6 Important Things You Need to Tell Your Photographer
Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly series (through December) where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for this blog post or the promotion of the photographer.
Today’s contributing writer is Alicia King from Alicia King Photography
When it comes to your wedding day, all your vendors are important, but perhaps one of the most important is your photographer. Now, I’m not just saying that because this is a post on photography, I’m saying it because it’s true. They are one of the most important vendors because they are one of the first vendors you need to book, they are one of the vendors you spend the most time with, they will be with you almost all day during some of the most private and emotional points of the day, they will help you create a timeline (if you don’t have a planner), and they are the ones who will create the family keepsakes you will treasure for a lifetime.
If you have a photographer and you haven’t been communicating with them, you need to start now. If you think that just telling them when and where to show up is enough, you are mistaken. Photographers need to know waaaaaaaaay more than you think, and to help you with this process, we’ve asked Alicia King, Owner, and Photographer at Alicia King Photography, to share with you exactly what you need to be telling your photographer to make sure they capture everything you want them to on that day, the day you don’t get to do over.
Details, details, details
Since I was a DIY bride, I had so many details that I wanted photos of. I made sure our photographer knew of everything I wanted a memory of. King says “The first thing I would highly suggest telling your photographer about would be if you have any special family heirlooms you are incorporating into your day that you want to be photographed. This could include a special charm or fabric wrapped around your bouquet or a necklace that belonged to someone important. If it’s something that means something to you, let your photographer know!! That goes for other details as well. Even if a specific detail isn’t an heirloom, if it’s dear to you, and you want a photograph of it, make sure to mention it!”
Any special or unique moments of your day
King says “It’s also helpful to let your photographer know if you have chosen to incorporate anything special or unique into your ceremony or reception. For example, a sand mixing ceremony, the Hora, or singing happy birthday to a guest if the wedding date happens to fall on the same day.” Our wedding day was also the birthday of a special little guest who was turning 6. We wanted to do something special at the reception for him, so we purchased a big cupcake for him and had everyone sing happy birthday as the staff brought out the cupcake with six candles on it. If we hadn’t have mentioned that to our photographer (or our DJ too, for that matter), he could have possibly missed the whole thing. By telling him in advance, he knew to expect it. King also says “Some church ceremonies also include the first kiss in the middle of the service instead of at the very end so that would also be something to tell your photographer if you know ahead of time!”
Who your family members are
“You may also want to let your photographer know if there are key family members coming that you want photographs of or with,” says King. So, this may seem silly but think about it. Your photographer knows you, maybe your parents, but he doesn’t know who your cousins are, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. You want to make sure you give him or her a list of all the important people in your family you want pictures with. They don’t have to know what they look like, because they will announce who they want to have pose for photos, but if your grandma is there and if they don’t know who your grandmother is or if you want a photo with her, that’s a photo op you will most likely regret getting.
“I always like to ask my couples if there are any special spots at their venue that they would really love to take photos,” says King. “Sometimes they say no and want me to choose (which is totally fine!) but sometimes they say yes! It is always my goal to take pictures the couple really wants, so knowing what spots stick out in their mind as important helps tremendously!”
You may not realize it but venues may have restrictions in terms of where and how something can be photographed. “Most times,” says King, “Churches have strict rules about what a photographer can and cannot do. It is a good idea to find out from whoever is performing the ceremony if there is anything your photographer needs to know.” For example, King says “Some churches have balconies that photographers are not permitted to use for photography. If you have asked your photographer to take a picture from the balcony, and they are not permitted to go up there, it would be better to know that ahead of time then expect it and not receive it.” As a related topic, this is a question you want to make sure you ask your venue about. Some may tell you, but if they don’t make sure you ask to be double sure.
“It is also a good idea to ask whoever is officiating your ceremony if they personally have any restrictions,” says King. Everyone knows that your ceremony is the most important part of your day, and so, because of that, your officiant may have restrictions such as no flash photography during the ceremony.
In the end, your photographer needs to know almost as much as you do about your wedding day. King says “It sort of sounds funny but keeping them in the loop will make your day go as smooth as possible!”