One of the more important aspects of planning your wedding is finding the perfect photographer -- one that has all of the right ingredients; style, approach, equipment, etc. Of course, it's a two-way street. In order to get exactly what you want, you have to give a little, right?
Here are five of the most important things to consider when working with your wedding photographer before, during, and after the ceremony:
When planning for your wedding day, banning phones and cameras from guests and attendees should be a top consideration for many brides and grooms. There are many upsides to this (such as Uncle Dave not missing a big moment because he's fiddling with his phone), but the main reason for doing so is to allow your wedding photographer the freedom to capture the most important moments without random phones floating into frame, or rogue flashes going off, destroying that once perfectly designed lighting for your first kiss.
The act of banning phones, cameras, etc., during a wedding ceremony is now called holding an "Unplugged Ceremony." It allows your wedding guests the ability to unplug from the distractions that come along with phones and personal cameras, to instead be more present on your big day. It also allows your photographer the ability to capture those stunning pictures you so well deserve of the beautiful moments from that big day.
More Than Just One Day's Work
One common misconception when working with a wedding photographer is that their job is just for the day, and should be paid as such. But do consider all of the other work they do before and after your wedding day as well. It doesn't just exist in an eight-hour window. Instead, it begins the moment you and your photographer begin planning (hopefully well in advance) -- for shots, for style, for lighting, etc. And it doesn't end until the photographer scours through the probably thousands of shots to find those most perfect ones, edits them (with software that also costs money), exports them, and collects them all into a wedding photo album you will cherish for decades to come.
As an example, consider a couple of local wedding photographer Kevin McDermott's photography packages. In his first package, he offers a free Save the Date session, followed by an eight-hour coverage booking day of wedding, along with access to a digital gallery and photo release. His most popular package adds a second photographer, and edited highlight and documentary videos. All of which takes time well beyond wedding day.
So when the photographer sends you his quote, please weigh all of these other details along with that one (important) day when making your decision.
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Get Ready Somewhere Quiet -- and Clean
When getting ready for the ceremony, it is important to be calm and collected, of course. But, it is also good practice to consider what kind of environment you want for your "Getting Ready" photos, if you've chosen to have them taken. Only the most important people should be allowed into the room (i.e. the makeup artist and photographer). The room should not be filled with random guests trying to catch a glimpse of the bride before the ceremony. Instead, it should be as stress-free of an environment as possible.
Also consider what is in the room itself, and declutter it of anything unnecessary (such as stray water bottles, tissues, clothes, etc.). These are all unfortunate elements that would detract from what could otherwise be some of the best candid photos taken on your wedding day.
Remember, the Wedding Is About You
Above all else, the main focus is you. It's your wedding. Nothing else matters. So do whatever you want. If you don't want to go along with traditional wedding photos, then don't. Be open to allowing your and your husband-to-be's personalities to shine through.
Also, try to enjoy it. All of it. The big moments; the small -- and everything in between. Savor it. Allowing yourself to do so will not only lead to deeper and more beautiful memories of the experience itself, it will also lead to better photos. Your natural ease and happiness will be impossible for the lens to miss.
A Review Means the World
Of course, even a small thank you goes along way. But so does a review on Google or any one of the photographers social media profiles and websites. Leaving a positive review helps garner further work for the person who helped capture your most cherished memories forever.
It also helps, and is very much appreciated, when past clients share their photographs and tag the photographer in their posts. These days, it's all about networking and engagement. Even these small acts can create positive ripple effects.
These are just a few of the more pertinent tips when working with your wedding photographer throughout your journey to and from the altar. We hope these help create a more seamless experience.