Your Photographer won’t tell you these 8 ….. but we will

Your photos will tell your wedding story for many years to come so it is pretty obvious how important they are. We want to let you in on some tips that will help you ensure that you get the photography that you are hoping for.

1. Your photographer is not a wedding planner.

Do not expect your photographer to be as excited as you are about the gorgeous centerpieces, stunning walkway stands and bouquets. You might have put a lot of creativity and effort into these things and you would love to have them feature in your photos but the wedding photographer might be more interested in capturing other details and moments. Consider the special elements of the wedding that the hired photographer might miss and ask them to make sure they are captured. Now, we are not suggesting that you micromanage the photographer (there is no better way to kill their creativity) but you could give them a short list of the items which are a must-have for you.

2. An engagement photoshoot improves your wedding day photos.

Other than the fact that you will have awesome photos to share with friends and family, the engagement photo session also allows the couple to practice having their photo taken. The session is in a fun, no-pressure atmosphere hence increasing the confidence and comfort level of the bride and groom in front of the camera. It also allows the couple to see what photos work and what doesn’t and builds a rapport with the photographer.

3. Hiring me doesn’t mean I’ll be the one taking the pictures.

Nowadays, most photographers have a team of assistants who handle some of the photography assignments or help the lead photographer to capture different angles of an event. The great thing about this is that your event does not rely on one individual’s availability. However, if the only reason you hired the vendor is because of one particular photographer then ensure that you confirm with the photographer upfront that he or she will actually take the photos.

4. Research on the style you want first and then select your photographer.

Photographers, regardless of skill all have their own distinct style. Some are daring and like to experiment, others go for a more vintage and classic look, while others prefer a certain kind of lighting and equipment and it all has an effect on the kind of photos they take. When looking for a photographer it’s easy to obsess over the costs and packages available. However, before you call up that photographer take some time to scour wedding websites and blogs online, look at real weddings that other couples have done and see what kind of photos you love. You might select a photographer because of their great skill only realize later that you would have preferred a different kind of style. Begin your search for photography inspiration on our Real Weddings page here. 

5. Do not pay me in full before the wedding.

Agree with the photographer on a payment arrangement whereby you pay most of the money before the wedding and the balance after the wedding. You could split up payments so that about a third of the total is payable upon receipt of the DVD or albums. This will ensure that the photographer still has some motivation to deliver the photos on time.

6. Treat me with respect.

To you and your guests, the wedding is a wonderful and fun event; to the photographer this is work! Don’t keep the photographer waiting unnecessarily; respect his time and make an effort to stick to the agreed schedule.  Also ensure that the ushers serve food and drinks to your photographers and that goes for the other vendors too. When the photographer enjoys the wedding it also reflects on the photos.
A happy photographer is a creative photographer.

7. Consider After-the-Wedding Photoshoots.

Going for your photoshoot in between the ceremony and the reception might seem like a good plan but we have an even better idea. How about you wait till the evening when the sun is a bit lower and you have much better lighting for your photos.  You can take a few photos with family and friends right after the ceremony but leave the rest of the photoshoot for the evening when the wedding is over. That way, your guests don’t have to wait endlessly for the bridal team to return; they can enjoy the wedding and leave in good time.  Another great idea would be for you and the groom to take some more photos on a different day after the wedding; we call this the light the gown session. During this session, the couple gets to take photos in an unusual and creative setting. 

8. Be wary of too much Photoshop, digital 'tricks' and manipulations.

Photoshop and other retouching software are meant to enhance the natural light, adjust contrast, colour, sharpness and brightness in photographs. But too much of it can end up making the photos look fake and plastic.  Retouching photos is important for beautiful professional photos, however, it should be done tastefully and subtly.

Now that you are armed with these photography tips, you can look forward to great wedding pictures that you will cherish for years to come.

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Real Weddings

Andrew Kyamagero weds Linda via mikolo.com