Tips & Tricks: getting the best wedding photos possible

I haven't been a bride- yet.  But that doesn't mean that I don't have some pretty valuable tips and tricks on planning your wedding.  Having been a wedding photographer since 2007 I've been to my fair share of weddings and have decided to share with everyone here on my blog some of the tips and trick's I've learned.  Some posts will be about planning, some might be vendor spotlights and some will be DIY ideas. I've decided to start this series with a post based off of an item from my new client box.  In the box I include a three page guide to getting the best wedding photos.  I got a lot of my ideas for this info sheet from Melissa Jill (a very talented wedding photographer from AZ) and have edited it to fit my business.  Here is a slightly abridged version of my tips for getting the best wedding photos.

Tip #1: Plan the timing of your wedding day thoughtfully.
Consider all the time you put into this day to make it perfect.  Think about how jam packed your day is going to be, hair and make up, getting dressed, the ceremony, greeting all your guests, the reception formalities.  Often your first dance as newlyweds is the first, and sometimes the only, time you get as bride and groom to just relax and be together.
One of the best ways to find some “us” time is to do a ‘first look’.  This breaks with a lot of peoples traditional ideas of a wedding but just for a little history lesson- the tradition of not seeing one another before the ceremony dates back to arranged marriages.  The reason behind this was so that no one would back out at the last minute after seeing their bride or husband to be for the first time.  It’s worth considering a first glance if you want to have some time to connect with one another before the craziness of the day takes over.  It’s amazing how fast the day goes by and you realize that you have hardly had more then a few moments with your new wife or husband.  Giving yourself some time before the ceremony to laugh, smile and cry helps calm everyones nerves on a very busy day.
Tip #2: Wedding info sheet
I send all my clients an info sheet a month or two before the wedding.  This sheet asks for some of the basic details of the day including a time line for the day from getting ready to the reception with all addresses; the planner, florist and dj’s contact info etc.
Also on this list I also ask for a list of “Must Have” shots for the wedding day.  This is a great place for a bride to tell me that her great uncle is more like a father to her and wants a photo with just him and her.  I have a standard set of family group images I take at every wedding but for something slightly out of the norm this is a great place to give me that heads up.  This is also where I ask if there are any special details incorporated into your wedding day.  Often times little things mean the most, like your grandmothers pearls that she gave you to wear on your wedding day.  Without knowing that these pearls are anything other then your basic jewelry for the day I might not give them the specific attention they deserve.
Tip #3--Educate your family and friends about the style of photography you have chosen.
My style is a combination of fine art and photo journalistic.  I do my best to be invisible and out of the way on the wedding day but often get in close for a shot of some of those fantastic details that you’ve worked so hard on.  My hope is for people to be natural and basically ignore me throughout most of the day.  I encourage you to communicate your excitement about your photography to your family and friends.  Share my website and blog and encourage them to take a look, the better they understand my style, hopefully the more comfortable they will be with my camera being around all day.
Tip #4. Trust your photographer.
This sounds simple enough, but the actually doing it part can be tough.  You hire a photographer because you love their style, they are someone you feel comfortable spending a very large portion of your wedding day with and hopefully they become your friend.
My goal is for you to get to know me.  Follow me on my blog and keep tabs on my facebook page so that you’ll see the consistency of my work, how much I love what I do and that I’m always pushing the striving to be better. Hopefully these things will help us build a foundation of trust.  I want my couples to understand that I take my job very seriously even though I’m often laughing and smiling along with you.  I strive to provide the best possible service and I plan to earn your trust and your friendship.