The things your wedding photographer needs to know!

By Erin Michele Photography // for The Bride's Avenue

Photographers. We’ve evolved over the years. From photographing only the formal portraits and cutting of the cake, to photographing every single moment and detail of an entire day, we’ve learnt a thing or two about weddings and it’s crafting a special relationship between brides and their photographers; a relationship that can make or break your wedding day.

Every bride has different worries or concerns for her special day. Whether it’s divorced parents that don’t like to be photographed together, a tight schedule, a flower girl that isn’t a fan of sitting still for longer than a blink-of-an-eye, or the horrid sight of guests holding their mobile phones up to take photos in all of your ceremony photographs, every bride has something on her mind, and more often than not, it’s your photographer that has the ‘goods’ to put your mind at ease.

SENSITIVE FAMILY ISSUES (PARENTAL DIVORCE / DEATH IN THE FAMILY)

Every family we have photographed has, what we refer to as, a ‘sensitive family issue’.
This is an issue of varying sensitivity that has an effect on the family we are working with. Maybe Mum and Dad are recently divorced, or have been divorced for many years, and just aren’t incredibly comfortable with being photographed with each other.
Maybe the loss of a parent or grandparent, or possibly a rift that has seen some family members avoid others for the past 10 years!
Whatever your sensitive family issues are, be sure to share them with your photographer if you feel like they should know. If your photographer has this information well ahead of time, they can plan your formal portraits with this information in mind, ensuring that it’s as painless as possible for ALL involved.

 Photo // Nicole Duncan Photography

Photo // Nicole Duncan Photography

 Photo // Kathyrn Bass Bridal via Praise Wedding

Photo // Kathyrn Bass Bridal via Praise Wedding

CHILDREN IN THE BRIDAL PARTY

We love seeing little cuties in their beautiful dresses and handsome suits. They make for the sweetest portraits right through the entire day. But, like all children (and adults), they have their limits.
Ensure your photographer knows everything about the children in your bridal party – their name, age and who their parent/guardian is. It is also wise to have a secondary carer for any children in your bridal party, even if they’re your own.. ESPECIALLY if they’re your own! A secondary carer ensures that the adults of the bridal party can relax, and it’s an incredibly necessary safety precaution when working with small children. If your photographer has their camera pressed up against their face, you and your new husband looking lovingly at each other, your bridesmaids and groomsmen surrounding you, there needs to be someone, whom is not being photographed, to look after the kids and ensure their safety. Even if your photographer has an assistant or you have a second photographer on hand, their job is to make you look amazing, not to babysit.
Enlist in the help of someone the children are familiar with, ensure they have snacks and something to drink (preferably something that won’t make a lot of mess), and keep a little bag on hand with wipes, a hair brush and something to keep them warm if the weather is cool).

GET THROUGH FORMAL PORTRAITS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

Formal portraits are usually the dreaded part of any wedding. Why? Because they take the longest and are stressful for most brides.
To avoid your formal portraits going south, have a chat with your photographer about how they like to coordinate this part of the day. Be sure to provide your photographer with a list of people you need for formal portraits – maybe you have a cousin that grew up with you in your family home and you’d like them to be in your portrait with your parents and siblings, or you’d really like to have a portrait taken with all your cousins with your grandparents. Your photographer needs this information well before the wedding. Ensure to list all the names of everyone to be in each photo, providing a list to your photographer, as well as a copy to someone in your family and someone in your husband-to-be’s family, this makes sure that you have all your bases covered and there is someone there that knows who they’re looking for if someone goes missing.
Keep in mind that the longer your list is, the longer your formal portraits will take.

 Photo // Wedding Chicks via Pinterest

Photo // Wedding Chicks via Pinterest

 Photo // Crazyforus via Pinterest

Photo // Crazyforus via Pinterest

HAVE A ‘TECHNOLOGY FREE’ CEREMONY

There is nothing more frustrating and heartbreaking than showing a newlywed couple their gallery and having a large chunk of ceremony shots ruined by guests standing in front of me with their phones raised to the happy couple.
Asking your guests to respect your wishes to have a ‘technology free’ ceremony will not only be a blessing to your photographer, but it will also ensure that your guests are truly in the moment.

TALK TO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

You are planning a day that will end at the end of the night. The cake will be eaten, the details strewn across tables, your dress hung in the back of a closet, never to be worn again.
Your photographer worked diligently to capture every moment of your special day, in a way that is true to the experience that you so beautifully planned for all of your guests.
Talk to your photographer. Tell them the details that are most important to you. Ensure they know which moments most matter to you.
A great photographer will know how to photograph their couple and will have no problems in getting the information they need for the day to be successful, but there is nothing wrong with being absolutely certain that you and your photographer are on the same page.
Ask questions when you’re unsure and keep your photographer up-to-date. This is the person that is being trusted with capturing a day that will never happen again, make sure you work with them to make it as perfect as possible.