5 Steps to Avoiding a Wedding Photography Tragedy!

5 Steps

to avoiding a Wedding Photography Tragedy!


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So you are getting married! Exciting times ahead of youI But also Some stressful time and important decisions to make! With today’s digital era, There seem to be 100’s and 100’s of Photographers ready to photograph your Wedding. On top of that, every Venue and every wedding planner has their own recommendations for a ‘must have’ photographer. So, who do you believe?!

 

You are the one that will live with photographs for the rest of your life. Not a Wedding coordinator, not a florist. They probably get paid to recommend certain photographers to you. It's important that you take your time and find a photographer that matches your style AND your personality.

 

Unlike The flowers and a main course, photographs taken on your Wedding Day will last a lifetime. It’s super important that you choose wisely. Find someone that aligns with your Vision and style.

 

Becoming familiar with two basic types of Wedding Photography is a great place to start.

 

Photojournalistic Approach
This is one of the most popular style of Wedding Photography. The ultimate goal of the photojournalistic approach is to tell your story of the day. Documentary style focuses on capturing moments rather than poses. Photographer should capture a true emotions in photographs, emotions that will make you feel really deep.

 

Traditional Approach
Classic Photography refers to mostly posed photographs throughout the day. Either it's a preparations in the morning or drink reception, photographer is there to capture professional portraits of you and your beloved ones. The downside of this approach is that you are likely to miss some spontaneous moments throughout the day.

 

Tomasz's Approach
I use photojournalistic approach for 90% of the Wedding Day. I try to blend in and have great fun with all of guests at a Wedding. That helps me to connect with everyone on a much more personal level, that in turn helps me to capture more genuine moments. Yes, there will be moments throughout the day where I will take posed photographs with families, however my approach is super relaxed and super-efficient. I want to make sure that my couples have an amazing day and they do enjoy the process of taking the photographs.

 

My ultimate goal is to be able to tell the story of the Wedding Day. I always anticipate moments rather than creating them. My couples still receive some traditional photographs with their beloved ones, however this is a process that takes very little time on the day.

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I know you’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve even considered printing one out and giving it to your photographer. It's the “list”. You know, that shot list you can download from just about any wedding website, and then circle the shots you want and give it to your photographer. You want my advice? Throw Throw it in the bin right now!

 

I could explain so many ways this list is bad for your photographs, including having a photographer paying more attention to a piece of paper all day than what is actually going on at your wedding. But, Think of it this way: if you need to tell your photographer to take a picture of your dress, of your first kiss, or your first dance... you should just hire a different photographer! (and images like on this page won’t be on any of your list).

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Let’s face it, things always get awkward when it comes time to talk about money. No one likes to feel scammed, but everyone wants to have “the best” too. So how much should “the best” cost?

 

Unfortunately, I have to tell you this is a question that can't be answered quite that easily. There are a lot of factors that go into determining how much photographer charges, and something as intangible as skill and experience is almost impossible to put a value on. However, there are a few things to look for when you are pricing out photographers:

 

“We specialize in...‘
As you look through photography websites, pay special attention to this key phrase. You will quickly see that some photographers “specialize” in 5-10 different types of photography, while others specialise only in weddings.

 

The importance of specialising in a specific area is that photographers that specialise only in one area will be more likely to focus all of their resources and time on improving their skill and equipment in that single area. They won‘t have to buy studio lighting, or go to seminars to learn to shoot product photography , their sole focus will be their wedding photography and how they can offer their wedding clients more.

 

Price vs. Volume

If you read frequent blogs or Facebook pages you’ll notice the difference right away: some photographers seem to be shooting weddings every other day, while other photographers am limiting their weddings to a much lower volume. At first glance it might seem like one photographer is simply more popular than the other, but that isn't necessarily the case.

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Aside from not giving your photographer a shot list, there are a lot of little things you can do that will really help not only your wedding photographer, but also make sure you are u lot happier with your wedding photographs as well.

 

I’ll list a few of them here, but if you are ever in doubt about whether or not something will or will not cause damage to your photos I always recommend talking to your photographer about it! l have done this many times before, and I realise this is likely your first wedding, so don't be afraid to use my experience - it's free!

 

Hire a professional makeup artist
For your wedding, a (great) professional makeup is a must! You'll look stunning on camera with an even skin tone and captivating eyes. Spend a little time finding a makeup artist you can trust too - and I recommend always doing a test run before the wedding. Too many times I've seen the disastrous results of not having a trial run, and it can make for some unnecessary tears and panicking on the wedding day. Do  test run!

 

Don't be afraid to be yourself
Have fun! You will be looking back at your photos for years to come! Be spunky, outrageous and outwardly emotional. Allow your photographer to capture those emotions, you will treasure them. Let go and be yourself. You might feel silly at first in front of camera, but when you get back images that truly reflect who you are you will be so glad you did it!

 

Speak up!
Remember that a photographer is a trained professional, but we are not psychics! Don't be afraid to say something if you have a shot idea, something you really wanted, background wishes, etc. Is there someone special at your wedding who you haven't seen in a long time? By all means bring them to your photographer and ask them for a quick portrait - it takes no time and it will be a special reminder for you from the day.

 

Finally... relax! Don't sweat the small stuff. Trust me, no one but you (and whoever you tell) will ever know that the table decorations were supposed to be a different shade of pink. But more importantly, it isn't going to ruin anyone's enjoyment of your Wedding celebration! What's done is done, the important thing for you to do on that day is just relax and keep a positive attitude. It will show in your pictures!

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It is a shot I get at every wedding - I am shooting an important moment in the ceremony, then I turn around and take a picture of 75 guests all with cameras taking a picture behind me. It's comical, but at times it can also be a disaster.

 

Sometimes even the most-polite guests can get so involved in getting a great picture of an important moment that they forget their surroundings and the next thing you know I've got a guest between me and a couple during their first kiss! It's a scenario that no one intended, but increasing is happening more and more in the digital age.

 

Enter the Unplugged Ceremony
An Unplugged ceremony is a wedding where the bride and groom ask their guests to keep their cameras and cellphones in their pockets for the ceremony.

 

If this sounds like an awesome idea to you (too), then here are some tips on how to make it happen.

 

Talk to your Photographer
Remember: wedding guests take photos because they want to be able to re-live and share the experience of the day. If you are considering an unplugged wedding, you must commit to sharing photos with guests and make plans for how you are going to do so. Most wedding photographers should be able to offer your guests a way to view the wedding images online and order copies of portraits and other important images that they want for themselves easily.

 

Wording for websites & invitations
If you are sharing a wedding information online with your guests via a wedding website, you can give them some perspectives before the wedding about why you are asking them to leave their devices off:

 

"We want you to be able to really enjoy our wedding day, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We've hired an amazing wedding photographer name [Tomasz] who will be capturing the way the wedding looks - and w're inviting each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We're respectfully asking that everyone consider leaving all cameras and phones off. Of course we will be happy to share our wedding photos with you afterward!"

 

You could also include a short note in your programs:

 

"We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! With this in mind, we invite you to put down all your favourite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we have got photography covered!) and put your phone on mute."

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So there you go! My best tips and advice to get the absolute best out of your wedding photographs!

 

Of course I hope you will consider me when you are thinking about wedding photographers, but if you choose someone else I hope that your pictures are amazing and that you have a great time wherever you are getting married!

 

My sincere congratulations to all of the newlyweds reading this, and I hope to talk to you soon!

 

Tomasz

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