A wedding photographer or videographer wants your big day to go as smooth as you do. There's a lot of pressure on someone who has one chance to capture your memories.
Now, if you're a future bride or groom, we all know you already have a lot on your plate when the day arrives. But here are a few things to remember that will help make sure your photographer/videographer can focus on their job, resulting in a better performance and more bang for your buck.
1) Leave them time. I know there is so much to do in so little time, but since you're getting married you should know good things take time. When it comes to the schedule of your big day, be sure to leave plenty of time so the camera operator can work their magic. The more stressed the photographer is, the less they are focused on the detail to your photos or video. For example I've shot weddings where the first look was before the ceremony… along with the bride/groom shoot. Sure, it might not be traditional… but it gave a lot of time to get fun and creative.
2) A seat at the table. Of course this doesn't mean the head table, but a table. By requesting someone to come to your wedding, I think it's fair to treat them like a guest. This doesn't only apply to the camera guys, but the DJ as well. Unfortunately, I've been to a few weddings where there was no place to sit to eat, or set expensive gear down. A happy worker will enjoy being there, right? So double check your seating chart to make sure the ones helping you on your big day are accounted for.
3) Control your friends and family. First, let me explain… A wedding is a celebration, it's a party, its possibly the time of your life. However, friends and family that stand in the way of someone doing their job, may reflect in a loss of quality that YOU paid for. I know the bride and groom should not have to worry about anything on their big day, so this might be the perfect job for the best man, or maid of honor. They should be responsible for making sure the group in a photo can listen to important instructions without wasting valuable time. Yes, their job is basically herding the drunk ones, or telling Aunt Nancy to not stand in front of the photographer with her iPhone. Remember, a less stressed photographer is a focused and detailed one.
4) Be understanding. I know this might be a no-brainer, but it can often be lost in the stress. Things happen. Getting lost on the way there, lost or corrupt footage, equipment failure, and even illness preventing them to make it. It's important to know that the photographer or videographer wants the best for both you and them. Understand you both are on the same team, so when and if the photographer requests something, it's usually to benefit you. So work with them, and they will be honored to work with you!
5) It’s okay to tip. Now I don’t want this to sound greedy, but usually it’s never thought of. Just like your waitress, your hairdresser, or your DJ, it is in fact okay to tip your photographer or videographer. I’m not saying it’s frowned upon if you don’t, but remember they are providing you a service. When and if you do tip, don’t hesitate to tip based on their performance, just like at a restaurant. Did everything go smooth? Did they stay longer than expected? Was there any mishaps or miscommunication? Did they capture everything you wanted? Just remember, if the photographer/videographer leaves on a good note, the more dedicated they are to get your photos or videos edited and returned to you.
Congratulations to you if you have a big day coming up, and I hope these tips will help your big day and photos be as good as they should be!