A few days ago I gave you “5 Questions to Ask your Wedding Photographer” and today I wanted to give you an idea of 5 things your wedding photographer needs from you. Neither the questions for your photographer nor this list of what your photographer needs is an all inclusive list but as brides get wrapped up in the wedding planning, it can become easy to over look small details. So here’s a quick list of some information that your photographer may want to know:
1) Are you working with a wedding planner? Wedding planners are often considered a luxury until the day of the wedding and the bride is being asked 101 questions from 101 different people. This is the one duty that I often find myself “filling in” for, which is taking away from my photography time. Why do I end up filling in on this duty? Because I am usually the one that spends the most time with the bride on her wedding day. So if you can afford a wedding planner, even if it’s only for the wedding day, you can minimize a great deal of stress.
2) Are there any restrictions? Some churches or ceremony locations have restrictions for photographers. The main one is usually the ‘no flash’ rule. I once shot a wedding where I couldn’t move once the ceremony started. If your ceremony location has any restrictions for photographer, please let them (or me) know as soon as you find out in case other equipment arrangements need to be made to ensure proper coverage of your day.
3) Discuss family matters. As hard as this can be sometimes, it’s a reality that usually surfaces during a wedding…divorced parents. Are there any circumstances that the photographer needs to be aware of. I have experienced first hand how awkward a divorced couple being forced to stand beside each other can be for wedding formals. So, if I am aware of the situation, I can group people in a way that’s not awkward for the family. The last thing you want if for people in the photo frowning beside the newly married couple.
4) Timeline/Schedule and The First Look. Your photographer needs a timeline of the day so that we know when (and where) to arrive to start taking shots of the bride and groom getting ready. Also, we need the time that has been alotted for photos after the ceremony. We understand that the reception hall has been reserved for a set number of hours so we need to be able to get all of the important shots and get the couple to the reception quickly. As a result, I sometimes do not allow guests to take photos during formals because I want to respect the timeline that I have been given. Again, a wedding planner can help ensure I am sticking to the timeline as well. Another option that has gained in popularity is the ‘First Look’. While some older relatives think that this is tabu, it’s a way of cutting down on the number of photos that have to be taken after the ceremony and thus getting the couple to the reception faster.
5) Meals for the Vendors. Often the couple is focused on the guest count when it comes to planning a wedding and the amout of food to serve at a reception. However, as a photographer, we are usually working for 8 hours on the wedding day with only snacks in our camera bags. I have now had to include in my contract a meal (after guests are served) because it has been forgotten. I never want to leave a wedding reception to get something to eat because I don’t want to risk missing a moment, so being able to grab a meal while guests are eating prevents me from missing anything.