1. Not finalizing your wedding timeline
There is a lot to consider for your wedding schedule when it comes to photography and natural light. Talking this all out with your photographer can help with telling you when the best lighting is for those wedding couple photos. Certain times of the day may be more photogenic vs. other times of the day.
2.Not sticking to your wedding timeline
Getting your schedule thrown way off can really hurt the day when it comes to your wedding photos. It’s why on my wedding timeline tool resource, I’m always suggesting you over estimate some time. Why? Because EVERY wedding always has something happen that doesn’t go right to plan and if it’s too strict, it will throw everything else completely off and really hurt your wedding photographer’s time. Being thirty minutes or even an hour behind can really cause you not to get some really important moments captured. Don’t assume we can get everything in just ten minutes. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that.
3. Focusing too much on photos
A good photographer is going to really love capturing you living in the moment on your special day. So as you are getting ready, you don’t always have to look up and smile at the camera. In fact, we really prefer you not to do that. We will tell you when we want you to smile or look a certain way. We don’t really ask that you do that until capturing those posed photos. Otherwise, live in the moment and let my camera capture the story for you to look back on of your wedding day.
4. Not explaining how you look in photos
It’s not the first time I have heard, “I have a good side.” And it’s okay to say that. If you let your photographer know, they will try to remember with each posed photo and help make sure you they don’t put you on the wrong side. Feel free to be honest about your insecurities with your photographer, because sometimes we know how to pose or angle our cameras in certain ways that may be more flattering.
5. Letting relatives get in the way
In my very early days of photographing, I’ll never forget that I literally had an aunt that followed me around with her camera as we were capturing photos of just the bride and groom. It was very frustrating as a photographer. It actually took up time as she wanted me to pause so she could get her photo too, and not to mention my bride and groom not being able to live in the moment. Who wants to live in the moment with their new partner after a wedding with their aunt following them around? I learned a lot from my earlier days. Listen, sometimes, we all have a family member that wants to take “unofficial wedding photos.” They may think they are doing you a favor, but really they aren’t. It can actually hurt your professional paid for wedding photography. This causes more harm vs. good, sometimes getting in the way and making us miss our shots. Tell them to leave the camera at home and just enjoy the wedding.
6. Not getting help organizing your guests
Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, have a close family friend organize your guests when it comes time for the family portraits. Usually after the wedding, everyone is excited and ready to get to the party. Sometimes they can even get side tracked and take off leaving us having to hunt them down and taking up more time on photos. If you get someone that is designated to help with organizing the guests, they can help gather the people needed, and direct them in what photos they need to be in and then release them when they are done. It helps things run so much more smoothly. Sometimes the family photos can be the most chaotic part of a wedding. So we want to avoid that. Ultimately as photographers, we are just trying to get you, the wedding couple, to the best part and what’s going to be hanging up on your wall after, which are the couple photos (which leads me to my next point).
7. Really think about not skipping the first look
Okay listen, I am very traditional too. So this one is not one that I am going to fight you on if you are traditional as well. However, if you are even close to being worried about your timeline and the venue or what’s going on after the ceremony or maybe you just need your soon-to-be spouse to calm your nerves before walking down the aisle, then do the first look. In my opinion, when I have had this wonderful opportunity of doing a first look, it is so much more fun and relaxed on getting those couple photos before the ceremony vs. after the ceremony. The benefit is that you as a couple aren’t in such a big rush to get to the reception after the ceremony. You don’t have guests and family there yet. It can be really intimate and I do really enjoy this because you take a moment to just breathe together. It’s actually quite special.
8. Trying to make things ‘perfect’
It’s your day. Don’t be a ball of stress. Try your best to relax and roll with it. That’s what my associate and I try to do, because sometimes things don’t always go 100% the way they are planned to, in fact, most of the times that is the case. So know this. The quicker you set your mindset to this, you will still have a wonderful time on your wedding day not sweating the small stuff.
9. Trying to pose with your new partner
One of my jobs as a photographer is to pose you. Guess what? I will. But there will be ‘in between’ moments that I just want you to enjoy being together. I may pull my camera out and see what’s happening and just capture it and it may be your favorite photo. During our time together, I do some posed photos, because those are the ones your grandparents and parents are going to like, with you looking at the camera. However, I also like to prompt you to just be in moments together. Be hopelessly in-love with one another. Be natural. Those moments, such as your groom whispering something into your ear, will make the best photos that you will cherish.
10. Waiting too long to book your wedding photographer
Listen! I can book out pretty far. When a couple gets engaged, sometimes they are planning a wedding for a year out and one of the first things they should book is their wedding photographer. It’s never too early! So if you have found a good photographer that you are excited about working with, book them! Don’t wait. Nothing is more frustrating then to find out they are already booked because you waited too long. And I’ll admit, sometimes as a photographer, I get so bummed when I get a message and am already booked. I never like saying I can’t do it. It definitely happens though.
11. Not hiring a photographer with a second photographer
I get that weddings are pricey. I know there are budgets. I understand that you are trying to skimp where you can. I do understand it and it’s why I do offer a simplicity wedding package. I’m trying to not come across as pushy on this. And skimping on wedding photos, is definitely something I wouldn’t recommend. However, I will say that when my associate and I work together, we get two different point of views most of the time. We work at different angles a lot. It’s so great and ultimately gives you more wedding photos to look back on and treasure. It helps moments not be missed. Just think about one scenario for me and just this benefit alone doesn’t even compare to all the other moments. Imagine this. Bride is walking down the aisle. The photographer has already been told that the groom is emotional. If there is one photographer, who does she point the camera at to get the most important moment? The internal conflict is that she should be focused on the bride, but what if the groom starts crying or what if they both start crying? Then with one camera, the photographer has missed the moment of one reaction because she could only choose one to focus on and she can’t just be in the middle of the aisle capturing them both back and forth. With a second photographer, this doesn’t happen. My associate photographer and I plan this very thing out the whole wedding. We know who we are focused on so we don’t miss these important moments. Out of my wedding packages, there is only one that doesn’t include my second photographer. However, it is HIGHLY recommended that you choose a package with two wedding photographers. Don’t go without a second photographer if you can!