It’s all about building relationships
We’ve all been there as wedding guests – maybe a slightly old fashioned wedding photographer asking people to pose, getting folks to fake laugh or, worse still, barking orders and taking prescriptive, dull photos. Or we’ve had to stand with a rictus grin whilst endless combinations of group shots have been taken that you know no one is going to look at. Or the couple disappear off for hours to have portraits taken.
But on the flip side you know you want beautiful photos, full of joy and emotion, and you’re investing a significant portion of your budget into booking a photographer and/or a videographer, you love their portfolio and you want to make sure you give them what they need to get it right.
It’s a balancing act – like so much else in the world of planning a wedding.
Find a photographer you love and trust them hard….
One of the key things is finding a photographer who you gel with – they get you and you get them and you want to make beautiful things happen together. Someone whose images make your stomach do a little flip flop, and not just someone who has shot at your venue before, or photographed your mate’s wedding (unless of course they also make your heartbeat faster too, in which case good work).
Start your searching process with an honest discussion about what you both want out of the day, and what’s the most important thing to you – perhaps it is dedicating some serious time to getting photos with just the right editorial vibe, or actually you want to party with your friends (especially in 2021 and 2022, amirite?). Take a look through their portfolio, and through a few full galleries and see what the balance is. Are you looking for mostly images with natural moments and an authentic connection? Or would you prefer more posed shots with your guests looking straight at the camera? Work out what your priorities are, but also allow yourself to be guided by gut instinct. I think it’s one of the most powerful tools we have.
You want to book a photographer who fits in with the crowd, who maybe feels like they could be a friend. I’ve often heard it said by the couples I’ve worked with that they forgot I was there on the day, which I kind of take as the ultimate compliment that I worked, for the most part, in the low key, unobtrusive way that I like.
It’s a two way street…
Finally, if you love what they do – your personalities mesh well and it feels like the right fit – then listen to the advice they have to give to you too. As an experienced wedding photographer – one of the things I do is let people know how I work so that they can get the most out of working with me, and set expectations for the kind of time I need to get the photos you want. I have a printed magazine I send out to new bookings, but also a downloadable PDF of tips, free to anyone who wants it. It’s a great way for me to set out my process and let the couples I work with know what I need from them to deliver amazing images.
I let them know how long to allow for group shots (around 15-20 mins) and how many I recommend before everyone gets bored, and the most efficient way to achieve that. I let them know when the best light will be, when I suggest popping out to get couple shots and what to have ready for when I arrive. I remind them that 15 minutes away from it all, together, can actually feel like a very wonderful thing on a busy wedding day. And all this careful pre-planning means that on the day we can all go with the flow, get some wonderful photos and have the time of our lives. I make sure we put in time for pre meetings, usually via Zoom or Skype so we can chat through the day and all possibilities, again with the view that once I know what’s important to you, we can rip up the rule book and see what wonderful things the day throws at us. I encourage people to follow me on social media, to see my latest work and often share thoughts and nuggets of advice.
And so often all of these things together, by sharing thoughts on the day, by listening, and by building a relationship; as well as by finding a photographer whose work you love – that’s how you get the photos you want without it taking over the day.
Because the art of having them created becomes a joy in itself.
If you want to know more, download my free PDF with 10 Top Tips For Getting the Photos you Want. It covers everything that wedding photographers want you to know to get the images you want. Just pop your email address in below. By signing up to receive this PODF you will also receive a few other emails with useful hints and tips and other awesome content.
And if this resonates with you, and you’re on the look out for a photographer for your wedding then don’t hesitate to get in touch and I’ll send you a lovely pricing brochure for you to look through.