15 Top Wedding Photography Mistakes Not to Make

Planning your wedding photography timeline? Researching photographers? If you answered “yes” to either one of those questions, then you’re probably wondering how to make the most of your time with a professional photographer on your wedding day. After all, wedding photos are among the few tangible keepsakes you can keep after the big day is over and you set off to journey through life with your new spouse. top wedding photography mistakes

top wedding photography mistakes

Top Wedding Photography Mistakes

In a previous post, I explored some ways you can have a great wedding photography experience. Today, I’ll be walking you through the top 15 wedding photography mistakes I’ve seen couples make — so you can avoid them, and create the wedding day images of your dreams.

1. Not finalizing the wedding day schedule.

Be sure you’ve partnered with our photographer and/or wedding planner to schedule your wedding day. They can help you determine the best times for making beautiful, natural light portraits. Knowing when the best light will be at your venue will help you make breathtaking images of you and your special someone. top wedding photography mistakes

2. Not sticking to the finalized schedule.

Now that you’ve finalized your wedding day timeline with your photographer, adhere to it. Starting an hour late or running 20 minutes long getting ready can make or break your portrait session later in the day.

3. Letting relatives get in the way.

Remember, you hired your wedding photographer because you trust their skill and artistic talent. Allowing other photographers — often well-meaning relatives — to take photographs during your portrait sessions can interfere with your professional photographer’s process and cause you to miss important moments. Remind your guests and family that you’ll be able to share the professional gallery after the big day. top wedding photography mistakes

4. Focusing too much on taking photos.

Be sure you spend time enjoying your friends, family, and guests. Your photographer can candidly document these times outside of your scheduled portrait sessions. And these photo-journalistic images are sometimes the most memorable!

5. Not getting a second shooter.

All of my wedding photography collections include a second photographer because the added photographer can offer an important alternate angle of view during your biggest moments: the first look, the ceremony, and your first dance as husband and wife, just to name a few. Beyond that, a second photographer can help speed up your timeline by shooting in a different location alongside your lead photographer.

top wedding photography mistakes

6. Not getting help organizing your guests.

If you have a long family portrait list, engage your planner, venue coordinator, or even a responsible friend to help organize groups for each portrait shot. That way, your photographer can focus on making beautiful images of you with your closest family and friends, rather than corralling people on their way to cocktail hour. top wedding photography mistakes

7. Perfectionism.

Not everything will go according to plan. Expect to roll with the punches when a little detail doesn’t turn out 100% as you expected. If worry about what went “wrong” you’ll miss out on other special moments throughout the day.

8. Trying to Pose.

Relax and be yourself with your spouse. A good photographer will give direction to help you look your best in your portraits. If you’re in the moment and loving each other, your images are sure to be amazing! I coach all of my couples to look their best — learn more about my posing process here.

9. Looking at the camera all the time.

It’s certainly important to get some shots of you and your spouse smiling into the camera, but looking up whenever your photographer is about to take a picture alters the candid image and takes you out the moment you were having with your spouse or a guest. top wedding photography mistakes

top wedding photography mistakes

10. Asking for too many shots.

If you’ve done your homework and partnered with an experienced, professional photographer, he or she won’t need a detailed list of every moment to document. While Pinterest boards and other planning tools can be informative and helpful, trust your photographer’s insight to capture the important moments of the day, but do let him or her know if you’ve planned religious or cultural events that might be outside the normal flow of a wedding day.

11. Skipping the engagement session.

The engagement session is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know your photographer and prepare you to make beautiful wedding day images. Engagement sessions help couples build trust with their photographer; the more comfortable you feel with him or her, the more relaxed you’ll be on your wedding day. top wedding photography mistakes

12. Not hiring a professional photographer.

Don’t just engage anyone with a camera and website or Instagram account. Make sure the photographer you hire has the knowledge and experience to beautifully document your wedding day. Ask for references and check online reviews!

13. Forgetting the details.

Be sure your photographer knows about the personally curated elements of the day. Did your mom do the calligraphy on your invitations? Did you and your sister paint the wedding favors together? Are you carrying family heirlooms with you? Let your photographer know about personal elements, as these are such a big part of your wedding day story.

top wedding photography mistakes

14. Following all the trends.

It is critical that your images stand the test of time, so look for a photographer with a clean, classic shooting style. Images that are filled with digital tricks, colorful filters, and Photoshop manipulations might not be as cool as we think 10 or 20 years from now.

15. Waiting too long to book your photographer.

If you find a photographer whose work you love and you connect with their personality, book them! The best photographers fill their schedules a year or more in advance. As soon as you have a venue and a date selected, reach out to your favorite photographer for their best availability.