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8 Things You Need To Tell Your Wedding Photographer!

Questions For Wedding Photographers

By Jeffrey House Photography


"Questions for wedding photographers."

As you begin your search for the perfect wedding photographer, you're likely going to see this phrase a lot.  But, finding the perfect wedding photographer requires more than asking a few essential questions.  It's about communication and the sharing of important information.  This dialogue will play an essential role in finding a wedding photographer that's a good fit for your wedding.  It will also go a long way in ensuring your expectations are clearly communicated.

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1.  what's most important to you when it comes to your wedding photography?

This is an important question to consider and I recommend you, and your partner, spend a little time thinking about it.  You'll want to communicate with your photographer the types of images that appeal to you and the types of images that don't.  This is where sites like Pinterest can be beneficial.  You can use actual photographs to support your likes and dislikes, so your photographer can gain a clear understanding of your vision.

For example, you may want your photos to include some of those dramatic night shots, but you definitely don't want jumping bridal party photos.  By communicating your preferences, your photographer can focus their attention on what really matters to you.

2.  what's most important when it comes to your wedding photographer?

You might be thinking, "I want them to take good pictures," but there's a lot more to consider when hiring a photographer.  

For example, how do you expect your wedding photographer to dress on the wedding day?  It might seem obvious they should dress professionally, but you don't want to make any assumptions.  It certainly wouldn't be the first time a wedding photographer showed up wearing sweat pants.  Do you want a photographer that's unobtrusive or in everyone's face taking picture after picture?

These are important considerations because all of your wedding professionals (photographer, DJ, videographer, officiant) can have serious impacts on your big day.  They can cause you, your families, and your guests to have a bad experience.  When photographers are rude and stepping on everyone's toes to get the shot, it's not accepted very well.  When your DJ is on the mic making inappropriate comments, guests are turned off.  

Do you want a bossy wedding photographer that's appears frustrated with everyone?  Or, do you want a photographer that understands when to take charge and when to be a spectator?  Do you want a photographer with an open mind or someone focused solely on their own agenda?  When choosing a wedding photographer, you only get one chance to get it right, so choose carefully!

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3.  wedding day timeline - communicate and collaborate

Creating a great wedding day timeline is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, but many couples often overlook this detail.  Wedding timelines are essential to ensure the day runs smoothly, reduce or eliminate unnecessary stress, and avoid sacrificing your wedding photos.  

Create a rough outline of your wedding day timeline and share it with your photographer.  But, don't stop there.  Wedding photographers have a lot of experience with wedding day timelines, so look to them for assistance.  They can offer you a lot of sound advice for making it even better!  Most couples, because they don't plan weddings for a living, substantially underestimate their timelines.  When something goes wrong, panic sets in.  When your schedule gets off track, in most cases everyone looks to your photographer to get it back on track.  However, there's one big problem with this.  The only way to get the schedule back on track is to reduce the amount of time for your wedding photography.  

Let's take a quick look at a real life scenario to see how a wedding timeline can impact your day.

10am - 2pm:  Hair & Makeup

2pm - 3pm:  Bridal Portrait Session

3pm - 3:30pm:  Wedding Ceremony

It's very common for hair and makeup to run late - maybe you woke up that morning with a pimple or you're having a bad hair day.  Whatever the reason, what happens if hair and makeup doesn't finish until 2:30pm?  Your photographer originally had an hour for the bridal session, but now they have a 1/2 hour at best.  If hair and makeup run even longer, it could potentially void the bridal session altogether.  

4.  the photos that matter

Do you need to give your photographer a shot list?  This is by far one of the most common questions every photographer gets.  If you've hired a reputable photographer, they likely don't need a shot list - they have lots of experience with the flow of a wedding and the important details that need to be captured.  However, if you're hiring a newby, you can't assume anything and you will need spell everything out for them in great detail.  

Here's a thought to consider when it comes to shot lists.  Weddings, in many regards, are unpredictable.  You never know when a truly amazing moment is going to unfold.  If your photographer has their nose buried in a shot list, it's likely they will miss these moments.  With experienced wedding photographers, communicate the details that really matter to you - VIP's, special details you've made or are including, etc.; however, skip the shot list that requests photos of the dress, rings, shoes, cake, etc.  If you have to tell your photographer to capture these types of photos, you probably want to reconsider your choice.

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5.  special events and details

You've been planning the perfect wedding for over a year and you've meticulously planned every detail.  You're going to want professional photos to capture all of your hard work and memories; therefore, be sure to communicate these details to your photographer.  This might seem obvious, but it's easy to forget because you're so familiar with your wedding.  It's like writing a letter - the more you work on it, the more difficult it becomes to proofread it.  

If you're going to add something to your wedding that's really unique or there is a part of your wedding that's really special to you, let your photographer know.  This will allow them to focus on these aspects of your wedding and ensure they take plenty of photos to make it really special for you.  This can include the special details you're including, crazy dances, etc.  

6.  communicate your fears

Communicating our fears isn't always the easiest thing to do - it can make us feel vulnerable.  This is another reason why it's imperative to choose a wedding photographer you trust.  You need to have a comfort level communicating your feelings - your likes, dislikes, fears, etc.  This allows your photographer to help you conquer them and make your wedding a great experience.

7.  family drama

I speak with a lot of couples about their wedding and I often see them become uncomfortable as they talk about their family dynamics.  It's nothing to be ashamed of because as long as there are families, there will be drama. 

Whatever the situation - divorced parents, a crazy uncle or fear of being photographed, just be sure to communicate this with your photographer.  For example, maybe your parents are divorced and they might try to choke one another if we place them next to each other.  We certainly don't want to create any unnecessary awkward or tense situations on your wedding day.  

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8.  What you don't want

You'll spend so much time telling your photographer what you do want, but don't forget to share what you don't want too!  This is just as important.  Obviously, this will be unique to each couple, but it's critical information for your photographer.  All of this information will really help your photographer to focus their vision on what's truly important to you and your wedding celebration.


Is there anything else you think is important to communicate to your photographer?  share your thoughts with us, we'd love to hear from you!


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