//How to brief your wedding photographer

How to brief your wedding photographer

Photography is a huge expense at even the smallest of weddings, and you only have one chance to get it right. Your pictures – and hopefully your marriage – should last for the rest of your life. To-Wed offers some tips on working with your photographer to get the best of your big day.

1. Agree the price in advance.
It sounds silly, but many couple have no idea how much the photographer costs until the bill arrives. Wedding photography is very expensive. Budget at least a couple of grand.
If that sounds expensive, remember it isn’t just one day’s work: if you hire a high-quality photographer, you’re also paying for their prep, travel, insurance, travel, and editing.

2. Ask what they will do
Ask about the logistics. What camera do they use? How high res are the images? Will they be a second photographer to cover more of the wedding?
If you’re not happy with the pictures, will they re-edit them? Can they change the colour balance, and the lighting, and indeed airbrush out that blemish you hate?
You’re paying a lot of money for your photographer, so it makes sense to do your research and make sure they’re up to the job. Have a look at some of their previous wedding work and make sure your expectations are in line with what they can provide for your budget.
Also, when you photographer is there, make sure you feed them. They will be working a long day, and thank you for it.

3. Find some great examples
Find out what you’d like your wedding photographs to look like, by scouring your friends’ wedding albums and searching for wedding images on the net. Then consult for an idea of the different styles you could choose. Find some examples of wedding photographs you really love, and some that are just plain bad, and then show your photographer.
If you want pictures of the bridesmaids all jumping into the air, or more formal, traditional shots, let your photographer know.

4. Have a list of “must-have” shots
Remember, you only have one change to get that shot, and you’ll kick yourself if you look through the shots and realise there’s no picture of that part of the venue you love, or your parents come to that.
Have a list of essential people to have pictures of, and all the essential posed shots, with lists of people.
Remember to include shots of the wedding details you’ve planned, too. If you’re going to spend ages deciding on table decorations, or you’ll be buying an expensive pair of shoes for dancing, photographs of these small parts of the day can bring back some of the strongest memories. Equally you may want shots of the bride getting her make-up done, the wedding dress hanging up in the morning, the rings and the bouquet, or a shot of the groom fitting his flower buttonhole.
Think hard about everything you could possibly want recorded and make sure your photographer knows about it.

5. Have a well-organised friend
Your photographer won’t be able to tell the difference between your Aunt and an interloper.
Assign one of your friends to point out important guests to the photographer, and then allow at least 45 minutes to ensure they can find everyone, get them in place and make sure every photo on your “must-have” list is checked off.
If you have no spare friends, print out a list of these people, with photos if you can.
Once you’ve made your list, print it out and give it to the photographer, who can check off each of your requested shots as the day goes on.

6. Prep the photographer.
If you can, visit the venue in advance with your photographer to select the best backdrops for your photos. If there’s a lovely spot for formal shots but it looks a too dark, they could bring lights on the day itself or hunt around for good alternative locations.
Also, choose a time in the day’s schedule for posed photographs, and make sure they know when it will be. You won’t be able to just squeeze in a few posed snaps after the ceremony.

7. Post the photos on your wedding website immediately.
Finally, when you have the photos, post them onto your wedding website as soon as you can. http://to-wed.com makes this easy, with a quick upload of photos so all your guests can remember what a great day it was.