Last week on my Facebook page I pointed to an article I found  on a WPPI Forum called “50 Brides Reveal What Their Photographers Could Have Done Better” (the original article was posted on BrideBoxPro.com) and I thought it actually provided some interesting points and feedback directly from the folks wedding photographers are trying to make happy, so that’s a good thing, right?

Well, while it was widely viewed (it reached over 510,000 people on my Facebook page alone, and was reshared there nearly 1,000 times), it sure wasn’t widely embraced. A lot of wedding photographers seemed to blame the brides themselves for ‘not hiring better wedding photographers in the first place.’

Here’s a reader comment from Ross Mealey that garnered 83 likes from other readers:

“While I only shoot weddings for people I am close with… I have to comment and ask the REAL question… how many of the people who commented of the 50 things shopped around, read photographers reviews, and spent more than a couple hundred dollars and even then tried to cheap out of paying… everyone wants something for nothing… so they hire sub-standard photographers and expect the world when the product is delivered…”

Whether you find some information in that “50 brides post” that will help you better meet future brides’ expectations, or if you agree with the general feeling that these brides “got what they paid for⦔ I think perhaps the best learning opportunity may actually come from those Facebook comments posted by the photographers themselves. A lot of pro wedding photographers did a nice job of sharing how they handle or deal with some of the very same issues the brides pointed out, so you might find it helpful to see how other photographers are dealing with these topics by reading the 140+ comments on that Facebook post (here’s the link â” scroll down to my post from November 6th).

Now, let’s turn the tables
While you’re here, if you had the opportunity to tell 50 potential brides what would help you, as a wedding photographer, to create the type of wedding images they’ve always dreamed of, what would it be?

I’ll get the ball rolling with one
I would insist if they hire me that it is an “unplugged wedding” where the Bride and Groom ask the guests in advance to leave their cameras at home and their cell phones in their pockets or purses, and just enjoy the wedding day as guests. Rather than having them experience the wedding through a glass screen, let them know that you have hired a team of photographers who will make sure everything is covered, and so they won’t have to come as journalists, they can just relax and be a part of a moment instead of trying to chronicle it. The bride and groom at the last wedding I shot agreed to do this, and it really made the day a pleasure for everyone and the guests actually got to be guests again.

I’d love to hear what ideas you’d have for those 50 potential brides (imagine that you’re speaking to them in a small ballroom at a bridal show and you have the stage sharing advice to help them out). Maybe if we get enough great responses we could create a post with ideas which we could share with potential brides?

Best,

-Scott

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About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.

33 Comments

  1. Almost all of the complaints are really tied to clear communication and realistic expectations, which in my mind are tied to experience. I would love to see a refined poll that showed results based on price tier. If you are paying less for a photographer, you should probably expect the types of issues these brides expressed. The brides did a great job of rooting out what separates seasoned professionals from newer photographers.

  2. I photographed weddings for 20 years. I finally “retired” last year because of how much the industry has changed. One thing that I have noticed is that couples want to get married and then go right to the reception. They don’t want their guests to have to wait for them while they have photos done, but they don’t want to do a reveal before the wedding either. My advice would be to give the photographer(s) enough time before or after the ceremony to do all the necessary photos. It takes time to do all those wonderful images that they see online. Make photography part of the day and they will have something to cherish forever.

  3. Scott,

    The theme that struck me most in reading the article was communication. I even referenced the article in my blog on reasons NOT to hire me (http://wp.me/p3FJ5d-dc)

    At a recent meeting with bride-to-be I found out that the focus of their day was going to be the family and friends that are going to be celebrating with them. Another bride wants the day to be all about the bride and groom. I will shoot differently based on the goals of the couple. If I had not asked questions about their goals I would not have this vital information that helps me curtail their coverage to the story they want to tell.

    So to brides I would say this: We can’t read your mind. If your photographer isn’t asking questions, then tell him/her what is important to you. Then it is totally ok to ask them to repeat it back to you so you know that they are on the same page as you.

    Regarding the unplugged wedding: This, too, I address with my brides. My own daughter was married this summer and opted for an unplugged wedding. She and her groom wanted the guests to have their full attention on the ceremony. However, I do leave it up to my brides. It is up to them whether they want the unplugged wedding or if they want to embrace the cell phones and ipads as part of today’s culture. I can work with either but the bride and groom “own” the decision and, therefore, the results.

  4. I like the idea behind the “Unplugged Wedding” but we had 10 weddings to go to one year, and my wife (fiancee at the time) was in three of them as a bridesmaid/maid of honor. I get twitchy and bored sitting by myself. I think I would’ve gone nuts not taking photos. Some of the candid shots I got ended up in my portfolio for awhile (before they got bumped by better images). Not to mention that there was at least one of those weddings where the bride and groom contacted me for prints because they weren’t happy with the photos that they initially paid for. (I chalk that up to stress levels though. I wasn’t being paid to be there, so if my settings weren’t quite right, or if I missed the shot I didn’t care. It allowed me to be calmer.)

    Granted, as a photographer I knew to watch out for and not get in the way of the professional that the couple hired’s shots.

    And in that summer of weddings, I saw it done all sorts of ways…ones where the brides are upset that it’s taking so long because grandma is getting chilly, but on the same token the groomsmen aren’t paying attention to anything which is therefore taking extra time.

    I think my favorite was where the photographers left postcards at each place setting and it had a code for the wedding. We were told that so everyone could enjoy their meal they would NOT be taking table photos (I believe as per the bride and groom, because let’s face it, when you’re AT the wedding, and have a mouthful of food when the photographer comes to your table it’s not a pretty picture. Not to mention that inevitably someone was talking to someone at a different table or in the bathroom and gets missed anyway, but I digress…) but the photographers would gladly take photos of you when you approached them.

    I actually bought an 8×10 of my wife and I with our infant son at that wedding because of how it was presented. I KNEW where to get photos, and I didn’t have to rely on/pester the bride and groom who already have so much else on their minds to hopefully pick a photo of us or tell us who their photographer was. It’s one of the ONLY modern photos I have in my house on display that I didn’t take.

  5. I have offered print credits to the couple if they ask their guests to leave their phones and cameras in their pockets. This can be done in the program, with a sign as they walk into the ceremony, or even by having the officiant mention it. Beyond that, I find it important to talk, talk, talk and talk…several times before the wedding day arrives.

  6. It would be great if more brides understood the value of seeing the groom and having “first look” photographs BEFORE the ceremony in a relaxed, intimate manner. It’s the 21st Century and we can do away with the superstitions!

    • I don’t shoot a lot of weddings, but I shot one this summer in which the B&G did agree to the pre-ceremony shoot and the reveal. In fact, they had already been thinking about it. It was fabulous, really helped make the rest of the day more relaxing. It’s still an effort to get all the family together and ready for the formals, but it still was so much better than making all the guests wait.

  7. Here’s the thing…

    1. IF we need a higher education to show “commitment” on our future jobs, (because without that higher ed, we’re not viewed as hard working or committed), then photography has to fall under the same umbrella. Someone looking to be a photographer for a living cannot take out of the account the fact that this is a service industry job, and there is marketing in it, and advertising, and customer service, and prices, and supplies, etc., and not assume the “client” is right to ask you to work for free “because you’re new”, when YOU don’t get anything for free! PLUS TALENT!

    60% of all Brides today are delusional, and flat out rude. On page 28 of the most recent Professional Photographer Magazine (because there IS such thing as a “professional photographer” unlike RC wanted to make everyone think in episode 146 of the GRID, which seems to be missing now), it clearly explains the steps that most camera owners either refuse to take, or don’t take because they don’t think they need to take them! And the article didn’t even get to post processing….Read it, it is written a lot nicer than I used to write about this stuff on my blog.

    2. We are well beyond “you get what you paid for”. You know why? because it is a paradox that we so many wonderful cameras people still take bad photos. Which leads us right back to the education part. There is a MASSIVE amount of bad imagery being perpetuated, and a massive amount of uneducated people lurking around bad mouthing Photoshop, when the ONLY thing they should be bad mouthing is the lack of education of those using it and giving it a bad name/reputation!

    3. For as long as camera manufacturers will continue to mislead the masses into thinking it is “the camera” and not the “owner” that takes the great photos, none of this will change for the betterment of BOTH the photographer and the client. This is what a camera does on it’s own! Let me know how fast you got bored watching that:
    http://acorner.net/blog/2014/8/-your-camera-takes-great-pictures-insult

    4. RESPECT has to be present on both sides; if the bride doesn’t do her day job unpaid, she should not expect the “independent contractor=photographer” in charge of her memories of said day to do his/hers either! Common sense+respect.

    5. IF you don’t ask for RAW meat at Bern’s Steakhouse, then don’t ask for RAW photos either. Common sense and respect. You do your job, I do mine. Editing on Windows LIVE? is that a joke? OMG!

    6. Communication: IF there is NO CLEAR CUT communication between the photographer and the bride, and I don’t care if the “fauxtographer is your brother, sister, or cat”, then there should be no surprise as to why your photos sucked! If you throw Pinterest images at me, when your wedding looks nothing like that, and ask me to replicate them, good luck, because I won’t. There are many styles in which a wedding can be photographed; journalistic, classic, retro, funky, black and white, etc., a photographer should be educated to know how to shoot in all these styles. OR Specialize in one of them, and offer just that; so everyone knows that when looking for “x” style they can come to you. Business Common Sense. This is stuff that should be talked about BEFORE the wedding after you paid me my 50% retainer to save your date! We sit down, we discuss your color scheme, your venue, where the light is coming from, ask you pastor if flash is allowed, I tour your venue ahead of time so I can prepare, I see photos of the rest of the wedding party so I can prepare for mixed races when skin tones are in question, so your black relatives won’t look orange, and so forth. We discuss what’s important to you, like a special college pin, or your grandma’s shoe…and we take beautiful close ups of those for your family to remember forever…etc. etc. etc. No communication, no good photos. Done. IF you can sit and talk about CAKE which you’ll be pooping and not keeping, then you can sit down and talk about your freakin wedding with me.

    7. Photographers need to remember that a real wedding is not a portfolio photo shoot. It is someone’s ONE day…so, they need to know it is NOT about them, it is ALL about the wedding bride and guests. Superstitions included. That’s not your business as a photographer; you need to respect the client including their corky things. IF a photographer wants a wedding portfolio, he/she should rent models and attire and take as many photos they want. Practice on models not on the people who paid 5 figures to get married!

    8. Notice how many times the word: “communication” is typed in that article…but it goes both ways, if the photographer doesn’t ask questions, then there is no communication.

    9. Photographers need to always be prepared for the worst when it comes to weddings. Are there new time constraints? obnoxious guests? drunk guests? that’s a given…LOL…how will you handle it?

    10. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver! Under-promise, and over-deliver! This is more about customer service than about photos. Don’t tell them you’re going to give them the photos in 3 days! What if you have some sun flare that needs 3 hours in photoshop to remove because it doesn’t belong there and you can’t take that shot again? What if there’s cake on your lens and you being so busy you didn’t see it until you got home? NEVER leave a wedding before you looked at all the photos on a computer screen in your car, to see what a heck snuck in there…if you’re there, and they’re there, there may be a chance to save your a$$! If you have the nerve to shoot a wedding, then your skills should be wedding worthy. That’s it. One day…one shot…If a bride complains, then you didn’t do your job right.

    11. I think wedding planners have to be blamed partially for this, because they are planning these weddings, most of them anyway, and they push for food, flowers, and always undermine the importance of the photographer which is why we are viewed as an afterthought, and not the FIRST thought. These wedding planners have their priorities VERY skewed. That should change.

  8. If you are running late, you have to decide if you want to use my services for the photos or get to the reception ‘on time’. Cutting into scheduled photography time due to other issues is going to directly affect the results you get for your images. Your paying me to be there, and cover the event, and ATTEMPT to get the shots we discuss before hand.

    For example, If the hour between the ceremony and the reception gets cut to 15 minutes because ‘woops’, please try to control your disappointment if the quantity/quality of images you were expecting isn’t up to what you were hoping . I’m sure it slipped your mind that you cut the time allotted to get that done by 75%, as well as it slipped your mind that you said it would be ‘fine’, if we didn’t get as many pics in the heat of the moment. :D

    I think the vast majority of issues I’ve run into over the years relate directly to a lack of an event planner to help in crisis, or a lack of time (emergency wedding photographer, can you show up to the wedding tomorrow?) in preparation.

    Events are complex, fluid, and subject to disruption at any moment. your photographer can literally work magic, but only if there is a realistic amount of time for them to do so.

  9. I definitely like your idea Scott…and I’m sure, if it’s announced in the proper way that the guests would adhere to it, for the most part.

    There is always that “what if” factor that reminds me of an experience at a friend’s wedding I had. Their photographer was getting so annoyed with others taking pictures (mostly cellphone flashes popping) that she (the photographer) turned around during the formals and actually yelled at everyone (including the grandparents and such), “NO ONE IS TO BE TAKING PICTURES!”.

    Now, on the one hand, I can understand her frustration as she had her umbrellas set up and whatnot. But on the other hand, wouldn’t you know it that a few months later, the bride posted on her Facebook, “Does anyone have any pictures that they may have taken at our wedding? Our photographer lost all of the pictures :/” They did manage to receive some pics from the guests leading up to that part. I was STUNNED, and that created a kind of fear that (losing the photos) could happen to me.

    So, being a photog myself, when I do weddings, I actually don’t hold people back from taking their shots. However, I make it clear by my presence that I am the official photog and that the guests *should* steer clear…and for the most part, they do. So far, the only time when it gets dicey is during the formals when everyone is lined up to take pics of the bridal party and families together, so after I get the group set up, I let whoever is around me to take their shots first then I’ll take mine (or vice versa). That way, there’s no interference with the lighting and no confusion as to which camera the group is looking at.

    Just wanted to throw that out there.

  10. As others have posted, and I took away from the original piece, communication is key. As for other things I would tell brides & grooms: Don’t look at photography for your weddings as another commodity service. Not everyone with a camera is a Photographer (with a capital “P”). We MAKE images and many of us have a unique style. And you will get what you pay for, if all you’re doing is evaluating your photography on price, you’re shortchanging yourself in the end.

    There’s a lot more that we Photographers do than just press a shutter. We pose you, light you for the best looks, compose the overall scene for the best image; take many more hours than the actual shoot for great post-production. Oh, and there’s the experience we bring to the table.

    Your wedding (hopefully) is a one-time event, certainly one of the most special days of your life, and there are no do-overs for that day. Slow down and work with your photographer to get the best images. If you hire photographers just based on price, and don’t get the results you expected, it’s not like you can retake the shots.

    Also, and this is the tougher thing to convey; the amount they’ve spent on all the other aspects of their wedding vs. (for the commodity-minded bride) the amount they’re willing to spend on photography — the only thing they’ll have to remember that day. Consider the amounts brides will spend on the venue, the food, the decorations, but want to spend as little as possible (in some cases) on photography expenses. No one will remember (including the bride) what the filet mignon or roast chicken tasted like. But you’ll forever regret not getting the right images because you rushed the photographer or didn’t hire one that had the experience or the vision to make images that offer beautiful memories.

  11. I thought I would add my two cents even though I am NOT a wedding photographer. I am a “Photographer”, but do not shoot weddings for various reasons. But there is 1 exception to this rule… When I am asked by family, friends if I can “shoot their wedding” I tell them this: “I love you dearly.” Always start with that… “BUT, I would be remiss to suggest that I am a wedding photographer. Wedding photography is a highly specialized area of photography that when done properly takes time, equipment, and staff. I am happy to shoot a few pictures at your wedding if you would like, and with the blessing of the photographer you hire, but I STRONGLY suggest you hire a professional. Just as you would not get your spleen removed by a friend with a scalpel, don’t count on professional level images from your friends with cameras.”

  12. I don’t see anything wrong with going with the lowest bidder but make it a point to do your due diligence. Always ask them to show you some of their work. The photographer should have a portfolio of some kind that you should use as basis for hiring them. If you’re only reason for hiring a photographer is the equipment he owns and the prices he charges, then you deserve the output you get.

  13. Hey buddy,
    GREAT post.
    SO many points.. on point.
    I have to err on the side of nearly not agreeing with your rolling ball though… and I say nearly because I do believe there is some validity and benefit to what you propose.. but Im uncomfortable agreeing with it whole heartedly as I know that it goes against something I feel infringes on the potential joy of those in attendance.

    Let me explain…
    When you say you’d like to have a camera free wedding, and ask the guests to leave their cameras at home and cell phones in their pockets. It sounds like its paved with good intentions…..but we all know how roads so similarly paved can often feel like cobblestone underfoot once walking down that path no?

    To me…if I’m there and all of a sudden we are in a group of say 6 people who haven’t seen each other in some time.. and we want a selfie.. with something in the background..
    we are never in this place.. let alone all six of us together.. I don’t want to feel like im sneaking.. I want to celebrate.. with my friends.. and DO as I feel.

    Or we want a snapshot with the bride in just a certain way or spot.. .. photographers are all busy.. do we wait.. now our time is spent looking to see when they are free… or at best alerting them that wed like a photo.. then being interrupted when they become free and we are now in a wonderful conversation with yet ANOTHER person we haven’t seen in some time.. to go back to take the photo we wanted to take 7 mins ago…
    See where I’m going with this?

    The freedom to let the day become what it will be with friends and family.. they joy of playing… creatively.. is for everyone. Asking to play by rules.. while it may seem like a good idea.. honestly isn’t fair to everyone in attendance.

    Its my experience that to try to control any situation with such totalitarianism rules of engagement is to pave the way for anything less than an experience saturated in complete whimsy and whimsy is not something I want to feel unwelcome in a celebratory occasion such as a wedding.
    How does that saying go.. want to make God laugh.. tell him your plans.
    No?

    Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue recently got married, and he and his wife Courtney asked those in attendance to feel free to take photos and enjoy them but to please refrain from posting them on social media, and respect their privacy… now that I can understand.

    Im going to ping my dear friend Emily Adamson an incredible wedding photographer( she shoots several shoots a month from a helicopter!) in New Zealand ( I like to joke she lives in Trey Ratcliffs basement….she doesnt, they are good buddys though.

    She will undoubtedly have some wonderful insights for this post.
    And can probably contribute more than my ranting disagreement! :)

    Much love man,
    ~jason joseph

    Here is Emilys website worth a long look! http://emilyadamson.com

  14. Hey buddy,
    GREAT post.
    SO many points.. on point.
    I have to err on the side of nearly not agreeing with your rolling ball though… and I say nearly because I do believe there is some validity and benefit to what you propose.. but Im uncomfortable agreeing with it whole heartedly as I know that it goes against something I feel infringes on the potential joy of those in attendance.

    Let me explain…
    When you say you’d like to have a camera free wedding, and ask the guests to leave their cameras at home and cell phones in their pockets. It sounds like its paved with good intentions…..but we all know how roads so similarly paved can often feel like cobblestone underfoot once walking down that path no?

    To me…if I’m there and all of a sudden we are in a group of say 6 people who haven’t seen each other in some time.. and we want a selfie.. with something in the background..
    we are never in this place.. let alone all six of us together.. I don’t want to feel like im sneaking.. I want to celebrate.. with my friends.. and DO as I feel.

    Or we want a snapshot with the bride in just a certain way or spot.. .. photographers are all busy.. do we wait.. now our time is spent looking to see when they are free… or at best alerting them that wed like a photo.. then being interrupted when they become free and we are now in a wonderful conversation with yet ANOTHER person we haven’t seen in some time.. to go back to take the photo we wanted to take 7 mins ago…
    See where I’m going with this?

    The freedom to let the day become what it will be with friends and family.. they joy of playing… creatively.. is for everyone. Asking to play by rules.. while it may seem like a good idea.. honestly isn’t fair to everyone in attendance.

    Its my experience that to try to control any situation with such totalitarianism rules of engagement is to pave the way for anything less than an experience saturated in complete whimsy and whimsy is not something I want to feel unwelcome in a celebratory occasion such as a wedding.
    How does that saying go.. want to make God laugh.. tell him your plans.
    No?

    Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue recently got married, and he and his wife Courtney asked those in attendance to feel free to take photos and enjoy them but to please refrain from posting them on social media, and respect their privacy… now that I can understand.

    Im going to ping my dear friend Emily Adamson an incredible wedding photographer( she shoots several shoots a month from a helicopter!) in New Zealand ( I like to joke she lives in Trey Ratcliffs basement….she doesnt, they are good buddys though.

    She will undoubtedly have some wonderful insights for this post.
    And can probably contribute more than my ranting disagreement! :)

    Much love man,
    ~jason joseph

    Here is Emilys website worth a long look! http://emilyadamson.com

  15. First I have to say, I don’t know if I really am allowed to post here my comment, since I am one of those “not professional photographers” and I do weddings. But I’ve done quite some of them and never heard a complaint of my customers. Which brings me to “not professional” and the term. What is meant with that? A photographer who didn’t really learn the craftmansship (in my case, I had a kind of “photography school light” several years before)? Or ist ist more a photog who doens’t charge 2k or more for his services? (if it is the latter I am surely a not prof… :-) )
    I think both sights on the topic are stupid, but I also see the problem, that often friends or family are doing the wedding shoots, but those are not quite the same as some cheaper photogs (like me), who can make a smaller price since they doing it for example as a side-business (like me) not the main -job. just my 2 cents on that.

    Now to the topic, Scott (sorry for the “ranting” above and I hope “Scott” is okay, since I really really respect you and your work)

    I’ve read the 50 bride article a few days ago, and I also think that most problems are due to a lack of right communications. While I am a cheaper and because of that not a professional photog (see above :-) ), I never the less try to communicate with my customers a lot, try to listen to their wishes and what they want, but also make suggestions what we can do, to get the images they want. But I also remind my customers that I have my own style, my own picture look and if they are booking me, they get pictures like that, even thought I listen to their wishes and try to fulfill them.
    Surely, there are brides who are more difficult than others, but that never was a problem with me and as I said before, I never heard a complain. The other way is true, since I always heard how wonderful the images are.

    So as I said before, I think most problems are solved with communications.

    Now to contribute to your request…
    One thing I often find problematic at wedding shootings is, that you often don’t have enough time for the bride shooting, even if it was planned in the schedule before. That is one of the biggest problems I often have.

    and Scott,..
    thank you for this blogpost!
    your awesome, and the entry picture is awesome too. Love that!

    Gordon
    facebook,com/pixelkoboldphotography

  16. I shot weddings in the 80’s and 90’s with medium format and quit doing them around 2000. I have, on accession shot a bridal for a aspiring friend only to have the family and bride tell me later they wish I had shot their weeding. The reason I hate dealing with weddings is because most brides/grooms want a bargain and end up hiring a shoot n burn. Families will spend thousands on a wedding only to hire an incompetent photographer at a rediculously low price to take snap shots. Why can’t they understand that this is virtually the only thing left after the wedding? Weddings are hard too shoot and there are some great photographers out there, but most have no idea how to properly shoot one. I’m too old now to start shooting weddings again but to all those hound aspiring photographers out their, please learn the craft, do it right and charge accordingly. There are folks who wouldn’t hire the best wedding photographer in the world if their prices were too low.

  17. I photographed weddings for 30 years, always with Hasselblads. My last one was in 2004. What I would suggest to B&Gs is to always be able to start at the appointed time. There were many weddings I did in which I was there at the appointed time, usually 90 minutes to an hour before the wedding starts, ready to go and then I see one or more of the bridesmaids coming in in street clothes with their hair in curlers. That works against everything you were trying to accomplish before the ceremony and affects the rest of your wedding coverage…

  18. Two huge comments for myself would be to really make the most out of your consultations with your photographers before the wedding. Typically we have three consultations with a couple before the big day. As a photographer of one of the biggest moments in your life I want to know as much about you as I can so we can truly capture what is important to you that day. Some of the biggest issues we have had with brides always happen to the brides that book us over the phone and we never get to meet them until the big day.
    And second is that our couples never schedule enough time for them during the day! They are always so focused on making sure everything is perfect and everyone is happy that sometimes they forget to spend time enjoying the day. One of these moments we tell our brides is super important is during the photos of just the two of them. We actually make it a requirement that we have a minimum amount of time with just the two of them so we can get some really amazing and intimate photos.

  19. I would agree with most of the comments about hiring a professional. I can not imagine not being prepared, not editing photos, not communicating and offering sub par albums.
    This has to do a lot with the couples research. Our brides are usually well educated on their photography needs by the time them meet with us. My wife and I shoot as a team, they always have a second shooter.
    When we meet for the first time I bring along the album samples. There is no surprise when they get what they ordered. They are involved in editing the album as well and will not order until we get their final approval.
    For brides….hire a professional, ask to see an entire wedding, get your hands on an album being offered, sit down with them before hiring to see if their personalities with work with you and your family.
    For photographers….communication. I send out a list of what to expect when a couple hires us. It includes suggestions for wedding timelines to include back up times if the bride is late, considering a first look, assigning somebody for formal photos to gather groups up, and what to expect after the wedding. I give them timelines for when to expect photos, first draft of their album, videos, slideshows.

  20. I have to wonder how many of those brides never communicated with their photographers or followed their timelines. Many times, getting a bride to communicate with me or answer my detailed questionnaire hits a dead end. Then there are the brides who do communicate and seem to understand the timeline that suddenly act as if they never knew any of that on the day. They ask when pictures are, run late, tell me half the party will not be present until later, refuse to put their dress on that early, get into fights with family…you name it. Or the ones who give me ten minutes for couples portraits because the groom is starting to have an allergy attack and his eyes will turn red. And there are the brides who get so drunk before the dress goes on that they cannot stand unattended for photos. And the couple who cut into portrait time because they literally skipped down the aisle and straight into the bedroom while I waited outside. Oh, and the bride who wore the wrong bra with her dress and then insisted I edit 50 plus candid images to remove a bra sliver (I made sure it was not visible during posed images.) I guess most of that really fits into timeline. Please, brides, follow the timeline! Your photographer knows how to get great photos, but if you do not give the time, then you cannot expect miracles.

  21. I quite enjoyed reading the original article and even made notes! Continually looking for and reading the opinions of others, be they clients or photographers, has been a great source of education for me over the years.
    On that I am amazed how, even in the Facebook groups where I reposted the link, the main reaction of the photographers was a knee jerk one. Almost 100% said that it was amateurs bringing down the industry, people not charging enough, getting what you paid for etc……

    I shot weddings for many years and there were a few points where I felt perhaps I had been guilty in the past. Admittedly not the overly serious ones, but my communication in the past could probably have been better.
    If you are perfect, and I doubt there are many like that, then hats off to you. However if like me you are always trying to improve then take the advice and do just that……improve!

    I like the unplugged wedding idea – that would be my top request as well!

  22. I wonder what would have been revealed if the same article was written about the photographers to the brides “Photographers reveal what their brides could have done better”?

  23. I recently attended a wedding that was partially “unplugged” and I loved it. Guests were asked to not shoot with cameras or phones during the actual ceremony bit. Afterward, it was anything goes. It was perfect. The couple also rented an incredible photo-booth (with props, custom decorations, view screens, instant printer making color strips of 4 photos all night, an ipad on a stand to send all the photos to your email or post directly to FB, and the best lighting you could hope for) which made even the selfie junkies stash their phones away.

  24. I would tell clients to make sure they do meet with and communicate with their photographer regularly before the wedding day so they are both comfortable with the photographer and on the same page as them.

    Secondly, if you want stunning images, you must give time to create them. Yes – there will be beautiful moments unfolding all day long but if you don’t leave enough time for your bridal party and couples photos you will be disappointed with the type of images you recieve.

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