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Wedding Photography Tips: Ditch the List

May 20, 2012 1 Comment

Your wedding day is practically upon you. Flowers, cakes, centerpieces, your head is swimming with colors and details…. including that list of “have to have” photos of your big day. As you prepare for your pre-wedding meeting or phone call with your photographer, definitely pick up a pen and paper… but DON’T make THAT  list.

Now, to clarify, I’m not talking about the list of family members that are important to have in your pictures, like mom and dad and couple, all parents and couple, bridesmaids with groom, etc, I’m talking about the “classic candids” that you just have to have!  I’m sure you’ve seen it, (if not copied and stashed in your wedding planner, hung it on your fridge, or pinned it on your pinboard).

It usually looks maybe something like this:

~ Bride hugging dad
~ Mother zipping brides dress
~ Bride hugging bridesmaids
~ Bride putting on shoes
~ Groom hugging Mother
~ Dad kissing mom
~  Bride and bridesmaids putting on makeup
~ Bride pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
~ Mother/father handing bride bouquet
~ Bride hugging parents
~ Bride touching up
~ Bride and parents leaving for ceremony
~ Groom tying tie
~  Groom looking into mirror
And I could go on and on and on and on and….. you get the idea

Breathe, as many brides might have just starting having a panic attack. “What if I don’t get those 300 candid shots I’ve ALWAYS wanted,” you ask yourself!  Yes, shred the list, you can do it!

The reason you don’t want to limit your photographer to “the  list” is you run the risk, or likelihood in this case, that you miss the magical moments you, as the bride, might not see the day of: Grandma’s tear as you talk with your parents (you know she never cries in public), the flower girl innocently twirling in her princess dress at the back of the church, the bridesmaids giggling together behind your back over some comment or joke, the moments that you want to remember forever and ever.

Creating a “must have candids” lists in truth limits your photographer from capturing the essence of your day, and instead turns your day into a collage of rehearsed, and usually awkward, moments. You also force them to have a checklist in their pocket or on their iPhone’s that they are constantly checking, and missing all the natural moments. They become drill sergeant’s constantly posing and directing,  instead of blending in and letting your day unfold naturally.  Truthfully, your photographer will most likely capture  a majority of these moments on their own. Trust them. Photographers are photographers because they are experts at capturing the moment, that’s why you hired them and trust them.

So you ask, what should you talk to your photographer about?  Focus your pre-wedding discussions with your photographer on the  “mood” and “feel” you’d like captured. Wedding photos should not just be a grouping of sashes, cakes and flowers and people, anyone could take these pictures.  A wedding should leave a stylistic feel in the minds of the guests, and your photos should capture the same style. If you have a wedding that is designed and created to communicate a certain feeling,  your photos will as well.

You might wonder how to create this style and feel? A few ideas are to discuss with your photographer and wedding planner about uplighting, centerpieces, talk with your DJ about song choice (they do like lists of favorite songs), and talk with your fiancé about what he wants or is comfortable with. Who knows, he might have a great idea that you haven’t thought of!   (Stay tuned to the blog, as we will be releasing more information regarding how to create a stylized wedding over the next few weeks! Also check out our recent event that provides some different examples)

So, ditch the list, and talk about style, mood, and feelings. Definitely have a quick list of important portrait photos you want, as this makes post-ceremony pictures smoother and more organized, but as far as candid’s, trust your photographer. They’ll capture those magic moments on their own and make your “candid-wishes” come true!



Tips For Brides

One Response to “Wedding Photography Tips: Ditch the List”

  1. Megan says:

    And book a photographer you can trust would have gotten all those classic candids without you asking anyway. 🙂 Loving all the pictures from recent weddings you’ve shot. Photography is the one thing I am definitely not nervous about on the big day!

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