Know Your Wedding Photographer: Good Vibes Means Great Photos

Woman kisses husband

Before you get married, it’s important that you feel that you’ve got a connection with that special person. This is a serious commitment that you’re making. People don’t take it as seriously as they should, and after the wedding, it’s too late to undo the mistake. You want to feel that you’re on the same page, that there is mutual respect, no misunderstandings. After all, you’ll have to live with this decision basically, forever.

Obviously, we’re talking about you and your wedding photographer.

It might seem like a very transactional relationship, but in fact, it’s important that you build enough of an understanding with your photographer that he or she is capturing the emotion of who you are. You need to be comfortable enough with this person that you don’t freeze whenever you realize they are there with a camera in your face. You want photos that remind how you felt with friends and family, happy, at ease, relaxed, not conscious of a stranger in your midst.

Think of it this way. When you were a little kid, and playing with friends, if a parent came up and snapped a picture (this is when they still thought that every seven minutes merited a photo), you basically ignored them and went right on playing, or you grinned at the camera, and went back to playing. But you remained relaxed and undisturbed.

You need to have that kind of comfort when your photographer suddenly pops up right as your college roommate is telling your cousin about your boyfriend from sophomore year. His or her job is to get candid shots. You looking terrified ruins the moment. So get to know your photographer, have a cup of coffee while you talk about the details of your wedding and which wedding package is right for you. If you have more questions after the initial meeting ask to go out for coffee again and discuss any new developments. If you chose the right photographer, they shouldn’t have a problem with this. I know I wouldn’t. Just make sure he or she isn’t a complete stranger by your wedding day. Doubly true if your photographer is a man and you’re the bride and you want shots of you and your bridesmaids getting ready. Because that’s not awkward at all with someone you don’t know.

Another reason – you don’t want to be uncomfortable giving directions or suggestions, or asking questions on the day of the wedding. You’ll be happy, but busy, the center of attention and likely a little tired. If you need to rush over and say you forgot to point out there should be a few pictures of Uncle Tommy but no pictures of his girlfriend Suzy, you’ll be able to say it directly and quickly and not stammer through it.

But most importantly, is intangible and subtle and – forgive our cheesiness – the connectedness of the human spirit. A photographer is trying to capture who you are, and who you are on this day, and who you are on this day with your mother, or your father, or your new spouse. And if you and your photographer have shared a joke, or they saw you tear up when you explained what it meant to have your grandmother there, they know two things. One, great shots of your grandmother are going to be particularly important to you. Two, you’re sentimental or sarcastic or both – they’re going to know a little bit of who you are, and they’ll be determined to find a shot that captures it. A photographer doesn’t have to be your best friend. But if they can be a casual friend with a mighty tool that can capture your soul on the biggest day of your life? Well, that’s a friend worth putting some time into, isn’t it?

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