5 Things a Couple Needs from Their Wedding Photographer

I am the baby of the family.  I’m the fourth child, and the third girl.  My brother is the only boy, so he is definitely more spoiled than I am, but all three of my siblings would probably argue otherwise.  I have been told from the very beginning that I am the baby, and that I am spoiled beyond measure… so it was only natural for me to write a super diva-ish blog post last week talking about the top five things that I need from my couples in order to create a beautifully curated version of their wedding day.  With each request I could hear my brother chiming into my ears… calling my ass out for being so damn demanding.

So… before my siblings have the chance to knock me down a rung or two from my princess ladder… I decided to swallow a big ol’ slice of humble pie and have one of my brides write me a list of the top 5 things that she needed from me on her wedding day.  Sadly, I can tell you that I didn’t meet all of her needs because I was too wrapped up in my own desire to treat her wedding like it was my own personal portfolio-building photo shoot.

I really promise that I’m working hard to get rid of this spoiled-brat mentality… but my siblings might argue that it is sandwiched into my DNA right next to all those chromosomes.

Here is what Marina, my beautiful spring bride from last year, wrote to me about her wedding.

5 Things Every Bride (or at least this one) Needs from her Wedding Photographer:

1. A fully charged cell phone. When I went through my wedding planning (stressing) process, I had random thoughts (and visions) come to me at all hours of the day and night. I don’t know why brides feel like they’re entitled to answers at 8 a.m., but we do. Of course I’ll respect that you sleep and have to spend time with your family, but I’m all about a prompt reply… Even if it’s a “let me get back to you—AND STOP BEING PSYCHO, CALM DOWN, IT WILL ALL BE FINE” message back.

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2. You to be inside my head. Up until the moment that ring slipped on my finger (slipped being generous—gained a little weight post ring sizing) I didn’t know what I wanted at my wedding. I wasn’t the little girl who planned every detail of her big day—I don’t even know how to plan dinner in advance (bless whoever created the In-n-Out on Eastern). So when I start to explain a concept, and I’m pretty close to narrowing in on the specifics, feel free to finish my sentence and thoughts. I hired you, so I trust you—work your magic. Believe me, I’ll holler if it’s taking a direction I’m not loving… In the nicest way possible, of course. LYLAS, girl.

3. A little space. Looking back, there were times at my wedding that I was just kind of over posing. I was missing “living in the moment” and interacting with my family and friends in a way that was natural. I wanted the gorgeous pictures that will take my breath away when I saw them, but I also needed to experience the magic of the night. So, photographers should meet somewhere in the middle and when you sense the couple’s interest wandering off, then take a break. Capeesh?

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4. A friend and ally. Your wedding photographer is experiencing the most important day of your life in a very intimate way– as the person who will record all of your memories. While most guests know you for years or a lifetime, your photographer has (usually) only months to know your style and taste well enough to produce a product you can’t live without. Become my friend. Tell me the weird things going on, make me laugh amidst all the wedding drama I’m experiencing and have my back when I tell you how frustrating my other vendors are. Our stronger relationship will make me more comfortable on my wedding day.

5. A push. Let me tell you how much I hate posing for the camera. Smiling for too long is awkward, I constantly worry about my double chin and recently I’ve discovered some back fat I’d rather not talk about. I’m not going to be totally comfortable being your model—but make me be comfortable. Tell me I’m pretty, make me feel good about what I’m doing… And for the love of all that is holy, speak up if I need to adjust my neck so I only have one chin in your pictures.

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Marina, my love.  My kismet sister.  I posted the photo above strategically… to show the world how FREAKING CRAY your #5 answer is.  There isn’t an ounce of back fat on you… and if you’re not a model, then you damn sure fooled me, boo boo.  Love you.  Love your face.  And thank you a million times the universe for taking time out of your day to write these tips down for me.  Your third tip is right on the money.  A wedding day is not my personal photo shoot.  I force myself to produce photographs throughout the entire day, when maybe it is better to take a step back and snap photographs as they unfold… when possible, of course.  I’m still not going to let your family line up however in the hell they want just so that they can get to cocktail hour faster, but I do need to make sure that I’m making every single minute of a couple’s wedding day memorable for them… even if that means me taking a step back.

Love you to the moon and back, and thank you again.  I owe you drinks… so I’ll meet you at the gym so that I can put my kids in the academy and I’ll meet you in the tennis lounge.  ha ha ha!!  xo.

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