While their specialty is photography, most photographers have been to countless weddings, and they’ve picked up a few tips along the way. So, we got into their brains a bit and asked them what they want you to know before your big day in order to get the best photos.
With so many talented wedding photographers, it can be hard to settle on a final decision for your big day. “On your wedding day, you’ll want a photographer who can create cool pictures in bad weather, dark rooms, and unflattering lighting,” says Lauren Saldutti and Michael Kelley of a guy + a girl photography. “[You want] someone who can make pretty pictures whether things go according to plan or you wind up having to go with plan B.”
To find that right person, it’s all about research. “I always tell my potential couples to be sure to choose someone whose work they have completely fallen in love with,” says Michele Beckwith of Michele Beckwith Photography. “At the end of the day, the investment you make in your chosen artist will continue to grow and be passed down through your family for generations.”
Pick a Photographer you Like to Be Around
All of the photographers we spoke with had the same sentiment: it’s important to like each other. “Unlike other vendors, your photographer will be by your side on the wedding day from early morning when you’re sipping coffee in your floral robe and slippers until late that night when the bottoms of your bare feet are dirty from the dance floor and your makeup is runny,” says Lauren Saldutti and Michael Kelley. “A photographer who ‘gets you’ and who can be a friend and a calm presence will be an asset while riding the emotional waves of your wedding day.”
To ensure you’ll have this type of connection with your photographer, try to meet up with them ahead of time to see how your personalities fit. “I always (always) meet with our clients either in person, on Skype, or on the phone before any formal booking takes place to ensure we’re all on the same page and generally get along,” says Sarah Lockhart of Ryon:Lockhart Photography. “Make sure you feel comfortable with them—when you are comfortable, it will show in your photos!”
Scout Locations Ahead of Time
If you’re doing a first look or want your family photos away from the venue, work with your photographer to nail down a few ideal spots for photos. “I suggest to have one or two locations that are walking distance in mind for portraits,” says Sarah Lockhart. “But always leave time for lots of flexibility—we’re constantly looking for really beautiful pockets of light or natural reflectors and those can be found in really odd spots (hello, random alleyways!!).”
Involve Your Photographer in the Scheduling
Whether you are working with a planner, or you and your fiancé are handling the scheduling yourselves, be sure to involve your photographer. “[It’s] very helpful for the flow of the day, and for best photo results, to have your photographer involved with the timing and scheduling of photography throughout the different parts of the day,” says Lauren Saldutti and Michael Kelley.
In addition to the flow, your photographer can also help point out possible mishaps that could occur with locations or timing of portraits. “It is so important to have an open dialogue with your photographer and coordinator (if you have one) early on in the planning process to talk about logistics,” says Michele Beckwith. “You’ll figure out if there’s going to be any major influences that will impact the way your day flows and come up with a game plan that allows for buffers (in case things run behind).”
Slow Down and Have Fun
You spend your entire engagement planning and thinking and working out problems, but on the day of, it’s important to remember just one thing: enjoy yourself. “I know how stressful the process of planning a wedding can be, but don’t forget the why of all of it,” says Sarah Lockhart. “Give lots of hugs, belly laugh, ugly cry, and dance your booty off—it will make for really great photos.”
Remember: Post-Production is a Process
After the wedding, brides and grooms are often anxious to get their images back—it’s an exciting moment that we yearn for, but shouldn’t rush. As Lauren Saldutti and Michael Kelley of a guy + a girl photography explain, the majority of a photographer’s time is spent after the wedding. “Having images that are properly adjusted, color corrected, and photo-shopped is essential in the quality of the final product and doing this correctly takes more time, so be patient for your final images,” they said. “Having the fastest turnaround after the wedding does not always lead to the best results.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Jessica Tzikas is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager from South Florida, who recently moved back to the sunshine state after living in Philadelphia for the past few years. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading by the beach, practicing yoga, and exploring nearby towns with her new husband.
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