Communication is Key

One of the most common frustrations in the photography market is when couples don't communicate their photography preferences to their photographer. In-laws or family members often book the photography package without consulting the couple, leading to disappointment on the wedding day. The couple has no idea what's included in their package, and the photographer takes the blame for it.

Frequently, couples will have their in-laws or other family members book their photography package without discussing it with the bride and groom. They’re often managing the financial resources; deciding how much money goes where does appear to be one of their responsibilities. On the surface, it seems like outsourcing this decision saves the couple time and stress, but ultimately, on the day of the event, this situation almost always leads to disaster. The couple has no idea what's included in their package - unsurprising, as they weren’t there when it was chosen. Naturally, the couple has spent an exhaustive amount of effort everywhere else, so of course, they probably had a very clear idea of what they wanted photos of - a very clear idea that has never been communicated to our team in any way.

When the wedding arrives, we do our job as we’ve been hired to do, but the couple discovers that half the things they wanted aren’t even an option included in their package… and in the end, the photographer takes the blame for it.

I’m always receiving confusion and complaints, like “why didn't you get this?” or “this was missed, that was missed…” Of course, I sympathize. Their wedding is an incredibly special day; every important moment deserves to be remembered, exactly as the couple wants them to be, but this whole issue could have been prevented had they simply been more involved with their photography plans, making certain that those plans reached our ears. We provide informational packets with detailed descriptions of our services and necessary preparations the wedding party ought to have made well before the day of the event, but no one ever seems to read them.

Take one bride we worked with, for example. We’ll call her “Robin.” Robin told her mother that the most important thing to her would be an aftershoot, but her mother never communicated that to us, and Robin herself never reached out. The Big Day arrives, the wedding is beautiful, and our shots are lovely, but as the event is wrapping up, Robin learns that there’s no time left for an aftershoot. She asks us why an aftershoot wasn’t made a priority, and we explain that we’d never been informed she wanted one at all.

At any point, she could have double-checked with us directly to ensure that everything she asked for was also on our list. Likely she’d done this with her florists and her caterers, possibly more than once, but as we have experienced time and time again, her photography team was completely overlooked. Ideally, you should work with your photographers just as personally as you work with your other contributors. You can never be too certain that we’re all on the same page.

Key points:

  • Communication is not just about the photographer. Couples should communicate with all their wedding vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page.   
  • Couples should set clear expectations with their photographer. This includes discussing the type of shots they want, the style of photography, and any other specific requests.

  • Make sure to review the photographer's portfolio and discuss their work with them. This can give the couple a better understanding of the photographer's style and help them determine if it aligns with their vision.

  • Discuss the timeline of the wedding day with the photographer. It's important to have a clear understanding of the timeline for the wedding day with your photographer. This includes details such as when the ceremony and reception will take place, what time the bridal party will be getting ready, and when formal photos will be taken. Communicating this information with the photographer can help ensure that they are in the right place at the right time, and can capture all of the important moments throughout the day. It's also helpful to build in some flexibility to the schedule, in case of unexpected delays or changes.

Sarah Shidler
Sarah Shidler

 Meet Sarah, the owner and director of CJ Productions LLC, a renowned wedding photography and videography studio. With a passion for photography that has been with Sarah since childhood, this Long Island native grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York and Coral Springs, Florida, and spent her high school years in Israel, gaining valuable life experiences and perspectives.As the business owner who manages a talented team of photo and video professionals, Sarah has more than 10 years of experience planning and executing thousands of weddings. Her charisma, wit, and caring nature make her an exceptional leader and photographer, and an asset to any wedding celebration.As a mother of 3 and a devoted wife, Sarah understands the importance of family and the significance of capturing the most special moments of a wedding day. Her understanding and compassionate nature make her a joy to work with, putting clients at ease and helping them feel comfortable for their big day.

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