Your big day is fast approaching, and you want to capture it all on film so you can look back on those important memories for the rest of your lives together. In many cases, however, you may find yourself struggling with some of the common myths associated with wedding photography. Here, we’ll help you unveil those myths so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from your photographer on your big day.
As wedding photographers, we hear this one all too often (usually combined with, “That’s just too expensive!) when we talk with potential clients. The assumption is that a family member or friend can take the same quality images that you’d get from a professional photographer.
Spoiler alert? They’re often not.
When you hire a wedding photographer, you aren’t just getting a camera and a person to take the pictures. You’re also getting the photographer’s extensive experience: a trained eye, dozens or even hundreds of weddings under their belt, and their creativity and artistic flair.
Does your uncle have all of that?
Yes, getting high-quality images of your wedding is expensive. It’s an investment, not just in the pictures themselves, but in the memories that will be attached to them. When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you get:
Remember, too, that you aren’t just hiring a photographer for the hours of your wedding. You’re hiring them for the consultation ahead of time, hours of editing, and more.
Snapping a picture is easy. Taking a high-quality photo that perfectly captures the atmosphere of the wedding, in which everyone looks their best and no one is making funny faces at the wrong moment? That’s a lot harder. Wedding photography can also be extremely stressful. While digital photography has made it easier, since we can see a preview of the images before we move on, that doesn’t guarantee a perfect image every time—and there’s no going back to recapture those amazing, important moments. Hiring a professional wedding photographer is often well worth your while!
When you imagine wedding pictures, you may imagine those formal, posed shots with the entire wedding party…and his whole family…and her whole family. Those pictures are great (though they’re rarely featured anywhere but in a wedding album), but they’re also very, very time-consuming. If you’re planning to get those posed photos on your big day, it definitely needs to be part of the schedule—and you need to write in plenty of time for it. Often, taking care of those posed pictures before the wedding is a better way to be sure that it doesn’t cut into your reception time. Remember, you want to enjoy you time with them, not just take pictures with them!
Many bridal magazines and how-to lists advise putting together an extensive shot list before your wedding: a list of exactly what pictures you want on your big day.
Here’s the thing: when you put together that shot list, you may be hampering your photographer’s creativity and preventing them from getting that perfect shot that’s all about you and your new spouse.
Is there a perfect picture that you just have to have? A specific type of image you’ve fallen in love with? Share those. Do you have family group shots you desperately want? Your photographer may need a list. When it comes to the big day itself, however, give your photographer some creative freedom. An experienced photographer already knows that you want pictures of you and your spouse cutting the cake, the first dance, and the first kiss. Let them have the creative freedom they need to take great pictures of the rest of your day.
Just like not anyone with a fancy camera can take great wedding pictures, it doesn’t necessarily follow that just because someone is advertised as a wedding photographer, they’re a good one. Before you choose the photographer for your big day, take the time to look through their portfolio. Get to know them a little. Make sure your styles mesh. With a little research, you should be able to tell the difference between a good wedding photographer and a bad one—and you’ll be more likely to end up with one who fits your specific needs.
There’s something special about that amazing moment when the groom sees his bride in her dress for the first time. His eyes light up and his whole face softens as he looks at the woman he’s about to marry.
Guess what? You don’t have to be walking down the aisle to get that great look.
Instead, consider doing a “first look” shoot. The bride and groom get a few precious moments together before the ceremony, and you get amazing pictures that include that dreamy, “totally in love” look you’re hoping for.
A first look will also allow you to get some of the important posed pictures out of the way before the ceremony, which means you’ll get to spend more time with your guests and less time with your photographer.
Many brides and grooms want to be sure that every guest is included in the wedding pictures, so they ask for table shots: a shot of every single table at the reception. Unfortunately, these pictures are often unflattering and usually include tables cluttered with food, centerpieces, and the guests’ personal effects. Instead, consider putting disposable cameras at the tables to let the guests take their own pictures, and let your photographer have a little more creative freedom at the reception.
I get it: weddings are expensive, and there’s always an excuse for why you should put off buying your wedding album for a little longer.
Here’s the thing: there’s always going to be a reason why you can’t buy your wedding album “right now.” There’s always going to be something else that will have you putting it off until “next year.” Before you know it, “next year” will turn into “never,” and you won’t have that great record of those important days to look back on.
Buy your wedding album. Buy a few great canvases to hang on your wall. You aren’t just investing in pictures. You’re investing in memories.
Your big day is almost here! Before you go into it, make sure you fully understand what to really expect from your wedding photographer—and don’t let these familiar myths ruin your photos.