Who wants sucky wedding photos, right?! Well, today we have an  informative guest post from Michelle Brooks Photography all about how to avoid exactly that! Enjoy:

You’ve spent thousands, maybe tens of thousands of dollars on this day. You’ve watched Say Yes to the Dress until your eyes burned. You’ve plowed through endless piles of samples & swatches & tastings & Pinterest boards. You’ve gone over every minutiae of every detail of every single item connected with your wedding. What else could you possibly need to do to ensure brilliant success? How about some firsthand tips to help make the one thing you’ll have to remember all this by – your photos – as good as they can possibly be? Here’s my Top 10 list of repeat offenders that never fail to negatively affect the final wedding collection.

Read the full post after the cut!



1. Not  Allowing Enough Time for Photography

This is the wedding day photography serial killer. It strikes again & again, obliterating creativity, snuffing out playfulness, & turning formerly joyful people into frustrated, rushed automatons.


2. Letting Someone Other Than the Photographer Create the Photography Time Line

No one knows better than your wedding photographer how much time is needed for each segment of shooting. Maybe your wedding coordinator is experienced , but have they worked with your photographer? Maybe your photographer takes more or less time with certain parts of the shooting than most others. Allowing mistake #2 often results in mistake #1.


3. Giving Your Photographer a Lengthy Shot List

Better known as, How To Kill Inspiration. You should not hire a wedding photographer unless you are confident in their ability. If you are confident in their ability, you do not need to give them a lengthy shot list.


4. Trying to Re-Create Every Pinterest Wedding Photo You Ever Pinned

Can Pinterest be used to show your photographer what kinds of shots you like? Yes. Can your photographer re-create each photo exactly? No, nor should you want that. This is your wedding, your unique day.


5. Being too Focused on the Photography

Sounds strange, but the truth is, the more fixated you are on the camera, the less natural, relaxed & happy your images will be. Try, instead, to focus on the meaning of the day, your feelings for your beloved, the exhilaration of what’s happening!


6. Making Spontaneous Changes to the Time Line

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – unless you do it without letting your photographer know in enough time to adapt to the change. Always let your photographer know at least 10 min before any event is changed.


7. Doing Anything Quickly

The kiss when the officiant says “You may.” The bouquet or garter toss. The exit down the sparkler tunnel. When you do anything in nano seconds, you minimize the chances of getting great photos of that moment. Remember, slower is better.


8. Allowing Guest Photography During the Ceremony or Other Planned Segments of the Day (First Look, Bride + Groom Alone, etc.)

Unless you are ok with upraised cell phones & iPads sticking out into aisle shots during the procession & other parts of your ceremony, an unplugged ceremony is the way to go. Here’s a great Huffington Post blog (complete with photos) about what couples are doing to prevent this. As for the other segments of the photography during your day, they will usually go more quickly & smoothly if only the people involved in the actual photos are present. (It’s hard to get all intimate & passionate when your brand new father-in-law is standing in the side lines grinning at you!)


9. Ignoring Golden Hour

The absolute best light for photographs is the hour before sunrise & after sunset. Not many will plan their wedding for sunrise photos, so try to plan so that you can have at least some romantic, softly lit photos.


10. Not Making Sure Your Wedding Photographer is Qualified

See the pretty pictures? That’s nice. But when interviewing photographers for this most important day, more is needed. How many years have you been shooting weddings? Do you have back up equipment? Are you insured (both liability & equipment)? Do you use a second shooter for weddings (a must in my book)? How many images do you deliver in a typical wedding collection? Do you edit each image individually or batch edit? How do you deliver the finished collection? How do you insure that there is enough photography time for my wedding day? What is your photography style? How do you handle rainy day weddings? What happens if you are sick or have an emergency the day of my wedding? May I see at least 3 complete wedding collections from the past year? How do you shoot in low light situations? These are some of the most important questions you need answers to in order to make an informed decision.


So what’s my best advice for the wedding collection of your dreams? TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. If you’ve thoroughly reviewed your wedding photographer’s portfolio & qualifications, then trust them to do what you’re paying good money to do! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your feelings about anything or even make suggestions, a good photographer will want you to do that! But when it comes down to the really important things – time needed, or photos you might not think are important but your photographer knows you’ll regret not having – trust them. Put yourself in their hands, don’t sweat the small stuff, & have a gorgeous, joyful, photogenic wedding day!

Based out of Anderson, SC, Michelle Brooks is a full time wedding photographer whose style is honest, spontaneous and evocative. Here are some factoids she revealed about herself on her blogsite: ~ I will never like Mylie Cyrus music. Sorry. I will put every inch of my 5’1.75″ frame into getting my clients images they will love. Chocolate is not to be shared…if you see it in my hand, back away. Slowly. I will cry at your wedding, even if you don’t see me doing it. My husband is the love of my life & a constant source of renewal for me. I am a hugger. You have been warned. My dream destination wedding is Italy. I love horses. When I was 8 I counted 118 pictures/drawings/plastic shapes of horses on my wall. Photography lives in a corner of my brain, constantly tapping, “Do you see that??”

To Learn more about Michelle Brooks Photography, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website. Do you have any questions or comments for Michelle? Add them to the comments below!


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