wedding planning

Making the Most of Your Wedding Photography

There is no doubt that each and every detail of your wedding day is important. From the moment the question is asked and planning starts, things like the venue, guest list and wedding colors are probably on your mind. In addition to the big things, you have all the smaller details you have to think about from cake flavors to where you plan on getting ready. Because of this, it can quickly get overwhelming when planning your big day.

Because you will put so much time and effort into making your day perfect, it’s very important to make sure all those big and small details are captured. This is where your professional wedding photographer comes in. I want to share some wonderful tips on working with your wedding photographer and how to make sure no important details are missed because once the cake is gone and the flowers are wilted, your photos will be the one heirloom you will be able to share with your children, grandchildren and for generations to come. 

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Find Someone Who Specializes in Wedding Photography

When it comes to wedding photography, the most important thing is to hire a professional wedding photographer. There are all sorts of photography businesses out there, but weddings are a special niche that unless someone has extensive experience, things can easily go wrong. Photographers who specialize in weddings know how to handle any and every lighting situation and know how the flow of a wedding day goes. So if something unforeseen happens, like it rains or things run late, they know how to handle it and are still able to capture every beautiful moment.

When interviewing a wedding photographer, you want to ask to see photos they've taken indoors and outdoors as well as during the day and night. It’s very important that they excel in being able to use off camera lighting in case the photography needs to be taken indoors or your wedding goes into the night. Also, knowing how to use lighting can make even daytime photos look amazing because you wont get dark shadows on peoples faces or have uneven lighting or shadows in certain locations. It’s also important that they have backup equipment and a variety of high quality lenses for the ceremony, reception and portraits. Ask to see a variety of weddings and moments from their portfolio and look for things like color, quality and consistency.

You also want to make sure your personalities mesh well. They will be following you around during many moments of the day, including getting ready, so feeling comfortable with your photographer is important. Because of this, make sure the person you have a consultation with is the person who is going to be there during your wedding day. Some bigger photography companies use numerous photographers so it's always good to make sure you are meeting with your actual photographer. 

Engagement Session

Once you have found the perfect photographer, I highly suggest having an engagement session with them. I include engagement sessions with all my wedding collections because I believe they are so important. Not only because it’s nice to have photos for things like save the dates or a guestbook, but because it’s a chance for the couple to get comfortable having their photos taken! Even if you have had professional photos done before, every photographer is a little different in how they work with their clients, so getting used to working with your wedding photographer will ensure you are relaxed with them on your wedding day!

Have A Timeline!

Another very important part of making sure you get the most out of your wedding photography is to have a timeline! If you are working with a wedding planner (which I highly suggest hiring one if you are able to!) they will help you with this part. However, even then it’s good to also work with your wedding photographer on your timeline. And if you don’t hire a wedding planner, your wedding photographer should be able to provide input on how long they will need for things like family portraits so you can work that in to your timeline. Making sure you have enough time for all the important moments of your day, and providing a little extra time in case things run behind, will ensure you get plenty of beautiful photos for your album and walls.

Also, in addition to making sure things run smoothly, a solid timeline will help your photographer anticipate what events are going to happen when so they can be in the right place at the right time. 

A Shot List

Most wedding photographers will ask you for a list of must have shots. This should include the family members you want to include in the family portraits as well other shots that are important to you. You don’t need to send a list of 50 or 100 shots to your wedding photographer, as they should be experienced in capturing all of the important things like bride walking down the isle, the grooms reaction, the kiss and so on. But, for example, if you just have to have a shot of you and your aunt or you want to recreate a shot that your parents took during their wedding, definitely provide those details to your photographer so they can make sure they capture them. 

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And finally…

Once your big day is over and all the photos are taken, what are you going to do with them? Nowadays, many photographers provide the digitals for you to download or on a USB drive. But more times than not, those photos will just sit on your computer or in a drawer. Such a waste! Also, electronics only last so long. What if your hard drive dies or the USB corrupts? It breaks my heart to hear someone say they lost all their wedding photos. That is why it is SO important to purchase a heirloom album or prints from your photographer. While it may be easy to run to a place like Walmart with your digitals, most people don’t realize those photos don’t last beyond 5 or 10 years before they fade. This is because of the process retail places use to print photos. However, most professional photographers have access to professional print labs where the prints they provide will last decades, even generations. The process ensures your photos will fade minimally and will be UV resistant. Also, a professional wedding photographer should be able to design a beautiful album for you so all the important photos will be in one place and tell the story of your important day. That way, you won’t need to worry about digital files corrupting or getting lost!

Hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your wedding photography and provide your with a tangible memory of the wedding you put so much energy in to planning!