the aisle.
Working closely with videographers and being partnered with the lovely Aidan Willis (videographer) – I will be aware of keeping the clicks managed and where my movements are most respectful so you’re photography and videography are the best they can be.
Equally, if a singing waiter is about to burst into song and jump out from the under the table, letting your photographer know is so helpful as we will be in a killer position to capture everyone’s reactions.
3. Share all crucial timings and events – including surprises!
Maybe you’ve heard the story of the bride who forgot to tell her photographer that she was throwing her bouquet at an unconventional time. The poor photographer was in the toilet having a quick wee…and you get the idea! Basically I have nightmares about this type of thing and I don’t want it to happen to me.
Many couples plan surprises for their guests – from singing waiters, confetti cannons, surprise guests from overseas to choreographed dancing. Some of these are planned very last minute. Don’t keep them a surprise from your photographer who is an eager beaver to capture absolutely everything. We are ready for the unexpected but knowing in advance massively helps the set-up (and when you’re only 5ft5, it helps me get in front of all the tall rugby player guests before the big reveal!!!)
4. Don’t forget to advise if your home address changes.
Sounds obvious. But 100% of my couples to date who have changed their home address between signing their contract with me and when I’m due to post out their beautiful USB have forgotten to tell me!
Completely understandable given contracts are often written a while ago and they’re so busy.
I now ask every couple just before send out ?
5. Share anything personal that will affect how you feel about your pictures.
If you don’t like something about yourself physically…share it.
This is difficult for a lot of people. For others its simple and very quickly it emerges they hate their fat back or double chin. I ask in a very sensitive way during my pre-meetings. But I know many photographers who feel uncomfortable being personal and instead wait for it to be volunteered. Please share. You have spent a lot of money on your wedding photography – it’s so important you love your pictures. It is often subtle things that we won’t know about unless you tell us. For example, no-one else sees it but you could be the best photographer on the planet but if you took a picture of my side profile, I would hate it!!! Everyone is different.
If you hate a mole / have some acne etc, be upfront if you’d like the photographer to do minor retouching. I never assume retouching nor make a judgment. You need to tell me if you hate a freckle on the end of your nose. Otherwise I won’t know it bothers you!
If you have a personal situation that will affect your wedding…share it.
Please also share if you have a personal situation that you might be worried about on your wedding day. For example, I had a bride whose mother was extremely ill and the wedding was going to be the last time many of her family would see her. Sharing that with me, led to a very productive and sensitive conversation around people’s reactions – when and when not to capture photos. Another one of my brides has shared she is worried about her son on the autism spectrum as he doesn’t like having his photograph taken. I am delighted she shared that with me. I have years of experience photographing children and couples on the spectrum. And through that conversation, we have arranged some playdates where I can support the family and familiarise her little boy with me and my cameras. And we have a plan set out on how we can reduce anxiety on the day.
If there’s one thing you prioritise above all things (after loving the pictures obviously) choose a photographer you’re comfortable with and you can have this open conversation. It will make a world of difference .
Hope you’ve found ‘5 things you must tell your wedding photographer’ helpful ?
Good-luck with your planning, Victoria xxx
p.s. as always – if you’d like to ask questions or talk to me about your wedding, you can message me and we can arrange a good time to have a chat ☕️❤️?
Victoria is a featured photographer on Hitched.