I wouldn’t really class this post as ‘planning tips’, but I suppose that would be where it loosely sits. I decided to put together a little list of a few things that many photographers (or maybe it’s just me?) would like our couples to know, but often aren’t asked, advertised, or just don’t come up in conversation… There’s only 8 on this list, but feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!
1- I love talking about weddings with you!
When one of my grooms lets me know about an awesome band that they’ve just booked, or a bride can’t wait to ask me about locations at their venue… I love it! It makes my day to just receive a message telling me about fresh plans or little wedding wins. I do this job because I love it, and so I enjoy all of these conversations. I’ll also help out wherever I can!
2- Trust is ridiculously important.
The awesome photos happen when you trust your photographer and you’ll approach your images with an open mind. As photographers, it’s in our best interest to give you great wedding photographs, because it also makes us look good… So if your uncle bob (who takes pretty photos of flowers and so knows EXACTLY how I should be working) thinks you should be smiling in front of a water fountain, but I’ve got you walking through some trees instead… then there’s probably a good reason for that (the light… it’s always the light). I need you to relax in the knowledge that you chose me based on the photos of mine that you’ve seen from other weddings… And I know how to make them at yours!
3- Wedding photographers need to recharge and refuel, too!
A photographers schedule is a pretty unique one. During our busy periods, our weddings are mostly at the weekends but this doesn’t mean we take the week off… That’s our time for editing, admin, marketing, and generally running our business. For this reason, our time off is SACRED in the summer. So, if I’m not available to shoot your family photos on a Saturday in summer, or meet for a coffee on the rare occasion that I have a Friday night to wind down… Please don’t think it’s because I wouldn’t love to spend time with you. I just need to take care of myself, too.
I’m going to make the same point for wedding days, too. We are usually the people who are with you for the most time during the day. We’re there many hours before the DJ arrives and we stay far longer than any makeup artist. And although these guys do a fantastic job, they will no doubt get a break before or after their time with you. We need to take our break when we are at the wedding, so please don’t hate us for taking half an hour when your guests are eating to have some grub, or having a quick minute to sit down when there isn’t much going on. It’ll pay off when we need to be on the ball!
4- We do love it when you tag us in photos
We pour SO SO MUCH of our energy into every one of your photographs, so when I see that you’ve uploaded and tagged me in one, I get a little butterfly in my stomach. It’s such a lovely feeling. On the flip side, when I see them in my feed either from a couple or when a venue has posted them, and they have one of those awful filters over them and my name is nowhere to be seen, it’s a little deflating. You don’t NEED to tag me, it’s not the law… But after the many hours spend on your images, it’s just ‘nice’. And lets say your long-lost high school friend is getting married, see’s your wedding photo, clicks to my profile, books me for your wedding… You’ve then just directly funded my coffee addiction! Whoop!
5- You really don’t need to give me a shot list
From personal experience… most of you respect me enough not to do this anyway. But usually, ‘shot lists’ are the ones found on Pinterest and google, containing things like ‘bride and bridesmaids’ and ‘cake being cut’. But these are pretty standard images that any photographer worth their salt will be shooting. Most shot lists from google simply list things that happen in the day, which I will be there for anyway. Others contain piles of outdated and cheesy set-up photographs that really don’t suit my relaxed and casual style.
This doesn’t mean you can’t let me know of certain photos that are really important to you or the unique things that might be happening on your day that I might not normally expect from a wedding. I will send you a questionnaire a few months before your wedding and you can give me all the details I need.
6- I sit in anticipation after I deliver your photos!
After going through all of your planning with you, many emails backwards and forwards, preparing for your big day, spending the best day of your life with you and reliving those moments when I edit your wedding photographs… I hit the ‘send’ button on your gallery. And then I wait. And wait. I am SO EXCITED to hear what you think of them. But also nervous and on pins. It’s so important to me that you love them, as I’m totally emotionally invested in these images and your wedding. So, please put me out of my misery and let me know that you love them too (Deep down, I know you will).
7- Bridal prep isn’t just makeup photos
I see the photos of you before your wedding as some of the most important we will take. Not just the fact that they really aid in telling the story of the day, but for me getting to know some of the most important people at the wedding (yourself included) and getting you (and them) used to having me around. Let’s face it, it’s not every day that you have your life documented by a professional photographer (unless you’re the queen or my cat…) so you need a little bit of time to get used to it. It doesn’t take long, but you don’t want to be ‘getting used to it’ whilst you’re trying to enjoy the day with your loved ones.
8- We don’t own anything until we own it twice.
Us photographers are a naturally paranoid bunch. We need to be, really! And so a quote I always have in mind is that we need to have everything twice because if we don’t and something goes wrong, then we don’t have it at all.
Let me give an example… I have two cameras with me at all times during a wedding (in case one locks or breaks… I even have a third camera in my bag). On these cameras, I take two photos instead of one if something is important (in case the focus is slightly off in one, or somebody blinks). Those photos are simultaneously saved to two in-camera memory cards, in case there’s a problem with one. after the wedding, the photos stay on a memory card and a hard drive until they reach my office. At the office, my hard drive is a dual-drive setup, that also backs up every day to the cloud. So from taking a photo, there is ALWAYS at least two full-quality copies.
This attitude runs right through my business. I have a replacement for myself lined up if there was to ever be an issue (there never has been), I have multiples of every piece of gear. even my website technically exists twice.
And that’s that. A small insight into some of the things that run through my mind. Things most photographers probably wish their clients knew. Do any of them surprise you? Get in touch!