You've done your research, hired your photographer and are excited to see what photos they return to you.
But you may be surprised at how much YOU can do to make your photos turn out even better.
Follow these guidelines and you'll probably become your photographer's favorite client.
I cannot stress enough the importance of this.
Talk. Discuss. Communicate(BEFORE the wedding).
Let your photographer know what you want/don't want. If there's something unique or special happening in the wedding, make sure your photographer knows before the wedding so they are ready for the moment.
-Let your photographer know the lighting situation
Is your ceremony indoors? Does the venue have a unique lighting set-up?
Is your photographer able to have say in how the lighting is done?
Lighting is one of the biggest factors in wedding photography. Having the ability to recommend what types of lighting your venue uses will help your photographer to get the best-lit photos possible. If that's not possible, knowing what to expect will help your photographer be prepared for unique lighting.
For portraits, ask your photographer what time would be best, lighting-wise, for photos. You will look your best in the best lighting situation, and your photographer should know just when that is.
-Trust/get to know your photographer
If you did your research, found someone whose work you loved, then trust they'll do that same work for you.
The last thing you need to be stressing about on your wedding day, is your photos. Your photographer knows what he/she is doing, and will do their very best to capture your special day.
If possible, meet up with your photographer beforehand. Whether it be over coffee to discuss wedding details, or during a engagement shoot(which, I highly recommend). The more comfortable you feel around them, the more natural you will look in your photos. Take the time to let the photographer know your personality, likes and dislikes.
-Have an 'unplugged' wedding
If even just during the ceremony, request that your guests please leave all photo taking to the photographer you hired. It is every photographer's nightmare to be taking photos during a ceremony, only to have a guest bring out their camera/cellphone and start taking photos in front of of them.
Not only do the photos turn out better with an unplugged wedding, but your guests will be able to better enjoy the ceremony instead of being glued to their device trying to capture the moment.
-Give plenty of time for photos...and then some.
The more relaxed everyone is, the better and more natural the photos will look.
Ask your photographer how long they recommend for photo-taking. Then, if possible, add extra time. There's no such thing as too much time for photos.
-Give thought to where you are getting ready
If your photographer is capturing prep shots, choose a location with lots of light(i.e. a room with lots of window). Try and keep the area clean; empty water bottles and clothes strewn about can make the photo look trashy. Choosing a clean, well-lit, location, and avoiding leaving things laying around will cause your photographer to be more grateful than you know.
-Relax and have fun
Communicate with your photographer before the wedding, and let them handle the rest.
This day is about you. You've dreamed, prepared and finally the day has arrived.
Things will go wrong, someone will forget something, your schedule will be thrown way off... but this is all normal.
Just remember that this is the day you are exchanging vows with the love of your life, and that's all that matters.
I've given a list of things to do, but I think it's also important to know what not to do.
This list is much shorter, but still things that I can guarantee your photographer will really appreciate.
-Ask your photographer for the unedited photos
Asking for the unedited photos is like asking a painter for a canvas and paints instead of the finished painting.
The moment they snap the photo, your job is done. But theirs isn't. Your photographer has a process they take to give you those awesome images you see on their website. And that process isn't finished until after they edit.
-Expect your photographer to be able to photoshop something out
I touched on this earlier, but it's important to be aware of. Photographers can often edit out quite a bit. But there's also a lot they can't edit out.
Photographers can't take out braces, change your hair color, or change your body shape.
Also remember that the more 'you' in your photos, the better they will look.
-Compare your photographer to another photographer
Different photographers have different strengths and weaknesses, style and ability.
Your photographer might not be able to get a shot 'just the same' as you saw another photographer do, but chances are they can do something that other photographer can't.
Just remember you hired them because you liked their work, not that photographer you're comparing them to.