As a wedding photographer and bride myself (October 3rd, 2015) I know first-hand how important the decision of choosing your wedding photographer is! You should love your photographer’s style as much as you connect with them as a person.

Investing in a photographer you love means they will invest in you through the best images and experience possible.

I put this guide together to help you get the most out of your photography experience!

#1 Your Engagement Session

Your engagement session is important for two reasons! First, and most importantly, it’s a trial run for your wedding day! However, I think it’s also important because it celebrates the special and unique time in your life that is being an engaged couple! You have a whole relationship and life together before you say I do and while maybe nothing major will change when you get married it’s still fun to remember the before.

If you have any nerves about being in front of the camera (which almost all of my couples tell me they do!), your engagement session is a perfect time to get to know your photographer, how they pose and how much fun you’ll actually have before your wedding day! Unless you’re a professional model you’re not supposed to know how to be in front of the camera. It’s my job to gently guide you through the entire process by providing easy directions that keep you moving, laughing and loving so that every image comes together naturally. After your engagement session you’ll know exactly what to do on your wedding day which means your portrait time will be more relaxed and happen fast so you can get on to celebrating with your important people!!

#2 Consult With Your Photographer Before Setting Your Ceremony Time

By consulting with your photographer about your ceremony time you can be sure that the lighting and location of your ceremony will produce the beautiful images you’re dreaming of! Your photographer will take into consideration whether you’re doing a first look, the best light of the day and if your ceremony location may have awkward shadows (due to things like trees, etc) – all important elements to consider when setting your ceremony time! Of course, there are times when your ceremony time cannot be changed due to venue or other restrictions and in those cases your photographer can support you in finding the best time for your portraits.

#3 Get To Know Your Photographer

Take your photographer up on a video call to get to know them. This way you’ll get a feel for if you connect and if you’re into their vibe. You will spend a lot of time with your photographer between the engagement session and your wedding day so it‘s important that you can enjoy being around them.  Just like when you met your fiance’ you’ll just know if it feels right when the conversation feels easy and almost like you could be friends by the end.

True personal story: I took over for a photographer who got sick at the last minute for a proposal. Because it was last minute, I had zero consultation with this couple and so when I said it was time to “get sexy” I could tell that I had made them slightly uncomfortable. I get to know all of my couples before their wedding day so that I know how to get the best out of each couple and this would have definitely been avoided in that process. I also really feed off your energy when I’m photographing so if we vibe that helps me get the best out of you! You should also know in advance that I may be found awkwardly dancing behind my camera on the dance floor and hopefully you just think I’m funny and not a total nerd!

#4 Ensure your getting ready room has lots of light and is free of clutter

Those pre-wedding memories of getting your final makeup touches after a fun morning with your most important people and then putting on your dress are special! The look in your mom's eye, how your best friend cries at how beautiful you are, the butterflies you feel when you look at yourself as a bride for the first time. These moments are priceless and should be documented with care. To ensure the best images you should consider a well-lit area of the room and have your bridal party help clear up any clutter before your photographer arrives to ensure there are limited distractions in these important images! 

#5 Give your photographer a heads up

About any out-of-the-ordinary surprises you may have in store (a cannon during the ceremony, a crazy hour with robots at the reception… two real examples I’ve experienced). While I can anticipate most of what is coming on your wedding day, major surprises are helpful to have a head’s up so I can be sure I’m ready to capture them!

In addition, offering a heads up on any family dynamics can allow me to keep my radar up on anything you want me to be sure to capture or avoid and also help avoid any awkward moments. It’s your day and I’m there to help it run as smoothly as possible so you look and feel your best!