Remember Mike Allebach's 12 things wedding photographers want to tell you, but can't? He's back with more photographer confessions that could help you avoid hating your wedding pics.
Wedding-day snafus don't just stress out the couple — they can also affect your photographer's ability to get those amazing photos you've envisioned. Wedding photographers have a lot of insight into what makes a wedding day run smoothly, so I polled a handful of longtime pros to find out their biggest pet peeves and the stress-relieving fixes.
1. The time crunch
Ambitious timelines, traffic jams, limo beer-runs, and hair-and-makeup delays can all chip away at the time you allotted for photos. So please pad your timeline. Your day will feel more relaxed, and you'll get more photos you love. Here are some tips:
- Make sure that your hair and makeup artists know how many people they will be working with, and forewarn them if someone's getting an intricate updo.
- When traveling in large cities, double the estimated amount of time you'll need to go from place to place.
- If you need to make a beer run en route to the reception, plan on it taking 30 minutes — or just pack it ahead of time.
2. Must-have photo lists from traditional wedding-planning websites
Communicate what is most important to you: Details? Real moments? Photos of the guests? Who are the most important people to you, and what are their names? And don't worry — if you happen to look over your shoulder, we'll get that photo, too.
3. Wardrobe malfunctions
Does your dress look amazing… as long as you're standing still? Find a comfortable dress so you're not fussing with an ill-fitting bodice or wayward bra the entire wedding day. Stand, sit, and dance in the fitting room to make sure your dress stays put. And don't worry — no matter what, we'll spare you all the photos of you readjusting. We just want you to be comfortable and look good.
4. Weird ceremony lighting
Nothing is worse than bad lighting at a ceremony. If you're hosting a wedding outside, try to find a spot where the sun will be behind you, hitting your shoulders. For late-morning and early-afternoon weddings, standing in complete shade of a tree or under a chuppah is ideal.
Figure out where the sun will be at the time you are getting married (there are apps for that!). Nobody wants squinty ceremony photos or shadowy images with the bride in the sun and the groom in the shade. (And bad lighting can strike anytime — not just at the ceremony — so read my rant about DJ laser lights here.)
5. Peacocking groomsmen
If you're a groomsman, put your penis away. This should go without saying, right? But apparently it's a thing now, because one of the biggest complaints I heard from female wedding photographers was inappropriate groomsman behavior — including lewd comments and awkward displays of man meat. Zip it up, guys. And that goes for all the sexual harassment that drunken wedding guests dish out to photographers.
6. Grooms who stuff their pants
If you're thinking, “I would never do that!” — think again. You don't want to know what your cell phone, wallet, and keys look like on our screens. We're (usually) kind enough to smooth out those weird bulges for you in Photoshop, but it would be helpful if you'd just un-stuff your pockets.
By the way, have you seen this awesome garter cell phone holster?
7. iPhones and iPads
We understand Aunt Zelda needs to update her Tinder profile with selfies from your wedding, but can we just go unplugged already? Some photographers will even give you bonuses or discounts if you have your guests put their phones away!
The simple fix is to have your officiant announce a time to take a photo as your ceremony begins, and then ask everyone to turn off their phones and enjoy the rest of your wedding. Take the Hands Free for Love Challenge.
8. Bossy Pinterest-stalkers
Just like Beyoncé, photographers want to ban bossy… wedding guests. In fact, this was the number-one pet peeve when I polled photographers. As far as we're concerned, our wedding couple is the boss. We want to do anything to make them happy. So we hate when a wedding guest who has stalked too many Pinterest boards interrupts our photo time to make suggestions. Their ideas may be “cute,” but we don't want to copy someone else's work — not to mention it takes time away from the newlyweds and pulls them out of the moment. Don't worry, we'll brush them off with a polite “thanks but no thanks.”
9. “You can fix that in Photoshop, right?”
If you want to drive a photographer nuts, just repeat this phrase a few times. We have a love-hate relationship with Photoshop. Yes, Photoshop can do a lot of things. But those things take time, especially when we're editing hundreds and hundreds of images. If there is any way we can fix a problem in real life, before we snap the photo, we'll take that over spending the next few days in 7 Circles of Photoshop Hell.
10. Forgetting the photo credit
Obviously we don't like it when newbie photographers steal our work and pass it on as their own. But we also don't like it when our photos get posted without credit. Give us a shout-out when you post to Facebook, Instagram, or wedding blogs. We live and breathe from referrals, so we want your guests to know who took all the photos they love. Plus, it helps us protect our images from those aforementioned photo thieves.
Professional wedding photographers want to do everything in our power to help you have a stress-free wedding day. We want to partner with you to document your event as smoothly as possible. Therefore, communication is key! I hope these 10 tips will help you build an awesome working relationship with your photographer.
photography: Allebach Photography