Weddings share many components with stage performances. There’s a venue with a lot of seats for guests. There are lots of props: bouquets, arches, and groomsmen. A director oversees everything; usually the wedding planner, but a bride or mother-in-law sometimes shares the role. And of course the happy couple are the stars of the show. No wedding without them, right?

Just like a performance, the people backstage make sure the show goes smoothly. These unsung heroes are the DJ, the caterer, the makeup artist, and of course, the professional wedding photographer.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the wedding photographer. Aside from coordinating posed shots, a large part of their job requires being unobtrusive. Your wedding day is one of the most stressful events in your life. But maybe the person capturing your most memorable moments deserves just a little attention?

If you’re getting married, here are some ways you can make sure that your photographer leaves your wedding with good memories.

Be Considerate

A wedding ceremony can last anything from five to 12 hours. Photographers take hundreds of shots and cover multiple angles of the proceedings. That’s exhausting work, and they’ll need a meal to recover. Be sure to include the photographer, and any other staff, in your meal plan.

A great time for them to eat is when the wedding party is eating as well. The wedding dinner is one of the few times the couple, and the guests, can relax. You and your guests should be able to savor the meal you picked out months ago and not worry if you (and everyone else) look good enjoying them.

Be Reasonable

You should have some realistic expectations and demands of your wedding photographer.

Your photographer can’t turn back time, so if you want beautiful sunset photos, don’t schedule your wedding ceremony at night. Or at least arrange to do so when the sun is actually setting.

The photographer can also only do so much with Photoshop and similar software. They can reasonably edit out blemishes, like acne, and remove small details that ruin shots. Don’t ask them to make you taller, or more muscular, or give you a full head of hair. Over-editing your wedding photos will fool no one; people know what you look like.

If you have specific shots that you want, tell them. But don’t ask them to take more shots than necessary or ask for too many specific shots. Having everyone hold a pose for minutes at a time grates everyone else’s nerves, not just the photographer’s. Restricting the photographer also leaves less room for heartwarming candid shots and genuine moments.

Be Original

Bride and groom posing

Photographers appreciate it if you didn’t ask them to copy poses you saw on Pinterest or Instagram. It’s your wedding. While it’s fine to take design and theme tips from magazines or online articles, the photos should reflect you and your guest and memories that belong to you, not someone else’s.

Copying photos can be difficult, since a lot of them are professional photo shoots instead of real weddings. This also becomes impossible if nothing about your wedding matches the one you want to copy.

The originality of the pictures affects the photographer as well. Photos become part of their portfolio, and unique shots are more likely to attract customers.

A wedding is a celebration of love and unity. Everyone involved, from the guests to the caterers, should feel wonder and warmth seeing two individuals promise to stand by each other through thick and thin. Professionalism and gratitude toward the person who will be immortalizing that love seems more than fair, don’t you think?

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