You’re spending your hard earned money on wedding photographer because you want quality photos. But did anyone tell you how to maximize the time and get the most out of your wedding photographer? Being an Atlanta wedding photographer myself I’ve the following 7 tips for you to consider, let’s check them out!
Decide to do (or not to do) first look well in advance
I probably mentioned this quite a few times on the blog. Doing the first look vs not doing the first look makes ALL the difference. On average, I’d say doing the first look give you more time for bridal party and family portrait photographs.
What happened if you don’t want to do first look on your wedding day? It still works but make sure your wedding photographer knows during the planning stage of your wedding so he/she can schedule a timeline for you that fit for your wedding.
I can almost guarantee doing first look will give you better quality photographs since you’ll have more time and less stress, but with enough planning and sticking to the schedule it works just as well if you decided not to do first look.
Spend at least 45 minutes for couples portraits
I know you must be thinking why a photographer needs 45 minutes to do a few couples portrait (that’s the time when only the bride and groom takes pictures).
From experience I usually tell my couple to give me 45 minutes but in reality I usually get 15-20 minutes. Therefore if you plan 20 minutes you may end up not having time to do couples portraits anymore on your wedding day. In fact, the ideal timeline is to spend 1.5-2 hours after the first look to do bridal party photos, family formal photos and couples portraits.
Send your wedding photographer a family formal shot list
Giving your family formal shot list is very important. The photographer can use this list to make sure he/she didn’t miss anyone in the shots and the 2nd photographer can start calling out names on the next set of pictures. If you photographer didn’t ask make sure you do yourself a favor and send the list to him/her. It’ll save your precious time during the wedding day trust me!
Tell the officiant to ask immediate family member to stay for photos after ceremony
This is simple but a big tip from experience. Tell the officiant to ask family members (who will be in the family formal pictures) to stay behind after the ceremony. It could save you half an hour trying to find uncle bob who’s talking to guests at the far back corner of the venue! Most importantly, it saves your photographer’s time so he/she doesn’t need to search for any people!
Spend the extra money for the 2nd photographer
You may not want to spend the extra money for the 2nd photographer. But having an extra photographer gives you more photos, more angles, and overall a better experience on you wedding day (everyone has less stress). I highly recommend spending the extra to get a 2nd photographer if you can afford one.
Line up your wedding photographer and your wedding planner’s schedule very well
Your wedding planner may have already planned your wedding schedule before your photographer does. To streamline the timeline make sure you give your photographer the timeline so he/she can work on it as well.
There may be some back and forth changes between you and the vendors. You may think they are taking time away from you. But trust me the time and confusion that you’ll save later greatly overcome this little time spent.
Do engagement session beforehand to test drive your wedding photographer
Doing and engagement session is the best way to get to know your photographer’s style. It also let you understand how he/she works on the wedding day.
Almost all my clients have done my engagement session before their wedding day. But the time I see them again on the wedding day I basically know how to work with them (and also the other way around).
I HIGHLY suggest you do the engagement session with the photographer you’re looking for.
My name is Gary Lun and I’m an Atlanta wedding photographer that specializes in wedding and engagement photography. I locate in metro Atlanta but I do travel nationally and oversea! I am always looking for fun and friendly couples to capture their big day!