Putting The ‘Hot” in Photography: How To Ensure Your Wedding Is Captured The Way It Should Be.
So you’ve taken care of the venue, the dress and tux, the colors, the DJ, all the other details. The photographer? Aw, you were just gonna let your cousin’s buddy Jeff do that. He has a nice camera phone, likes to take pictures, and the stuff he posts on Facebook looks just fine.
That’s good enough, right?
Screeeech! Pump those brakes. No, that’s not good enough.
The only visual record you will have of this, perhaps the most important and meaningful day in your life (besides the drunken, poorly-shot videos taken by your friends and acquaintances) will be thanks to the photographer. So take it seriously and do it right.
What does “doing it right” entail? Let me explain, or rather, take it from Stephanie Yonce, photographer par excellence.
These tips come from her outstanding interview, which you can watch above.
1 || HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
We covered one reason for this already: A professional means competence. Hopefully, it means MORE than just competence, it means excellence. Do you want Your Day to be acceptably shot, or MASTERFULLY shot?
But that’s only one reason. Professionals are ensured (the good ones, anyway…ask). If they accidentally knock over Grandma’s priceless teapot, good luck getting the mint it warrants from Jeff.
They have the best equipment. They have the best resources, but perhaps most importantly, THIS IS THEIR JOB.
Jeff can’t go over staging plans with you if he’s been called in to work a double at Game Stop. By virtue of you paying someone who does this for a living, you get the bonus of their full and undivided attention.
2 || CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT SUITS YOUR STYLE
You know how many wedding photographers are out there? Lots.
You know who benefits from that? You.
You can –and should- spend time poring over the portfolios of a number of different photographers, and you’re not just looking for quality photos. Without getting too woo-woo, there’s a certain artistry and rhythm to your personality and your life.
Some people will get you (like your spouse-to-be, I hope) better than others.
Likewise, you are going to “get” certain photographers better than others. “A lot of it is completely subjective, says Yonce. One person might find they “don’t particularly care for my style. To somebody else, I might be the perfect fit.”
You’ll find some photographs that are not only well done, but resonate with you on a deeper level.
You’ll find a photographer whose style you appreciate innately. This is who you want to hire.
If you get them, chances are great they will get you, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how well that kismet enhances the wedding photography process. So it’s worth it to take your time and review the resumes of a lot of different photographers.
3 || MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER AT LEAST ONCE BEFORE THE WEDDING
The key phrase here is “at least.” The more frequently you meet (or talk to/text with) the photographer before the wedding, the better.
There are several reasons for this.
As stated in the previous item, you may feel the photographer really gets you and your style, but they are not psychic. They need to be apprised of your plans so they can start formulating ideas on how to photograph the event. This includes mundane details like time and place, the important people involved, and so on, but it also deals with more intangible matters.
What sort of mood are you trying to convey? Bright and playful? Solemn and traditional? These are things your photographer should know. Whatever you’re going for, they have a filter for that.
Having powwows with the photographer will also cut down on the specter of bad surprises.
If they know a month ahead of time, for example, what church you are getting married at, the photographer might pay a visit, take note of the lighting and room, and proactively, rather than reactively, resolve any staging issues the venue might present.
Just like with everything and everybody in life, the more communication, the better. “I need to fit right in there with everything else that you worked so hard to make sure is a good fit for you. I need to be a good fit too,” says Yonce. You accomplish that with meetings.
4 || TIRED OF OVER-ARCHING PRINCIPLES? FINE. HERE ARE A COUPLE OF SPECIFIC IDEAS
“But wait!” you’re saying, “I get the important of sharing my ideas and communicating well with my professional photographer – but I don’t have any ideas!”
Well, your photographer should be able to give advice and pitch ideas. Chances are, this is not their first rodeo. Hopefully, it’s not their first wedding, either. There’s a great idea – a rodeo wedding!
Returning to slightly more plausible and broad ideas, photographers tend to appreciate outside shoots. While the weather, and therefore the lighting, can be unpredictable, good photographers will be able to able to handle grey skies, rapidly changing light (as on partly cloudy days) and even precipitation.
What they like about shooting outdoors is the freedom to move around to get the best shot. The boxy and small churches many weddings take place in don’t afford them that opportunity.
The other thing you might want to consider is the trendy modern “first look” event.
While tradition dictates that the groom not see the bride before the ceremony, “first look” allows the bride and bridegroom to do just that: see each other all dolled up and ready to go, but before the actual ceremony.
This allows a certain amount of emotional freedom that can create some incredible photos. If your future husband is so agog by seeing how stunning you are in your dress that he’s inclined to do a cartwheel of euphoria, and then collapse into your arms in tears, so overcome he is by your beauty, well, he can’t really do that during the ceremony.
But he can during the first look, and anything he wants to do, or you want to do, spontaneously or planned.
It can create quite a magic moment. One you simply can’t trust to Jeff. Sorry, Jeff.
If you want more tips on how to make your wedding something the guests will talk about for years, sign up for your FREE copy of 3 Things You’re DJ won’t tell you about how to take your wedding from average to Legendary!
Then, make sure you come back here and…