As a wedding photographer, it’s my job to observe and capture the tiny details, fleeting candid shots, and momentous big picture moments to tell the story of your wedding day from start to finish. While your wedding photographer will come into the day prepared to observe and capture these photographs, there are some helpful thing you can do to help your photographer know what to look for. Start by having a conversation prior to the wedding to review all the little details you love, spend some time letting your photographer get to know you, and once everything gets started, trust your photographer to do their job well so you can relax and enjoy the big day.
Communication is Key
While being observant is an important skill for all wedding photographers to have, you can help your photographer out by chatting with them before the wedding. Make sure to discuss what makes the wedding uniquely you, what details you love and have put so much time into, and what spontaneous moments will happen over the course of the day that your photographer can prepare for. If you’ve scheduled a dance routine together for the second half of your first dance, as a photographer it helps knowing to expect it. If you have your grandmother’s wedding ring sewn into the lining of your dress, talk about it beforehand so your photographer can make sure to create time to capture this thoughtfully in a photograph. It’s often helpful to sit down for coffee or book a phone meting together before the wedding to make sure you’ve filled everybody in on all the details.
Book an Engagement Session
I have an engagement session included in every one of my packages, because it’s such a useful tool for us to spend some time getting to know each other and ‘practicing’ before your wedding. An engagement session gives you a chance to get over that discomfort around having your photograph taken, and allows your photographer to get to know who you are as a couple. This means that on your wedding day, your photographer has already learned how you interact together, the way you joke, and how you move, so your wedding photographs will actually look and feel like you, rather than trying to fit you into the ‘posing box’ that worked for another couple.
Trust Your Photographer
Chances are you’ve hired a photographer whose portfolio you like, and who you've spend some time getting to know and like. You’ve already taken engagement photographs together, and have spent some time filling them in on the schedule, details, surprises to expect, and what elements of the wedding are most important to you. Now the best thing you can do is sit back and trust your photographer to do the best possible job while you live and enjoy every moment of your wedding day. Try not to micro manage your photographer. Trust their creative eye, and avoid saddling them with a shot list. Most photographers will have a good plan and understanding of your wedding coming into the day, and will photograph moments organically as they happen. Forcing a moment and asking your photographer to capture it will look uncomfortable. Instead try to live your wedding day in the moment, listen to your photographer’s direction when they need to make a change for location or lighting, and trust that you’ll receive a gallery of beautiful images that fully represent your wedding day and tell your individual story.