How To Work With Your Wedding Photographer On The Big Day

You’ve scoured websites, devoured portfolios, held meetings in person and finally chosen your perfect wedding photographer. But what’s next? Well here are the things you can do to get the best photos you can from them. Just booking them isn’t enough – by working with your wedding photographer, you can be sure to get the beautiful photographs you’ve been dreaming of.

Have a real, human relationship

Photographers are not like service technicians that come from a big company to repair your boiler. They’re individual, self-employed, creative, real people that care deeply about making you happy. They remember your name. They remember your Mum’s name. They’ve already met your dog. Striking up a genuine friendship helps them understand who you are and what you like. How to relate to you and what you care about. Add them on facebook and instagram and keep in touch. Ask how work is going (especially this year.) And obviously, meet them in person before the wedding. Have a drink at the cafe after you’ve finished talking wedding business. Get to know them, but most important – let them get to know you.
Want more advice to find your perfect wedding photographer? Click here
Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels


Use their experience

Experienced photographers know what causes delays at weddings. And delays are what make photographers have to scramble to capture the basics, leaving little time for creativity. Photographers have more contact with a wedding than anyone because they see everything from the bride’s house to the dance floor. As you talk about your plans, ask if they think you’ve allowed enough time and if they have any suggestions for the wedding morning. Where would THEY put the top table for the best lighting on the speeches. You’re planning a receiving line before dinner for 150 guests? That’s fine but do you realise it’ll take 40 of the 90 minutes you’ve allowed for all your photos and mingling time? Your photographer does.
Most photographers can do a lot with that little extra flexibility on the day. They may get 20 seconds with the Bride and her Dad before they go into the ceremony but imagine what your photographer could do with 45! Those precious seconds add up very quickly so best to always have a thorough talk with your photographer and ask for his/her opinion.
Wedding Photography by Richard Shephard

Point out things you love, but don’t over-script the photos

See a photo you love on instagram or Pinterest? Send it through to your photographer. He/she will ask you what it is that you love about that photo rather than promising to copy it exactly. Every venue and setting is different and what works in that photo you love may not work at your wedding. But if you love how romantic, how intimate, how funny or how silly a photo is, they can use their creativity to work with the decor and the light that you actually have on the day. Also bear in mind a Pinterest board usually ends up being a collection of the single all-time-best-career-greatest images from many different photographers all over the world. Ask to see real, whole weddings from your photographer to get a sense of what you can realistically achieve on the day.
If you’re bringing out a birthday cake for your Nan, tell your photographer so they can be nearby to catch her blowing out the candles. If you’re surprising the evening guests with fireworks, let them know so they can discreetly set up tripods. But do try to give your photographer as much freedom as possible to use their expertise to create gorgeous and unique photos just for you.
Still looking for your wedding photographer? Click here to view wedding photographers joining us at the National Wedding Show this Autumn
Wedding Photography by Richard Shephard

The wedding morning

The wedding morning is a big part of the day for the bride’s team and photographers love capturing it in beautiful photographs. You can help this happen by getting together details like shoes and jewellery, making space in the house for people in big dresses to stand – preferably near to a light source like a window. And making sure things go smoothly to reduce your own stress and keep everyone’s faces looking happier. Try on the WHOLE outfit before the big day. You’ll be surprised at how many brides only realise at the last minute that the earrings don’t go and need to spend 20 minutes choosing different ones, when they could have been taking gorgeous portraits. Take the stickers off the shoes. Like, now. Oh and put the dresses on nicer hangers.
Think about who you have with you in the morning. Your bridal party should help you (at least on this particular day) and not the other way round. So if little kids are getting ready with you for example, have their parents take charge of them. And maybe have a good mate look after you – even if they’re not a bridesmaid.
Wedding Photography by Richard Shephard

Family groups – brief the bridal party!

Everyone wants some family group photos, and photographers do too. They’re a part of a wedding. So making a list with your photographer when you meet prevents you from spending the entire drinks hour coming up with new ones you’ll never actually print. Give them the names, and choose someone who’ll be good at rounding folks up. (Hint – it’s often a bridesmaid, not an usher.)
Before the wedding, brief the whole bridal party. Let them know when it comes to photo time, what you really need is for them to be right there, paying attention, ready to jump in and out. Yes Dad, for more than one photo! Getting formal photos done efficiently (we’re not saying rushed, just efficiently) is probably the single best thing you can do to give your photographer the time and freedom to be creative for you and capture all the angles on your day. You wanted relaxed, natural coverage? This is how you get it.
Photo by Wallace Araujo from Pexels

Enjoy yourselves

There’s a moment at every wedding where a bride and groom realise that after months of planning and frantic activity in the last few days, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy. Try not to get stressed over little things like who can take the last bridesmaid’s suitcase, who will hold onto your lipstick, who can check your straps don’t fall down or where you can get a safety pin from and take a deep breath, look around at your loved ones and smile. Once you’re married, stick together for a bit. Don’t go off and talk to your separate groups of friends immediately – hold hands. Find a moment of space and quiet – perhaps during your couple photos.
Wedding Photography by Richard Shephard
Truly enjoy your guests and every little thing about your day. By all means, be aware of where your photographer is and try not to turn your back on them. Open up the group a little and they’ll be able to get an angle on you and whoever you’re talking to. But truly be there in the moment and your photographer will catch it.
Still looking for your wedding photographer? Richard Shephard is a wedding photographer and videographer based in Solihull and covering all of the UK. He offers helpful photography and video hybrid package and specialises in relaxed, natural coverage.
Click here to view Richard’s Instagram
Thinking of coming to visit the National Wedding Show this Autumn? Click here to view the wedding photographers joining us.
Wedding Photography by Richard Shephard