There are probably way more than Five Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know, so I imagine there will be a follow-up post to this someday. For now, however, here are five of the most important things you need to know when planning your wedding.

Know your own taste.

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not the photographer for everyone. Shocker, I know. Every photographer has their style, I included, and I don’t alter it from client to client. I know what I like, I know where my gifts lie, and I take care to ensure my portfolio shows you the best of the best of my work. Do you like light and airy? Black and white? Dark and moody? Somewhere in between? Do you prefer candid or posed images? These things matter. Be sure you are a huge fan of the work of the photographer you choose because it’s too late to decide you don’t like the images they create on your wedding day, and especially once they’ve delivered your gallery. Remember, it doesn’t mean you dislike them as a person. It just means their work might not be a great fit for you, and that’s okay.

Your photographer should be one of the first vendors you book.

I’m sure you’ve had hundreds of people tell you your day is going to be over in the blink of an eye – they aren’t wrong – but what many of them don’t know is that photography is a big factor into your wedding day timeline. It affects everything from makeup to cocktail hour to getting ready to family portraits. Why? Well, if you want all of those things documented, I need to know exactly when and where they’re happening and ensure I have plenty of time to photograph them all. Operating without a wedding day timeline, or even worse, not working with your photographer at all, causes unnecessary stress for everyone, especially you. It’s important that we go over your photography hopes and dreams, and any extra special wedding day plans you have, so I can help you create your perfect wedding day timeline. And, I’ll help you stick to it.

Unplug your wedding.

Trying to create the best images from your wedding day becomes more difficult when I have five guests either shooting over my shoulder or edging into the frame just to get their very own image of your wedding day. It’s even more complicated when you begin your walk down the aisle to the view of iPhones and iPads in your face. When you’ve dreamed of your wedding day, what do you want to remember most – the people at your wedding, or images of their phones in front of their faces? (Read more about why to unplug your wedding here.)

Give me the family photo list, but remember – I got this.

I know you are dying to send me every incredible Pinterest image and shot list you’ve found, but I don’t need it. Your wedding, your day is unique to you, and you hired me for my style and experience – not to see how well I can re-create another photographer’s vision. I promise we will create images you will cherish for years to come.

Food is Good.

I need a meal. A hot meal. Not a stuck-in-the-kitchen-handed-a-bag-of-chips-and-a-cold-sandwich meal. I eat what your guests eat, and I eat when your guests eat. I know what you’re thinking, “But, you could be taking pictures during that time!” Well, I could, but I shouldn’t be. Your guests don’t want pictures of them eating any more than you do, so by using the time when you’re guests are enjoying the delicious meal you suggested to enjoy said meal myself, I am better able to jump back into documenting your day when I’ve finished! (Trust me, you don’t want a hangry photographer.)

Have a question after reading the Five Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know? Please ask away!

Five Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know