Industry secrets: How to get the photos you’ve always wanted

We’ve all been there. Months of daydreaming, pinning items on Pinterest, and perusing Instagram for ideas……Countless “vision boards” primarily stored in your brain, but sometimes on your phone. You are gearing up for what is becoming a GREAT expectation – maybe it’s the perfect bridal shower or proposal or maybe it’s the wedding photos you’ve always dreamed of. The issue is that, for many people, what starts as GREAT expectations becomes an even greater disappointment. The good news is that it is avoidable. As a wedding photographer, one of my biggest pieces of advice is to communicate your photography needs up-front. Be clear. Be Honest. Provide Examples. The more your photographer understands your expectations – the better they will be able to meet them. Afterall, no one can achieve an “imaginary vision board.” Here are four ways I help brides define their vision:

1. Pre-Wedding Consultation
The old adage “help me, help you” comes to mind. I want to deliver your ideal wedding photos, but I need to understand what that means to you, individually. I start by meeting with brides/grooms for a pre-wedding consultation. Typically, we discuss your wedding as a whole and how you envision your day overall. We then begin to discuss the finer details, such as your venue and where you might be able to achieve the best shots. Ideally, the pre-wedding consultation helps break the ice and defines what each person would like to see in their photos.

2. Questionnaire
As part of the pre-wedding consultation, I typically go over a questionnaire which covers specific customs/traditions, venue restrictions, VIP guests, and your preferred photography style. Ultimately, I have found that brides and grooms often do not know where to start in defining their photography needs and desires. The questionnaire is a useful start to conversation, as it prompts you to think about things that you might not have considered yet.

3. Do’s and Don’ts
This leads to what I would call the “do’s and don’ts” list. We all have them – typically stored unconsciously. What photos would you define as a must-have or “do”? What photos would you prefer not to see in your gallery (don’t)? It’s important to clearly define these to your photographer, so they know what photos to prioritize and what photos to avoid entirely. For instance, if you know that it is highly important to have photos of your niece and nephew seeing you in the dress for the first time, let the photographer know. In contrast, if you don’t care for photos of you and the groom eating, you will once again need to let the photographer know to avoid taking photos at this time.

4. Share your selfies
Sometimes the best way to help a photographer understand your vision is to give them examples. What do you define as a “good photo”? More specifically, when is the last time you had a photo taken (or you took one of yourself) that you absolutely loved? What did you like, specifically, about the photo? Was it the lighting? The angle? The way you were posed? Is there a certain editing style that you prefer or an overall look that you are attempting to achieve? If you don’t want to share a photo of yourself, try developing a vision board or Pinterest board of photos that you like. Again, define what specifically you like about the photos and what you are hoping to achieve in your own photos.

Interested in scheduling your own pre-wedding consultation or sharing your wedding vision? Contact me to get started. I look forward to hearing from you!