Any bride knows that there's a LOT of time and effort (and Pinterest-ing) that goes into planning a wedding, no matter if their special day is going to be big, small, cheap, expensive, on a farm, or at the Four Seasons. They're all a ton of work. And at the end of it all — after the last drunken guest goes home — you're left with amazing memories and, ideally, a massive amount of pictures to help you treasure those moments forever.
So, photography quickly becomes one of the most important parts of your big day. And nailing that part of it can be harder than you think. It's much more complicated than finding a capable person with a camera who happens to be free on the day of your wedding.
We talked to Marina George, of California-based Two Foxes Photography, about the things brides often do wrong when it comes to wedding photos. Here are five common mistakes she's seen brides make:
1. Booking Your Photographer Too Late
This is how it should go: Get engaged, pick a date, nail down a photographer.
Marina says: "My recommendation would be as soon as you have a date solidified, contact photographers right away — even if your date is over a year in advance. Get them locked in.
In the wedding industry, it seems that things are booking farther and farther in advance. Photographers are probably the second thing that gets booked after the wedding venue. We have bookings well into 2016, so it's not uncommon that brides book us a year in advance."
2. Booking a photographer for the wrong reasons
Make sure you love their work, since you'll be creating the wedding album you look at with your grandkids with their pictures.
Marina says: "What I make sure all of my potential clients know is that I really truly believe the most important thing when selecting a photographer is choosing someone whose work really resonates with you because that will be representative of what you receive from your wedding photos. So if you don't absolutely love the work the photographer is putting out there, my suggestion would be to not hire them.
There's nothing like getting off on the wrong foot right away, and you can certainly do that by selecting a photographer for a reason other than just loving their work.
3. Making Photography Pinterest Boards TOO Detailed
Pinterest isn't always your friend. (Sorry.)
Marina says: "Pictures can be a really useful tool in communicating to lots of different wedding vendors what you want for your wedding and what you envision — especially with the amount of content that's out there with the wedding blogs and having a lot of access to wedding inspiration. But when it comes to photography, it can be helpful to have a little bit of guidance from the bride as to what kind of vibe or feel they're going for, but they can make a mistake by putting too much on their boards. Requesting so many specific things from the photographer can take away their creative license on the day of. They're trying to fit in all these things you've asked them to do so they don't have the room or freedom to capture what they see or tap into their own creative juices.
There's nothing better than having a client that says "I totally trust you, I love your work, just do what you do."
4. Not providing the photographer with a list of people you want to be photographed with
You don't want to miss out on pictures with Great Aunt Gertrude because you forgot to mention it to your photographer, who's already taking 29405 other pictures.
Marina says: "The day goes by so fast, there's so much happening, and it really is the photographer's responsibility to make those family photos happen and make sure they capture you with all the people you really really want pictures with at your wedding.
It also helps to just get to know people at your wedding a little better — getting familiar with who the grandparents are, who the aunts are, and the sisters and the siblings so we're aware of any family dynamic that might be there."
5. Not making enough time for photos
Things won't go exactly as planned on your wedding day — but you'll regret it if you sacrifice photo time.
Marina says: "Timing can be a really important component on the wedding day. Everyone understands the wedding is kind of an organic, ever-changing event and things rarely go according to plan, but it's nice to have a rough outline or schedule that allows blocks of time for photos.
A way you can help the photographer capture everything you want them to is involve them in the process of creating the timeline for your wedding day.
Also, a great way to really maximize your time on your wedding day is by doing a first look. [When the bride and groom see each other for the first time and take pictures before the ceremony]. What that does is allow you to get the majority, if not all, the photo sessions done before your ceremony. Then, after your ceremony, you can just enjoy the party."
Find more from Marina George and Two Foxes Photography here.