What information do photographs need from me before the wedding day?
Your photographer will probably come to you with a list of things they need to know before your big day. Most photographers have their own individual approach and clear ideas about what is important for them to know. Even so, it's a good idea to have your own list ready, because this information can make all the difference when it comes to making sure you end up with a fantastic set of images of your wedding.
While some information is obvious, you would be amazed at how easily it can get overlooked amidst the thousands of things you're trying to organise. Other information is less obvious but just as important, because it will help your photographer get an idea of the feel and atmosphere of your wedding so they can plan appropriately to reflect this in the images.
I'll put them in bullet points for easier reading:
- The addresses and phone numbers of every location you will be on the day, including the day before. That's everywhere from the salon where you are having your hair done to the place you will be sleeping the night before the wedding. Why? Your photographer will need to know where he or she needs to be during the hours of the shoot (obviously), and the last thing you need are phone calls asking for addresses while you're fitting your dress. But your photographer might also need to contact you with last minute questions before your wedding day. By giving him or her every contact detail you can, you're safeguarding against last-minute dramas before they can even arise. Smart planning, right?
- The names of all the vendors you are using. Why? Your chosen vendors make up the sum of your whole event, and knowing which town hall or florist you're using will help your photographer get a feel for the style of wedding you have planned – and therefore the style of images that would suit. Always follow this up with a conversation. Nothing can beat face-to-face communication with your photographer when it comes to getting your dream wedding photos. [Kimberly: link to style blog]
- A list of the names and phone numbers of all the people in your bridal party. The more ways your photographer has to contact you the better – plus it might not be just you your photographer needs to contact. When your photographer is able to smoothly coordinate group photos by locating a missing grooms man, or can quickly check in with a bridesmaid instead of you while you're in the middle of having your hair done, you'll be thanking yourself for your excellent foresight.
- A schedule of the day from start to finish. Your photographer needs to know how long he or she has for each photo session and where they need to be. If you only have half an hour for photos after the wedding and before the reception starts, they need to know this. A useful tip is to arrange the arrival time of your photographer half an hour before you actually need them, in case they are held up. This happened at my wedding – if only someone had given me this tip beforehand!
Most of this information covers the logistical stuff. There's a whole lot more you should communicate with your photographer and that includes your expectations about the style of images you want. Make sure you and your photographer are 100 percent on the same page as to expectations, and your expectations will be met!