Ansel Adams once said, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” The sentiment is a nice one, but there should probably be a few guidelines when it comes to working with your wedding photographer. 

To make sure the moments that matter on your wedding day are captured, we’ve got a few tips that will help you work with your photographer to get the perfect pics. 

Plan an Engagement Shoot

An engagement shoot isn’t just an excuse to get even more adorable pictures of you and your partner in cute clothes – it can also be a great preview of your wedding day. The engagement shoot is a great way to get to know your photographer’s personality, get used to the way they give direction and get a feel for the type of poses they like. It will also help them get to know you as a couple, see how you interact with each other, and figure out the best times to capture the cutest and most genuine moments.

Engagement photos on a bike in a field

Have a Generous Timeline

When planning your wedding-day timeline, be sure to give a lot of time to get the right photos. You don’t want to feel rushed and you don’t want your photographer to feel rushed. The more time you have for photos, the more options your photographer will be able to provide and the better the pictures will be. 

If you’re not sure how long it will take to get the right pictures, just ask your photographer…they’ve done this before. 

Communicate Your Timeline

Once you have a photography timeline in place, make sure to communicate it with anyone who will be in the photos. You don’t want to waste a lot of time waiting on people because your brother didn’t know it was time for the family pic and had already hit the dance floor. Get family pictures out of the way first so you can begin letting people get to the reception as you finish, then they won’t have to wait for the new couple to get their pictures done. 

Bride and Groom kissing behind bushes

Make sure everyone is where they need to be at the right time by sending out a copy of the photography timeline to everyone that needs to be involved. 

Don’t Create a Crazy Shot List

You’ve probably spent hours pouring over Instagram and Pinterest, swooning over the adorable candids of couples whispering to each other, special hugs between family members, or a cute moment between the bride and the flower girl. It might be tempting to start building a list of moments like these that you want your photographer to capture. But a long shot list of all the moments you want to capture isn’t necessary. There is a reason you hired your photographer; you love their work. They know what they are doing and they will make sure to capture the moments you’ll want to remember. Handing over a list will only make those moments feel posed and ingenuine. 

Nephew walking down the isle

Create a Groupings List

One list you should create is the list of groups of people you want to get posed pictures with. This is especially important considering today’s changing family dynamics. Maybe you were practically raised by your aunt and uncle and want to make sure you get all your cousins in a shot. Maybe you have a stepfamily you want to be included. The photographer won’t know who to photograph until you tell them, so lists like this will help things move smoothly and quickly. 

Be Flexible

You can do your best to plan ahead, but it’s also important to be flexible. Maybe you had the perfect spot all picked out, but if the clouds come in and mess up the lighting, your photographer may think another spot will look better. Trust their judgment. If it’s a spot that means a lot, ask to try for a couple of shots there and then move to the photographer’s spot to make sure you have enough options. 

Wedding couple walking through field

If there’s not enough time to get all the wedding party shots you want because the light is changing, be prepared to move on. Being ready to move with changing circumstances will make things much easier on everyone and might even result in better pictures than you imagined. 

Offer Examples

If there are styles or photos you’ve seen online or poses you love, don’t be afraid to share those examples with your photographer to help them get a peek into your vision. Examples are a great place to start and give your photographer a great idea of your style and preferences. 

But…make sure to trust their vision and their experience when it comes to what they capture. 

Let us help you create a photo-worthy venue for your big day. You can reach our event coordinators by email or phone at 517-545-1000.