Veteran wedding photographer Max Cohen of Cohen Studios in Raleigh, North Carolina (www.cohenstudios.com), offers the following simple, common-sense tips to ensure that the photographic element of your wedding day goes smoothly.
(1) Stay in close contact with your photographer. Wedding photographers love organization, so if you know of any new developments in your plans, call your photographer, or send an email, immediately.
(2) Schedule as much time for your photographer as possible. With family formals, bridal party sessions, and couples sessions, shooting can take up to one or two hours, depending on the size of your party.
(3) Make sure your wedding party knows precisely where they need to be and when they need to be there. You’d be surprised by how many wedding schedules get pushed back half an hour because no one can find Uncle Bob.
(4) If your ceremony site is outdoors and at high noon, make sure your altar is shaded. Photographers love this because it keeps those dark shadows off your face, and you’ll love it because you’ll be more comfortable.
(5) Make sure your photographer gets fed! Remember that they’re on their feet, running around in a suit or heels all day. (Some photographers note this in their contracts.) The last thing you need on your big day is a fatigued and grumpy photographer.
(6) Talk to your photographer about yourself before the wedding! One thing a lot of photographers really love to do is to shoot something unique and even a little crazy during an engagement session or bridal portrait. To make sure those unique moment are relevant to who you are, let your photographer get to know you before the big day.
(7) When it comes to photographers, the old axiom is true: You get what you pay for. The main thing many studios factor into their pricing is how much time and energy they devote to YOU. If the photographer you’re looking at is charging an abnormally low rate, more than likely they won’t give you the time and flexibility that you want and need.
(8) The most difficult time during a wedding is the family “formals” photo session. The clock is ticking before cocktail hour and Uncle Bob is complaining about his feet. To make the whole process go faster, have a detailed list of all the family members needed in each shot. Talk to your photographer about this beforehand. That way he or she can create a family shot list and cut the time for this tedious process in half.
(9) The couples session is when you and your photographer really get creative. Try to keep as open a mind as possible and see what ideas your photographer has in mind. Sometimes poses can feel awkward, but they only look awkward if you’re not into it.
(10) You may not think this is important, but it is. Don’t try to fit into a wedding gown that’s too small for you. Brides HAVE passed out because they tried to make their dress go the extra mile. Stay comfortable, stay hydrated, and stay conscious! (Of course, “those” memories can have their own little charm…)
About Cohen Studios
A graduate of the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, Max Cohen of Cohen Studios has been a professional wedding photographer for five years, working in both digital photography and film. At H.I.P., he was exposed to a wide range of technical skills and studied under world-renown photographers as instructors and guest speakers. Describing himself as a “generalist,” he enjoys all types of subjects, from children and high school senior portraits to commercial and editorial assignments. For more information, visit www.cohenstudios.com.