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What makes a good wedding photographer?

This is a post from Jamie, a close family friend.

When I think about wedding photography I admit to wondering how they do it. Your big day is of course of the utmost importance to you, the happiest day and all that. But I can’t help wondering if to them it is just another day at work.

I talked to three of them in town here and this is a distillation of the things I learned about how they keep things fresh and interesting for themselves if not for you.

It is all about personalities

One thing is that the photographer will arrive ready to be interesting and fun, but will always take their cue from you. The interaction between you and them is what fuels differences in their pictures. The parties are always different, so the photographs end up being different too.

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They have a style so you have some expectation of what you will get back

The photographers all pointed out they had been doing this for a while, so they tend to know what works. Take a look at their portfolio and you will begin to see some consistency through the pictures even though they are clearly different.

If you don’t know what you want they can tell you

There is a formula when you think about it. Weddings want the same group shots. If you don’t have a plan of what you want they can give you one, and you can be sure that you’ll get a good set of fairly standard images and hopefully one or two things that you love.

If there are special shots you want – tell them

The photographers hate it when the wedding party specifically wanted one type of shot, maybe one of those ones with blurry edges some other shots through a filter but don’t tell them. If they need to bring special equipment there’s no going back on the day to get it.

Make sure to tell them anything that might make things a little difficult

If your Mom and Dad divorced and can’t be trusted to sit closer than 20 feet to each other without it turning nasty, tell the photographer – maybe you’ll avoid getting shots of one parent looking like thunder.

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Tell them what you’re most worried about

With a good photographer, you’ll get great help on the day. The photographer can take over for you and at the same time make sure that you get the pictures that you want. They can also give you clues about things you could do to ensure they get the right pictures.

If there’s going to be a surprise for one at the wedding party, tell them when it’s going to happen so they can be there to get the look of delight at just the right moment.

One last request

The last thing the photographers asked for was a time to eat. If they are going to be with you from midday to midnight, they need a break too, they’re busy making you look good.