That’s okay though, because I have a preeeetty big heart!
1 | BOOK EARLY!
It’s very common for wedding photographers to be booked a year or more in advance. People tend to book their venue, then the wedding photographer. Occasionally, we may have availability in our schedules for late bookings, but that’s very rare, especially for photographers who only accept a limited number of weddings per season. So, once you find the photographer you want, BOOK THEM before it’s too late!
2 | “YOU’RE SO EXPENSIVE! CAN I GET A DISCOUNT?”
I get it – weddings are hella expensive. I know! You are spending so much time and money already on the venue, the food, the flowers, the dress, the decor, and everything else and you just can’t wrap your head around why professional photos cost so damn much. Well, let’s think about this one for a sec ….
Once the wedding is over, once the food is gone and the flowers are dead and you got to wear that fancy dress for the first and last time, you seriously want to cut the cost for the one thing that will immortalize all the beauty and moments of your wedding day?!? Contrary to popular belief, photographers are not just “snapping pictures.” Please understand that as wedding photographers, we put in a tremendous amount of effort, time, and WORK that goes beyond the wedding day. Put it this way … What is the one thing that people hope to save from a fire? It’s not their big screen TV’s or their name brand purse, or their ultra-elegant china, it’s their photographs! This is why hiring a professional wedding photographer is SO important! Instead of having your friend with a nice camera who doesn’t really know what she’s doing take pictures or ‘leaving it up to your guests to capture your wedding day’ (which is all well and good until they want IN on the party too), remember that good photography is more than just a fancy camera and that running a photography business is not cheap. I’ve got 4 kids and I do like to feed them sometimes. I’m priced at the value and quality that I provide. Chances are, those other photographers you’ve been looking at are too!
So, instead of trying to get a discount (gosh, we really hate that word!) try asking to set-up a payment plan instead so that you can still get the beautiful photos that you want in a more feasible way.
3 | GIVE US TIME
Photographers dream to have more hours in a day…there just aren’t enough! So, trust me when I say this…it would be super ideal if we could get back to you within 5 minutes of you contacting us. However, that doesn’t always happen because well…we just aren’t robots and we’re not always going to be readily available. Most of us are a 1-person team running a substantial amount of business to stay afloat. And keep in mind, we could be out photographing another session or wedding (you’re not our only clients). And not to mention, some of us have families too! We will eventually get back to you when we have a moment (even if it is a few days or so later). And if you don’t hear back within a few days, feel free to check back (we are only human after all).
Oh and…on the wedding day, we understand that you don’t want to spend your entire wedding taking photos. We get it, we really do. But remember, we can’t make hours of pictures happen in minutes. We’re good, but we’re not that good! The photographs will be better if no hurrying is involved. So, please give us sufficient enough amount of time for pictures in your timelines. Also, if there’s a moment that presents itself – like a beautiful sunset – and we’re trying to whisk you away, go for it! You never know, that extra 5-minute impromptu might end up being your favorite shot. Talented photographers have an eye for those sorts of things.
4 | PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CONSIDER DOING AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION
Having an engagement session with your wedding photographer is a fantastic way to get to know each other better. Plus, you get to see how your photographer directs and interacts with you before the big day. They are especially helpful (for me) to see if one of you has a Chandler smile that needs to be remedied before the wedding.
Just a FRIENDLY REMINDER: Engagement sessions come complimentary in (Parentheses) Photography Wedding Collections. Take advantage of it!
5 | BE ORIGINAL
You hired me based on MY style and skill, so trust that I will tell your story as I see it. Presenting me with a long list of “must have” shots that you found online or a print out of Pinterest poses that you want me to “copy” will only hinder me from getting creative. Consider letting your day unfold naturally and let me do my job my way.
6 | GET PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP DONE
Being a photographer has made me appreciate proper hair styling and makeup application, and I highly suggest hiring a professional. You should want to look your absolute best. So, make that appointment (and do a trial run beforehand, just in case). Maybe even consider doing your bridal session the same day as your trial run, so your beautiful look doesn’t go to waste. The way you look will reflect greatly on how you like your photos, so make sure you look the best version of yourself.
7 | TIDY UP A BIT
When you know I’ll be arriving at a certain time for your getting ready photos and detail shots on your wedding day, don’t forget to have everything I need set aside and clean up your space. Packages of food lying around, soda cans, and suitcases with your bridesmaids clothes all over the place, does not make for nice photos.
8 | TELL MR. PERSONALITY TO SUCK IT UP
If your groom hates taking pictures, have “the talk” with him before the wedding. No amount of whining or “I don’t want to do this anymore!” is helpful in the least bit. It isn’t going to kill him to just smile and make it work.
9 | YOUR DRESS IS PROBABLY GOING TO GET DIRTY
Just “Let It Go” (yup, that song is SO stuck in your head right now, isn’t it?). Yes, it’s important to keep your wedding dress clean…to a point…but know that this is the only day you’re ever going to wear it (unless of course you’re planning to force your future daughter to wear it for her wedding in a few decades). Freaking out over letting the bottom of it drag (which no one will ever see) and losing picture opportunities is way worse!
10 | WE’RE NOT MAGICIANS
Did you hire me to be your magician or photographer because last I checked, I was a photographer. Please don’t assume that we can just “fix it in photoshop.”
11 | KINDNESS
Keep in mind, shooting a wedding in the middle of July, outside in the humid sun, is painstakingly hot. So, be extra kind. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for me to try to capture those moments of bliss, peace, and overwhelming happiness if they aren’t there. It helps to take a deep breath and just relax. Don’t let the day get the better of you. And remember, no amount of photoshop can fix “bitch.”
12 | CONSIDER DOING A FIRST LOOK
A “first look” is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. The not-seeing-each-other-beforehand thing is SO over-rated! As a photographer who has documented many weddings over the years, I can say with complete certainty that the hours on a wedding day are very precious and move rather quickly. This is why maximizing the time a bride and groom have together is critical. Photographers want to have the time to capture and document the love between a bride and groom the way it is meant to be captured – pure and uninhibited. A “first look” before the wedding ceremony offers this opportunity.
13 | CONSIDER HAVING AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY
You’ve invited your closest friends and family to witness your marriage take place, not build their photography portfolio. They can’t be fully in the moment if they are busy taking pictures with their cell phones, iPads, and cameras. I know we are a technology driven society, but trust me, the images we capture for you will be much better than theirs. Consider letting your guests know that you have hired a professional and are having an unplugged ceremony, to just leave their devices in the car. This way, we can get the shots we need without having to dodge your Uncle Bob’s huge iPad in the middle of the aisle…during your first kiss.
14 | SLOW DOWN
Don’t rush down the aisle…walk slowly…savor these fleeting moments. And make your first official kiss really last. Cool points to those couples who do 2-3 kisses in a row!
15 | WE DON’T KNOW YOUR FAMILY
Yes, I know…you gave us a list with peoples names on it. I should know that you need a picture with your Uncle Kenny from Arkansas. The problem is, I have no fricken clue who your Uncle Kenny is amongst the 200 guests at your wedding. If an image with Uncle Kenny is of importance, then just take a minute or two, hunt down Uncle Kenny for me (or better yet, designate a friendly Uncle Kenny finder), and let’s make it happen.
16 | TELL ME ABOUT THE FAMILY DRAMA BEFORE THE BIG DAY
I once photographed a wedding and had the FIL and MIL take pictures together in lovey dovey poses. I wondered why the MIL was getting snippety whenever the FIL got too close and I would jokingly say “Come on you two, make like you love each other.” Later, I was informed that the two were divorced years ago and the MIL can’t stand the FIL. It was a big foot-in-the-mouth moment for me, but it could have been prevented had I been told about the family dynamics prior to the wedding. Another wedding I photographed, the brides father had been married 4x over. The bride, bless her heart, invited every single one of his ex-wives to the wedding, knowing that his new wife and her mother were going to be at the wedding too. Those family formals were awk-ward to say the least and a tad bit confusing.
Before the wedding, jot down a few things your photographer ought to know ahead of time and designate someone who knows everyone on your family formal list. Help a sista out! It will prevent any unnecessary awkwardness. Take it from someone who once assumed the bride’s sister was her grandma. Yeah, that was fun!
17 | A FED PHOTOGRAPHER = A HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER
We plan our entire day around your wedding and are often traveling for hours on end to get from point a, to point b, to point c. Yes, we’ll be thirsty! Yes, we’ll take that snack you’re offering! And yes, we prefer a hot meal since we’re not in our comfy home to enjoy one that night. It’s actually beneficial to you, the client, if we are fed when you are…not after everyone else. Typically, we have to stop eating to capture toasts (and more often than not, return to our little nook to find someone took our untouched plate). If we can slam some grub before dinner is fully served, we’ll be ready once the festivities begin…and we won’t have to scrounge for leftover salads and bread or be passed out in the corner because all we’ve eaten all day/night were cocktail cherries.
18 | YOU WILL NOT GET EVERY PICTURE WE TOOK
You will not receive every.single.photo we took at your wedding. We don’t do this to be jerks. Even as professionals, not every picture we take is a winner. Some are downright unflattering. Some have bad light. Sometimes the flash hasn’t recycled yet and didn’t fire. This is why we take a series of photos in just about every situation…we’re working towards that one particular shot until we get it right. This is why we cull and edit, edit and cull. We take great care in customizing your collection of images and believe me, we didn’t get rid of anything that is integral to your day.
Another FRIENDLY REMINDER: (Parentheses) Photography puts QUALITY over QUANTITY because we highly believe that having a few hundred awesome images is much better than having thousands of not-so-awesome ones.
19 | PULEEEEEZE BE PATIENT
Quality does take time and like I mentioned earlier before, you are not our only clients. There are other clients sessions ahead of yours right now in our editing queues, and yes I know…you are just SUPER EXCITED to see them…so are they. Heck, I am too! Give us time to get to your session and work on your session. Respect the process and realize that once we’re completed with the work, you’ll be able to enjoy them for the rest of your lives!
p.s. RUSH ORDERS are available for an additional fee.
20 | PLEASE REMEMBER TO GIVE US PHOTO CREDIT
Aside from contacting us again for your 1-year anniversary pictures or annual family photos, the best compliment that you can bestow upon us is to tell all your friends, family, colleagues, and even your favorite barista about (Parentheses) Photography. I LOVE LOYAL CLIENTS and I’m happy to have very many of them. When sharing your photos on social media, please remember to link back to us and give us proper photography credit for a job well done. It is much appreciated! And if one of your BFF’s are engaged, we’d love a shout out or an introduction. Rockin’ Reviews, Photo Credits, and Referrals go a long way in my book! And if you do any of these I will give you a discount off your next wedding!