Most couples consider their wedding photography to be one of the most important parts of their wedding day. Family's spend on average 15% of their wedding budgets on their wedding photography so that they have those memories to reminisce for years to come. They want to see all the important moments of their special day hung on their walls, in wedding albums and to post on social media.
Even though there are many great wedding photographers out there, it is hard for a photographer to capture every part of a couples big day without having good communication of everything from expectations, timelines and the general flow of the day.
Here are 5 things that every couple should communicate to their wedding photographer to keep things on track and everyone in the loop.
1. Communicate your timeline
As a wedding photographer I go to great lengths to nail down a schedule for the day. I send out a timeline to every couple allowing for enough time to capture all the photos that are important to that couple. This guarantees that time is slated so that I can capture all the desired photos and more. Without good communication, it is hard for a wedding photographer to know how much time they have to photograph the wedding party and the bride and groom. When a couple asks for several pictures but doesn't plan the time for those pictures, it makes it impossible to deliver on that. Proper planning and communication about the timeline will allow everyone to get the pictures that they want and will make the day go much more smoothly.
2. What is your dress code
I have attended many different types of weddings from black tie to casual and everything in between. Nothing is worse than attending a wedding and finding that I am dressed like the wedding party instead of a guest. I have actually been confused for a member of the wedding party on occasion and now I make effort to find out what the dress code is. If a couple has a particular theme in mind for their wedding, they need to communicate that with the photographer so that their photographer will fit in and not stand out with the crowd.
3. What to photograph and what not to
Is there anything that you don't want to be photographed on your wedding day? I always ask my couples if they would like to have getting ready photos taken and if so, to what extent they would like. As a couple, do you want your photographer to capture you getting in your tux and wedding dress? Do you want pictures taken while you are still getting ready and maybe just in a slip? Are there any other parts of your wedding day that you would like for your photographer not to shoot? To avoid any uncomfortable situations, it is important for you to let your photographer know if there are any parts of your day that you would like to not be photographed.
4. What is your shot list
Most couples have an idea of certain pictures they would like to have taken and certain poses they want to be taken in. Have you created a shot list of those desired pictures that you want taken? Asking your photographer for certain pictures is totally acceptable and encouraged because we want you to get what you want. If you have an idea of certain spots and poses that you want but you don't communicate that with your photographer, then it isn't the photographers fault if they don't capture those shots. Let you photographer know what you would like well before the wedding so that he or she can incorporate those into the schedule and enough time can be alloted to get all of what you would like.
5. Stay in communication from the beginning
From the point of choosing your photographer and signing the contract to the wedding day, it is important to stay in communication and share any details or changes to your wedding. I've had couples who hire me to shoot their wedding then I don't hear from them for months. I make every effort to contact them but just don't hear a thing till it is closer to their wedding day. That isn't the best method to go about getting complete coverage of your wedding day. There isn't a need to communicate with your photographer every single day but it's important to stay in touch with them so that they are aware of changes or schedule issues.
I can't say enough about how important it is to communicate with your photographer. You hired them for their professional expertise and expect them to capture your big day in a beautiful and artistic way. Giving your photographer everything they need to shoot your wedding day begins with communication. The better you communicate what you want and need, the better your images will be and your day will be covered.