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10 Tips on Wedding Photography. Wedding Photography Advice, Photographer advice. How to be a wedding photographerAs we talk more and more about ceremony planning important details come up that intimately affect special vendors including your Officiant, Musicians and of course, the ever so important PHOTOGRAPHER. There are many great photos you’re going to want to capture on the Big Day but probably none so much as important as those of the ceremony. After all, that is why everyone is here this day! You want your photography to reflect you joys, emotion, and love when you look back through your album… since sadly, it will probably be a blur when you try to remember it.

Hiring your photographer is a big and important decision. You all should be able to work together as a team. Today on the blog I have special guest author Ann Hughes of Ann Hughes Photography sharing some professional insights into your wedding day and the photography. You can find more from Ann and her work at her by following her BLOG.


10 Tips on Wedding Photography from Ann Hughes

As a photographer, I have three main goals for your wedding images:

  1. To photograph your day as beautifully and honestly as I can.
  2. To be as professional as possible – leading up to, on the day of,
    and after your wedding.
  3. To blend in and be as unobtrusive as possible.


I’m sure that you want all of these things too!! That said, there are some things that you can do as the bride and groom (or as someone helping to plan a wedding) that will help the photography aspect go a bit smoother. I have put together a list of 10 of my personal recommendations for how to help your wedding photography be as picture-perfect as possible.

1: Photography Package

Prior to booking, ask your photographer EXACTLY what you will get,  both on the day of and after your wedding. There are a ton of “Questions to ask your photographer” lists out there. One of the most important items to ask is what EXACTLY the photographer is going to provide for you. I have heard horror stories about photographers delivering only low-resolution, watermarked files, or getting the images to the bride and groom more than a year after the wedding day – without explanation of WHY it was taking so long. Make sure that what the photographer is offering as part of your wedding package suits your needs. And make sure that their contract spells out the deliverables. If it doesn’t, ask them to include the details. A professional photographer will absolutely be happy to outline exactly what you are getting for your money.

Ann Hughes Photography

2: Timelines

Provide your photographer with your wedding day timeline, including any timelines provided to you by other vendors. You will likely create a timeline for your day that includes when various vendors will arrive, when your makeup will be applied and when your hair will be styled, when the flowers will arrive, when group photos will take place, what time the ceremony will be… etc. There are a lot of details to consider! But your DJ or Emcee may also provide you with a timeline that is specific to their job (think toasts, cake cutting announcement, etc.). If you get a timeline from other vendors, this can often be helpful for your photographer so that they don’t miss key moments!

Ann Hughes Photography

3: Timeline Input

Ask for your photographer’s input… Not sure exactly when to do a specific group shot, or if you have provided enough time for great “getting ready” shots? Ask your photographer! They may have some input and insight that is photography-specific. For example, if you want portraits in a certain location, they might consider the angle of the sun for that specific location, at that specific time of day. …but be wary if a photographer isn’t willing to be flexible and work with you. Your photographer will likely have great advice or insight about your day from a photographer’s perspective. But you also need to consider whether or not the photographer’s suggestion works for you and your guests. A good photographer will be happy to offer insight, but will also be willing to work around the needs of you, your wedding day, and your guests.

4: A Point Person

Consider assigning a “point person” for your photographer. A family member or close friend can be helpful to wrangle guests for group shots. If you are hiring a planner who will be there on the day of your wedding, this is usually your best choice for event-related questions such as whether or not using a specific plug-in for charging batteries would be OK.

5: Family Dynamics

Fill your photographer in on unusual family dynamics. This one won’t apply to everyone – but it can be really helpful information to have. For example, if your mom and dad are divorced and really, really don’t get along, your photographer could avoid asking for “mom and dad to join in the photo.”

6: Consider angles.

This one can be tricky. Sometimes there is only one location that a venue is able to offer for your ceremony or only one spot that works for the DJ stand. But whenever possible, consider where you will be in relation to the areas your photographer will have access to. For example, if you are getting married on a stage, against a row of hedges, or anywhere where your photographer can only be in the aisles, you may want to consider facing each other rather than facing your officiant. Of course, this will vary depending on whether or not you are having a ceremony that fits into specific religious guidelines.

7: Ceremony Length

Consider the length, content, and flow of your ceremony. The ceremony is really the core of your wedding day. After all, this is when you will profess your undying love for your betrothed. This usually is – and should be! – the most intimate and personal element of your day. So of course, the ceremony should fit the personality of the bride and groom. That said, I have been to some ceremonies that are long, but because there are readings or otherwise have guest interaction, there are lots of interesting moments to capture photography-wise. I have also been to  ceremonies that are extremely short, and where there is very little to no warning (via the words being spoken by the  bride/groom/officiant that the ceremony is coming to a close, and I have had to scramble to get in location for “the kiss” or the recessional.  This will also vary depending on whether or not you are having a ceremony that fits into specific religious guidelines.


8: Meals

Offer your photographer a meal, and allow them time to consume it. Often, your photographer’s day starts at least as early as your day does. And he or she will be likely (hopefully!) be very busy and work up quite a thirst and appetite. Most photographers will bring their own drink and/or snack to get them through the day, and will bring themselves something to eat during the reception as well. Some photographers (myself included) will ask that you provide them with a meal, and a chance to eat the meal, during the reception.
Having a 20-30 minute “gap” in your program where nothing is happening (no speeches, announcements, dances, etc.) will usually provide plenty of time for this to happen. If you don’t want to spring for a plated dinner for your photographer (or other vendors), ask your caterer or venue if they offer vendor meals.


9: Alcohol

Ask your photographer his or her policy about consuming alcohol at your wedding – or tell them what your policy is on the subject. I have been to some weddings where the photographer and vendors are welcomed to consume alcohol. My personal stance on this is that I don’t do it. I really, totally appreciate that you want to share your craft beer selection with me, or allow me to taste some of the vintage wine being served, but if something were to be a mishap of any kind, alcohol can (literally and figuratively) blur the lines as to what happened, and who is at fault. If you are really, totally OK with your photographer consuming alcohol at your wedding, by all means, invite them to do so. Conversely, if you absolutely do not want your photographer to consume alcohol at your wedding, ask him or her to agree to this in their contract.
Ann Hughes Photography

 10: Creativity

Finally… allow your photographer to be creative. Having a general outline of images you would like for your wedding is great. But providing your photographer with a “must have” shot list is daunting!! Rather than being able to photograph your day as it unfolds, your photographer has now been sent on a treasure hunt for specific images. Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t ask to have a photograph of the earrings that have been passed down to all the brides in your family for four generations. But it is to say that your photographer will likely see moments unfolding that you don’t, and if they are spending their day working through a “must have” list, they may very well miss these moments.

Thank you very much, Ann, for your insights! Ann is a featured vendor for photography and if you have something to say you can be featured too! Simply send me an email to [email protected] and I’d love to talk about guest author spot with you!

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