I shot a lot of weddings. That’s a given. So I know how to come prepared. I have books (which i wrote and give my brides), forms to fill out and chit chats with the B&G. But,no matter how hard I try… I still always managed to get surprised by a 1 or 2 things at a wedding that will make me scramble to make sure i “get the shot”. I mean.. It’s no big deal. I still always manage the get the shot (as i’m sure other photographers as well) but… in order to minimize the chances of me missing anything…enter, this post. Hi.
This post is 10 things that you should remember to tell your photographer before the B-I-G day. Things that might help TREMENDOUSLY your photographer to get ready (mentally and equipment-wise) to make sure that they won’t miss that shot.
Most photographer (especially me) love getting photos of the bride and groom getting ready. However, you need to tell me that you actually want them and where to show up. If it’s at a hotel, make sure you email (or text) the room numbers to the photographer once you have checked-in. If getting ready photos are important to you, make sure that you talk to your makeup artist and your hairstylist about it. Your hair should be done before your makeup. Your photographer should show up as you are getting your makeup started. You should be the last person. Girls (and mom) should be getting dressed at this point. No one should be dressed (important for the boys!) before the photographer gets there!!! Or else, your getting ready photos are a waste.
Make sure you tell your photographer what’s important to you. The ceremony, the guests looking at you, your dad seeing you for the first time, your grandmother.. whatever it may be, make sure you tell your photographer. Our focus is YOU so, we might not realize that something else is happening in the background. If you have a specific moment that you would absolutely like… make sure you tell us! It could be anything… even if it seems small or HUGE. We need to keep our eyes open for those moments for you.
Your grandmother gave you her ring, you have a charm on your dress that’s your fathers, your nephew made you a drawing, your best man made the boxes that the rings are in… unless you tell us .. there’s NO WAY that we can know. If you have any special details during your wedding day, make sure to mention it. Photographer have a ritual, we know what to photograph at every wedding, cause it’s always the same… if something is really important to you because someone make/gave it to you.. We might not see it.
Seems silly but we need to know so that we make sure we get all the photos. Ceremonies can be boring for a photographer. There’s no voice in photographs and the only person that really speaks in the officiant so you tend to get 300 photos of people listening. Booriingggg. We might brace ourselves and wait for the next reactions/cries/emotions before capturing something rather than just shoot shoot shoot the same photos over and over again. If you don’t tell us that your ceremony is 5 minutes (!!!) We might miss everything waiting for a great moment. So make sure you tell your photographer. If it’s 5 minutes, the photographer will make sure to be alert and shoot everything to make sure to get it all as fast as possible rather than, if it’s 2hrs, he’ll know that he has LOTS of time to get creative, change locations, setup lights and so on.
Sometimes bride and groom’s have little fun rituals to make the ceremony less… well… boring. A pinky swear, a funny entrance, a nephew giving you a thumbs up, unless you tell us about it, we might miss it. I know that it’s fun if you keep it a secret to see people’s reactions but photographers aren’t really “people” are they? Remember that it’s important to let us know ! 😛
I send out a form to my Bride and grooms so that they write down the family photos that they would like captured. This makes sure that we don’t FORGET anyone and that it goes faster. It’s going to be a hectic day. Do not rely on your memory. Write it down or else you’ll be very sad when you forget the, very obvious, photo with mom alone. I know some photographers don’t have a list to give you to fill out so be proactive… make your own! Better yet, there’s one to print out (and fill out) for you below, check it out!
Do you ? First looks are great because of 3 things: You will have fresh makeup/hair. You have more time in the morning to take it easy than after the ceremony and you’ll get to spend the cocktail hour with guests.So, if yes, let us know as we will need to plan for more time. If you do see each other before the ceremony, it’s probably wise to get all the portraits done as well. Make sure you tell us so that we plan accordingly. Your timeline should have an extra 1h30 between getting ready and ceremony to do a first look and take the creative portraits (wedding party & B&G photos).
If the DJ planning of placing all your guests on the dance floor for your entrance ? Are they going to make a line so that you pass in the middle ? Is the planner making you separate between tables so that you can meet at the dance floor and kiss. All annoying things for your photographer by the way (i know we are so picky) Ask the DJ/Planner to let us know what’s the plan so that we are setup properly. Best case ? Guests are at their seat and you walk in, dancing and laughing TOGETHER so that we photograph both of you. Especially if your first dance and as soon as you come in. Having guests on the dance floor while you are dancing close is difficult for your photographer (and video guys) to manage as we have NO SPACE. If the DJ is going to make the guests get up, and we know a head of time, we’ll make sure to have the right lens on our camera so that we have a wide focal length.
Make your groom ready this question in case you have no idea if he has something planned for you. I missed a special song from the groom to the bride once because i went to the washroom for the first time in 10 hours. No one knew except the groom. Even the DJ was like “huh?”. Important! Other surprises ? Bagpiper that no one knows about, a bus that will transport everyone, grand father speech, bride playing the ukelele to her groom, Groomsmen had a hilarious dance planned for the groom, special funny cake reveal… whatever it may be, we should know so that we capture the reactions (they last about 1 second)
I think this point is clear. Is there a toast, prayer, special speech? Let us know. Of course this doesn’t count if someone randomly grabs the mic and you had no idea. We forgive you.
All in all … i think it’s pretty clear. No matter WHAT HAPPENS, tell your photographer. you have spent a pretty penny on us and we want to make sure that we give you every moment possible of your wedding day. We understand that surprises (even to you) sometimes happen and you had no idea but be conscience enough to stop that person in its tracks and say “WAIT! WHERE’S THE PHOTOGRAPHER?” Because your guests won’t think of it. We’ll come running!
To help you remember all this, here two sheets that I have create for you (and that you can print!!) and give to your photographer ! Enjoy!!