A little over a year ago, I was sitting down at a friend’s house, happily looking through old photo albums, admiring how beautiful she was as a bride. But as we looked through the photos of her wedding day, we noticed they were few in number, and not professional-quality. This is her story:
“The reason I don’t have the pictures I want is down to my own lack of wedding planning know-how. My photographer was a friend – who didn’t want to actually do the job because it is such a high pressure event – in that, you have to get it right for the bride and groom. She was right – I should have hired a professional. I should have not penny pinched so much. I shouldn’t have worried about guests so much, and should have concentrated on making our day special for us! I should have listened to the world less (the world telling me that ‘this is your day,’ when in fact it should have been our day) – it didn’t help that my groom didn’t care how it all happened.”
There are generations of stories about love, weddings, and wedding missteps. Every couple has a story, whether it is present, past or future. There is something to learn from every couple’s story. There are key things that every prospective bride and groom can learn from my friend’s experience:
- Of all the elements of a wedding, photos last the longest.
- Don’t sacrifice time taking photos for your guests’ benefit.
- The cost-benefit ratio still favors a professional wedding photographer.
A picture is worth a thousand words is the time-old adage, and no bride and groom should forget it. Years from now, photos will be one of the only mementos from the most special day of your life. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every now and then one paints a picture that seems to have opened a door and serves as a stepping stone to other things.” Though Picasso was a painter, the art of photography delivers the same promise. Photos can metaphorically transport you back to that day, and sometimes, on the hardest of days (or the best of days) you’ll want to be able to relive those emotions you experienced. That’s why so many couples and professionals will tell you that wedding photography should be a major priority in your planning.
A professional photographer is key to capturing some of the best snapshots of your big day. Brady Puryear, a professional photographer said,
“Over the years I have come to learn something about wedding photography which is that when the client is paired with the right photographer the photos come out AMAZING, but when the vision of the bride and the style of the photographer don’t match up, nobody gets what they really wanted.”
Photographers shoot in a variety of styles, and what style a photographer prefers can be one of the defining attributes in choosing your photographer. Styles are typically described as traditional, editorial, or photojournalistic, as Puryear explains on his blog
Your Perfect Wedding Photographer is a website that has a plethora of information about photographers, advice for couples planning a wedding, and real-life weddings and photography. They featured an article that outlines “How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer in 8 Easy Steps”, which may be a resource for you to further explore how to go about making this important decision, as they explain principles like experience, consistency, testimonials and trust.
I emphasized the importance of a professional photographer first because it is the wisest, safest, and typically best-quality option for weddings. However, the rise of social media has offered new ideas on how your guests can interact with your wedding by using the amateur photography skills they use everyday. Here are just a few ideas:
The Wedding #Hashtag – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all are #hashtag enabled. Instagram in particular is built for photo collection using your smartphone camera. By creating your own #weddinghashtag (ex: #EricAriel2016) and inviting friends and family to post candid snapshots on their Instagram accounts with the #hashtag, you can easily collect photos that a photographer may not get the chance to capture.
These Instagram posts with your special #hashtag can be transferred to a Dropbox file here.
Social Print Studio will print your Instagram photos into a calendar, a book, or displayable prints.
There are also private smartphone apps like Wedding Party that can connect the couple with their guests, including any photos that guests take on the day of.
Another popular idea is to provide your guests with a polaroid or disposable camera. Polaroid photos pasted into a blank album have become a popular alternative to a guest book, and a disposable camera is an affordable option that can easily be developed after the wedding.
No matter what your approach to wedding photography is, remember, it’s all about telling YOUR story as a couple in a way that you’ll remember fondly for generations to come.
I hope you’ve found some creative ideas here. Don’t hesitate to subscribe, comment, and share! Happy Wedding Planning!