Top Wedding Photography Mistakes

Wedding Photography Mistakes

This list of wedding photography mistakes was compiled with the help of several wedding photographers to help you avoid making them too.

Not Hiring a Professional Photographer

With advancements in camera technology and the ease of creating a website  shopping on price only has become a classic wedding photography mistake. Choose someone who is a professional and not just anyone with a nice camera and a website. Make sure the photographer you choose has an education as a photographer, has apprenticed or interned with other photographers and paid their dues, and has the experience and ability to consistently capture the moments of your wedding no matter what situations may arise. You should expect to spend between £1,500 and £4,000 for any decent wedding photography.

Don’t Wait Too Long to Book Your Photographer

“If you find a great photographer, book them there and then! Good photographers book a year or more out and won’t be available forever. Nothing is more frustrating than choosing a wedding photographer and then finding out that they booked out your date a week prior.”

Not Finalising the Wedding Day plan.

“Talk to your photographer before finalising the schedule for your wedding day. There is a lot to consider in terms of photographing and natural light. Certain times of day are more photogenic than others (midday sun casts harsh, unflattering shadows on the face while late day sun casts a beautifying warm glow on everyone).”

Not Sticking to the plan.

“Pay attention and respect the schedule you and your photographer discuss prior to your wedding. Being an hour late can make or break your images. Don’t just assume it only takes 10 minutes!”

Letting Relatives Get in the Way.

“We have a name in the industry for a guest who shows up with pro photo equipment and takes ‘unofficial wedding photos’ — we call him Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob may think he’s doing you a favour by taking more shots for the couple, but usually he just gets in the way and makes us miss our shots. Tell Bob to leave the camera at home and just enjoy his time at the wedding without working.”

Not Explaining How You Like to Look in Photos.

“Beauty is really very subjective. I ask my clients to send a photo of themselves before the wedding that they like and one that they don’t.”

Focusing Too Much on Taking Photos

“A good photojournalist can capture the story of their day and capture some artistic portraits while keeping the time away from loved ones to a minimum.”

Not Getting a Second shooter

Sometimes brides want to save a little money or feel that it is too obtrusive for more than one photographer to be present on the wedding day. But consider this: The second photographer offers another unique point of view throughout the entire day that you would not have had photographed. They generally assist the main photographer and will make setting up for shots quicker, will assist in arranging people and will be the one running back to the car to get equipment so your main photographer can keep shooting and not miss that key moment.

Not Getting Help Organising Your Guests

“Designate someone that you trust and who knows your family and friends to be in charge of organising people for portraits. That person can gather the people needed, direct them on what shots they will be in, and then release them when they are done. It keeps things moving quickly, smoothly, and enjoyably.”

Trying to Make Things “Perfect”

“Just have fun — whether it’s getting a little cake on your face or some little detail that didn’t turn out 100 percent like you had hoped, go with it, have fun, and keep smiling. The photos will be so different if the bride is scowling at her new hubby, don’t you think?”

Trying to Pose

“A good photographer gives direction for a reason: to get the best moments and shots from the day. The best thing to do is relax and act naturally. Be in the moment. Be hopelessly in love with each other — the pictures will turn out smashingly!”

Looking at the Camera All the Time

“Some couples want candid photographs, but they always feel like they need to look up at the camera and stop what they are doing. It could be an instinct, but remember — unless the photographer asks you, try to act natural for the best journalistic shots.”

Not Providing a List of “Don’t Takes”

“Let the photographer know before the wedding if there are certain photos you don’t like. It can be anything such as ‘I don’t like the photos you took of us not smiling’ or ‘I don’t like wide-angle close-ups; they make us look weird and fat.’ It totally throws off a photographer’s creative approach when a bride spills her feelings while you are in the zone.”

Asking for Too Many Shots

“If clients have done their homework and have chosen an experienced and reputable wedding photographer, then chances are that photographer does not need to be provided with a two-page spreadsheet of every combination for family portraits.”

Not Choosing a Photographer You Connect With

“Make sure that we get along. I work with clients for sometimes two years or more. If we don’t get along, it’s going to be a very long and very bumpy ride.”

Skipping the Engagement Session

“Engagement sessions increase the confidence and comfort level of the bride and groom in front of the camera and allow the bride and groom to practice having their photo taken in a fun, no-stakes atmosphere. Ultimately, an engagement session will let the bride and groom see why the photographer might tell them to do something funny, and this leads to wedding day comfort and trust in the photographer.”

Falling for Photography Trends

“Too many times, brides fall for something trendy in photography. It is critical that these images stand the test of time and are valued for each following generation. Trends are fun but rarely last! Look for a photographer with a classic shooting style, and be wary of too much Photoshop and digital ‘tricks’ and manipulations.”

Forgetting the Details

“Think about spending a few minutes to decide what other elements are important to photograph — did your sister make special wedding favours? Are you carrying important heirlooms with you? Bring an extra invitation, and try to keep those special elements easily accessible for photos.”

Not smiling – All the Time

“Tell all of the individuals walking down the aisle to look up and smile. If they are too nervous to smile, they should at least keep their head up and stare down the aisle. This helps keep the face from forming the ‘evil double chin’ look that happens when you stare at the floor while walking!”

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6 thoughts on “Top Wedding Photography Mistakes”


    Not putting enough budget to photography
    The old adage is true, you get what you pay for! Finding a great wedding photographer can be a tough task, searching through the chaff to find the wheat can be daunting. My best advice to you is to go and meet your favourite photographers. Really dig into their work and don’t just rely on what you see on a website, ask to see several real weddings they have shot.

    Not meeting the photographer beforehand
    Sounds obvious but you really do need to have a great relationship with your photographer. They will be with you, close hand, on one of the most important days of your life, so it’s important to have a great relationship with them. We like to spend quality time with our clients prior to their wedding day to help create that relaxed relationship and our pre-wedding shoots are an integral part of that.

    Not planning group shots
    In my experience, the biggest headache for any photographer is the group pictures! I appreciate that for certain generations this is an important part of the day. However, don’t get carried away with the number of group pictures you request. Remember the longer the photo team spend taking group shots, the less time they have created those lovely natural images. To get around this issue we suggest a maximum of five group pictures. If you consider each group picture could take up to five minutes each to organise, you can see quickly how precious time gets eaten up.

    Not having a shot list
    Whatever you do, don’t forget to give your photographer a list of your must-have shots. Give some thought to these, this is your chance to get across to your photographer exactly what you have planned for your big day. Photographers are not mindreaders, so if you really want a specific picture taken, let them know well in advance. Download your free wedding photography shot list right here!

    Scrimping on a make-up artist
    In my opinion, a fabulous make-up artist is worth their weight in gold. They’ll make you feel wonderful and will really add value to your images, particularly any close-up shots. Make-up artists are well-trained individuals but do make sure you have a trial prior to your day.

    Keeping the ‘fun’ guests in one place
    This is going to sound a bit odd coming from a photographer, but do give thought to your table plan. Every wedding has a group of guests who are up for a party and a good old laugh. Here’s the clever bit, spread their fun throughout the room rather than gathering them on the one table out of the way. By spreading their love, there’s a good chance there will be more laughter throughout the room, rather than in one area. This really helps the dynamics of your pictures, particularly during the speeches as laughter and fun is infectious and makes for a great wedding breakfast buzz.

    OTT table centres
    My absolute pet hate is enormous table centres. Yes, they do look amazing but they do create a few issues. Firstly they stop people from chatting across the table and virtually split the table in two. Secondly, it’s almost impossible for the photographer to capture guests naturally, because of a whopping display in the centre of the table. Do have a table centre, but less is certainly more.

    Not finalising contracts
    It sounds a bit dull, but do make sure you tie up all the financial and any contractual issues associated with your wedding photography. It’s always best to get the nitty-gritty sorted so that both parties know exactly what you are working towards.

  2. Top 5 Wedding Photography Mistakes.

    If you are searching for a good wedding photographer in Southport, there are quite a few things you need to consider even before you choose which one to employ. Your road to the perfect set of wedding photographs starts by knowing that there are a few things you need to side-step. To help you in this endeavour, we’ve put together a top 5 things to do avoid list.

    Wedding Photography Mistakes 1 – Fail to include your photographer. Many couples forget to fully include their Southport wedding photographer and make their schedule an integral part of their day. There are many things that go into making super looking photographs and you must give them the freedom and knowledge they need to plan it properly. Don’t keep them out of the loop!

    Wedding Photography Mistakes 2 – Not Hiring a Professional – Everyone knows someone who knows someone who is ‘good at photography’. It can seem like a good option to employ a friend of the family, as the cost will be quite appealing. Ask yourself a few questions:

    1 -Is the person insured? Many venues now want to see photographers (and other wedding suppliers) insurance before they will allow them to work at the venue

    2 – Has the person got spare cameras – i.e. more than 1 body and lens. Breakdowns happen!

    3 – Has the wedding photographer enough experience to work with you; do you want particular photographs etc

    4 – Have they got a landline number as well as a mobile number, professional email address (not [email protected] or etc) full website with details of other weddings?

    The feeling of getting a good deal will last right up until you get your photos and unfortunately, once the day has gone, you can’t do a re-run to get your photos redone. There may very well be some great budding amateur photographers out there, but choosing a professional is the only sensible choice.

    Wedding Photography Mistakes 3 – Not sticking to the schedule. Believe it or not, there are times of the day that are more photogenic than others. For example, at noon, the midday sun can be rather unforgiving, casting harsh and largely unflattering shadows across the faces of the bride and groom. Overrun by an hour or two and it can throw your photographer’s plans right out, resulting in less than perfect photos.

    As a Bristol wedding photographer light is very important to me. I specialise in evening and sunset images – the sun won’t wait for you to finish that conversation, or drink. If you want those stunning sunsets – you need to drop everything and come running!

    Wedding Photography Mistakes 4 – Trying to be too perfect. Your main job on the day of your wedding is to enjoy it! Spending too much time worrying about anything that is out of place will show in your face. You want to look like it’s the best day you’ve ever had and that won’t happen if you’re wearing a frown.

    Relax – the big thing about your wedding is getting married. (If you are more interested in a party then please don’t contact me). The venue, myself and other people will all attempt to make your day the best possible – leave us to do our job so you can enjoy your wedding day.

    Wedding Photography Mistakes 5 – Don’t Pose – One thing is for sure, if you ‘pose’ for your photos, they won’t look natural at all. Your wedding photographer knows just how they want you to look for the best possible shots. Trust their judgement and follow their instructions and they will turn out great.

    I use “created moments”. This is why a Pre-Wedding photography session is so important. Some simple wedding photography posing tips goes a long way on the day itself.

    One Chance – Make sure you use it.

    You only get one go at getting your wedding photographs right. Preparation is key. The sooner you get started planning them, the better the chance of a great end result.

    Interested in a chat? Get in touch – Southport wedding photographer to find out more.

    I’ve only put a few down, but if you want more wedding photography mistakes, check out the blog from The Knot.

  3. Pingback: Useful Wedding Links, Tips and tricks to help you plan your perfect wedding

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  5. Shooting a wedding is one of the toughest assignments that a photographer can take on, there are lots of potential issues and the stakes are incredibly high. To help out, our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, has compiled a list of the most common wedding photography mistakes that photographers make when starting out shooting weddings, along with some of her best wedding photography tips for how to avoid them.

  6. Beginner Wedding Photography Mistakes: 01 Inexperience

    If your family and friends know that you own a DSLR or advanced compact system camera, the chances are pretty high that at some point you will be asked to photograph a wedding.

    It’s important to be realistic about your capabilities and experience before you commit to shooting a wedding – especially if you are to be paid to do so.

    Be honest with the couple about your experience and don’t allow anyone to bully you into taking on the job to save money if you are not confident.

    It’s also important to have the right kit. Ideally you’ll need two decent cameras and a selection of lenses along with a couple of flashguns.

    What’s more, it’s absolutely crucial that you know your equipment inside out and are confident in using it. A wedding is not the time to be trying a setting for the first time.

    If you decide that being the main photographer at the wedding is too big a step, you could always offer to take on the second photographer duties, shooting from alternative angles, getting background shots and duplicating some of the pro’s shots, it’s all good experience.

    If you decide to get serious about shooting weddings the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers ( and the Guild of Photographers ( have lots of information to offer and it’s worth considering joining.

    These organisations’ websites have forums that are a great way of getting to know other photographers, including professionals who maybe looking for a second photographer for a wedding.

    Beginner Wedding Photography Mistakes: 02 Poor exposure

    The bride’s white dress is one of the most important aspects of many weddings and it can be a real headache to photograph correctly.

    Every wedding photographer’s worst nightmare is overexposing it so that it’s turned into a uniform mass of bright white with no detail, but the opposite (underexposure) makes it look grubby and grey.

    Fortunately, a little underexposure can be corrected post capture, but it needs to be just a little underexposure to avoid loosing detail in the groom’s dark suit and bringing out noise in the shadows.

    Ideally you want to use an exposure that produces an image that has detail throughout the tonal range.

    This is one area where digital cameras offer a huge advantage over film cameras, because you can check the exposure immediately after taking a shot and adjust accordingly.

    You can also use the camera’s auto exposure bracketing facility to take a sequence of images with different exposures in quick succession without incurring any extra cost.

    Activate your camera’s histogram view and aim to produce images that have a peak towards the right end of the scale, but without a huge peak at the very end.

    It can also be helpful to turn on your camera’s highlight warning so that burned out areas flash at you once the shot is taken and you can shoot again.

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