Wedding Photography Checklist for Couples Tying the Knot
Your wedding photography should be one of the most important investments you’ll make when it comes to your wedding. These photos are going to be around for a long time and doing a little pre-planning will definitely help ensure your photography goes great.
- Hire the right photographer.
If you want your wedding photos to be amazing, meaningful, and be around for a long time, it’s so important that you hire the right photographer. Start with deciding how important your wedding photos are to you. Make a prioritized list of all the different things you’ll be investing in for your wedding, and see where the photography comes in. Next, come up with a budget range that you’d feel comfortable investing. Keep in mind that the average cost of a wedding photographer in the United States is just over $2,300, and premier wedding photographers can cost twice that. Find out what’s included in that price (do you get any digital files/prints or are those purchased separately?). Do your research and find a photographer whose style you like, whose work you love, and whose personality you can totally get along with (so important!).
My style of wedding photography is natural, emotive, intimate, and artistic. I like to take more of a documentary approach to the day, capturing moments and details that make your day special. My photos are often bold, sometimes dark, and sometimes moody. That might be something you love, or just the opposite. The important thing is to find a photographer who suits you.
- Consider engagement photos or a pre-wedding photo session.
There’s no better way to make sure you’re comfortable with your photographer than actually doing some photos with them before the big day arrives. Doing an engagement session (or any kind of session together) pre-wedding will help with nerves about being photographed, help you get to know your photographer better and see how she/he works, and let you “practice” so that when your wedding day arrives you’ll feel more relaxed and confident.
- Let you photographer know your expectations for the wedding day.
Are you planning to see each other or exchange letters before the ceremony? Are you going to want a lot of family portraits after the ceremony? Do you have any special traditions or events happening during the reception? Giving your photographer a heads-up will ensure they don’t miss any of these important moments, and they can help make sure you have enough time for everything you want.
When I work with couples, I spend a lot of time talking about how I approach the wedding day, what to expect, and help them plan out a custom photography timeline so no one has to stress about it on the day of.
- Give your photographer a copy of your official timeline.
Whether you’re working with a planner/coordinator or doing the timeline yourself, make sure you give your photographer a copy so they know exactly when to be in what location. They can also let you know if anything needs to be tweaked, and can help you do that (ex. You’re planning on doing a receiving line, 20 groups of family photos, all the wedding party portraits, and couples portraits after the ceremony, but there’s only an hour until the reception entrance).
I cover all of these things beforehand with my clients, so there are no surprises, and everything runs as smoothly as possible.
- Plan your “getting ready” photos ahead of time.
Most people don’t even think of this, but it can make a huge impact on your photos. If you’re having any photos done while you’re getting ready, put some thought into what you’re going to wear, what the other wedding party members will wear, and the setting/location that you’ll be in. If you have a choice, a room with lots of natural light (think big windows) and neutral-colored walls is best.
I always suggest keeping the style of the getting ready location consistent with the rest of the wedding, if possible. i.e. if your wedding is going to be boho-industrial, consider renting a chic industrial flat to get ready in. If you’re having a rustic woodland theme, maybe rent a cabin on Airbnb.
- Note any “must have” photos and give them to your photographer.
Weddings are amazing- one of the only times in our lives that we’re surrounded by so many of our loved ones! Be sure to take advantage of that, and let your photographer know (preferably in writing!) if there are any special people you’d like photographed. Like, if your grandparents are getting up there in age and you know it would be really special to have a photo of them dancing, smiling, and having a great time.
Just a note- weddings, like any big event, can be unpredictable. Although you might have an idea of exactly how you think the day will go, there’s always a chance things could be different. Keep that in mind for your photos as well. We, as wedding photographers, will usually go above and beyond to try to make sure we get any super important photos that you request (within reason), but if the circumstances of the day make it impossible, we hope you’ll understand.
- Notify your photographer of any sensitive family situations.
We all know families can be a little “special”. A lot of times there are circumstances that can be very sensitive- like a recent death, divorce, etc. Be sure to let your photographer know if there are any situations like this in your family, to avoid any unnecessary drama. We’re more than happy to accommodate!
- Trust your photographer.
The most important thing to me is that you trust me to do my job, document your wedding story, and create beautiful, meaningful photographs for you. I can tell if a couple doesn’t trust me if they: hand me a shot list they printed off the internet; send me a Pinterest board of hundreds of photos they’d like re-created on their wedding day; or keep saying “it’s ok, she’ll just Photoshop it”. If you’ve hired me to be your wedding photographer, I would hope that I’ve done my job correctly enough to educate you about my style of photography, how I work, and what to expect so that there are no doubts in your mind that your photos are going to be amazing!
If you’re still looking for a wedding photographer and think I might be a good fit for you, send me a message! I would love to work with you and hear more about your story! My name is Andrea and I’m the photographer behind Lume Photography. My passion is capturing the real, the raw, the elements, and the connection between two people. I’d love to tell your story and provide you with the tangible memories from our time together. Through my lens, I find magic in any story or location. My images are rich in color, emotion, and often set in nature- my favorite place to be. I love warm sunsets, the colors just after the sun dips below the horizon, and photographing all the details of exactly how you are at this moment. When you look back at your photographs, you’ll be able to go back to that moment in time.
To follow along with my work and adventures, add me on Instagram. Like my Facebook page to keep up with my latest news and offers. Feel free to follow me on Pinterest to get inspired! If you’re into my style and want to talk more about wedding photography, adventure sessions, or to learn more about me + my business, send me a note and say hi! I’d love to provide you with an incredible experience and memories to last a lifetime. To book a session or inquire, click here!