Top 5 most common pitfalls & mistakes to avoid with your wedding photos

Weddings are a wild concoction of love, joy, and excitement – aaand the inevitable stress of wanting everything to be picture-perfect. And this is the key word here. ‘Picture-perfect’. I mean, everyone wants their favourite memories of the happiest day of their lives to be captured perfectly. And yeah, sure: A LOT of that does […]

Weddings are a wild concoction of love, joy, and excitement – aaand the inevitable stress of wanting everything to be picture-perfect.

And this is the key word here. ‘Picture-perfect’.

I mean, everyone wants their favourite memories of the happiest day of their lives to be captured perfectly. And yeah, sure: A LOT of that does depend on choosing the right photographer for you.

But as a wedding photographer, I can also give you a unique glimpse (okay, actually more than just a glimpse) into some of the most common ways I’ve seen couples sabotage their own wedding photos.

So before we dive into the world of tulle and toasts, let’s chat about some of the common missteps couples make when planning their wedding photos – and how you can sidestep these pitfalls to make sure your wedding photos are, actually, picture-perfect.

1. Not having a pre-wedding brief with their photographer

Okay, so let’s say you’ve decided not to elope – and now you’re knee-deep in seating charts and cake flavours. Well then, let’s add one more thing to your to-do list: a pre-wedding consultation with your wedding photographer – me (well… hopefully).

Now, this doesn’t have to be a super-serious business meeting. In fact, you can think of it as a coffee date if you want. But instead of gossiping about your high school friends, we’ll be plotting how to capture your love story.

But why is this so crucial?

Because mind-reading is not included in any of my photography packages (yet). So, we need to have a talk about your vision for your special day. We need to go over the vibe you’re going for, the shots you absolutely must have (yes, including the one of your fiancé’s face when they see you for the first time), and how we can turn your wedding day chaos into a visual fairytale.

This is also the perfect time to get those good vibes going. Because let’s be real here: you’ll be way more comfortable in front of my camera on your wedding day if I’m already a friend – and not a total stranger to you. And this will show in your photos too…

Sounds good? It gets even better…

If you can squeeze it in somewhere between two cake tasting sessions, I’d highly recommend scheduling an engagement photoshoot as well. Besides getting to know each other better (and countless other benefits detailed in this blog post), it will also give us an opportunity to actually work together – before your wedding day – with zero stakes on the table.

2. Keeping their vision all to themselves

The silent treatment never works.

I’m guessing it doesn’t work in your relationship – and did I mention that I’m still kind of bad at reading minds? So, clear communication with your wedding photographer is super important. And this means telling me exactly what you want – and don’t want – on your wedding photos.

Want to recreate that Pinterest photo where the couple is frolicking through a field looking effortlessly in love? – Great, let me know! Or do you have a totally new concept for your first look that you’re still kind of unsure about? – I can’t wait to hear all about it! 

Maybe you want your doggos to join your first photoshoot as a married couple at golden hour? – What a great idea, let’s talk about it! Or what if you don’t want any photos taken of Uncle Bob beyond his 9th shot of tequila, because that would be… khm… maybe a bit too candid? – Great that you told me, I’ll watch out for him!

I’m all about bringing your dream photos to life – but I have to know what they are, and what they aren’t. So, just tell me anything and everything. There’s no such thing as a dumb request, and I’ll be the last person to judge you because of how you want me to bring your vision to life.

So talk to me! And while we’re at it, let’s keep those lines of communication open. Change your mind about wanting photos during makeup application? – Tell me! Decide you want an impromptu shoot at the taco truck? – I’m all over it. Regular check-ins mean we’re always on the same page and you won’t end up with wedding photos that feel as mismatched as socks on a rooster.

3. Forgetting that their wedding venue is more than just a pretty place

Your venue isn’t just a backdrop to your love story. It’s almost like a character in the story of your big day.

So before you say “I do” to a place based on its amazing chandeliers, let’s talk about what it offers photographically.

For example…

…can we sneak into that secret garden for a romantic shoot, or will we have to contend with golfers teeing off in the background?
…can you get ready on-site, or will you have to organize the logistics of getting there in your beautiful white dress?
…does it have large windows to flood the place with natural light, or do we have to go outside to get those golden hour shots in?

Speaking of – does it even have an ‘outside’ at all?

Understanding the venue’s layout, lighting quirks, or secret photo spots is like doing a recon mission – it’ll pay off when we find those hidden nooks perfect for intimate shots or discover the magical hour when the light hits just right.

And regardless of whether they’ve shot there before, a good wedding photographer will always offer to help you during your special recon mission. After all, it’s kind of our job to make sure you get the best wedding photos ever!

Plus, chatting with venue staff beforehand will help us avoid being photobombed by the catering crew – which is always a nice cherry on top.

4. Not having a “Plan B” for bad weather

Unless you’re getting hitched in a greenhouse, weather can be (almost) as unpredictable as your cousin’s plus-one choice.

That’s why having a Plan B (and C) is crucial. Like, yeah, rain can add a touch of drama and romance with those moody skies. Otherwise ‘Singing in the rain’, ‘Dancing in the rain’, and ‘Kissing in the rain’ wouldn’t seem like such a good idea.

But rain is only good IF you’re not drenched and miserable.
– the classic example of ‘too much of a good thing’

Think about the season too – it’s not just about the rain, after all. A summer wedding might mean battling harsh midday sun – while a winter affair could give us less daylight to play with. And all these factors play into crafting your perfect wedding schedule…

I’ve seen way too many couples stress out because of some ‘unexpected’ weather condition (like, hello: it CAN actually snow in the winter). So sure, have your ideal schedule with outdoor photos under the old oak tree and all that – but make sure to have a ‘weather-proof plan’ too, and always keep your wedding photographer in the loop.

5. Treating their photographer’s time-table as merely a vague suggestion

I’ve said this before, and I’m gonna say it again: timelines can make or break weddings – for both you and your guests.

I mean, beyond capturing magical photographs, weddings are all about having a good time together with loved ones. So, all your guests really want to do at your wedding is have some fun while being part of your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And sure, I know you want to document all your favourite memories with all your favourite people. But you actually need to let those favourite memories happen before we can do that.

So, here’s where having a decent timeline comes in – and this is where your photographer can really help you out!

For example, I always help my couples plan enough time for all their must-have shots. I listen to understand their vision, and take into account the unique features of their wedding – such as the their special requests, the number of guests, the types of photographs they want, the number of desired locations, and the venue itself.

Only then can I start working with you to craft a plan to bring your vision to life – with just the right mix of candid shots and posed photographs that reflect who you are as a couple, and what you want for your wedding day.

But I can’t make that happen if you don’t trust my advice when it comes to scheduling. Like, squeezing family portraits into a 15-minute window before cocktail hour is like trying to stuff a dozen clowns into a VW Beetle – it’s possible, but it’s definitely not pretty.

In short, we need to have a game-plan for group shots, family photos, your first look, and hero photos. Afterwards, the only thing smoother than the process of capturing the happiest day of your lives will be your moves on the dance floor.

So there you have it: your no-BS guide to nailing those wedding shots. Remember, your wedding photos will be the only lasting evidence of your big day (no pressure), so let’s make sure they’re as epic as the stories you’ll tell about them.

Now go forth and plan your big day! And when you’re ready to turn those plans into breathtaking photographs that even your future grandkids will gush over, give me a shout – I’ll bring my camera and my A-game.