How to Brief your Wedding Photographer
It is said that your wedding day can be the most exciting and also the most stressful day of your life. There’s so much to organise and think about, but also a great deal to look forward to. It can get overwhelming, but if you have a list and do one thing at a time, you’ll be fine!
One of the things a lot of brides (and grooms!) get anxious about is the wedding photography. The results of what your wedding photographer does on the day will stay with you forever with no second chances. Once you’ve done your research and taken the time to choose your wedding photographer, then you need to make sure you get the most from them. Wedding Photographer Yakir Zur says, “Make sure that you meet with your wedding photographer in advance. Even if you have met them before, perhaps at a friend’s wedding, don’t assume that they know what you want. It’s good for you to get to know each other to build up the rapport that is so important for great photography.” A good photographer knows what they are doing and their expertise is invaluable, but they don’t know you as well as you do and any information you can give them to make their job easier will mean better results for you and your photographs.
You should include your photographer when planning your wedding schedule because they’ll need to know what’s happening and when, and they’ll be able to tell you how long they will need for their involvement. Your photographer needs to know what time you’d like them to start on the day and where, and whether you’d like them to continue their business at your evening party.
Tell them about key moments you’d like to capture – having the bride’s hair done, exchanging the rings, first dance, throwing the bouquet. Tell them in advance and they know where to be and when.
It’s good to discuss what sort of group shots you would like taking, and warn them of any family peculiarities! If you’d like a shot with an elderly or infirm relative, it’s good to let the photographer know so they can prioritize those shots to relieve the subject as soon as possible.
If you have a non-traditional family set-up, you should give the wedding photographer a list of who is who in each shot you have planned. One wedding I attended, the groom didn’t have a father and the photographer didn’t know – the bride’s father ended up in both family shots and everyone was too polite to correct the photographer! In these sorts of situations, the photographer may have some ideas of how to make things more suited to the family circumstances.
If you have items or décor you are particularly proud of, like handmade centrepieces, tell the photographer and they can make sure they get shots of them. They’ll know to photograph your wedding cake but if there’s anything special that they might miss, you need to say so! If you don’t ask, you sometimes don’t get.
It’s good to get to know the photographer before your wedding so they can help bring out your personality. Wedding photos have the potential to look awkward if the photographer is asking you to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Briefing your wedding photographer in advance will help give them an idea of what you’d be happy doing, and what you wouldn’t.
Don’t fret – an experienced wedding photographer instinctively knows what to do for the best and to get the best results for you, but it doesn’t hurt to give them a heads-up on your expectations. Pre-empting potential problems and keeping the photographer well informed will mean your special day will be a lot less stressful and you will relax and enjoy it as much as you should.
Yakir is a professional photographer who likes to get to know his customers so he can offer guidance and inspiration to get the best out of their shots. He specializes in weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and corporate events. You can also find Yakir on Twitter and Facebook.