On your wedding day, there are a lot (a LOT) of things to remember. So many people and details and moments… It can be really difficult to know what and who to prioritize. The simplest thing is to ask yourself, who is the one person who has to pay even more attention to all of the people and details, than you do? You guessed it, it’s your wedding photographer.
As busy and as full as your day is for you, times that by a hundred and then factor in carrying around at least 20 pounds of equipment the whole time. And, imagine, for the duration of your wedding, having to pay attention to every single person and every single thing going on all around you…
That’s some of what your photographer does on your wedding day.
Wedding photography is a fun job, it’s rewarding and creative and fulfilling. But it’s also incredibly hard, physically draining, painstaking work.
The best thing to do is to remember what it’s like for you when you’re at your job. You can’t do your best work when you’re tired, burnt out, hungry and thirsty. And you can’t work for up to ten or twelve hours without any breaks or food. Well, neither can your wedding photographer.
That’s why the one person (other than your bride or groom) you need to be prioritizing on your wedding day, is your photographer.
How do you do that? Here’s how:
1. Feed as needed.
Make sure your photographer gets something to eat and to drink at least once every four or five hours. If they’re meeting you early in the morning, be sure that you include them in your breakfast plans, or save them something to eat when they arrive.
If you take a break for lunch or snacks, make sure your photographer gets fed then too. And if you aren’t taking a lunch break, have something ready for your photographer to eat at midday, even if you aren’t.
Include them in your dinner and don’t ask or expect them to take photos while people are eating. Not only because nobody likes a photo of themselves eating, but because after a long day, your photographer is going to be in serious need of a chance to sit down and have a break before finishing off the rest of your evening for you.
2. Make time for break times.
Your photographer is carrying around heavy photo equipment all day long. They’re also peering through a lens for hours, all the while holding a heavy camera in their hands. And your photographer has to interact all day not only with you, but with everyone at your wedding. So don’t run them ragged.
Understand that even though you may be going non-stop on your wedding day, you at least get to sit down or take a moment for yourself whenever you want to. Every few hours, your photographer needs 10 or 15 minutes to stop and give themselves a chance to rest their eyes and hands.
3. A little thank you goes a long way.
If you have gifts for your wedding party, have a gift for your wedding photographer as well. The same goes for wedding favors and/or floral centerpieces that you’re giving to your guests. When you’re thinking about who to thank for their help with your wedding day, bear this in mind… Chances are, over the weeks or months since you booked them, your photographer has already put in a lot of time for you.
They’ve met you for a free consultation, they’ve emailed you, they’ve called you, and they’ve probably sent you suggestions and shot-lists and spent at least a few unpaid hours communicating with you about your wedding photography. And they’re not finished work when your wedding is over. They have many, many more hours or days of work ahead of them to edit and finish your photos.
So when you’re giving thank you gifts and giving your thank you speech at your reception, acknowledge your photographer for the big contribution they’ve made to your wedding. Yes, they are getting paid to be there, but there’s no extra pay for all the time they’ve given you before your wedding day.
The importance of all of this can’t be overstated. How your photographer is feeling and how they communicate with you and your entire wedding party, is going to set the tone for all of your photos. Some food, some breaks, and some acknowledgment of their hard work, is all it takes for you to ensure that your photographer is able to do their very best for you. If you’ve hired a good photographer, the better they feel, the better your wedding photos will be.