1. We’ll work with you on pricing, but don’t insult us.
Whenever I work with a couple I try to get them a package they are happy with that will fit their budget. I love doing this, I want people to be happy with what they are getting. However, I cannot tell you the number of times I have been asked to provide my services for free because it will “expand my portfolio.” Believe it or not being a photographer is a real job, one I expect to get paid real money for and use it to pay my very real bills. Shooting a wedding for free (and putting in the hours to review and edit photos) doesn’t help my business, shockingly. No matter how often you give me a shoutout on Facebook or link me in your DIY blog.
2. You do yourself a disservice by copying other people’s photos.
Lots of couples want to recreate very specific photos they’ve seen other people do. I don’t think this is the right place to start. You should do photos that feel natural for you and express your individual personalities. Copying other people’s photos is always a little bit forced, because you’re trying to do something that is unnatural — being someone else instead of yourself.
3. Let us be invisible.
Many of my favorite photos I’ve taken over the years are candids. Those happen in the moments when the bride lets me do my own thing and fade into the background. Then I can capture real moments she has, or the bridal party, or her and the groom. When people try to manage my every moment, we miss out on some of the magic of the moment.
4. Please tell your wedding party in advance when photos are and what to expect.
Weddings are a long day, and the wedding party sans the bride and group isn’t getting by on endorphins and adrenaline. They get tired. They get crabby. This is even worse when they aren’t informed in advance that photos are a thing and they can take hours. This translates into photos where your party looks hangry.
5. Don’t make Pinterest your expectation.
I love when brides use Pinterest because it means they have an idea about their aesthetic and that’s really useful to me. But I always hope they don’t have the expectation that they’ll look like a Pinterest model, because that’s not reality. Models aren’t representative of real people and I can promise you’ll look great in your photos but if your expectation is “Pinterest” or “magazine”, you’re going to be disappointed. And that’s not fair.
6. Remember to relax and breathe.
When we shoot your wedding, you are our boss. It’s difficult to say “take a chill pill” to your boss, but sometimes we really need to — no one wants to see a bunch of photos of a pissed off bride because something no one will remember went wrong with the caterers.
7. There’s nothing more annoying than your wedding guests taking photos on their phones/ipads/shitty cameras
You hired a professional and are paying them thousands of dollars to be blocked by your pushy family members. This is not ideal.
8. No one can read your mind.
I’ve had clients tell me they are disappointed afterwards because they really wanted a certain photo I didn’t get. It’d be super helpful if they would have told me, it’s in my best interest to make sure I get everything the couple wants, but I’m not superman, I’m not going to get everything. Help me prioritize by communicating anything specific you have to have.
9. You WILL get what you pay for.
Lots of cheaper photogs will argue they can take photos as great as an expensive, seasoned one but the market sets the prices and it does so for a reason. Furthermore, if you have an expensive ceremony at a gorgeous location and flowers everywhere, the photos are going to look better. This is not to say your less expensive wedding can’t have great photos (and look beautiful in person) — this is absolutely true. Just don’t compare it to super expensive, fantasy weddings.
10. You’ll be happiest if you eschew tradition.
If you do what everyone else is doing, your photos will become dated in a few years. If your photos reflect who YOU are, they’ll be timeless. Those are the kind of photos your kids will have framed in their house.