I decided to write a blog post to give some more insight to photography, weddings, and all that good stuff.
I think wedding sites like the Knot sometimes skew what to expect or what to prepare for your wedding date… so I decided to write some of my own information on things to know, prepare for, or even relax about.
1. Photography and Photoshop are sometimes not as intermixed as you may think. I know several photographers in the wedding industry that do not even touch that program. So when you are in a bridal party, please never say “OH SHE CAN JUST PHOTOSHOP THAT OUT.” Because maybe s/he can, or maybe s/he can’t.
I am completely intertwined with Photoshop and Lightroom when I edit, but Photoshop is a bit more reserved for fine detail editing, or skin clearing if necessary. However, like I said, do not assume every photographer knows how to use it. Most people just photograph and color correct.
With that being said, that leads me to number 2.
2. Do not assume every photographer will clear skin… and if they do, don’t assume it’s going to happen on every image you get back (especially if that number is over 700 photographs).
People are people. People have acne, people have scars. This is an accurate representation of who you, he, she, is. If a photographer does take the time to clear skin, don’t assume every photographer does this for free, and if they do, thank them, because it’s not technically in the job title.. but we also are human and know the angst about our skin.
3. Every photographer is different on the day of, and what we need supplied for us. For example, I always ask for family lists, meaning, the certain groups my bride and groom want for their family photographs. Sometimes there are different family dynamics, and it’s my job to capture the photograph, but sometimes families have different break downs. So I ask for those relationships and groupings in advance so I get everything they need, as well as don’t upset or offend any one.
4. If your Aunt Becky loves photography, it’s really not okay for her to follow the photographer around and photograph what they are posing. Aunt Becky in this scenario is obviously not a real person, but she is a stand in for a lot of people photographers get reeeeallll angry about.
I, myself, am typically okay with phones and cameras during candid moments, as long as people don’t stand in my way, but when someone follows me around during my posing, art making, and important events, I get really upset. My work really comes into play during posing, and setting up… and for those people that steal those shots and then post them as their own.. well… that just stinks.
5. Along with extra cameras from your people. Know that the more cameras, the less ability we as photographers have to get the perfect shot, perfect angle, and what we truly envision. I can’t tell you the number of times I couldn’t get a good angle because of guests with phones, cameras, or even rude videographers with blasting LED lights that refused to work with me on getting out of each others shots. And because of this issue, it results in a much less expressive photograph for my clients.
6. The Knot and other wedding sites tell you to give photographers a list of shots you want. Don’t do this. If you hire someone who is more of an artist then just a documentary photographer, know that we want to create. TRUST US. Now, I think it’s completely fair to ask a photographer what style they go for if you have seen their blog or website and it doesn’t look like they do detailed shots, and I think it’s completely fair to ask what type of family or bridal party photographs they do, if you haven’t seen a full wedding from them. However, to list every detail or moment you want captured is a bit redundant and here is why.
Sometimes people don’t react the way you think they will. I have had grooms emotionless because of the pressure and attention on them when their bride walks down the aisle. So that moment listed of him crying, probably just wont happen. Also if we are following a list we are going to miss the genuine emotions actually happening because we are staring at a list and trying to mark it all off. Sometimes you’ll get every shot you ever wanted, sometimes you’ll get similar ideas, sometimes you just wont get it at all, and thats okay! Because most likely you’ll get something even more different and unique. For basic wedding photography I will tell you most of us grab the details of the day, grab family photography, and break down your entire bridal party to give you as many portraits as possible.
7. Every wedding is different. If you love a wedding by a particular photographer but yours looks a little different, that’s because every detail, every scene, every bride and groom are different. On top of that, lighting and color in the air is different every minute, so if it’s a different day, and particularly if there is no sunset on your wedding day, then most likely you will have a different type of ‘night scene’ photography. This may mean it’s cloudy, and moody, or maybe your photographer has another skill they can bring to the day. But you can’t assume you’ll have sunset photographs, without a sunset.
8. Speaking of skill, know that some photographers are well versed in lighting, and others are not. Do not assume every photographer knows how to use off camera flash and can produce beautiful back light photographs at night. Some photographers are scared to death of artificial light, or some just hate the look.
I teach, and I went to school for this, so honestly artificial lighting is what I love, and I also like to use it as a mechanism to create difference from others in the industry, but not every wedding photographer uses it. Be aware of this.
9. If you are getting married in a very dim, harshly lit area, don’t expect beautiful, flawless, airy photographs… it’s not going to happen. Especially because 90 percent of the time we are not allowed to use or do not want to use flash because it distracts people in the area. So if it’s dim, ya better make sure you have hired a photographer that knows what they are doing and doesn’t photograph on auto (this is a real and true statement… do your research).
10. If you have a wedding photographer that seems like they know their stuff, trust trust trust trust them. Your Pinterest board is a good thing to show your style or ideas, but know your photographs are from a different photographer, with a different scene, with different people, in a different location. We can only document what is front of us.
I LOVE my job. I love meeting new people.
We as photographers know that generally this is everyone’s first time getting married so we write stuff like this to help you gain a bit more insight to your day. Every couple is different, every photographer is different. Definitely assume if we (photographers) are photographing in the same area we have heard of one another, or we are friends with another, but sometimes this isn’t the case as well
(especially in bigger cities because there are bajillion photographers).
Something that I heard the other day that wraps up my aim as a photographer was this. “Any one can put a pretty couple on a mountain, and pose them ‘moody’ and make a good image. It’s those that can predict and anticipate true laughter, heartfelt emotion, real tears and pure joy and capture it that makes a good photographer.”
I would say that this goes the same for those of us who try to make basements of churches look beautiful and non-yellow too. haha.
❤ thanks for reading y’all.