You are undoubtedly getting TONS of advice from family and friends about planning your wedding, but what do actual brides wish they would have known about wedding photography before getting married? I conducted a survey with real life actual brides, some past clients of mine and some not, and asked them "What do you wish you would have known earlier about wedding photography?" See what they had to say below, with some additional insight from yours truly.
It’s important to do research and make sure that your photographer has a style that you like. I found one that has the style I wanted and wouldn’t break my bank. I consider myself lucky because some photographers will charge a small fortune!!
I tell this to my clients all the time and also include it in my contracts. With so many great photographers out there, there really is someone that can fit your needs. Determine if you like the clean and colorful, the bright and airy, or the dark and moody kind of style as you look through galleries. In today's age of digital editing and with awesome websites that are easier than ever to create, take some time to research a look you really love. While I CANT guarantee you will love your photos, you CAN make sure that you are likely to by picking a style you want.
How early you should book to be sure they’re available! I’m so thankful we did this early—we didn’t realize how quickly people book. Thankful we got Jill!!
As a type A person, I am ALWAYS planning ahead. This can be overwhelming for some brides, but if you consider that there are only a handful of Saturday's in the year with ideal weather for a wedding, you definitely want to give your prospective photographer a shout-out sooner rather than later. I recommend booking about a year in advance, or even longer if you have your heart set on a certain person to do your photos. I've had brides book 2 years out, and I've had some lucky ones snag a date a few months away - the more flexible you can be, the more time you can allow to pass.
How much time and effort goes into into it such as the hours spent at the wedding/reception!
The "Wedding Hangover" is no joke, and I'm not talking about anything to do with alcohol. Your photographer should work HARD for you. It's a very long, but very rewarding day. Be sure to remember your photographer when assigning seats and counting for meals.
How colors and lighting affect my photos.
It's our hope that you choose colors for your wedding that you love, because they will be all over your photos. Also consider that when DJ's use uplighting around your reception, that they will likely pull in your theme colors. If you have red or orange dresses, be sure that you want your reception hall washed in red light all evening and that you want the background of your photos to be that color as well.
Just have fun with the pictures and don’t stress over them. I worried about looking unnatural and forced. If the photographer will guide me to look my best (because I'm no model)! Haha
Good photographers will give you clear directions, encouragement, and positive feedback. I myself like to model what I'm asking you to do by doing it myself first. This seems especially helpful to the grooms. Don't stress about the pose, or sometimes lack thereof, either. Most of the times, photographers want you to forget that they are even there, but good photographers will give you something to say or do to get your mind off of being the center of attention. I ALWAYS recommend scheduling an engagement session so you can feel comfortable with your photographaer and familarize yourself with their shooting style and diretion giving.
How to communicate what I want to my photographer.
This one is so important, I even modified my contact form to include it right off the bat. If getting every combination of family portrait is important to you, then ABSOLUTELY give your photogrpaher a list of who all you want to be photogrpahed together. If beautiful portraits are importatnt to you, then give your photogrpaher at least 45 minutes to work with just you and your groom (and it will help if you allow your photogrpaher to choose a location for your photos too!)
How much time and effort goes into editing the photos after the big day.
Girl. Preach. We photographers love making you happy - its why we are doing this in the first place. But be gentle with us post-wedding: it takes several hours (1-3) alone just to go through and "pick out" the keepers and organize them. For my particular work flow, it takes about another hour after that to pick out sneak peeks, instagram posts, photos for your blog post, and a facebook album. After that, it's a good 8-10 hours of editing the rest (especially if there's something we need to "photoshop out" - add another hour or two for that), uploading them to your online gallery, writing your blog, creating a facebook gallery, etc. Gone are the days of shoot and burn (to a disc)!
That good photographers are more available than I thought.
Don't be discouraged by anything. There are TONS of photographers out there. Lots of photographers that are just starting out have great talent and low prices. Don't think that just because you have a tight budget you can't have nice photos. Find a photographer with a style that you love, and if you can't afford them, ask them who they would recommend for a smaller budget. We all know eachother's prices. The best person to point you in the right direction is another (kind) photographer.