While every photographer does things slightly differently there is one thing we all have in common—we want our brides to love their pictures! The following tips are just a few things that I hope will help you plan for the perfect pictures!

Communication is KEY!
When planning your wedding day, talk with your photographer about expectations, time lines, and what it will take to get the images you are most excited about. Many of the best photographers get great images because their clients work with them to create opportunities to capture those images. The more you communicate with your photographer the better they’ll be able to serve you on your wedding day!

Start the photography early!
Not only are prep photos beautiful story telling images they also give you and your bridal party an opportunity to get used to having your picture taken in a low-pressure environment. By the time the portrait session rolls around you’ll be more relaxed and feel more comfortable in front of the camera!

Personalize your Must-Have photo list!
Photo lists are a hotly debated topic amongst photographers—are they helpful or harmful, useful or useless? While the majority of photographers will agree that downloading a list of 125 “must have” pictures from TheKnot.com isn’t going to be very useful, I think we’d also agree that having a short list of what are truly the most important images to your family is a good thing. I always suggest starting by asking both families to come up with their own top 5 lists. The photos should be unique to the family and not include typical shots, like the bride and groom with parents. Personalizing the list and keeping it short will help make it more manageable for both you and your photographer on the wedding day while ensuring that the most important photos are not forgotten.

Consider seeing each other before the wedding ceremony!
While this trend goes against nearly 100 years of tradition there’s a reason it’s becoming so popular! The “First Look” shoots are an incredible way to document the moment you see each other for the first time, they give you a few precious moments alone together, and getting family photos done before the ceremony not only ensures that you’ll look your best in the photos it also frees up time after the ceremony for a photo walk at a fun location.

Do a photo walk on your way to the reception!
While most brides would love to be able to do bridal portraits at the beach or a beautiful park sometimes the days’ time line just won’t allow it—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still consider one. Talk to your photographer about the possibilities for a photo walk along the route between your ceremony and reception! Usually you’ll be able to find something you don’t have to go out of your way for and it could be as simple as an old barn, a deserted warehouse, or even an open field. Think you’ll still be pressed for time? Consider leaving the bridal party behind and doing the photo walk with just the two of you.

Add 15 minutes to all of your travel times!
One common mistake I see brides make is forgetting to account for the size of their wedding party when they plan travel times. It just takes bridal parties longer to get places! Adding 15 minutes to your travel times is an easy way to account for some of the things that will inevitably slow your bridal party down as they try to make it from one location to another and it will keep your travel time from taking away from the time you planned to spend taking pictures!