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12 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

12 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

12 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know

Wedding Photography is arguably one of the most important aspects of your wedding wedding day – it plays such a huge role. Aside from memories in your mind, the pictures and snapshots of your wedding celebrations are the one thing you’ll have in your Photo album as a visual reminder of just how amazing it was.

But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the other end of the lens, looking inward at a wedding?

From planning those group shots and asking guests to switch off (their phones…), to feeding your suppliers and thinking before asking them to stay late, there are a number of things wedding photographers want their couples, and guests, to know ahead of the big celebration.

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1. Don’t Ask Us to Do the TikTok Trend ‘Photographer vs DJ’

Wedding photographer Caroline Goosey explains: “The ‘Photographer vs DJ’ trend is a photographer’s worst nightmare in many ways. By the time the DJ starts playing, we’ve usually already been at the wedding for 8 or 9 hours. We’ve photographed everyone and everything, and we’re waiting for everyone to get up and start enjoying themselves on the dance floor.

“At this point, being pitted in a battle against the DJ over who finishes first – the photographer or the song – just seems like an insult. It’s almost as if it’s designed to stress us out and be the entertainment for the guests. The photos won’t be great photos, and we would have already done group photos plus loads of candid photos over the course of the day. I just can’t see any artistic reason for this kind of challenge other than using us to entertain your guests – which is not why we were hired…

“The other element that sticks out at me is moving between tables. Often this is tricky, and can sometimes lead to us knocking things/people’s heads with our cameras. My equipment weighs about 2-3kg each – imagine that clunking you in the head while the photographer desperately scrambles around chairs to get pointless photos. It can be dangerous and our cameras can even become damaged. There are much nicer ways (in every sense) to get group photos. This is not the one.”

So couples, if you’re looking for interesting ways to entertain your wedding guests, remember that controversial TikTok challenges aren’t the best choice – especially those that put your photographer’s equipment and guests’ safety at risk.

 

2. Wedding Photography Isn’t a Day Rate

Holly from Flash Forward Photography explains that shooting a wedding involves much more than one day’s work: “While a large portion of your package will be charged based upon how long you have your photographer present on your wedding day, the time spent importing, editing, exporting and backing up your images, as well as collating them into albums takes on average three times the length of your wedding.

“Most photographers will aim to send a preview of around 20 images within the first 48 hours of your wedding, but creating the full album takes a lot of time and effort. The costs of a photographer stretches much further than just a day rate and also includes travel, software costs, insurance and time spent on curating your final album.”

With this in mind, when your photographer provides you with a quote, try not to think of it as the cost of ‘just one day’s work.

 

3. You’ll Want More Than Just ‘Candids’

Photographer Sarah Fulton explains that a lot of couples suggest only having candid and natural photographs and this is something she’d advise against. She says: “Candids are great, but they’re not to be solely relied upon as it’s easy for things to be missed out. Organised, dedicated photography time is really important for couple pictures as well as for your close friends and family.

“Imagine how upset you’d be if someone really special to you didn’t make it into the candid pictures! It’s important that couples trust their photographer to make the portrait time relaxed and fun. We know what we’re doing and are pretty good at making these photographs look natural and not posed or forced – especially if that’s the look you’ve requested.”


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4. Background Mess is an Issue

Sarah Fulton, wedding photographer, points out that if you have hired a wedding photographer to cover the ‘getting ready’ time for you and you partner, it’s important to consider what that space looks like: “As photographers, we really appreciate when the workspace provided for us is clean and that there is good natural light.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been photographing a nearly-wed getting ready and there’s been discarded clothes, half unpacked suitcases, used glasses of prosecco and all sorts lying around. They can make those gorgeous getting ready pictures look really untidy.

“I would recommend having a designated corner or shelf for those items and maybe giving a member of your wedding party the task of keeping things looking nice so you don’t have to worry about it yourself.

5. We Need Food, Too!

Holly from Flash Forward Photography highlights the importance of food – this may sound like an obvious one, but it’s something a lot of wedding suppliers pick up on, not just photographers. She explains: “If you aren’t able to provide a meal for your wedding photographer, that’s absolutely fine, but please allow time in the schedule of the day for your photographer to break and have some food. If you aren’t providing food, please do mention this to your photographer as well so that they can plan ahead and bring their own.

“A lot of wedding venues are out in the sticks and popping to a shop for a sandwich just isn’t feasible for us. During your wedding breakfast is a good time, once we’ve shot some candid pictures of the guests we can sneak off for a bite and a small break.” Adding to what Holly says, when planning this time in, ensure you think about what photographs are priority for you.

If you’re absolutely certain you want all of your wedding speeches photographed, allow your photographer to slip off before so they’re back in time.

6. Consider a Phone-Free Wedding Ceremony

This may sound like an obvious one, but speaking from experience, Sarah Fulton explains that this is one worth mentioning to your guests to avoid disappointment when you get your professional pictures through. “Asking your wedding guests not to take photographs with their phones or tablets will ensure that all of your guests are present during the ceremony.

“In addition to that, there’s nothing worse than a beautiful shot of you and your partner reciting your vows, and a guest waving the latest iPhone around in the crowd – it doesn’t add anything to your pictures and can also be a distraction for your photographer. Leave it to the professionals – we’ve got you covered!” explains Sarah.

7. Group Photographs Need Planning

Wedding photographer Philip Bedford has highlighted the importance of planning your group wedding pictures: “Taking group photographs is a long-standing wedding tradition, but many people don’t want to spend a huge amount of time away from the main event. To make the process as easy as possible, planning is absolutely essential.

“Each group photograph can take around 3-4 minutes once everyone is there, so I would suggest assigning someone in your wedding party, or a member of staff at the venue, to gathering the correct people needed for each shot. Prepare a list in advance of names and times and send them on their way.

“Another tip I would offer to help with the planning of your wedding photographs is to build it up like a cake, layer by later. Start with you, the couple, and then add your immediate family (parents, siblings, children), then extended family, wedding party and go from there.

“The order of importance will depend on the couple, but it’s a good way to guarantee everyone is part of the formal pictures without having people running back and forth from the event and the photography location.”

8. Communicate With Your Photographer Beforehand

Continuing with his expert advice, Philip Bedford explains that communication is super helpful as a wedding photographer.

He says: “Having a list of the key people attending the wedding (the ones you want in your formal pictures) and their relationship to you is really helpful as a photographer because it means that we have a really clear understanding of who and which groups are priorities on the day. This is not only useful for the formal pictures but it can also help me to understand who to focus on in the more candid shots.”

 

9. Wedding Guests Shouldn’t Crash Formal Shots

Continuing with the theme of formal shots, Holly from Flash Forward Photography shares how rogue wedding guests can make this part of the day really difficult. She explains that: “There’s nothing worse when you’re carrying out the formal photographs and a couple of rogue wedding guests stand behind us to try and get the same shot on their phones.

“Not only can it take away from the big ‘reveal’ of getting your professional shots, but it also acts as a distraction for the people in the shot who end up looking at the guests and not at me and my camera. When this happens, you end up with professional shots with everyone gazing in different directions. Asking your wedding guests to remain unplugged for the photographs and ceremony is a huge help to us.”

10. Prioritise Who is Involved in Group Pictures

Group pictures and formal shots are a huge part of a wedding photographer’s role, and Sarah Fulton has given some insight on the implications of planning too many on the day. She says: “Of course, at an event where so many of your nearest and dearest are together, it makes complete sense for couples to want lots of group pictures.

“But it’s important to remember that each shot takes around 3-4 minutes to set up and shoot, so if you plan too many, you can end up spending hours away from your actual wedding celebrations. This can also result in less time for your portrait shots as a couple if it’s not planned properly.

“I feel like it’s much more fun to be picky with your group shots and spend more time with friends and family at the reception – that’s where some of the best pictures are taken anyway!


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11. When the Party Carries On, So Do We…

Wedding photographers are so dead set on making sure they capture every single moment of your wedding celebrations – but if the party continues on longer than expected, so do they.

Wedding photographer Holly from Flash Forward Photography explains how you can navigate around this issue: “If you’ve booked a package, 8 hours for example, but your day is running late, or running over time, please acknowledge this with your photographer as opposed to just assuming they will stay.

“These things happen and we know that better than anyone, but extra time shooting has a knock on effect. It leads to extra editing time, longer working hours and also a personal toll. Communicating this with us is so helpful and also shows that you are taking us into consideration.

“If your day runs on, please have someone discuss this with your photographer and also check whether there are any additional costs involved.”

12 Give Us Social Media Love

What photographers do is so personal to them, and there is no bigger compliment than giving your wedding photographer love on social media. “There is no better compliment (and advertisement) for us as photographers than when you share your pictures online and tag our businesses.

“It really helps us to keep doing what we do and can also boost our reputation and bookings. Running a social account alongside shooting, planning, editing and travelling can be difficult so extra love on your social channels is always hugely appreciated.

“We’re also human beings and just love seeing that people are happy with our work – who doesn’t love a compliment right?” Holly from Flash Forward Photography explains.

Now you know what to expect from your photographer, start browsing our supplier section to find the right wedding photographer for you!

Emotionss

Emotionss is an award winner of best wedding videographer of 2023 from Hitched and has been capturing couples’ special moments since 2015. I’m based in the UK/London but provides services all over the UK. You can reach out to me via my contact form on my website or InstagramPinterest or Facebook.

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