A wedding photographer is undoubtedly a critical part of the wedding equation. He or she is the one who captures those amazing moments that newlywed couples will cherish for the rest of their lives, commemorates those memorable moments, and helps the bride and groom feel great and timeless about how they look on their big day.
Unfortunately, wedding photography doesn’t come without its share of troubles. These five tactics can cause the novice, unprofessional, or even an overly creative photographer to entirely unintentionally ruin a couple’s special day.
1. The photographer didn’t communicate with the bride and groom ahead of time about what they wanted.
Finalizing poses during the wedding itself is a bad plan of action for several reasons. First and foremost, it may be difficult for the bride and groom to remember those dream poses that they genuinely wanted to have when they’re in the middle of the highly emotional event itself. Second, they might not have time to concentrate on the photographer during the wedding, when they should be focused on each other and their guests.
Best-Case Photographer Solution: Have a final consultation with the bride and groom a week to a few days before the wedding. Make sure you take note of any specific poses they want and ways you can rope them into an optimal photo-taking mindset.
2. The photographer missed some of the biggest moments of the wedding.
Or worse, if someone had to come track the photographer down before the biggest moments could take place, that’s a very bad sign. Perhaps the bride and groom were waiting for him/her so that they could pray together before the wedding, or maybe the bride delayed doing her makeup until far too late to capture her best friend doing it for her. Unfortunately, waiting to catch it on film ruined the moment—or worse, potentially the wedding—off its schedule.
Best-Case Photographer Solution: At that final consultation, get all the details. Before the big day begins, you need confirmation of all the important moments, anything that’s planned for the big day, and a timetable for the wedding of all these happenings. If they want it on film, you need to know when and where it is!
3. The photographer’s flash kept going off at exactly the wrong time—throughout the entire wedding.
Yes, a photographer needs a flash to get those great shots illuminated just right. That doesn’t mean, however, that he or she can get away with giving half the wedding party migraines due to the constantly flashing lights! The flashes, or any of what the photographer does, should not be distractions from the event itself.
Best-Case Photographer Solution: Make sure you’ve thought through lighting options before the big day arrives. Check out the venue, bring your own lighting sources, and look for ways/places to perch to be as unobtrusive as possible. If you must use your flash, do so as infrequently as possible (depending on the venue, of course)—no flashing strobe lights unless that fits with the ambiance of the wedding.
4. The photographer got a little too creative.
At the end of the day, a photographer is a form of artist, and he or she may be determined to get some fantastic creative shots of the wedding for the portfolio. Unfortunately, in the process, this approach manages to miss the couple’s vision for their special day entirely. Perhaps he or she is forcing inauthentic poses that make the entire wedding party feel as though they’re performing in a bad play, or their artistic sensibilities failed to align with the couple’s themes. In the end, the pictures aren’t anything like what the happy couple imagined, which is a tragic disservice.
Best-Case Photographer Solution: Remember whose wedding it is! Your job as the photographer is to reflect the couple’s vision and understand it through and through, not to create your own special take on it. Be creative within their expectations, rather than taking off on your own.
5. The photographer isn’t able to deliver the pictures.
Sure, everyone has a camera phone these days, but that doesn’t mean that the wedding attendees aren’t relying on those great pictures from the official wedding photographer! From a camera that fails to work the day-of to a system crash that destroys a computer’s memory and loses all of the pictures (sadly happens more often than you’d think), there are plenty of ways to lose the pictures clients so desperately want to have for lifelong memories.
Best-Case Photographer Solution: Backup, backup, backup. A photographer should have a backup camera, backup flash option, and backup copies of the pictures as soon as possible in a variety of storage places. Shoot from more than one device so that if something does happen to one camera, you’ll still have the second one. The more backups you have, the better the odds that you won’t accidentally destroy those important pictures.
Find the Best Wedding Photographer
Wedding photography can be challenging, but it’s also well worth the effort. By familiarizing with these pitfalls, you can avoid having a photographer ruin your special day.
As an avid, experienced wedding photographer, I’ve worked with countless couples over the course of a decade to help capture their weddings and display their dreams. Contact me today to learn more about what I can offer your wedding.