Not all photographers are created equal: if you want good photography, book a good photographer. It’s hard to recreate the big day in a studio when you get back from the honeymoon and discover all your pictures are duds.
I watched a colleague (ironically a photographer herself) do exactly this in on a wet weekday evening with whoever she could persuade to rehire their suits and squeeze back into their posh frocks. Sadly the groom’s gang had long since flown back to Australia.
Another friend must have racked up the greatest aeon spent on photographs on her big day. By the time the hapless snapper got round to the big group shots, most of the expected faces had retreated to the bar and were unphotographable, the caterers were apoplectic, her father was two thirds of the way through his epic Welsh chapel joke and the evening guests were already apologising to their babysitters. Maybe it was a blessing none of her pictures came out, I imagine they’d be pretty stony-faced.
Of course this was pre-digital age but don’t let technology lull you. The camera is only as good as the person holding it, and they are only as good as the last sandwich they managed to grab in between summoning finger-clicks. And weddings generally attract the gods of mischief. Some might be undecided if a good photographer doesn’t miss a trick, or thankfully does. (Or forever holds their peace/makes wise editing decisions.)
My best advice on the day would be to run away. Run away as quick as you can. I don’t mean before the service, I mean get the group shots done first and the two of you run away with the photographer somewhere out the way to get the really special shots done without interference and before the trayfuls of bubbly take their toll.
This is the time to really enjoy being photographed, so really enjoy it. You both look fabulous so werrrk it hunnybuns. Let the rest of the rabble fight over the smoked salmon blinis for twenty minutes. Let them eat cake. (Not that cake. Not yet.)
After the disco’s done, the bunting’s down, the high heels have been dropped off a bridge and you’re off enjoying your honeymoon, trust that your photographer will be spending a good couple of days editing the shoot ready for when you get back. Then there’s getting each chosen picture perfect for printing, framing, designing your album and all the liaising with other required professionals. It’s a full week’s work at the very least.
You thought it was a couple of hours of point and click? You only see the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the easy manner is the experience, the technological expertise, the patience, the organisation, the detail, the care. They don’t just take pictures, they give you solid memories.
Yes, photographers are people too. Give ‘em a sandwich.