Wedding Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Hiring a great photographer for your wedding day is super important.  But, it’s also important to plan ahead and avoid some common mistakes that can get in the way of making great photographs.  Below are some of the biggest mistakes a wedding couple can make when it comes to wedding photography.

Not Hiring a Professional Photographer

Don’t hire a friend with a nice camera.  Not only could you risk having disappointing wedding photos, but you may be risking your friendship all together.  Make sure the photographer you choose has an education as a photographer, has apprenticed or interned with other photographers and can deliver quality images no matter how difficult the circumstances may be.

Not Talking to Your Photographer About Your Timeline

Talk to your photographer before finalizing the timeline for your wedding day.  The time of day that photos are taken is very important because certain times of day are more photogenic than others. If you can avoid scheduling your ceremony during the middle of the day, it is best to do so.  Midday sun casts harsh, unflattering shadows while late-day sun is soft and very flattering.  You will also find more shade later in the day, which is the best place to shoot portraits.

Not Sticking to the Finalized Timeline

Pay attention and respect the schedule you and your photographer discuss prior to the wedding. Being an hour late can ruin your couple’s session because you may completely lose the light. Sure, an experienced pro can shoot inside effectively, but there is nothing like shooting outside in soft natural light.  And, chances are you chose your venue in part for the outdoor scenery, right?

Letting Relatives Get in the Way

We have a name in the industry for a guest who shows up with pro photo equipment and takes ‘unofficial wedding photos’—we call him Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob may think he’s doing you a favor by taking more shots, but usually he is usually just in the way. You should either tell Uncle Bob to leave the gear at home or make sure he knows that your photographer is in charge on your big day. You should also make sure that your photographer knows that someone else will be shooting a few photos.  Some photographers don’t allow this at all.

Not Getting Help Organizing Your Guests

Designate someone you trust and who knows your family and friends to be in charge of organizing people for portraits. That person can help gather the people needed, direct them on what shots they’ll be in, and then release them when they’re done. It keeps things moving quickly and smoothly.

Trying to Make Things “Perfect”

“No wedding goes EXACTLY as planned.  So, go with the flow and just have fun.  If you are obsessing about the things that went wrong, you won’t be able to be present for the photos, and it will show in your demeanor.

Skipping the “First Look”

A ‘first look’ (where you see each other before the ceremony and then do your couple’s session) is so much better than trying to rush couple portraits after the ceremony—especially if your ceremony runs a bit late. You end up trying to rush through so that you can start the reception on time.

Trying to Pose the Whole Time

A good photographer will give you all the direction you need.  The best thing to do is relax and act naturally. Be in the moment and just be yourself.

Looking at the Camera All the Time

Some couples want candid photographs, but they always feel like they need to look up at the camera and stop what they’re doing. Unless the photographer asks you, try to ignore the camera and act natural for the best photojournalistic shots.

Asking for Too Many ‘Pinterest’ Shots

If you chose a photographer for their style and sensibility, you should allow them to use their creativity.  If you love certain shots that they do commonly, feel free to mention those to the photographer.  But, if you have 10 photos that you love on Pinterest, just know that the conditions on your wedding day may not be conducive to recreating those images.  Trying to make your photographer recreate something specific rather than allowing them to create something that flows naturally from the setting of your wedding means that you may be boxing your photographer in.  It can eat up time and stifle creativity.  So, send a few images as inspiration, but don’t expect to have the same exact shots as those on your Pinterest board.

Not Choosing a Photographer You Connect With

You will spend a lot time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day.  So you want to make sure that you get along well and that you feel comfortable with them!

Skipping the Engagement Session

Engagement sessions help couples feel more confident and comfortable in front of the camera.  It’s also an opportunity to build rapport with the photographer.  There are so many great places to shoot in Raleigh, Durham, and the Triangle in general.  Doing an engagement session means that you will have more variety in the look and feel of your photos from this special time in your life.

Falling for Wedding Photography Trends

Look for a photographer with a classic shooting style and your wedding images will stand the test of time.  Photography trends are fun, but will definitely date your photographs.  Gimmicky treatments will detract from otherwise great photographs.