A wedding is arguably the most important day of someone’s life…so when I was approached by a friend of mine to shoot her wedding, I was nervous. Of course, I would love to capture her big day and create permanent memories to last a lifetime. But what if my camera spontaneously combusted halfway through the ceremony? What if I took 3,000 images and the bride hated every single one? As all of the “what if’s” ran through my mind, I realized that this was an incredible opportunity, and equally as much of an honor that she had asked me.
I prepped myself and my second-shooter, and was ready to go by the time the big day came around. After this experience, I have learned so much, and I want to share it all with you so that you are better prepared to work together to get the best images possible from your special day.
Creating a relationship with one another is key. It is crucial for brides and photographers to establish good communication – you want to feel comfortable asking each other specific questions so that the photographer is prepared and the bride gets exactly what she wants out of the photographer’s services. Brides: don’t be afraid to ask for ten pictures of Great Aunt Gladys out on the dance floor; and photographers: don’t be afraid to ask what exactly Great Aunt Gladys looks like, to ensure you’re photographing the correct person.
Know each other’s situation and be ready to explain things fully so that you both get what you want. For me, I had never shot a wedding ceremony in a Catholic church. This meant that I was in a state of panic more than once during the ceremony because I didn’t fully understand the traditions that went on and was struggling to keep up. I assumed that since it was a “normal” wedding, I knew what would happen and when. I was wrong. It would’ve been an enormous help to have researched the traditions so that I could know what to expect. Similarly, for brides, make sure your photographer knows what is going on and who they are working with. Are there parts of the ceremony that you specifically do or do not want pictures of? Is there a groomsman who you already know is going to frown in every photo? Make sure the photographer has a head’s up, and don’t assume they know exactly what they’re walking into.
Most importantly, relax, both of you! This is such a huge day for brides, sometimes the attention and feelings of cold feet can get to you, but don’t let it freak you out. Remember that this is a celebration. All of your loved ones gathered together to celebrate the love you have found in your partner, and everyone is there to have a great time with you at the center of it! And photographers, we know the pressure is on. But as long as you are prepared and ready to go, you will do just fine! Remember to relax a bit, you know what you’re doing and you’re good at it, so hold onto that confidence and you’ll do great.