It’s no secret that for a lot of people, being photographed on their wedding day can be a stressful time.
If you’re like me, or most other people, you’ve been conditioned to feel a bit uncomfortable with being photographed.
The majority of the time when we’re photographed, it’s by friends and family. Usually it conforms to the standard ‘look at the camera, smile. No, smile. SMILE dammit!’ format. So, you end up with forced grins and robotic poses. Not a good look.
Because, for a lot of people this is their only experience with being photographed, they tend to assume that that’s what their wedding day photography will feel like. Or, even worse, they’ve been a friends wedding where the photographer herded people around. Kept bossing them about and cracking corny jokes. Great if you’re looking for a set of dull, lifeless, staid images where everyone looks like they have a coat hanger stuck in their mouth. Not so cool if what you really want is a wedding photographer who will make you feel comfortable, and deliver you an amazing collection of photographs of you and your guests having a great time.
Here’s five things brides should know about when picking their wedding photographer;
1. Am I going to be standing there all uncomfortable and stiff? I don’t feel very confident in front of the camera and really don’t actually like being photographed. I don’t want a bunch of photos of me looking nervously at the camera with a fake smile.
Most people don’t like being photographed, so you’re not alone. Over the years trends have changed and wedding photography isn’t a procession of formal images any more. Photographers like myself like to keep the formal part of the day (when we take those photographs that mum and gran want to put on their mantlepieces) to about 15 minutes. I’ll give you direction and keep you relaxed so you’ll look fantastic. That’s where my experience comes in. Making sure you look amazing! Of course, not everyone wants to have any formal photographs – if you really feel that you don’t want any, that’s O.K too. It’s not obligatory.
2. I want to feel confident in what you, the photographer, are doing.
Hiring a photographer can be a daunting process, especially as you won’t see your photographs until after the wedding. My job is to assure you that not only are you going to have amazing wedding photographs, but also to let you relax on your wedding day. You don’t need to be fretting about your photographer (the one who seems to have disappeared muttering something about batteries, dead and be right back, thirty minutes ago). You just want to sit back, enjoy the day and trust your photographer to do what they need to do without you having to babysit them.
I know you’re nervous and a little bit stressed out. That’s why I’ll always do my best to make you feel at ease and just quietly and confidently go about doing what I do best. Crafting beautiful photographs for you.
3. Would you be someone I’d invite as a guest?
Of all the suppliers you’ll hire for your wedding, I’m the one you’ll probably spend the most time around. From the bridal preparations, through to the first dance. You’ll want to make sure you, and your guests, are comfortable with me around. You don’t want someone in dirty jeans and a t-shirt drifting around your wedding. Nor do you want someone whose taken a leaf out of the Bernard Manning book of social etiquette. Weddings are an important part of peoples lives – not a place for terrible jokes and cringe making behaviour.
Ask yourself – would I invite this photographer as a guest. Even if they take the worlds best wedding photographs, if you and your guests are put off by their behaviour or appearance then that will come across in the photographs.
4. I don’t really feel comfortable with posed kissing in front of all my guests. Do we really have to have all those photographs we feel are cheesy?
This sort of ties in with point one. I know you’re both feeling a bit awkward about all the attention you’re getting on your wedding day. I did too on my wedding day. Hanging over everything is this specter of ‘The Photographs’. This part of all the other weddings you’ve been to where the photographer spent an hour or so making the couple kiss and perform in full view of all the guests.
No one likes that.
If you do want to have some posed formal photographs of the two of you, we’ll go somewhere quiet. Away from the view of guests and other suppliers. It’s a great excuse also for you guys to have a breather, relax and just enjoy some quiet moments together.
I’ll also have had a chat with you before your wedding about what type of formals (if any), you’d like to have. Not everyone is the same, and if you feel that some types of photographs are so cheesy they should come with crackers, then we won’t shoot those.
Which brings us to…
5. I’ve been looking at an awful lot of wedding photography online. I want you to know what I like and don’t like.
There’s a whole bunch of wedding photography styles out there. From very traditional, to totally wacky.
My style of work takes most of it’s cues from the documentary school of thought. Very relaxed, story driven and candid photography. The couples who choose me as their photographer are in tune with my overall style. It stands to reason that you hire a photographer whose work you like. Yes, people do, but they also don’t want cookie cutter images that they’ve seen a million times over. They want to make sure the photographs they get are the ones they want.
By taking the time to have a chat with my couples before the wedding, I get a feel for who they are, what images resonate with them, and what they are looking for. I can also advise and guide couples about types of images they may not have thought about. Wedding Blogs are super into detail shots, it’s good for their readership to get ideas. However these detail images very rarely make it into albums. By using my expertise and guidance, you’ll get a set of photographs that you’ll absolutely love.
Of course, if you want a more traditional photographer, I can always recommend a few. Find a photographer whose overall style you like, and then discuss your ideas with them. Don’t try to get a documentary wedding photographer if what you want is hundreds of posed formal images – find a photographer who excels in that. And vice versa, don’t hire a traditional, formal wedding photographer if you want natural, story driven, in the moment images.
If you’ve found this list helpful, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter.
While you’re here, why not check out my portfolio..