For most people, their wedding day is the first time in their life they’ve ever been in front of a professional photographer’s camera lens. This can be some scary stuff, especially if you’re camera shy or perhaps a bit awkward in photographs normally. I’m going to make you feel at ease by giving you a few things to expect from your photographer on your wedding day.
Professionalism is a given and being polite and friendly as well as arriving on time and dressed appropriately just seem like common sense to me. You’ll find that many wedding photographers show up a bit early to “location scout.” You may glance out your window and find me laying on the grass or walking in circles (I'm checking angles and the way the light falls). You may be asked to move closer to a window for your make up touch ups or other “getting ready” shots, and don’t be alarmed if you see me cleaning up around the hotel room, I'm just staging the scene and lighting it so everything looks the best it can.
A photographer’s ability to direct a subject is just behind light hunting on the important skills list. Most couples are not models or celebrities and need some gentle direction while being photographed to feel at ease and make great photos. I may have you act out gestures, walk together holding hands or pose you in that perfect light I found light hunting. You should also expect me to fine-tune poses by asking you to make small adjustments such as “drop that shoulder” or “lift your chin.” Some poses may feel unnatural, but trust me…you will look great!
For those new to the term “That Guy”, its the person no one wants to be. In wedding photography it refers to relatives and friends who bring their own camera to the wedding and photograph over our shoulder. The trouble with this seemingly harmless uncle or aunt shooting along with the me is, among other things, no one is sure where to look or who to take direction from. This leaves you with a lovely group photo of your family and only half of them are looking at the camera. I’ve found asking relatives to allow me my shot first and standing aside for them after makes everyone happy.
Expect to mostly forget about me at your reception, in fact you should forget about me at your reception! Your hard work is done; it’s time to cut loose! Unlike the beginning of the day’s in-your-face formals, the reception presents me with a photo-journalistic challenge in that I must hang back and catch natural, candid moments. Rather than pester you, I will seek out the wedding planner and DJ/band immediately upon arrival to find out all I need to know without ever having to disrupt your celebrations. I alternate following the couple and shooting crowd reactions and dancing. The best reception photos are often ones taken while you’re unaware you’re being photographed in the first place, so forget about me and have a great time!