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updated: 9/21/2012 6:20 AM

Making the most of your wedding photographer

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  • Help your photographer by having the rings, shoes, dress, and other items ready.

      Help your photographer by having the rings, shoes, dress, and other items ready.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Laverne and Daniel Thomas of Chicago pose for a photo in June with their son DJ. Having their son hold a chalkboard in the middle of a golf course might have seemed strange, but this couple trusted my creative vision as a photographer.

      Laverne and Daniel Thomas of Chicago pose for a photo in June with their son DJ. Having their son hold a chalkboard in the middle of a golf course might have seemed strange, but this couple trusted my creative vision as a photographer.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Tyson and Sarah Jones of Portsmouth, Va., shove cake into each other's faces at their wedding in June 2010. I was able to capture a fun moment between this couple, because they forgot for a brief moment that they were being photographed.

      Tyson and Sarah Jones of Portsmouth, Va., shove cake into each other's faces at their wedding in June 2010. I was able to capture a fun moment between this couple, because they forgot for a brief moment that they were being photographed.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Make sure you give your photographer a schedule for your wedding day so he or she can anticipate what is going to happen next.

      Make sure you give your photographer a schedule for your wedding day so he or she can anticipate what is going to happen next.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Mia and Timothy Haynes of Chicago dance at their wedding in April 2011. Because they weren't aware of the camera, I was able to capture a candid moment between this couple.

      Mia and Timothy Haynes of Chicago dance at their wedding in April 2011. Because they weren't aware of the camera, I was able to capture a candid moment between this couple.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • To make sure that you get unique photos, you have to trust your photographer's creative vision.

      To make sure that you get unique photos, you have to trust your photographer's creative vision.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Sarah and Tony Farruggia of Algonquin pose for a photo wearing bowling shoes. The couple gave me a list of things that they wanted pictures of.

      Sarah and Tony Farruggia of Algonquin pose for a photo wearing bowling shoes. The couple gave me a list of things that they wanted pictures of.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Sarah and Tyson Jones of Portsmouth, Va., pose for a photo on their wedding day in June 2010. The couple requested that I mimic the photo of a sailor kissing a nurse that was taken during the celebration of the end of World War II in Times Square.

      Sarah and Tyson Jones of Portsmouth, Va., pose for a photo on their wedding day in June 2010. The couple requested that I mimic the photo of a sailor kissing a nurse that was taken during the celebration of the end of World War II in Times Square.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

  • Daniel and Laverne Thomas of Chicago give their son, DJ, a kiss during their wedding in June. The couple chose a great location for photos, because there were lots of trees to provide shade.

      Daniel and Laverne Thomas of Chicago give their son, DJ, a kiss during their wedding in June. The couple chose a great location for photos, because there were lots of trees to provide shade.
    Photo by Chelsey Boutan of Chelsey Joy Photography

 
By Chelsey Boutan
cboutan@dailyherald.com

When the cake is eaten, the guests are gone, and the flowers start to wilt, there is something that still remains intact: your wedding photos. Keep this in mind as you complete tasks before and on your wedding day in order to ensure that you get amazing photos. Below are 10 tips on how to make the most of your wedding photographer.

1. Choose your venue with photography in mind.

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When choosing a venue, look around for great places to get pictures. If you are planning on having pictures taken outside, make sure that there are plenty of trees that will provide open shade in order to have the best possible lighting for your photos.

If the venue doesn't have picturesque grounds, look for a close by location that you could travel with your photographer and bridal party to get photos.

2. Give your photographer a list of must have shots.

Most likely your photographer knows that he or she is expected to get the standard wedding photos like the first dance, and eating the wedding cake. But you and your groom might have some other ideas.

Even if your photographer provides you with a checklist of items that he or she will get photos of, I suggest that you add a few items to the list. The more customized your wedding photos are, the happier you will be with the end result. Some of my favorite photos I have taken as a wedding photographer, were inspired from items that the bride and groom added to the checklist.

3. Provide your photographer with a schedule for your wedding day. And stick to it.

Make sure that you give your photographer a schedule with the approximate times of your ceremony, first dance, toasts, bouquet toss and more. Adhering to a schedule on your wedding day will help guarantee that your photographer captures lots of candid photos since he or she will be able to anticipate what's going to happen next.

4. Have rings, shoes, dress, and other items ready for you photographer.

Before your photographer arrives, set out your dress, shoes, and wedding rings. Not having to locate these items will save your photographer time that he or she can use to take more pictures.

5. Assign a relative or friend to get everyone gathered for the group pictures.

Give your outgoing relative or friend a way to help out on your wedding day. By assigning someone the task of rounding up your family and bridal party, your photographer will have additional time to take more group pictures with a variety of poses.

6. If everything doesn't go perfectly, don't panic or get upset.

While I was setting up a group picture, a bridesmaid moved too close to the bride, Laverne Thomas, and accidentally stepped on her train as she left behind a tear and grass stains.

But instead of turning it into a "bridezilla moment" and yelling at the bridesmaid, Thomas calmly asked if anyone had a pin.

Just about all brides want everything to go perfectly on their wedding day. But when unexpected things happen, don't get upset. Nobody wants wedding photos of a bridal meltdown.

7. Forget the photographer is even there.

Some of the best photos wedding photographers capture are most likely going to happen when the bride and groom are so caught up in the moment that they forget or don't realize they are being photographed.

Just enjoy your wedding day and don't be overly conscious of the camera, because the real moments that your photographer captures will help tell the story of your wedding day.

8. Tell your guests, ahem paparazzi, to give your photographer space.

Most photographers don't mind when wedding guests snap some photos of the bride and groom. But when they start intruding on the photographer's space, that's when it becomes a problem. With so many distractions, chances are the photographer won't get a photo with everyone looking at the camera.

To make sure they get great photos, the bride and groom need to speak up and ask their guests to step to the side until the photographer gets a picture. Once the photographer is finished, the bride and groom can welcome guests back to get photos.

9. If you see a candid moment that the photographer isn't taking photos of, let him or her know.

In a nice way, tell you photographer that their is a great moment occurring that you would like him or her to capture. Chances are your photographer was busy taking photos of someone else, and will appreciate you telling him or her.

10. Trust your photographer's vision.

If your photographer asks you to do something, just go with it. You aren't looking through the lens and can't imagine all of the elements in the frame, but your photographer can. Besides, you hired your photographer for a reason and should trust his or her creative vision.

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