13 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wishes You Knew

Have you ever wondered what your photographer wished you knew? I came up with 10 things US photographers won’t say, but would really honestly love to tell you…

1.) I get sad when you go with someone else JUST because they’re cheaper. ESPECIALLY if it’s a giveaway or a sale! You love my work, have drooled over my Insta for a while now, and had your heart set on me, but say bye-bye when I sent over my price lists. I TOTALLY understand budget, I was a bride, too! But, this is your wedding day!! These photos are the only thing that’s left of your day, and you want to make sure that who your choosing is a good fit (like, you’ll be BFF’s), and that you’ll love their work long term. Sometimes cheaper means less quality, so choose wisely!

2.) Pinterest examples and inspo make me cringe. When you hire me for your wedding, I want you to trust that I’ll bring all the cool as heck shots to the table. So, trust me! It’s my job to capture your love story that’s YOU and is inspired by every element of your day and YOUR love. And who wants a carbon copy of a Pinterest image, anyway? I hope you want your wedding images to be completely unique, just like your love story is to everyone else’s. So ditch the Pinterest boards and put all of your trust into your photographer!

3.) The engagement session is KEY to get to know each other! I LOVE getting to know my couples and how they interact with each other. It totes bums me out when you go with your cousin who owns a camera to shoot your engagements instead of spending some time with me before your big day. Sometimes that’s the ONLY time we get to spend together before you say “I do,” and it helps so it feels like I’m just a friend following you with a camera all day instead of a stranger telling you to get cuddly.

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4.) I totally cry myself to sleep when you put filters on my images and don’t credit my photos you post. FOR REAL. I have spent YEARS perfecting my style and spent hours and hours editing your photos that I love so much, and my heart sinks when you put your own twist on it. Not to mention, it’s a violation of my copyright! But you hired me based on my work and editing style, so I would think that you would love the end result, right? AND, now my name is attached to something that isn’t my style, potentially costing me work from some awesome couples who might have reached out if they saw the real thing. But if you don’t credit me AT ALL, I get super bummed because all of your friends, family, and whoever else sees the images will have no idea who put that hard work into making such gorgeous images. From the bottom of my heart (and every photographer’s heart) post ‘em the way we gave them to you (and tag away!)

5.) Your dress will get dirty and the day will be as perfect as you make it! One of my best friends had her venue cancel on her two weeks before her wedding day, and you know what? She found another one and despite how stressful it was at the time and it wasn’t EXACTLY what she imagined, the day was absolutely perfect. Why? Because she married her best friend. There will totally be things that go wrong, but keeping an optimistic mind and heart and focusing on WHY you’re doing this whole dang thing is key. Will there be dirt on your dress at the end of the night? YEP. And sometimes it gets dirty even before the ceremony. But if you trust me to be creative throughout the day, a little dirt on your dress is the thing that matters the least on that day. My advice? Have a plan, but be flexible! Focus on what really matters and let the little things go because this day is about YOUR LOVE.

6.) I LOVE it when you have an unplugged wedding. The biggest pet peeve of mine is when you’re walking down the aisle and there are 6 phones, and iPad, and your uncle Bob’s camera sticking out of the aisle and I have to work around ALL of that just to get a shot of you and your dad giving each other “that look” before he gives you away. If I miss a moment because someone else steps in my way to get an iPhone shot, it’s not only frustrating for me, I get frustrated for YOU because you won’t get that moment in your gallery and to have for the rest of your life. I think we all forget how important it is to enjoy the moment we’re in, so asking your friends and family to put away their devices so I can document all those beautiful moments is one of the best things EVER.

7.) An outdoor ceremony AND reception is my dream come true! I know having a wedding outside in Iowa summers isn’t totally ideal (hint hint: destination wedding?) but shooting in natural light is how I get all of those dreamy golden lit images that you love so much. Sometimes shooting indoors and having to use my flash doesn’t give the same result, so when couples tell me EVERYTHING is outdoors, I tend to give them big hugs!

8.) I don’t want you to look at me. No, seriously, I don’t want you to even acknowledge I’m there unless I ask you to. I want to capture how you two NATURALLY are together, and sneaking peeks at the camera if you’re trying to do this, doesn’t make it natural! Of course, I’ll direct you and help you along the way, but just forget I’m there and let me work my magic and I promise you’ll love your images!

9.) I can’t control the weather. I totally get that you wanted a gorgeous sunset and a 70 degree day, but the weather can be so unpredictable and sometimes you get rain or a 98 degree day with no clouds in sight. And while that can be frustrating, I can’t control any of it, but I will do my absolute BEST to still make some gorgeous images no matter what. But totally don’t expect me to bring 30 clear umbrellas with me if there’s rain in the forecast (I have ONE!)

10.) I need breaks, too. Shooting an entire wedding is HARD WORK. If you see me grabbing some water or sitting for a minute, don’t assume I’m lazy or have nothing to do. These days often turn into 12-14 hour days including travel time, so once dinner time rolls around, you betcha I want to sit to eat my meal and get some time to recoup before the rest of the reception gets going.

11.) I LOVE when you include me in your seating chart. I ALWAYS feel so honored and blessed when a couple takes the time to include me at a table or seating chart with the rest of the guests. This makes me feel like I am actually a part of your day, and not forced to go eat alone in the back room where I can’t see anything that’s going on.

12.) I LOVE hearing from you when I send you your images! I put SO much time and energy and love into working with you, meeting for coffee, creating your timeline, shooting your day, and editing your images that it’s SO wonderful to get a response when I send you my final gallery (or even sneak peeks!) I am always anxiously waiting to hear what you think! You being SUPER pumped about your images makes me SO HAPPY and I love getting little love notes, reviews, texts, calls, or emails about how much you loved them!

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13.) I will TOTALLY cry at your wedding. Yep. This is a give in. You’re my new friend, I get invested in your love story, and seeing you marry YOUR BFF (and all those in between moments like grandma buttoning up your dress, dad giving you away, and your best girl friend talking about how much you two mean to her) is going to get my tears flowing!

XO,

Grace