FIRST – RELAX AND ENJOY THE DAY!
As a bride, the best way to help your wedding photographer on your special day is to let everything go, experience all the moments and express all your emotions. If you are feeling stressed due to a lack of planning and coordination, that is the emotion that will be captured. Advanced consultations with your photographer and firm planning for the day will help you have the best wedding day possible which translates into the magical images you have dreamed about to remember it by.
HAVE A GREAT CONSULTATION
Have a great consultation with your photographer. After you’ve established that you are dealing with a professional wedding photographer; one that has the level of experience you are looking for, and is using professional equipment, be sure you have a good connection with your photographer. Do they make you laugh, do you already feel like you’ve known them forever, will your mom like him/her and do you like the mood and images that they have created already? If you answered yes, this is your photographer. The next step is working with your photographer to communicate your expectations and your vision for your day.
Communicate all your thoughts and expectations before the wedding day. Provide your photographer with images that inspire you and are in keeping with a style that reflects who you are. These images can be used for inspiration, but are not for duplication necessarily, but to inspire. They give the photographer an idea of how they may shoot that day and will allow them to set-up their lighting accordingly. It is better to have more information and not use it than to miss something that would have been helpful. If you see a certain style of images that you love in a magazine or elsewhere or perhaps just thought up, let the Photographer know in advance. Keep in mind to plan pictures that reflect who you are. Be creative too. Plan a special picture for your thank you cards. Maybe hold up posters you made that say “thank you,” or just blow a kiss into the camera.
HAVE A SHOOT PLAN
In order to minimize travel time and maximize the time you have with your photographer, have a plan for where you would like to shoot formals, couple images, and any other special concept images. This will also help you minimize the time you spend being photographed and increase the amount of time you spend with your friends and loved ones that came come distances to see you. Work with your photographer to establish locations. Lighting is everything to a photographer and finding dramatic backdrops with incredible lighting is what they do best. I highly recommend having an engagement session on the site for all to be familiar and plan the photography together. Another aspect of the plan is your shoot plan B- if it rains. Know where you will take images in case the weather turns. No photographer wants to scramble at the last minute on this one, because they will have to plan their lighting and lens equipment accordingly.
Defining times for intimate and formal photographs within the natural flow of your day will not only set the stage for great images, it will reduce stress and allow you to enjoy the day more. There is never an ideal time for photography, and there are many ways to weave photography into the flow of your day. A trend has been to create a first moment – where the bride and groom meet for the first time before the ceremony. It is a pretty incredible moment and it can calm nerves for the ceremony. Taking images of the bridal party and bride and groom before the ceremony have also become common; while make-up and hair are fresh and everyone is looking their best! Pre-ceremony formals are one of the ways to get the most out of your photographic experience. This allows for the bride and groom to spend more time with all their guests after the ceremony. Each wedding and every family is unique; you will know what will work best at your wedding.
HAVE A POINT PERSON
During formal and group shooting I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a point person identified for your photographer to ensure no one is missed and that all are present for their photographs. This is a real help in making the group shots go quickly and efficiently. It is especially important that this point person know the special people you wish to be photographed with and have them work as a right hand to your photographer in gathering people. You haven’t paid the big bucks for your photographer to “herd cats”. “Cat herding” in fact can throw some photographers off their game. If you want the best out of your photographer, ensure they are supported in doing the job you hired them for.
In Part 2 I will outline further some tips in creating a great shoot list and how to support and manage your photographer on the big day!
Melanie Rebane is an experienced Ottawa –based wedding and lifestyle photographer for m photography. She is also known for her “Trash the Dress” concept sessions and a grungy elegant style that sets her apart. Join m photography of facebook or twitter.