Importance of Wedding Planning with your Photographer - Look More than Just Pretty!
Jan 25, 2018 | By: Sharyn Peavey Photography
As a bride-to-be, you look to professionals with experience to attend to every detail to make your day simply perfect and magical. You want to be in a beautiful setting, embraced by favorite blossoms, enticed with delectable food, and surrounded by the most important people in your life. These will be pretty pictures. But you hire a professional photographer to do more than capture the pretty stuff. You will want your heart to be full when you look past the pretty things to see the beloved faces of the people who took part in your celebration.
Don't leave a great experience to chance
As a wedding photographer, I take seriously the trust that couples place in me to chronicle the events of such a whirlwind day. It doesn't happen by accident. It takes time. Time when you and I are talking and planning and prepping for contingencies like rain, stains, and late automobiles. When the stress and worry about photography are gone, then there is plenty of room for smiles and laughter and tears and love.
You need to have trust in the artistry of your photographer. My creativity has been tested with unconventional weather, swiftly moving time, and changes in light. These I can manage with the right eye and the right equipment. But even more important is your trust in me to help plan how to capture and record other the other moments that make the day so meaningful.
So trust me when I tell you to give yourself time to enjoy the day.
Rely on Experience
Let’s have a deeper conversation here. Beyond the artistic talents of your photographer, you want to be able to tap into the extensive knowledge base of the wedding day experiences that your photographer has from shooting a multitude of weddings. The reason you pay your professional photographer thousands of dollars isn’t just because he takes pretty pictures and is a cool person. You pay her because of her knowledge and experience. So use it.
You can take advantage of this expertise by meeting with your photographer in the beginning stages of planning and by connecting your photographer with your wedding coordinator early on. A seasoned wedding planner knows the value of bringing me, your photographer, in the initial conversations with you about the flow of the big day. You don’t want the arrival of the DJ's sound system to obliterate the beautiful vista that would make a perfect setting for gorgeous wedding party formal pictures. That’s not the kind of thing you need to worry about on your wedding day.
A Powerful Team: the Bride, the Photographer, and the Wedding Coordinator
Here’s another easily overlooked planning aspect: including your photographer in a walk through of the wedding venue if they have not been there before. Capitalize on the visual opinion of your photographer and it can help you get the shots you want. For example, on your site walk through and ask the photographer how they might frame a shot, and then look at the background. If there is a road behind where you and your father will be walking down the aisle of this gorgeous property, do you want your cousin’s bright red Toyota corolla in the background of your frame as you and your Dad share this awesome moment? No, you don’t and neither do I.
On the day of walk-through, you and your wedding coordinator might not think of that. But guess what? A good photographer will! My expertise from having painful eyesores in the background of epic pictures and having to painstakingly photoshop them out guarantees I won’t forget that detail. In that case, having pretty, small “no parking” signs placed in crucial visual vantage points would avoid that disappointment--something your wedding coordinator can schedule to happen. These are small things, but should be taken into consideration because planning ahead is always a smart idea.
When you plan your wedding with your photographer, we will help you visualize the day. It is what we do. We are visual people. If your photographer can not make it to the walk through appointment, a facetime video session and a day before walk through is also quite helpful.
Plan to Let yourself Breathe
Next big stress factor in a wedding day. Time. Not having enough time is the source of tension. You know, you are running late for work, traffic is backed up, you are stressed. Imagine that something you didn’t plan comes up and now your wedding schedule is being compromised and it is picture-taking time! If you’re stressed, no amount of photo touch-ups can erase that emotion from your eyes.
Build in buffer time into your schedule, that way if things run late, the time allotted for photos before the ceremony can get short, and what does that mean? Well, maybe it means that the family photo doesn't also include a a portrait of you and your mom, or just you and your siblings. And you want that.
A pivotal moment in many a bride’s day is getting ready
How we feel about how we look on our wedding is huge. Ever left the hair salon with a new haircut, all blown out right and walked down the street feeling like a rock star? Feels good, right? Ever left the salon with a color that is not what you thought it would be and wanted to throw a hat on your head in the middle of a hot day in July and run to your car and cry? Getting hair and make-up done on your wedding, we want you to feel like million bucks. We want you to feel like you are the most beautiful woman in the world, because on your wedding you are.
Schedule YOUR Happiness First
Now, I am not a hairdresser, but as your photographer, I can tell you that you should never be the last one scheduled for hair and makeup. A hairdresser may recommend you get ready last and that he/she wants you as fresh as possible for when you walk down the aisle. Sharyn Peavey does not want that. Here is why. Who is the most important person in the room getting ready on the wedding day? The bride, right. She should have her look exactly the way she wants it and that means time for a redo if necessary. I recall one early wedding when I was still gaining confidence in myself and my expertise, and a coordinator downplayed my advice about this detail. Unfortunately, the bride absolutely hated her hair and it needed to be redone. She was incredibly upset and wanted no pictures of that tearful, stressed situation. I sat outside her hotel room for an hour and a half and didn’t see her until four minutes before the ceremony.
Let’s be clear. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever photographed and my time photographing just her on the wedding day just got hijacked. As you might guess, her pictures couldn’t adequately reflect the laughing, joyful spirit I knew her to be. I don’t want that for you. So talk with your photographer about planning the day even before you book your stylist (yes, even if your stylist is you or your friend or your cousin).
Conversely, I have to share the story of the bride who chose to make her wedding-day happiness important. First to have her hair and makeup done, she was also the first to step into her gown. While her bridesmaids were finishing getting ready, we had set aside 45 minutes to take fabulous pictures of her and her mother on the rooftop restaurant, the Top of the East at the Westin Portland Harborview. A month before the wedding, I contacted the hotel manager and received permission to gain access to that gorgeous setting. I triple-checked to be sure that the hotel would unlock the door just for us. It was an amazing session and still gave her time for a light lunch. The bride looked and felt like a million bucks! I can assure you, she was the picture of confidence stepping out of the limo at the church steps, with no worries about her appearance or her wedding day photos. I want the same for you.
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Meet Jackie and see her time getting ready and our time together photographing at the top of the East. I want what I had with Jackie for everyone of my brides.
Your coordinator will handle the logistics of the wedding day operations and making sure things look pretty; I will be responsible for the logistics of capturing the events and emotions of your day that make it utterly beautiful. Planning ahead and trusting your wedding professionals will make the difference between having a nice wedding or having an extraordinary wedding!
Remember my mantra: a photo of you smiling should be because you are genuinely happy from within. I genuinely want you to be happy on your wedding day and just as happy with your pictures!
And it starts with planning! Contact Sharyn today and get started picturing your wedding with her.