Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to Get the Most From Your Photographer by Isabel Lawrence Photographers

Part one of two from the masters at Isabel Lawrence Photographers (and we mean masters - think Halle Berry's wedding among others.) Check out what they suggest to make your wedding day flawless and your photos unforgettable:

You’ve found the perfect photographer and you’re ready to hand over enough money to feed a small country in order to secure his services. How do you maximize your investment? Read on for some helpful tips.

First of all, get everything you’ve agreed upon in writing. I know this seems really obvious but if for instance, you and your photographer discussed receiving your negatives or digital files two years after your wedding album is complete and it isn’t written into your contract, there is a very good chance this conversation will be forgotten when that time comes. Save yourself future problems and get all oral modifications to your contract down on paper.Speaking of contracts: sign your copy and return it to your photographer with the deposit as soon as possible. This is what ultimately secures your day. You may run the risk of losing your preferred shooter otherwise.

Okay, we’ve gotten all of the boring legal stuff out of the way; let’s talk about the fun creative stuff. If your photo package doesn’t include a pre-wedding shoot, consider splurging on one. This is a great way for everyone to get to know each other better. You’ll get a sense of how your photographer works, and he or she will be able to get a sense of how you photograph. Some people need a little more coaching in front of the camera than others, some have a knock for blinking just as the shutter is tripped (yes, we have tricks to deal with that). These are all helpful things for the photographer to know before the big day. This fun informal shoot can really alleviate any pre-wedding photographic jitters and you’ll have lots of wonderful photographs to use in ‘save the date’ cards or for your guest book.As the big day approaches, you’ll want to talk to your photographer about the schedule of events and establish a shooting time line. This is one of the most important conversations you will have with your photographer. He/she will establish how much time they need for shots of the two of you alone and for the formal shots of your families and bridal party. The single most important thing you can do to maximize your investment is to give him/her all of the time that they have asked for. The more time you give your photographer, the better shots you will have. It’s just that simple. I’ve shot enough weddings to know that stuff happens and things run late, which is why it is so important to build a little elbow room into the schedule. Planning things minute by minute is, as they say, a recipe for disaster. I have, over the years however, developed a few strategies to combat the wedding time warp phenomenon. First of all, makeup artists and hair stylists can sometimes alter the best-laid photographic schedules. They are there to make you look your most beautiful. Like photographers, they are artists and perfectionists willing to primp and fuss over you for hours and hours. What you need to remember is that every minute they spend beyond their allotted time comes out of another scheduled element, often times with the photographer. When this happens you are not going to forgo photos with parents, siblings, cousins and friends. So the photographer has to perform equally beautiful work in a fraction of the time he had planned on. Keep in mind that you have not hired a magician (unless you actually have, in which case he will be performing slight of hand tricks at the reception and stealing people’s watches). My technique for avoiding these problems is to tell everyone involved that you need to be done half an hour earlier than you actually need to be done. I promise you, you will never be sitting around idly for 30 minutes. The worse that can happen is that you’ll have a little extra time to spend with whomever is helping you get ready or some last minute Spanx emergency will fill that void. I also suggest you use this technique when letting family know what time the formal portraits begin. Always tell them to be ready a little earlier than the planned schedule calls for.Stay tuned for more tips from Isabel Lawrence Photographers next week with part two of their tips and trade secrets.

1 comment:

DrewB said...

These are all such great tips! Awesome article!