10 Things Your Photographer Wants to Tell You, But Can’t!

1. All the pictures you like on Pinterest were FAKED.

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So you finally selected on your venue and a Photographer. You gleefully rummage through Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to find your favorite pictures and just put them all in an email to your Photographer saying how much you love the priceless moments and how great it would be to have these captured on your wedding day.

90% of these images I get from my clients look amazing and we can certainly take the time to do them but they have all been carefully staged and set up. Almost none of them contrary to popular opinion have been caught in the moment.

For example, this picture took several tries and multiple angles. I had to keep saying "hold the flowers a little lower my dear!" so they didn't hide their faces. We had to stop because the wind kept blowing their hair over their eyes. The bubbles?  They're fake and added in Photoshop. The sun flare?  Also fake and added in Photoshop. 

For example, this picture took several tries and multiple angles. I had to keep saying “hold the flowers a little lower my dear!” so they didn’t hide their faces. We had to stop because the wind kept blowing their hair over their eyes. The bubbles?  They’re fake and added in Photoshop. The sun flare?  Also fake and added in Photoshop.

2. As bad as granny wants to get a few snaps on her iPhone she should probably just put it away.

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I don’t know how many shots have been ruined by people leaning into the aisle with their cell phone. When you put these in an album it looks really tasteless when there are so many screens everywhere. At least for the ceremony it’s probably best that the cell phones go away. You spent thousands of dollars for professional photographers so to have screens everywhere just looks bad.  Tell guests to put phones on silent and out of sight and just enjoy the moment.

3. No I can’t just Photoshop that out.

Contrary to popular believe just “photo-shopping something out” is a lot more than a few clicks of a button and done. Typically it’s a long and labor intensive process and will certainly delay the processing of your images. When it’s possible it’s easier to get it right in camera and you are going to spend a lot less money on editing. I mean I can “Photoshop it out” but do you really want to pay for the hour of editing time it’s going to take to do it? Probably not.

4. While it’s probably the most boring for everyone involved those group formals are actually the most important pictures of the day.

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90% of these pictures are going to be printed and put above the fireplace, on the wall, or on your desk in the office. In the months leading up to your wedding we will likely we will definitely be sending you a group portrait list. Please please please take the time to fill this out.

5. Uncle Bob, you know, the unofficial family photographer, should probably just go sit down.

Our team of photographers and videographers choreographs where we stand for each wedding and we have done hundreds of them. The last thing we would want is for a bunch of your pictures to be ruined because all we can see is the back up uncle Bob who jumps in front of us to “grab the moment.”

6. If you don’t do a first look, things will be tight.

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You may want to consider a bride/groom couples shoot for after the wedding. If you don’t do a first look you are expected to cram group shots, couples portraits and family portraits all into the cocktail hour.  Another solution is to elongate cocktail hour to 2 hours to give yourself a buffer for the family pictures.

7. If you are spending less than $1000 you are getting SOC images.

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SOC stands for Straight Out of Camera. In other words, the Photographer is going to shoot the wedding, dump the images onto a USB drive and give them to you. Your images are getting no editing whatsoever. No photographer worth your while is going to be able to deliver quality fully edited wedding images for that price. It is simply not feasible in the cost of doing business.

That being said you may be able to find the needle in the haystack, the lucky leprechaun, the rare unicorn photographer which would be a brand new wedding photographer or student photographer who is actually very talented and willing to do your wedding for cheap just to get a better portfolio and experience. That is the only exception. Period.

8. If you do not feed your photographer you’re making a huge mistake.

We are human too and have been on our feet all day working for you. You definitely want to keep us happy because we are producing a family heirloom and if we are starving chances are we’re not fully concentrating on your pictures.

9. If you’re fat, you’re fat.

Love yourself girl! If you want to change anything about the way you look for your big day you’ve had several months to a year to do it. Our friends at Revolutionize Nutrition can help with that.

Sorry to be blunt but no Photographer is going to take your waist in, slim your arms, and tighten up your neck for hundreds of wedding photos. I know a lot of photographers and I do not know one that will do this.

Okay, let’s say you spilled some wine on your dress and you have a particular image you want to print 24 x 36 and hang in your master bedroom. For that specific image we will fix the wine stain and do some light beauty retouching for that particular image but no Photographer is going to edit all your images to make you lose 20 pounds.

Learn to love yourself as you are. You are beautiful and sexy and magnificent and this is your day to shine. We do everything in our power to capture images of you in the most flattering of poses, but we will not Photoshop you to be someone you are not.  And I would hope you would not want that either.

10.  Night sessions take time.

Night sessions are beautiful additions to any wedding and add a great closure to an amazing day.  These images are also great for an album or beautiful canvas wall print. However, since it's pretty dark most of the time and it's going to take extra time to set up lighting and make sure we are focused and posed correctly, these sessions take more than the 5 minutes we normally are given.  Budget at least 30 minutes for a gorgeous night session to get some unique silohuette nighttime shots. 

Night sessions are beautiful additions to any wedding and add a great closure to an amazing day.  These images are also great for an album or beautiful canvas wall print. However, since it’s pretty dark most of the time and it’s going to take extra time to set up lighting and make sure we are focused and posed correctly, these sessions take more than the 5 minutes we normally are given.  Budget at least 30 minutes for a gorgeous night session to get some unique silohuette nighttime shots.

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