7 things you should tell your wedding photographer...

... and 3 things you shouldn't tell him!

There is some information related to your wedding that is invaluable for us photographers (but also for videomakers) in order to do our job better. Since this is a unique event in your life, it would be a good idea that the professional you have chosen telling the wedding day at least ask you for the information that I will list in this article.

If you are our customers, don't worry: we will ask you in time for all the details we need to produce the best wedding photo shoot for you. Maybe, if you are curious, read the article to the end to know what to expect, but above all the reasons why we do it.
For those who are here looking for wedding tips, also on how to choose your wedding photographer, is welcome: in your search for a photographer / videomaker it could be useful ask the professionals in front of you what information they need. So you'll be able to evaluate them based on what you have learned here. Let's get started!

Bride and groom silhouette at sunset

7 things you should tell your wedding photographer

1. The Wedding Timeline

It is essential that your photographer knows in detail your Wedding Timeline. Actually it is not important for only us photographers, but for all the professionals who will participate as suppliers in your wedding: I therefore recommend that you write it down once it is clear what the day will be and, at that point, send it to everyone.
It is likely that some of the times indicated are purely indicative, but it is still a track to follow and to which everyone must comply. Furthermore, in retrospect none of your suppliers will be able to say "But I didn't know it...".
Obviously, if you have hired a Wedding Planner, he will be in charge of all this organizational part, including communication of the timeline to all your suppliers.

As far as our work is concerned, knowing in advance what the places, spaces and events to be portrayed will be, allows us to better organize our equipment, to manage a possible second / third photographer or assistant and to be even more prepared for any eventuality.

Wedding Timeline

2. Special moments

In your wedding timeline, in addition to indicating the salient moments, also think about those that can be defined as "minor" but which will help to give character to your wedding, of course if you are aware of them. Even if perhaps for you these are normal or obvious situations because you have been planning them for some time, they do not necessarily have to be for us:

  • the intervention of a family member you particularly care about: it can be for example a speech or a singing or an artistic performance in general;
  • a particular ritual that you perform before important occasions;
  • reading a letter you exchanged shortly before;
  • a distinctive element during the ceremony, for example one of the symbolic rituals we wrote about in this post;
  • special situations during the reception or party: a flash mob planned with your friends, a surprise that one of you has prepared for the other person or that both of you have prepared for yours guests, party games;
  • a bouquet toss outside the box (we wrote here about it) or delivery of the bouquet to one of your friends;
  • cutting cake different from the usual, which involves a Show cooking, a live preparation of the wedding cake made by you bride and groom with the help of some guests!
  • an unusual musical accompaniment for the Wedding Party, with related themed dances: from salsa to mambo, from country to 1920s jazz, we have heard and seen a lot!
  • And much more: a karaoke open to all guests, a fireworks show, the setting up of special favors and so on.
In short, you will have understood by now (and even taken some ideas) that you can really achieve anything during your wedding.

Show cooking of the wedding cake
Bride finishing the Wedding Cake
Cake cutting at a Wedding

A cake made by bride and groom live in front of all guests!

Then we must add the events that you are not aware of, because they are organized as surprises from friends or relatives: for this reason we always ask you for one or more contacts of people that you think can organize such things in order to call them a few days before the wedding. This is therefore another important information that should not be underestimated and should be provided to your photographer.

3. Restrictions of any kind

Do not underestimate also the communication of any restrictions or difficulties that we professionals may have in carrying out our work, for example:

  • difficulty finding parking near a particular place;
  • requesting a special permission to access an environment or even to be able to photograph it;
  • restrictions on the range of movement or on the use of equipment such as tripods or flashes (this can happen in some churches or other holy place). We hardly use the flash, but tripod and monopod are tools often used by the videomaker.
Sometimes you have to be a little patient with some priests, who impose restrictions and prohibitions, often because they have previously had to deal with professionals who are too intrusive or disrespectful of the religious rite of marriage. In such cases, and it is up to you to evaluate it, it would be advisable for your photographer to present himself in advance to the priest, in order to make it clear that he will not interfere or disturb the religious service in any way. I can assure you that his attitude will change considerably towards you and the photographer himself!

Bride and groom praying in church

Only if he has great respect for the religious function, a photographer is granted to take this type of photo

4. The list of people present while you'll getting ready

Another important information to tell to your photographer is the list of who will be present while you'll getting ready. This will first of all help him understand what kind of people you are and get to know better your character. Also, if you think you have someone's company, it will quickly become clear that those are the people you care about the most, as well as those who are recognizable by their roles (e.g. bridesmaids, best men) and closest family members. We will pay attention to all these people and they will be followed with more attention than the others.
Finally, in the case of the presence of many people, perhaps with the chance to attend a small buffet, the photographer can help you in the organization and management of time, having experience of similar situations.

Groom uncorking a champagne bottle

Celebrations with friends and relatives during the groom's preparation

5. Group photos and special requests

Since you're reading this post on our website, it's probably because you're looking for a documentary or photojournalist wedding photographer . Usually those who really do documentary or photojournalist wedding photo shoots will hardly suggest taking group photographs on the day of the event.
So, if you want this kind of photos, it is good to tell your photographer in time: he will certainly be able to guide you to obtain original wedding group photos and he will also take care of remembering you when you are taken by the celebrations. However, keep in mind that, if you want not "classic" but creative group photos, you need time for each single picture (each person has to be be guided in the pose) and, if the groups to be photographed were many and there was no time enough, you will be forced to have classic and static photos, even if technically perfect. So, before the wedding day inform your photographer of your needs so that he can prepare in time everything he needs.

The same goes for other types of photos: if you care in particular for a guest or for any element of your wedding, let us know in advance, so as to be sure to have a memory of that. It may be that that person or object will be photographed independently by your photographer, but don't take anything for granted because someone or something important to you might not catch his attention.

For other types of requests, continue to the next section!

Bride with bridesmaids

A portrait of bride and bridesmaids, all rigorously dressed alike, is a must

6. A list of all suppliers

There isn't much to think about for this communication: it's a simple list of all the suppliers who will offer services at your wedding.
You will certainly already have all the information relating to them: as you find them, add them to your list (which will be, I recommend, in electronic format) and enter a mobile contact and an e-mail address for each of them.

In some cases they will not be used, but in others they can be valuable contacts. As far as our work is concerned, it may happen that we need to contact the Make-up Artist in order to achieve the best light during the preparation of the bride: we can choose with him/her the best place for the bride to have the make-up; or the musician, the musical group or the DJ who will provide both the amplification for the ritual or any speeches, and an adequate musical accompaniment: they are excellent allies of videomakers, for whom the audio aspect is very important for their video.

The utility does not stop at the day of the event, but also continues afterwards, and it is for all suppliers: maybe the Make-up Artist would like to have a photograph of the result of his/her work taken by a professional rather than by a mobile phone; or musicians would like to have a video clip to show their live performances.

In short, by distributing a simple list you will not only have advantages for you thanks to the prior communication between us suppliers, but you will also be doing everyone a great favor, guaranteeing us the possibility to contact each other even after the day of the wedding, without asking you!

Wedding table setting up
Flower designer specialized in weddings

Team of La Sposa degli Alberi (a wedding designer) setting up the table

7. Elements we should be well aware of

We are very discreet, but sometimes we get involved by some guests in an exchange of words or ideas. If you want, you can provide us with great help in situations that could become embarrassing: being aware of particularly heartfelt divorces, second marriages, illnesses, recent deaths or similar news would allow us to handle any difficult circumstances that could come to create.

We know, this is not exactly the ideal topic you would like to talk about about your wedding and such events are rare to present themselves, but it is always better to take precautions to avoid unpleasant inconveniences on one of the best days of your life.

The 3 things you should NOT say to your photographer

Let's get to the things you shouldn't say or ask to your Wedding Photographer!

1. "I am sending you a gallery of photo examples I would like"

While it is imperative to tell your photographer if there are people or things you want to be sure they are photographed, it is not to tell him how you would like them to be photographed. Indeed, it is deleterious! Extend all this to all the wedding photographs (yes, even your portraits!), I'll explain the reason immediately.

Photographers who, like me, always want to innovate theirselves, grow up at the same time personally and professionally, photo after photo. Given that there is always some new technical or artistic element to learn and master, the most important phase of this growth is the personal one: everyone has their own goals to reach and there will always be another one following the just achieved one.

The photographs I take today are the result of all the photographs I took until yesterday, the result of my experiences and my emotions: if you, looking at my photographs, are excited and moved, recognizing yourself in those pictures, and then you chose me as your wedding photographer, you surely will not tell me "I am sending you a gallery of examples of photos I would like". It wouldn't even occur to you if you understood who I am and how I work.

Because you would know that in that case I would take a photograph that I don't feel mine, it would be a mere technical exercise without a soul, a copy – which could even be superior from a technical point of view – but empty of any emotion.

Would you like a photograph like this for your wedding or one that takes you back in time, to those same authentic emotions you feel that day, when you look at it again in 10, 20, 30 years?

An original wedding photography

Only they, Simona and Andrea, have this photograph: it is linked to them, to their way of being, to their souls

2. "I don't want to be portrayed while I'm getting ready"

When you read a book, you do it from start to finish. I know, there are some of you who peek into the following chapters, but it is only irrepressible curiosity. When you watch a movie or TV series, you watch it in its entirety, from start to finish. For TV series, some are looking for clues about the plot, but I think more than anyone has risked their lives with Game of Thrones spoilers.

So why would you want your wedding day story to start halfway through? It's as if Little Red Riding Hood, instead of Once upon a time ... started with "Knock, knock." "Who is it?".

How can a girl who's soon to get married ask that she doesn't want the preparation photos? Since I received few such requests only in terms of quotes and not from existing customers, I thought a lot about what the reasons for this request could be and I gave myself some answers.

There are people who may be shy and ashamed of being portrayed in a moment of such intimacy, but this can easily be overcome by choosing a person to be absolute trust as a photographer and to feel at ease with. In these cases, simply asking for a quote by e-mail is counterproductive: this fear will be increasingly difficult to overcome and that bride will hardly feel really free on her wedding day. Better look for the photographer by looking him in the eye to see if he is the right person: you can understand it even in a video call, but please have a closer encounter with him.

Another type of people may consider that moments not worthy to remember because, after all, you are wearing makeup, combing your hair and wearing a dress. And the emotions that grow passing time? And the tender gaze of your parents, delicately resting on you brides and grooms, absorbed in your thoughts? And you petting your dog or cat, your life partner? And that strange light that will begin to shine in your eyes?
I can say that I have seen many preparations of grooms and brides: I assure you that there are an infinite number of small moments to remember. It would be a shame to let them flow into the river of memory without freezing them in a photograph.

Finally, there are those who think that a few less hours of photographer's work can save a lot of money. Actually this is not the case because a wedding photographer still works for the whole day and, even if he were busy for a few hours less, he could not commit himself to other jobs. The savings would therefore be small in the face of an immense loss of memories: is it worth it?

A friend shakes the bride's hand during her preparation

A very sweet gesture between Alice, the bride, and Marta, one of her closest friends

3. "I don't need a second shooter"

Sure, it may be possible: I have handled many weddings quite happily myself. However, it is an aspect that must be evaluated together with your photographer: according to your needs and expectations, he will advise you appropriately and will clarify any advantages of the presence of the second photographer and any disadvantages in case you don't want it.
Unfortunately, when you are not a photographer or have no experience, you cannot know in detail the problems and their solutions: if you trust your photographer – if you don't, you hired the wrong person – let yourself advise serenely.


Yes, I know you now have a little worm in your head making you think: "Since I want candid wedding photos, what is the point of informing the photographer in such detail about what will happen during my wedding?".
It's easy to explain! Providing this type of information allows us:

  • to be prepared in terms of equipment to handle the most "difficult" situations: the need for additional lighting or cameras are more frequent than you imagine;
  • to not be surprised by unexpected events, having the chance to
    • take position to get the best perspective;
    • take time to properly configure our equipment;
    • be in the right place at the right time and not far away or even from behind;
  • to work calmly and therefore focus on emotions;
  • to fulfill your requests and thus satisfy you in full.

That said, there is always the chance that something unexpected will happen. So you have to be prepared for the idea that a difficulty may arise, but you have tp be ready to face it with us with the right mood, which is always having fun together by spending one of the most exciting days of your life with serenity.

IstantiSenzaTempo|We take care of Your Memories

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