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10 Things Your Photographer
Needs To Know

August 29th, 2012 by Jeannine

10 Things Your Photographer Needs To Know

Knowledge is power and that’s definitely the case when it comes to your wedding vendors. Today I take a look at what your photographer needs to know before the big day.

  • Ceremony details – tell the photographer how long the ceremony is, what’s involved (like religious practices), and what is or isn’t allowed in the venue so they can figure out their game plan. You can’t re-do a ceremony so the more prepared they are, the better.
  • Identify key guests – like family members and out of town guests, especially if they’re not part of the entourage or blend in with the rest of the guests (ie. not wearing a corsage or boutonniere).
  • Specific photo requests – what’s important to you may not be as obvious to the photographer, so let them know what kind of shots you want… whether it’s detail shots of items you made for the wedding, or fun jumping shots with your bridal party, or capturing your “best side,” make them aware so they can add it to the list. Also mention if you want formals done with your guests after the ceremony so he/she can coordinate with your planner.
  • Key moments – if you have something special planned or certain traditions happening give them the heads up so they can position themselves properly to get the right shots.
  • Photo locations – a lot of photographers like to scout out shoot locations so they can assess the lighting conditions and familiarize themselves with the area. They’ll be more prepared on the big day when they know what to expect.
  • Wedding Day Schedule – go over the entire wedding day schedule with your photographer so he/she can determine if the time allotted for photos is enough or not. They may also be able to provide suggestions on how to use photo time wisely.
  • Preferred shooting/editing style – you picked your photographer for a reason, but if they have a few techniques or angles you’re not a fan of, tell them so they don’t implement it on your big day. These will be the lasting memories, after all… you should LOVE all of them.
  • How late they can stay – if you didn’t book the photographer to stay all night and there are still some shots that need to be taken, discuss these different scenarios with them and make sure everybody agrees on how many extra hours they are allowed to work outside of the package costs. The last thing you want is a surprise fee in addition to what you already paid for.
  • Who the contact person/wedding coordinator is – if you’ve got someone handling all the wedding day concerns, make sure the photographer knows who it is and how to get a hold of them. The last thing you want is to worry about wedding stuff when you should be enjoying the day.
  • Feedbackbuild a great relationship with your photographer, tell them what you like about their work and what you don’t like (in a civil manner). Open the lines of communication and you will have a better relationship at the end of it all.

Feature photo courtesy Shutterstock

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  • August 31st, 2012 at 11:20 pm
    Tanja says:

    Awesome advice, but I must say that I find that a good photographer knows this! They should provide you with a list of questions, so they know in advance how the day looks like, what portraits will be taken etc. :)

  • October 31st, 2012 at 5:40 pm
    Justin says:

    As commented; for good professional photographers this stuff is a basic requirement that they will ask you. Make sure your day is captured properly by hiring a Professional, your wedding will likely be the biggest and most significant event you organize in your lifetime. Aside from stylistic preferences here are some of the things to look for to make sure that you’re working with a dedicated Professional Photographer:
    - At least a few years of shooting weddings under their belt (you don’t want to be a new photographers ‘experiment’ you will only get one chance at this)
    - Are they a full time Professional Wedding Photographer? (if they are unable to make a full time living from doing what you need them to do, then there is probably a reason for it)
    - Are they operating from a proper business location? You should be meeting with the photographer(s) who will be around you all day on your wedding day (their business location could be a studio, client space or even a residential studio but a professional business usually has a location).
    - Does the photographer show you complete weddings rather than just a few good shots? It is important to view a set of images from one wedding to make sure you are happy with the way they’ve captured all the different parts of the day (most photographers can show you a few good images but a good professional photographer should be able to get ‘the shot’ over and over again from start to finish)
    - Finally, get a firm commitment (preferably very specific and in writing) of how things will go after you’ve hired them; from hours covered at the wedding to exactly when you will see your photographs (you will be excited to see the photographs after your wedding and shouldn’t have to wait months to see them) and also what format you will receive the images in (DVD, online, slideshows, albums etc…).
    - The 2012 average price for a day of wedding photography in the U.S. is just over $3500. In Vancouver I would imagine it will be higher than that due to the cost of doing business in Vancouver and BC. If the price seems like a really awesome deal or to good to be true, there will be a reason for it, unfortunately you may not find out what that reason is until after your wedding.

    I hope that helps. It can be stressful to sort out wedding day services when that you’ve never had to hire before.

    Best of luck!


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