1) Be liberal with information about the wedding with your photographer. In a best case scenario, your photographer will benefit greatly by having some information about other vendors, sites, guests, family, schedules and all other details to be ahead of the game. It is also essential for the photographer to understand what each couple desires in their photos. That said, some couples might not have specific ideas, and may just love their photographer’s images and want them for their own, but all of that requires some planning of time and space.
3) Try to have a cell phone with you or ask someone who will be traveling with you to carry one. A wedding is much like a stage production. All kinds of surprises can pop up and it’s good to have a way to coordinate with people, like your photographer. Doing this allows you to be more spontaneous in where you go between the wedding and the reception. Setting the phone to vibrate will help not to disturb anything going on.
4) Ask your DJ to make an effort at coordinating with your photographer. The DJ often acts as your MC and should be serving you by working with the photographer to make sure they are in place to capture your important memories. For example, if you have one photographer, they can’t shoot formal portraits of the guests and the first dance photos at the same time. A quick announcement over the microphone that the bride and groom will be having their first dance not only helps your photographer, it alerts all of your guests who brought cameras and want to take pictures as well.
6) Although brides will most likely have a hair/make-up person for the wedding, designate someone from the wedding party or someone of your choosing to help style and adjust clothing, hair, makeup or anything else so the photographer can concentrate on photo details.
7) Most clients these days are requesting that the portrait shots be kept to a minimum. That is not to say, however, that they are unwanted or unimportant, but many people have had the unfortunate experience of having been subjected to a previous painful session. Portraits can be light, celebratory and uncontrived. A few suggestions to ease your portrait pain are: 1. Create a shot list. 2. Pre-select a location or two. 3. Consider a location with ample open shade or soft light. 4. Have only those present that are to be photographed 5. Have some refreshments available. 6. Breath and relax. Remember, this is your day, take it in, take your time, enjoy.
8) Weddings are about many things, most importantly, the ceremony of the union. Couples put a lot of energy into many of the details surrounding this ritual and having photographs to remember it are essential. When selecting a ceremony site consider the light, background and surroundings, climate, sounds, etc. If using microphones, consider wireless so they will be unseen. It is also helpful if the wedding officiate can step back or aside a little during ring exchanges and first kiss, etc to allow unobstructed shots.
Robert & Eva-Lena’s Wedding in Visby Sweden – Photography Ludolf Dahmen
9) Allow the love between you to matter most. There are so many things that can go differently than you planned, and do. Try not to sweat the small stuff. When my wife and I were married years ago, we had accendly skipped over one of the rituals at our ceremony (something that mattered greatly to us in the planning stages), and somehow it was fine. There is no amount of Photoshop work that can be done in post-production for stress so make an effort to remember why your having the event in the first place, to celebrate your love.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: SUCCESS
1. Communicate a lot
2. Clarify photo style
3. Have a silent cell phone handy
4. Encourage communication between vendors
5. Consider lighting at the reception
6. Designate a bridal helper during photos
7. Plan ahead for portraits
8. Consider ceremony site details
9. Love matters most