There's a lot more to working with your wedding photographer than just signing the contract and telling them where they'll need to be. With so many details, moving parts, and moments on your wedding day timeline, having a well-informed and well-equipped photographer will help the day go more smoothly for both of you—meaning you'll get all the images you want, and then some! To help you set yourself (and your wedding photographer!) up for success on your big day, we spoke with Jennifer and Shawn Moreau, the husband-and-wife team behind Moreau & Co. Photography, to outline the little things you can do to prep your photographer in advance that he or she will totally appreciate.
Send an Invitation
Invitations are how you set the tone for your wedding with your guests, but it can help your photographer, too! "Giving your photographers a peek into what you're planning helps them to prepare for the mood and style of your big day," says Jennifer. Another perk? "Sending an invitation beforehand means your photographer can bring it to your wedding to include in those detail shots!"
Have Your Details in One Place
Speaking of details, do your best to keep them all together. Jennifer explains, "Getting ready the morning of your wedding can sometimes be chaotic. Since you have so much going on, this is the perfect time for your photographer to slip away and take pictures of your meaningful details and accessories—before you put them on, of course!" Make sure your rings, jewelry, cufflinks, garter, letters, and flowers are in a centralized place so your photographer can grab them and go instead of trying to corral items while you're having your hair done.
Adds Shawn, "More organization means less interruption for you!"
Nominate an in-the-Know Friend to Help with Family Photos
"Family photos can be overwhelming, depending on how large your families are," says Shawn. "Since your photographer hasn't met your aunts, uncles, or grandparents, it can be really helpful to have someone who knows everybody on hand to assist with directing and grouping people." Be prepared with a shot list that includes names of family groupings so both your photographer and the designated friend can move people along smoothly and get everyone to the party!
Feed Your Photographers When You're Eating
You know you need to feed your photographers (and some of your other key vendors!), but the timing is just as important! "You don't want your photographer to miss anything important while they're in another room having dinner," says Shawn. "By arranging to have their food served while you're eating, they'll be able to charge their batteries, unload memory cards or load new film, and refuel after a few hours on their feet, all while nothing too exciting is taking place." After all, you don't need any shots of you or your guests cutting into that filet, right?
"When you're done eating, it's time to cut the cake, mingle, and dance," Jennifer continues. "Since your photographer ate at the same time, they'll be ready to jump up and get back behind the lens when you're ready to go, without missing any important moments."
Provide a Vendor List
This is a key detail, especially for any couples looking to have their photos featured on a blog or in a magazine. "Your wedding day wouldn't exist without the vendors you hand-picked for your wedding, and they deserve credit!" says Jennifer. "When photographers look to submit your photos for publication, they'll be asked for all your vendor information, to both credit the people who worked so hard to bring your vision to life and to share the inspiration and contact information with couples planning their own wedding day."
Credit Your Photographer on Social Media
"This might seem trivial, but tags and links on social media are a huge way your photographer generates referrals," says Shawn. "And referrals mean new business!" Whether it's a shot on Instagram or an album on Facebook, take a minute to add your photographer's handle to the post or tag them in the pictures so your friends (and friends of friends!) can click through to your photographer's profile. "Crediting your photographer will be much appreciated!" Shawn says.