August 2015

1. Harness your Wedding Photographers’ Experience.
If you haven’t been married before, you’ve never had to plan a wedding before, meaning there are certain aspects which you simply cannot know! That’s why I believe that when you employ the services of a wedding photographer you are also getting access to a secret wealth of knowledge if you decide to harness it! Especially if you don’t have the benefit of a wedding planner, a photographer can become very valuable in telling you things you wouldn’t know unless you’ve had to host, feed, entertain dozens/ hundreds of your nearest and dearest! Here are a few things a wedding photographer can help you with:
– Recommendations of trusted wedding suppliers who they have worked with before and who they know provide excellent service, customer satisfaction, who will go the extra mile for their couples.
– What wedding schedules works best and will give you enough time to get the photos you want whilst also giving you enough time to kiss and hug your guests.They know how to help you look your best with flattering lighting, posing etc. What a schedule looks like that wont make you feel stressed on the day.
– How to get your family photographs done quickly and efficiently so that you can get back to your party!
– Of course how to get the best photographs of you on your big day!(Who should walk down the aisle first in order to get photos of all your bridal party, asking your registrar or priest to take a step to the right or left as they pronounce you man and wife so that they’re not in the background of a first kiss! And many more!)

2. Ask them what they need from you in order to do the best work they can…
A wedding photographer will often tell their clients what they need in terms of time for photographs but openly telling your photographer that you’re willing to work with them to get the best photographs possible is music to a photographers ears. We photographers are not miracle workers but we can and will do the very best with what you give us and constantly work in many varied situations with lots of distracting influences such as over-zealous guests and their cameras, changing light conditions, missing family members when the family photos are to take place, but knowing that the couple value their photography and are willing to work together and take that extra few minutes to get things right, is so valuable and is a great starting point for you to get excellent photographs!

3. Feed Your Wedding Photographer(s)!
This is a standard addition to most wedding photographers contract, but ensuring that your photographer eats the same time as the rest of the wedding means that if you’re having your speeches after the meal your photographers are refreshed and ready to do their best for you as apposed to scoffing down some sustenance because they have been served last and haven’t had time to eat or drink. Communicating this to your venue/ caterers is really important and your photographer will thank you!

4. Give your Wedding Photographer your time and your trust.
I always tell my couples that I need 30 minutes from them on the wedding day in order to get the type of photographs they see on my website. If a couple can’t provide their photographer with the time they need they must also be aware that it will have an affect on the amount of images and potentially also quality of the end product. Make sure that whoever you pick to be in charge of your wedding photos is someone you trust. Being micro managed by a couple will distract your photographer from getting the kind of shots that you fell in love with in the first place. I always tell my couples (as do most photographers) that I will not re-create other peoples peoples photographs but that I need to work more organically than that. Trying to replicate other photos makes your own that much less original. All photographers have their own process of how they feel they work best be it doing a venue location scout before the wedding day or the morning of the wedding etc.

5. Your Wedding Photographer is not a mindreader so communicate with them.
As a photographer you are sometimes expected to also be a mind-reader. I have lost count of the amount of friends who when asked have said that they didn’t have a photos of just them with their mother in law, or just them and their sister, or just them and their father…when I ask whether they specifically asked this of their photographer, they often say that they did not. I try to mitigate this happening with my couples by doing two things. Firstly in our pre wedding consultation I ask if there is any one guest who there absolutely must be a photograph of or with them. I suggest sisters, brothers etc. I write it down in a pre-wedding form which my couples then sign off, this way there is a record of what they asked for which is helpful in later conversations.
On the actual wedding itself I make sure to grab the bride and mother of the bride / mother in law / grandfather to ensure I get a few individual shots of them even though they didn’t necessarily ask for them. Worst case scenario they never use that photo but best case scenario they did actually want this and that person is important to them but forgot to ask. Later they may use this photos to give to that relative / friend as a thoughtful gift.
My worst nightmare would be a client asking me for a photo that I knew didn’t exist so if there are photos you must absolutely have or you’d be disappointed if you didn’t have, please please make sure you ask for them!

Beautiful Bride and Groom, Outdoor Wedding ceremony in south of France
Groom prep for destination wedding in South of France
Sparkly flower girl shoes with white bow hairpiece
Elegant fine art Destination Wedding in Bordeaux, Chateau Riguard
Stunning Bride and Groom kiss in gardens of private Sussex estate
Groom wearing white dinner jacket with black bowtie and trousers
Elegant engagement Ring, Dress by Self Portrait

Psst!
**(link: http://www.juliemichaelsen.com/about text: Julie Michaelsen) **is a creative fine art wedding photographer with reportage elements based in Kensington London, she believes in love and authenticity and likes to create beautiful imagery for kind hearted and exceptional brides and grooms. She mixes documentary style photography with editorial and fine art wedding photography ensuring that her clients have a set of images which accurately tells the story of their wedding day, highlighting all that makes them individual. Julie shoots weddings, engagement and family photoshoots in London and throughout the world. If you would like to book me please do and tell me about your big day!

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