We have covered many articles on why you should hire a professional wedding photographer, why it is so important and why you should maximise your budget.
When it comes to your wedding day there is only one thing you won’t see until it is over, and that’s your wedding photos. Everything else you will have seen, planned and booked, your wedding venue, flowers, dress, band, seating, decorations, the list goes on.
Your photographer will capture the day for you, but you won’t see the output of their work until a few weeks after, that is why choosing your wedding photographer is so important, once the day is over your wedding photos are are only thing that capture and hold onto those moments, memories and feelings.
Wedding Photography Mistakes to Avoid
However there are still some mistake couples make when it comes to their wedding photography, so we have rounded up 8 common ones we see.
1. Under Appreciating the Importance of Photography.
The first regret and sadly an all to common occurrence is not actually hiring a professional wedding photographer. Weddings are not cheap and everything can feel expensive so when you think that a wedding photographer doesn’t ‘add’ anything to the day itself it can be easy to decide they are not needed or money can be saved. Cost plays a big part in why couples may not hire a professional and when you have a family friend who has photography down as a hobby then it is easy to see why you may think it is a good way to save some money.
The fact is you are paying for something that you won’t see until after your wedding, the photographer will be there on your day however they will be in the background working away. You could save money and spend it on bigger flowers, better food, free drink, however what about capturing all these moments, your guests won’t care or even notice if you spent more on your flowers or food, however you will notice and regret your wedding photos if they don’t reflect your beautiful day, the emotions of your guests or all the hard work your put in planning your day.
Ensure you hire a professional wedding photographer, hire someone that knows what they are doing and have years of experience doing it, it will be one the best investments you will make. Don’t regret it.
You should maximise your budget, you should put a lot of importance on your wedding photography. Why? At the end of your special day the cake will be eaten, the flowers will wilt, the venue will be cleared and all you will have are memories. What better way is there to capture and hold those memories so you can show family, friends, grand children, than through images.
We hear a lot of brides focusing on creating their dream wedding, focused on getting everything perfect, but they forget that it is for just one day, and they don’t think or maximise their budget to hire a professional wedding photographer to capture their day, their perfect wedding they have dreamt about and spent months planning and creating.
Make sure you capture your day and your perfect wedding. It is the one think you will have when your day is over that will last forever.
If you are nervous in front of the camera or don’t like having your photo taken then consider an engagement shoot too. Photography is an up-close-and-personal service and both you and your photographer need to feel comfortable working together. Not only will an engagement photo shoot enhance your wedding album, it works like a dress rehearsal for photography on the day to make you more relaxed and natural in front of the camera.
2. Not capturing the whole day
You may have hired a photographer however another regret can be only hiring them for the ceremony, again this comes down to costs. With all the stress of planning your wedding it can be difficult to think how you will be on the morning of your big day, and so sometimes to save money it can be easy to not have this captured, however these can be some of the best photos of your day.
Getting ready photos can be so much fun, you and your bridesmaids getting ready together, having a glass of wine with a whole range of emotions and feelings, from excitement, nervousness, to relaxed and fun in the room.
After the ceremony, yourself and your guests will feel more relaxed and the drinks will be flowing, with everyone feeling more relaxed lots of great photos can be captured of guests chatting, dancing and enjoying your day.
Photos of all your close family and friends together for the celebration of your wedding, you have spent a lot of time planning it so ensure your capture moments of your guests enjoying it all.
3. Not meeting their photographer first
When hiring a wedding photographer it is important to meet them, if not you may regret it when it comes to your photos. Their work maybe amazing however if you don’t feel natural and relaxed around them then it will show in the photos, all photographers will try to ensure you feel relaxed and at ease, however you may find it awkward around them which will then show in your photos.
They may have some fun ideas for photos but you may not want that, the point is you want a photographer that you get on with, feel relaxed with, a photographer that almost feels like a guest too.
By meeting your photographer first you can see how you get on, you may find it difficult or awkward with them which may then show in your photos, however if you click and feel like you are talking to an old friend then your wedding photos will become more fun, natural and enjoyable. Your best photos will be you just having fun and enjoying the day.
4. Last Minute Bookings & Disappointment
You have set your budget for your photography, you have maximised it the best you can so you can afford the best photographer you can get. All ticks so far, however you leave it, you don’t make a decision and then when you realise you still need to hire someone, you can be left disappointed when the wedding photographers you wished you had hired are fully booked on your day.
As with your wedding venue, as soon as your wedding venue and the date is confirmed, you should be booking your wedding photographer. No matter what your budget the best wedding photographers will be taking bookings up to 2 years in advance, so don’t wait a couple of months before your big day and be surprised they are booked up. Our advice is as soon as you have your date and venue, find your perfect wedding photographer and get them booked.
5. Not having an engagement shoot
While relating slightly to the previous point, couples sometimes regret not having an engagement shoot, of course you can have something like this done after your wedding however the other benefit of this type of shoot is that it helps you feel more relaxed in front of the camera.
Unless you work as a model you won’t be used to having your photo taken and the focus being on you, this isn’t about striking a silly pose, it is about just being more comfortable being infant of the camera and having your photo taken. Many photographers will include an engagement shoot in their full days package so that you can get use to working with them and help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. When you wedding day comes around you will be feeling more relaxed around your photographer with the only difference being you are in your dress this time!
6. Photo Lists
When you pick and hire your perfect wedding photographer you pick them because you love their style, you pick them because you feel comfortable working with them, and you pick them because you trust them.
If there are a few nice shots you would like, family shots, mum and bride etc then let your photographer know, but don’t tell and show them every photo you would like. You are hiring them because you trust them, because you have seen full albums of work and love their style.
There is no need to give them a long list of shots you want, trust them to do their job and capture moments that even you won’t have thought about, or even expected to happen let alone be captured. Let your wedding photographer capture real moments and use their years of experience to produce the best story of your day.
Let your photographer know if you want any specific family shots you want, including a list of any group shots and perhaps assign a guest to round up those people on the day for you. It is important to note this point is family shots and important people that you want a photo with in a more traditional style.
This is not about telling your photography you would like a shot of you and your husband on the bridge in the garden, or on the steps in front of the venue, let the photographer that you are paying for use their expertise and experience to find and suggest great places for a shot. Trust them, they will have years of experience and may have even shot at your wedding venue before too.
Allow enough time. This is especially true for group shots where it can take time to track down key people you want in photos. Let guests know in advance when and where they need to be for group photos. On the flip side don’t let this dominant your day, you want to enjoy it and have fun, you don’t want to have memories of your day stressing about a hundred group shots.
7. Pockets… empty your pockets.
No this isn’t a hold up, we are talking about grooms, the best men, infact anyone that has pockets, do you want your wedding photos of your groom or guests with bulging pockets, shots of them with their wallet, keys and phone imprinted on the side of their trousers. I thought not.
If you are the groom do you need your wallet? Do you need your keys? And if the most important people in your life are there with you on this special day then why would you need your phone? So empty your pockets and enjoy the day, store them somewhere safe and forget about them.
8. Put your phone away
Always an interesting topic but we feel wedding photos can easily be ruined by shots of the bride and groom walking down the isle to a sea of camera phones being held up too. Weather you ask your guests not to do it or not, perhaps ask them to have a cut off point, you can take photos if you wish up to this time, then please put your phone and camera away and enjoy the rest of the day with us. Have you considered an unplugged wedding?
Smartphones can be an absolute nightmare for wedding photographers. It’s almost like having paparazzi to compete with for key shots, like the bride walking down the aisle. You’re paying a lot of money for your wedding photos so follow a growing trend for unplugged weddings by asking your guests to leave their cameras alone and enjoy the experience first-hand rather than through a lens. We covered this topic in more depth in a recent article Unplugged Weddings: Ensure your Guests are ‘there’.
In an age where is has become so hard to leave your phone alone for an hour let alone a day it is so easy for guests to turn into photographers themselves. Something that is often overlooked or not consider is an unplugged ceremony, ensuring your guests sit and enjoy the moment with you, no holding up phones, cameras, iPads, no looking down updating your Facebook status.
Do you want to be stood their getting married to the person your want to spend the rest of your life with after spending months planning this moment to enjoy with all your special people in your life that you have invited to look back and see cameras all staring at you? Consider having an unplugged wedding and when you look back you will see your guests faces and their emotions.
These are just 8 things that we hear about when it come to wedding photography and mistake and stories we find out about with couples. So make sure you consider and think about these so you don’t fall down these traps and make the same mistakes.
Don’t have any regrets when it comes to your wedding photos, they will be with your for the rest of your life so hire the best photographer you can afford, meet them, chat to them, consider an engagement shoot and enjoy the day!