Wedding Photography – “Dos” and “Don’ts” for capturing your “I Dos”

  • DO your homework in choosing a photographer. Anyone with some decent equipment and a website and business cards can call themselves a photographer. Get recommendations from friends and ask to see a portfolio of their work. You may also want to ask how they got into the business and if they went to school or trained under another photographer.
  • DO schedule engagement photos. This is a great way to get to know your photographer and his or her work style. It also gives the couple a chance to get used to being the main attraction in a no pressure atmosphere.
  • DO tell your guests to leave the camera at home during the ceremony. (or at least to stay in their seats!) A professional photographer at your wedding only gets one shot, no pun intended, at capturing the most special key moments on your special day. A well meaning relative turned amateur photographer can sometimes get in the way of the person you are paying good money to do the job. Using ushers to enforce this can be a good idea.
  • DO discuss your wedding day schedule with your photographer before finalizing anything. This is especially true if you want any outdoor photographs. Your photographer will know best what time of day the lighting will be ideal to get the shots you want. It is also important to allot your photographer enough time to take all the shots and not just assume photos only take 10 minutes.
  • DON’T skip the pre-wedding shots. Trying to assemble everyone after the wedding when everyone is rushing to the party can be a hassle. Instead allow yourself plenty of time beforehand to get all the combinations of shots you want. Enlisting a friend or family member to help the photographer assemble everyone and direct people as to the shots they will be in is another great way to make the formal shots go more smoothly. If you have done your homework in choosing a photographer they will be able to direct this person as to who they need next and when to release people with minimal effort.
  • DON’T get too detailed in listing every single photo setup you want. Be sure to tell the photographer about a few particular shots you would like by all means. If you have done your homework; however, you can probably trust your photographer to make sure you get the right people in the right shots.
  • DO tell the photographer you have a good side. If there is a certain way you do (or do not) like to be photographed you want to be sure to communicate that to your photographer so he or she can do their best to accommodate you.
  • DO spend a little extra for a second photographer. If you can afford the extra cost it can be well worth it to have the chance to choose from photos that offer an entirely different perspective on the day. Even two photographers can’t be everywhere at once but at least you will capture a little more. Also consider hiring a videographer. A well edited video can be an amazing way to capture the spirit of your special day.
  • DON’T stare at the camera all day. Your photographer will probably take a lot of candid shots throughout the day, both at the wedding and at the reception. You really don’t need to stop what you are doing and give them your attention unless he or she asks you to do so. Candid shots make for great ones so it is best to just continue what you are doing and try to be natural since that is probably what made the photographer come in for the shot in the first place!
  • DON’T forget to tell your photographer about things you absolutely want photographed. Most photographers will capture the first dance and the cake cutting as well as centerpieces and a sample place setting. But if you absolutely want any of these things it is best to talk with your photographer about it before the event. Also mention any less common special details you want memorialized such as an archway you and your bridesmaids put together or a landmark at the location.
  • DO remind everyone to smile! It is a happy day and you want that to be obvious in your photos. Remind your attendants to stay smiling. A slouching, scowling bridal party can ruin some great shots. Save any disagreements for after the events. A bride angrily lecturing her uncle for bringing his latest fling to her wedding probably won’t make for a very attractive shot.

The best tip of all is really this. DO have fun and DON’T sweat the details! Nothing is ever perfect. You need to trust you chose your photographer wisely and remember that your special day is all about the reason behind it and no photography goofs or mishaps of any kind can change that.

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