First Hand Advise From Wedding Photographers
January 5, 2018
Some photographers, me included, groan just a little bit on the inside when clients request a particular photographic fad that jeopardizes the timeless nature of photography. The photography itself – the image – should fail to scream ‘This happened in 1984 – no one superimposes a ghost-like image of the groom’s heads over the bride praying anymore.’ Virtually every wedding photography professional practices the craft in a way that utilizes the benefit of multiple ‘styles’ of wedding photography. Some photographers emphasize one over the other – mostly heavily posed fashion shots, say, with only a few candid shots from the ceremony and reception.
As you select your photographer(s), you will take a look at the collection of photographs that he or she chooses to display prominently, and these will speak volumes about the style of photography that is most important to that person. It is perfectly reasonable to expect (dare I say, assume) a certain amount of variety in the final collection of images. I’ve got a shot list. There are many like it, but this one is mine. To the photographer who dares to cross me.
Please understand, it is the opinion of this author that certain wedding planning resources overstate the rigid and unyielding nature of wedding planning, which can be far more organic and fun than you might otherwise believe. That is right; I just claimed that wedding planning could be fun. (This happens to photographers, unfortunately, with some regularity. The groom will pull us aside midway through the reception, and mention the fact we should try to get some great shots of the bride’s father who “will not be with us much longer.”). For those that can’t resist looking over typical shot lists, your best bet will be to print out one that you like, highlight a few that are especially important (‘ a few’ in English means three or so; I didn’t write ‘highlight all of them’), and hand it to your photographer. Nicely state that, while you are sure that she would capture these regardless of the list, the highlighted shots are REALLY important to you. Message sent?
Customers will direct my photographer throughout my wedding day like the pitiful waif that he is. (Alternatively, the photographer will direct me throughout my wedding day, and I’ll obey every command.). The vendors you hire, including your wedding photographer, are professionals and know what they are doing. While this may very well be your third wedding day, presumably your photographer has had even more. The service provided by wedding photographers is one best performed in the presence of open communication. There may be a situation where your photographer has an idea, pitches it to you, and you decline (nicely, of course, but firmly). This type of open communication is the best (and only) way to conduct business for a photographer, and we expect it of our brides.