1) Who are these people? Does the lovely pose/picture you just pinned to give to your photographer actually tell your story? It might be a beautiful picture, but if it doesn’t reflect who you and your spouse-to-be are, then you’re going to have a lovely photograph of someone else’s personality.
2) Is this realistic? Some of those photographs are not actually taken in the hustle and bustle tight schedule of a wedding day. Some of them are fashion model shoots which take hours to prepare and get just right. Make sure you get the advice of your photographer before setting your heart on something which might not be feasible to execute. The photo at left was requested from a Pinterest board by one of my couples. This was beautiful and easy to execute, so this was a good example of what is feasible.
3) Don’t manacle your photographer. Giving a huge “shopping list” of photographs to your photographer which eats up the majority of the wedding day might get you a set of photographs you like, but you run the very real risk of eliminating creativity from the photographer you hired to photograph your wedding. I have had a few instances where the shot list was so extensive, that my second shooter and I spent the entire day worrying about fulfilling the list and because of it probably missed special moments that might have truly defined the wedding day’s love, joy, emotion, and fun.
4) Don’t stress out your photographer. Giving your photographer a super-extensive shot list also creates anxiety with your photographer, because yes, there are some brides who if you miss one out of forty shots, they will give you a less than stellar review. It has happened. Trust the photographer you hired to capture the essence of your wedding day. If you don’t trust the photographer, why did you hire them in the first place?
5) Don’t surprise your photographer. Couples frequently ask if I’ve shot at a certain venue before. This is mostly to ensure I’m not caught off guard by unexpected technical limitations of the space. In other words, you don’t want your photographer to have any surprises on your wedding day. Giving your photographer a Pinterest shopping list on the day of your wedding is pretty much a surprise that could backfire on you. Some of your requests might require certain preparations such as lens and lighting equipment choices. Your photographer also needs time to look at your request and digest it, in order to do his or her best to facilitate those shots. Finally, if there are requested shots that might not be feasible in the flow of your day, your photographer needs time to figure that out and let you know in advance so that you can seek an alternative.
6) Give your photographer extra time. The normal flow of executing portraits can be profoundly affected by a specific shopping list of photographs. Each one has to be posed and staged, and thus extra time is needed. If your portrait session should have only taken twenty minutes, and your extensive list of magazine fashion wedding shots blows that up to sixty minutes, kiss your cocktail hour goodbye.
There is nothing wrong with Pinterest. As I said, it can be an excellent resource for ideas. I’ve even used certain shots requested this way, as part of my portfolio, because they’re really excellent ideas. Just make sure those ideas reflect who you are as individuals and as a couple. Otherwise, you might as well cut out a picture from a magazine and frame it in your home. When I meet with couples initially, most of the time they compliment me on how natural the photographs look. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve that if I am spending my entire day worrying about fulfilling a bride’s shopping list. I encourage you to ask yourself: What is more important, a stylized photograph, or the real story of your wedding day?
Michael Chadwick is a multiple award-winning wedding photographer located in Medford, NJ. Michael Chadwick Photography offers photography services all over New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania. All images copyright 2014 and may not be distributed or reproduced without express written permission.
Medford, NJ 08055