Weddings – Amazing days, hard work leading up to them… Am I right?
It’s stressful for everyone, we all know that! There are a million things to book, a million wedding fayres to goto, there are hundreds of things to do. That’s what it feels like doesn’t it. To eliminate one more thing on that list and make sure your day goes smoothly, here are the top five things to discuss with your wedding photographer before your day…
A common occurrence with almost all weddings of any religion is photography restrictions. Many wedding ceremonies take place within churches or at private venues which may have their own set of rules and regulations on what your photographer can and can’t do. These restrictions are important to know in advance and are certainly something important to relay to your photographer.
For instance, many venues don’t allow flash photography, a common technique used by wedding photographers, especially in dimly lit churches or sparsely windowed venues. It’s a good idea to check with the church or venue in advance about these rules, which can usually be achieved by emailing the parish or venue secretary.
A lot of churches also don’t allow your photographer to get too close to the ceremony. It is common practice for churches or places of worship to restrict the focus to the couple, and a photographer moving around the aisle and clicking their shutter can be seen as a distraction. Talk to the contact at the church or venue about which vantage points the photographer can take pictures from, and discuss with your photographer the locations from which he/she can document the ceremony.
Invite the photographer to your wedding rehearsal so that they can get a grasp of the space and how they will be able to operate on your wedding day. Not all photographers can attend but some find it useful.
Your wedding photographer is going to be your best friend on your wedding day. Or at least they should be, considering that they’ll be following you around taking photos for the entirety of your day. You and your photographer must get on well because your photographer is going to want to meet your needs as well as possible, you’ll need a meeting with them (a couple of meetings) go over what YOU’RE looking for from your wedding photography, timings – a schedule like above, meet at the venue, anywhere particular you’d like a photo?
The wedding schedule will lay out all the different parts of your wedding day in a chronological format. This way, your photographer will know when the ceremony starts, where they need to be at what time and even how soon they should leave the ceremony location to get to the venue on time. Your photographer will have everything from time to location on their schedule so they can ensure they’re not missing anything.
Another handy tip is to put your photographer in contact with your wedding planner before the event (if you have one) so they can discuss scheduling together. It’s not uncommon for weddings to include slight buffer periods, like guests taking their photos strategically so that photographers can get a head start on moving to the next location.
Take it from a wedding photographer: weddings are prone to last-minute changes. Sometimes a ceremony runs too long, Sometimes a bride is slightly late (it’s her prerogative right?) there’s an issue with a dress, the bride’s hair or makeup is having a last-minute fix etc.
To make sure these hiccups are smoothed over easily, exchanging contact information with your photographer is a good idea.
Be sure to give your mobile number and your partner’s mobile number to the photographer so that they can contact you during the day or vice versa. I also found it particularly useful to have the details of the venue or the wedding planner (if you have one) the mother or father of the bride or groom (either is fine, just one person who is not getting married), someone on either side of the wedding party (like the best man and maid of honour)
Sometimes preparation runs later with either the groom or bride, etc. Being able to communicate time changes or issues with the photographer not only ensures your wedding photos’ safety, but your photographer is also your right-hand man (or woman) for the day and can certainly relay information onto others or help solve some problems.
We’re here to help!
This one seems like a no-brainer, but there is some handy information to consider and discuss with your photographer before the wedding.
The first and most basic thing to discuss is payment times. How much do you have to pay as a deposit? When is the balance due?
The not so obvious question is about late payment fees. If you miss your payment, is there a penalty? If you need to cancel or reschedule (although unlikely with a wedding, it can happen) do you keep your deposit or do you have to pay any fees, etc.?
This information can usually be found in your photographer’s contract, which is why it’s super important to carefully read it over (this could be a point of its own). That contract is there to eliminate confusion, so use it to familiarize yourself with the photographer’s terms.
But what’s probably the most overlooked point about payment is overtime or additional services. If your wedding happens to run later than expected (as most weddings do) and you still need your photographer, it’s important to know what you’ll be charged. Most photographers have an overtime rate of pay (X£/hour) and some may just have a flat fee. Make sure you know what it will cost you (again, in the contract) to keep your photographer over the scheduled time.
The other cost can be additional images. Some photographers will have wedding packages that include X # of hours + Y # of edited images, while others will just state the length of coverage and then deliver however many images they please at the end. If you’re thinking you might want more images than what’s included, find out how much it will cost you. It can also be helpful to ask how many images you’re entitled to or how much extras will cost in the case of photographers who don’t list image counts.
Weddings normally have a theme of some sort, usually, colours (i.e. blue & blush pink) Sometimes more general (i.e. . a country theme).
If your wedding has a theme, colours or more general, make sure you let them know. A photographer will normally wear a uniform of some type (trousers, loose top, comfy footwear – they move around a lot!)
Another is for the wedding party to match (all the bridesmaids in blush pink, all the groomsmen in blue, etc.). Your wedding photographer dressed in the same colour might detract from the wedding party’s “oomph” or confuse guests. Make sure you tell your photographer what colours to avoid.
Last is the dress code. If you’re holding a wedding outdoors in a particular season (like summer or winter), lay out what sort of jacket (for winter) is acceptable or (for summer) if your photographer can wear shorts/3/4 length trousers. Usually, the photographer arrives dressed down compared to your guests because of the nature of their job.
He/she is on their feet for almost the entirety of the wedding and will need clothing that can accommodate mobility for all sorts of crazy poses (like lying on the ground and shooting upwards, etc.). Especially if it’s a hot day, it’s unreasonable to expect your photographer to arrive in a full suit or heavy material. It’s best for them to have the leisure of wearing comfortable shoes, loose clothing and concentrate on what they’re there to do.