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3 Things Your Photographer Secretly Wants to Tell You

Discover the common mistakes to avoid that will help you and your photographer!

Couples often have ideas of what makes for the best wedding photos, but what does your photographer think? Keep these three things in mind when planning your photography timeline!

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Photo: Emma Hopp Photography

Choosing a photographer to capture your wedding day is a big decision in the wedding-planning process. There is a lot to consider in order to make certain that they are a perfect fit. But once you have selected your wedding photographer, there may be some technical or logistical elements that play a big part in the success of your photographs. It is wise to keep the dialogue open with your photographer. Trust is key!

Here are three things that couples often want, but your photographer secretly wants to tell you that they're not the best choices.

Bright sunshine is not the best lighting.

Most couples dream about a bright, sunny day for their wedding and think that this weather is ideal for photos. On the contrary, end-of-day lighting or an overcast sky can offer better results for your photographer (of course, there are exceptions to every rule). Also, in bright sun, most bridal parties tend to be in a hurry to finish up the photos due to their weepy eyes.

Photographers bring professional equipment, as well as lighting for fill flash or light bouncing techniques, to remove heavy shadows or “raccoon eyes.” However, photographers cannot do much to help with the effects of the sun on everyone’s eyes.

If you have the option to take your photos when the sun isn’t directly overhead, that will usually produce the best results aesthetically and will save your wedding party’s eyes.

The point is, don't place such an emphasis on the sun, and let your photographer do their job. They're professionals and will know what to do to ensure your wedding album is filled with picture-perfect images. So don't worry if your wedding day is overcast – it will likely make for better photographs!

You may not have time for all your requested family photos.

Of course, you are excited about getting professional photos with all of your family members, distant cousins, aunts, uncles, and all of your extended family on your wedding day. You start to write down all of the different variations of family photos on your side, your significant other’s side, and your parents’ requests. Before you know it, it has become a double-sided list of "must-have" family photos.

If you are like many modern families, you may have divorces, remarriages, deaths, and/or personal family dynamics that could make putting groups of people together delicate. It is a good idea to communicate some of this detail to your photographer and perhaps your wedding planner to ease the process and ensure no one is offended on your big day. 

Also know that it could take an extended period of time to group people together, so if you have to be out of the church or venue by a certain time, it is wise to keep a short and realistic list of family photos. Your photographer will need time to compose people, like making sure jackets are buttoned, purses and phones are out of people’s hands, and so on. Think quality over quantity with family photos, and make sure your "must" list is truly your "must" list. Communication, flexibility, and patience is key for well-lit and composed family photographs. 

Keep your stylist on hand all day.

If possible, we recommend doing all of your posed photos when you are freshly styled and before the reception – one reason many couples choose to do a "first look" before the ceremony. If you are planning on doing a "second look" or taking additional portraits during the wedding reception, you may want to consider keeping your bridal stylist, hairstylist, or makeup artist on board (or at least until all wedding party photos have been taken).

The couple may need a few touch-ups throughout the day. Depending on the climate, it could be windy, possibly snowy, or in the summer months, humid, which can be difficult with hair and makeup. The last thing you want is for your hair or makeup to compromise your pictures since they'll last a lifetime and you've likely made quite the investment.

If budget permits, keeping your stylist on hand for touch-ups throughout the portrait session – as well as a transitional look from the ceremony to the reception – could be a wise investment.

Opening photo by Emma Hopp Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events; From Real Wedding: A Classic Wedding with Modern & Mexican Details in California