1. PERSONALITY CLASH
The majority of photographers have facebook pages, websites and an ‘online’ personality. You might fall in love with the witty giff comebacks in the comments section; I am known to scroll through the comments section for a bit too long too. The problem is that the content you gel with online may not be who you gel with in person.
Now I am certainly not saying that all of us photographers belong on a series of Catfish but it may be for example that a digital marketing team are employed. There is nothing like meeting over a cuppa or even a simple telephone call to get to know someone before you book. After all, a photographer is with you for the majority of your day during your most personal and emotional moments. Choose well!
2. ONE HIT WONDER
So many websites, display albums or posts may show ‘the best of’ or a single image from each wedding. Out of a 10-hour wedding day it wouldn’t be difficult to shoot one stunning image what you need to see is consistency throughout the day in different lighting conditions. How many selfies does it take to get that perfect profile picture? Single stunning images are designed to capture your attention, but ask your potential photographer if it is possible to see full wedding galleries so that you can check the quality from beginning to end.
3. SCHEDULE? WHAT SCHEDULE?
We get it, we have been married ourselves. It is difficult. You haven’t seen your friend Caroline for maybe 5 years? We know… you can’t disappoint Great Aunt Gertrude who would just like one (think 20) photographs for her mantlepiece. During a wedding day there are many opportunities for a schedule to overrun and for your treasured family and couple images to be rushed or missed due to lack of time.
What we recommend is to set 30 minutes aside immediately after your ceremony to get all the pictures you would like to treasure for years to come, allowing uninterrupted time (and drinks) with your guests. A quick announcement at the end of the ceremony of the plan with assure your guests are on the same page and will be delighted to pose for your images.
We had almost forgotten that Lady Gaga song! When you receive your images back from your wedding day, do you expect to see your guests at your ceremony smiling? Laughing? Shedding a tear? Candid photography is becoming increasingly difficult because all we are photographing is guests with knitted brows staring at their phone screen or worse hidden behind a camera. We all have smart phones nowadays and at some weddings all we can see is a sea of phones.
There have been a number of posts online where photographers are unable to shoot the bride walking down the aisle due to well-meaning guests trying to capture the moment themselves. A trend on the rise is the unplugged wedding. A technology free day. An unplugged wedding asks guests to be fully present and live in the moment! We all need to do that from time to time. Communicate your wishes to your guests within the invitation, with decorative signs throughout the day or by a simple announcement from the master of ceremonies. You’ve hired a photographer to capture the day so allow your guests to make memories.
5. (SING) DUH DUH DUH DUH… HERE COMES THE…SEMI-PRO WHO IS RARING TO GO?
This is a little like number 4. We all have a friend or uncle who is handy with a professional DSLR camera but are they your photographer or your wedding guest. Photographers are often placed in an impossible situation when a guest stands in front to get the best angle. We don’t want to be rude to your guests and ask them to move but we are extremely conscious that you have paid money to capture your day.
Also, be mindful that if this guest also wishes to capture group and couple shots, that it will eat into your day that you have so carefully planned and waited for. If you do not wish to go fully unplugged, a gentle announcement at the start of the day by the master of ceremonies is usually enough. That said… if you instruct us to stick out our elbows, become a ninja or WWF wrestler it can be arranged, we want the best for you after all!
6. SALUTE! STAND TO ATTENTION!
Okay… organised is good but a pen, back-up pen and clipboard are not attractive wedding accessories. You have carefully planned your day and chosen professional suppliers so place your trust in them. Every single person there wants the day you get hitched to go without a glitch and will do their upmost to make that happen. Sometimes the unavoidable happens but let the professionals handle it.
Breathe and burry your inner groomzilla. Enjoy every moment with your guests and before you know it, everything will be back on track. Choose a trusted member of your bridal party or guest to liaise with suppliers for you, including rounding up guests for formal photographs and you can rest assured everything will be A-Okay!
7. SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE!
As photographers we get a little bit worried if you don’t talk to us before your wedding and if you don’t fill in our pre-wedding questionnaire. We understand that you might be easy going or not want to be a burden to us. If we see no requests for couple images or group shots, we get a little anxious that you will regret not having a specific photograph with your godson afterwards.
We would much rather that you told us what was important to you. For example, you wouldn’t go to the supermarket, pay £50 and ask the attendant to fill your trolley with whatever they chose. If you are unsure how many is too much or too little, we are more than happy to guide you.
8. DANCE… BOOGIE WONDERLAND!
Hey Macarena! Do you have a choreographed routine that would win you the strictly glitterball trophy? Cha Cha Cha! Tell us! Whilst we are more than equipped to think on our feet and capture the unexpected, there may be an additional piece of equipment we could set up in advance to get truly exceptional coverage. *Winks* Don’t worry though, we will keep your secret to make sure your guests get blown away by the surprise!
This is more common than you would think! Some couples are so self-conscious and camera shy that they avoid the camera. There is also a reason we are behind the camera and not in front of it! We are certainly not supermodels ourselves and everyone has insecurities.
Beauty is subjective, what we see in you that we find beautiful, you may not. Take the option of an engagement shoot. This means that you can sit with your photographer and explain which images you love. This will guide your photographer on your big day. It also means you will be more relaxed in front of the lens and capture the most natural interactions, creating a stunning wedding collection.
10. DON’T BE TOO LATE TO RESERVE THE DATE!
This is the one biggest mistakes you can make. Professional photographers can often be booked up to 3 years in advance (or more!). We understand that it can be mind-boggling and overwhelming to choose your suppliers. You will be heartbroken if you finally decide, after agonising over each choice, that the date has been booked by another couple. Secure the date with a deposit.
If you’re financially struggling, ask your photographer if they can receive payment in instalments or whether some of the items such as a wedding album could be purchased after the wedding. This is a great alternative to asking for money as a wedding gift. Ask guests that if they are generously thinking of choosing a wedding gift for you that they can purchase gift vouchers from the photographer to buy your album package or wall products to remember your day after the wedding.