Professional Wedding Photographer Advice; What The Experts Want You to Know!
“Wedding photos last forever, every bride and groom wants them to be extra special. What are some tips that every couple should know about to best capture the special events during the engagement through wedding process?”
The best way to feel comfortable in front the camera during your wedding is to do an engagement session prior to your big day. It is a great opportunity to instill confidence and build comfort in front of the camera. Also, establishing a relationship with Steve before your wedding will make a HUGE difference in the outcome of your wedding photo.
We also highly recommend you hire a professional wedding coordinator. It’s one of the best ways to ensure that your day is stress-free. When you are relaxed and having fun, your photos will naturally look beautiful!
Our number one tip for a successful photo session or wedding is timing! Set yourself up for success with a well planned event or session that works around the best light for the season. Remember that the sun will set around 5:30pm in the winter months, but around 8:30pm in the summer months – a big difference when planning planning the ideal event!
We prefer to meet for coffee or drinks with our couples while the planning process is still in the beginning stages so that we can get to know them and discuss their desires for the session. From there, we can take our couple’s unique style and use our expertise to help map out the best time of day and the estimated time needed to make these dreams a reality.
Ideally you want your “premier images” to be shot during the best light, which is commonly called the blue or golden hour, around sunrise and sunset, respectively. This is the time slot we reserve for your favorite outfit and location on your engagement session, or on the wedding day, the time we take the bridal party photos or private photos of the bride and groom.
When it comes to putting together a timeline – always overestimate! It is easy to underestimate the amount of travel time between locations (i.e. church to reception hall) and how difficult corralling the bridal party will be! You can have an amazing photographer, but if there is not enough time allotted for photos, there is only so much that can be done. Leaving a buffer in between items on your timeline will ensure that everything remains running smoothly, even with a hiccup or two along the way.
Your photographer wants to capture amazing images just as much as you desire them! Get to know your photographer and make sure you voice what you want, and take their advice accordingly. Doing all of this will ensure that you receive amazing images that you will cherish for a lifetime!
-Theo Civitello, Owner, Theo-Graphics
Your wedding is a series of once-in-a-lifetime moments, and your photos are the only way to relive all those extraordinary experiences again and again, so leave nothing to chance; pick the photographer who is the right fit for your style and has the experience to capture every priceless detail.
-Jennifer Myers, Evin Thayer Studios
The most important thing I can stress is to choose a photographer that you really connect with! Your photographer is going to be by your side all day, and will be your point of contact, shoulder to cry on, and best friend for everything! You want to be sure you really like the person, and feel comfortable and confident with them. Be sure to be happy with their style of photography as well!
-Kaley Elaine Gross, Owner, Kaley Elaine Photography
This can be a very wide topic, but to keep it short I can say to start it is good to have a list of events you want to cherish such as engagement, bridal, boudoir, wedding, trash the dress. Then you can start planning your budget for photography with plenty of time and consult with your photographer even before booking your venue. If you are honest with your photographer and really show appreciation for his/her work, you’ll be more likely to have him/her on your side to help you get the most out of their photography services.
-Blanca Duran, Owner, Blanca Duran Photography
I recommend choosing a photographer that you trust completely and love the way they document a variety of weddings. Bonus if they are communicative and talk through the whole process with you about how to take advantage of the best light for photos and a timeline that will allow for you to create the images that you have seen throughout their portfolio. Every wedding is different and unique and beautiful, so I also love to remind my brides not to get too tied to Pinterest inspiration Boards and recreating other weddings. The photos that always ring truest and most treasured with my clients are the stolen moments–the authentic glances and laughter that come from releasing expectations and allowing your day to unfold just as it may.
-Bri Costello, Owner, Bri Costello Photography
We always encourage our Couples to really evaluate their timeline and hire a coordinator. Weddings are incredible moments in time – but they are just that “moments.” Allowing enough time for each event including hair and make-up is critical. We believe our couples are happiest when they are given enough time to relax and truly enjoy the day as it is happening. Besides, the last thing you want on your wedding day is to be stressed and pressed for time!
We also encourage our Brides to treat themselves to a bridal session. While you are getting some incredible photos in your dream gown – it also serves a very functional purpose. It is the perfect opportunity to test your gown, bouquet, hair and makeup. We had many Brides find their dress doesn’t fit quite as perfect as it did in the bridal salon when they are actually walking and moving in their dress. One Bride was confident that she wanted an intricate up-do, but after her Bridal session she found that loose curls were much more her style. Also, many florists are more than happy to throw in a “test” bouquet. This lets you know how you really like your choice of florals together and how they stand up in the heat and humidity.
As you’re searching for your wedding photographer, it’s okay to meet with them and see how well you connect. Your wedding photographer is one of your most important vendors, so you want to ensure that you will enjoy their company as they capture the most important day of your life.
2.) Always do an engagement session!
Doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer is one of the most important things you can do! This gives you the opportunity to not only get to know how your photographer will pose and work with you, but it also gets you comfortable with being in front of the camera before your big day!
-Jessi Becker, Owner, Jessi Marri Photography
With so many family members all in one place on the day of, there are certainly lots of personalities and opinions! If you are worried about a particular person overstepping their boundaries, it’s a good idea to let your planner know about it ahead of time. That way, we can help keep an eye on them, and make sure that nothing is distracting you from celebrating your big day! More importantly though, don’t stress about others, and instead focus on the true purpose of the day; marrying the love of your life, and celebrating each other!
-Kyleigh Hanes, En Vogue Events
Make sure you LOVE the photographer you choose. Review their website for consistent images and ask to view a full gallery if you have any hesitation. Always, always book a session prior to the wedding day with your photographer! It helps ease the nervous tension and allows you to establish a rapport with your photog before The Big Day when it really counts. You’ll become familiar with how they direct, guide and pose you and you’ll be a seasoned pro for the bride/groom session on the wedding day!
-Kori Biller, Motley Melange
Couples who have never taken professional photos together find it hard to relax during their photo sessions. To get the best results, choose a photographer that makes you feel comfortable. Making couples laugh during their sessions really helps.
-Laurie Perez, Owner, Laurie Perez Photography
For couples, it’s easy to get caught up in “the making” of a wedding and forget what it’s all about: YOU! As you begin the planning process, your parents and families will have their requests and opinions. Then your friends will have their weddings which you’ll begin to compare to yours. Then you’ll see this and that in wedding magazines and blogs and think, “this is what our wedding is supposed to be like.” Before you know it, you’re planning an entire production to impress and appease everyone else but you.
So, make your wedding about you two as a couple. Make it reflective to your styles and personalities even if it doesn’t fit the standard or traditions or the expected! Just have fun with it! Those who truly love you will be there to support you and celebrate with you regardless.
-Aisha Khan, Ama Photography & Cinema
1. Be themselves! Let your photographer choose locations based on their hobbies/interests so they are captured in the environment that suits them.
2. Allow your photographer to finish their vision with an artbook, designed expertly from start to finish and made w/materials that will last for generations.
-Alison Carlino, Owner, Carlino’s Photography
In order to get awesome wedding images, I think it is crucial to communicate with your photographer through the whole process to make sure they understand what is important to you. You should choose a photographer who’s style and personality you love and who is well seasoned in the wedding industry. Make sure to allow for time at your wedding day for your photographer to capture some awesome and creative portraits for you two. Work together on a timeline that works well for portraits, for instance if you want the golden feel for your portraits time your ceremony accordingly or sneak outside during the reception to have a little more time before the sunset. Avoid having portraits outside when the sun is high in the sky, but if that is a must, a photographer that can handle all kinds of lighting is best. Trust your photographer and enjoy yourselves. The reason you are paying them is to be able to have peace of mind, so just have fun!
-Choose your wedding photographer carefully & wisely! After-all, once the cake has been cut and the flowers have been tossed, the photos from your wedding will be what you have left to remember it all by. Professional, experienced wedding photographers will not only tell the story of your wedding through photography, but they will be well versed in the complexities and stresses of a wedding day. No wedding is the same and every couple is different, that’s why it is important to entrust your special day to a professional.
-Search for a photographer that compliments your style. For example, I tend to gravitate toward natural & organic elements as opposed to busy, hectic environments . I love shooting film. I prefer for the focus of my images to highlight my couples & their love, so we work with directional posing & candid shots versus stiff posing. The point is, just like no wedding or couple is the same, the same will be true of your photographer so it’s important to hire someone who both fits your style aesthetically & makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera!
-Lastly, one of the most important things you can do to make the photography process easier is allowing your photographer the time they need to capture your wedding to the best of their ability. From starting with the photos with getting ready, to shooting details & capturing portraits, setting aside proper time for photography is absolutely crucial! My advice is to listen to your photographer’s timing suggestions prior to the big day so that, together, you can create a photography schedule to follow on your wedding day.
-Stephanie Hunter-Drago, Owner, Stephanie Hunter Photography