It’s no secret that we love wedding photos around here. While we normally only share a handful from each day, when our couples and their photographers send us their photos we get to see hundreds from each wedding. We have seen a lot of amazing photos over the years, from emotional first looks and sweet portraits to epic night shots and perfectly laid out flat lays, and nothing makes us happier than knowing our couples will get to relive their big day again and again through their photos. 

With that said, though, there are a lot of wedding photographers out there. We have a list of recommended photographers that have shot weddings with us that you can check out here, but we’re also firm believers that there’s a perfect photographer out there for every couple so do your research and find who you will click with. As you’re narrowing down your list and figuring out which photographer to book – and once you’ve selected one – here are some of our favorite things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best wedding photos that you absolutely LOVE. 

Consider the photography style that you gravitate towards. 

A huge part of loving your wedding photos is choosing a photographer who shoots in the style that you like. If you love light and airy photos, you probably won’t want to choose a photographer who primarily does moody edits. Similarly, if artistic, creative shots are what you’re after, you’ll want to find a photographer that’s experienced in that style. This is also probably somewhere where you shouldn’t “branch out” and try a style that you haven’t done before. While it can be tempting to go with a well known photographer that’s super popular, if their vibe isn’t a natural mesh for the style of photos you like then you probably won’t be as happy with them long term. 

Ask your photographer if they have a sample album (or two) that they can show you. 

This is so so important. Every single photographer can have shining moments with a handful of photos, but you want to choose a photographer that captures the entire day how you want it to be captured. Once you’ve really narrowed in on your photographers and think you’ve found the one, ask if you can see an entire wedding day album, not just the highlight photos. Did they capture special moments how you want? Are the posed photos still natural? Are the candid photos on the dance floor what you’re envisioning? The album won’t be identical to what you’re going to get, but it will give you a great feel for if it’s a photographer that will capture your day how you want in its entirety. 

Consider booking an engagement shoot. 

We seriously can’t recommend engagement photos with your photographer enough! Not only will it help you build a connection with your photographer and make you more comfortable interacting with them on the day of your wedding, but it will also give you experience with their photos. You’ll likely be more comfortable posing with one another as a couple and you may even learn that you have a favorite pose or side that you didn’t know beforehand. Taking those lessons and translating them to the wedding day means you’re more likely to have even more photos that you love from your big day. We also recommend bridal photos to fine tune your bridal day look – you can read more about why we love them here. 

Plan things that you love for your big day. 

Aside from the photos themselves being high quality, one of the best ways to ensure that you love your wedding photos is to love what the photos are actually of. Plan out the details. Take time to choose things that you love. Incorporate sentimental pieces or unique aspects. Design a wedding day that you not only want to show off but that is also a reflection of your love and relationship. When you see all of that come together in a photo it will be worth every minute of planning and moment of stressing over decisions. 

Give yourself flexibility in your timeline. 

If you’re rushing through photos you probably aren’t going to be as happy with the final product. Make sure you allow enough time in your timeline for your photographer to take all of the shots you’ve asked for without having to be a drill sergeant. Timeline flexibility also relates to the in between too, not just the actual photo blocks of time. Are you going nonstop during your reception, or do you have time to sneak away for sunset photos? Are you tight on hair and makeup, or will you have time to chill for a moment before getting dressed? Those little moments to take a deep breath and soak in what’s going on often allow for great photos. 

Have a list of important photos, but don’t try to copy everything. 

If there are photos you absolutely want to have from your big day, let them know! But, don’t give them a Pinterest board and expect to copy the photos directly. This is your day and your photos will be unique to who you are. Pinterest can be a great place to get inspiration for photo ideas, but more often than not you’ll be disappointed if you try to get the exact photo that someone else has taken. It’s much more important to focus on the photos of the people you want and details you want to make sure are captured, not an exceptionally long list of every single photo. 

Be a good human. 

This should go without saying, but if you’re fun to be around, build a relationship, and are respectful of your photographer then it’s much more likely to be a success. While you are paying them, your photographers are people too and deserve to be treated well. Be nice, make sure you give them time to eat at your reception, and try to pay attention when they’re lining everyone up for those massive family photos. They want your photos to turn out great too. 

Trust your photographer. 

Your photographer is looking through the camera and knows what works. While it can sometimes feel awkward to fake laugh in a group, to pull your chin up and out, or to stand in a certain way, trust that they see the final vision and that it’s working. Similarly, if they give you little prompts like sexily whispering the last thing you ate or telling the worst joke that you know, trust them. They’re likely pulling from years of experience on what works to get couples to loosen up and get REAL photos of real emotions. 

Focus on connection. 

Finally, when it comes to wedding photos, your photos as a couple will almost always be one of the main focal points. When you’re taking those photos, forget about the photographer and focus on your connection with one another. Tell each other how you feel. Enjoy them moment and have fun with it. Be silly, be serious, just be yourself. Touch, kiss, flirt, joke, dance, just soak up all of the love that you’re experiencing on your wedding day. 

I don’t know if we’ve ever opened a wedding album and not liked the photos that we’ve seen. When it comes down to it, every couple will have at the very least a handful of wonderful photos that show just how in love they are and capture special moments. While we want you to have that handful, we really want you to have a whole album where you’re smiling at all of the photos. The posed ones, the candid ones, the silly ones, even some of the not perfectly in focus ones. Your wedding photos should be a reflection of your day and allow you to feel like you’re right back in the moment when looking at them. Taking the time to find the right photographer, building a relationship with them while planning, and feeling 100% comfortable on your wedding day pays off tenfold when you receive an album that’s everything you’ve dreamed of and more. 

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