Wedding season is nearly upon us and in honor of this wonderful, yet sometimes stressful time, we have asked our friends at SnapKnot to share some of their wedding photography wisdom and what couples should be thinking about when choosing a photographer. Planning a wedding may not be easy but their community of expert wedding photographers will help make planning a piece of cake!
SnapKnot’s 10 Recommendations to Kick Off Wedding Season Right: Tried and True Methods from their Experienced Photographers
1. Choose a wedding photographer you get along with.
“This might sound strange, but look for someone that meshes with your personality. When a client and I share much of the same personality and interests, the wedding day goes that much smoother because it becomes a much more intimate affair rather than just a business transaction. Meeting in person, or even just on Skype, is a great way to get a feel for the photographer. If the meeting is awkward and forced, you can bet it will be that way on your wedding day and the same is true for if you feel comfortable during the meeting.” – Daniel Aaron Sprague
“Don’t just look at price and pictures. Be sure that your photographer’s personality and ways of interacting will mesh with yours and with your bridal party and family. Remember, this is a person who is going to be following you around for 8+ hours on your wedding day. He or she will see you in your underwear (or less). Make sure it is a personality that you will not get weary of a couple hours in.” – Deborah Hurd Photography
2. Know what kind of photography style you are looking for.
“Think about what style of pictures you are looking for on your big day. Are traditional shots important? Don’t choose a contemporary photographer. Are the candids most important to you? Don’t choose someone who is all about the posed pictures. Every photographer has a vision; make sure it matches yours. Remember, what worked well for your best friend’s wedding may not be right for you.” – Deborah Hurd Photography
3. Price is important- but it is not everything.
“If photography is in the top 3 of your most important vendors, look online for a photographer and DON’T even glance at their pricing yet. Pretend you have no budget and JUST view their work. Then, select 3 photographers whose work you LOVE. After they’re chosen, go back and look at what they charge. You may go into shock or be delightfully surprised.” – Trish Hadley
“Compare packages, not prices. One photographer may have a package that has a price you like, but then you discover that you have to pay extra for an album or prints or the proofs. Look at the big picture. A larger package may save you money in the long run if it includes invitations or thank you notes or albums. Do remember that the price advertised may not tell the whole story.”– Deborah Hurd Photography
4. Communicate your ideas and preferences to the photographer.
“Your photos are a permanent record of the biggest day of your life – make them special. Discuss with your photographer portrait locations that are meaningful to you, such as your first-date restaurant, the park that he proposed to you at, and other memorable locales. Consider using meaningful props, such as an important letter from your fiancé or your wedding invitation. Be creative – have fun!”– Angelica Roberts
“Don’t be afraid to ask! If you have your heart set on a certain pose, think something might look really cool, or have a creative epiphany dab smack in the middle of your wedding- tell your photographer! We can’t always stand on our heads while juggling, but we like to try. Sometimes the idea you throw out there leads to something pretty darn cool.”– Kimberly Sauvageau
“Be sure that you and your photographer are on the same page in regards to style before the big day. For instance, if you don’t like images of yourself from a particular side, tell them!”– Rachel Rausch
5. Use your engagement session as a “dress rehearsal”.
“Most likely your engagement session is being done by the same person that is doing your wedding photos, so take this opportunity to iron out the kinks in your relationship. Try out different poses that you’ve seen online (you know you’ve looked)–do they look natural to you? How does it feel to do that pose? Is your photographer giving you the direction you need? Too little or too much? Think about these things after your engagement session and discuss them with your photographer after your session so you are both on the same page and, most importantly, that you have zero concerns going into your wedding day.”– Joanna Moss
6. Create a shot list.
“The most important thing you can do is create a shot list. Your photographer should supply you with one to which you can add your special requests. Start adding to it shortly after your engagement and as you think of them!”
“If you will be wearing any family jewelry that has sentimental meaning, be sure to specifically tell or show your photographer the piece of jewelry and, by all means, add this to the shot list.”– Cindy of Blue Room Photography
7. Formal photos are important, but understand how timing works.
“Know who you would like to include in the ‘formal’ family photos after the ceremony and have a family member in charge of gathering them together for the photos. Limiting the number of formal traditional photos will allow you and the photographer to have more time before the reception. This also allows the bride and groom some time to catch their breath, relax and enjoy time with one another before getting caught up in the reception.”– Rich Burkhart
“If possible, arrange to have your formal photos taken prior to the ceremony (formally called a ‘first look’). Getting these out of the way early in the day frees up the rest of your time to spend with your guests. You can then also go straight to cocktail hour and catch up with family and friends and have peace of mind knowing that all of your formal photos are done with! It’s a new age, so it’s no longer considered ‘bad luck’ for the groom to see his bride before the wedding.”– Sean Michael
8. Know how to handle “Uncle Bob.”
“We all have an Uncle Bob. Ask your wedding party in advance to be mindful of looking directly at the photographer during the group photos regardless of what wedding guests are snapping photos all around them. This ensures fabulous group shots where everyone is looking at the camera, while still allowing ‘Uncle Bob’ to shoot his little heart out.”– Kimberly Sauvageau
“The new trend is for guests to bring their own cameras, smartphones, and tablets and snap away during your wedding. Gently suggest that they refrain from taking photos while the photographer is working. This practice adds time to your photo sessions, which will cause you to get annoyed with the process. You’ve invested a tidy sum for your professional photographer to create and capture gorgeous images. Your guests should just come and enjoy the day!”– Rachel Rausch
9. Have a planned exit.
“Having an organized ‘send-off’ from the reception gives family and friends an opportunity to see the couple. Whether you have sparklers or just a line of well-wishers, it often makes for great photos.”– Rich Burkhart
10. Enjoy your wedding day and leave the rest to the photographer.
“Let your personalities shine. The day is all about the bride and groom, have fun! Your photographer knows how to capture moments that are not pre-planned, it’s these moments that separate your wedding from the rest. Here’s where your style plays an important part to the photographer. You’ve given him/her the time now make use of it by inserting your personalities into your images.”– Simply Dorine Photography
“Breathe. Allow yourself to relax as much as you possibly can and try to enjoy yourself. It’s your wedding day, after all, and come what may, it will be absolutely beautiful, delightfully unique, and completely yours.”– Kimberly Sauvageau
About SnapKnot: The exclusive wedding photography resource for Nordstrom, SnapKnot helps thousands of wedding photographers connect with more brides online and grow their businesses.