Help The Photographer help you!

Congratulations! After painstaking research, you've finally decided on a photographer for your wedding. Yes, everyone knows the most important vendor for that day is the…ahem…photographer, and you, my dear, have bagged one of the best in the craft. He/She has a brilliant track record and is surely going to make a big success of your wedding coverage. However your work is not yet complete.

Wedding Table Ornament. Representative of stock wedding photography

Below are a few wedding-day aspects where your input will help your photographer give you the best. For the sake of this article we shall refer to the photographer as…well…The Photographer. 
It will be easier to ensure all of the following if you hire a competent wedding planner/coordinator…because it’s better that you focus on enjoying your special day than the size of the portions served for example.

1) Help The Photographer make sure that there’s enough time for portraits after you've dressed up.
It is usually a good idea to have a portrait session while your makeup is still fresh.
Based on my experience, at least 90% of brides tell the photographer that there will be enough time for portraits after her make up session before leaving the house. Over 80% of these don't end up having enough time and as such, the portrait sessions are rushed. (I once had a bride who had no choice but to rush out of the house immediately after her make up…leaving me standing there with my equipment all set up). Unless you've planned every single action, every single make-up brush stroke, every single traffic situation, etc, you had best allow for the unforeseen.

Rushed sessions will, not necessarily produce poor quality pictures however; after all, you've hired Mr. ‘Super Duper Photographer’…the ultimate in creativity and spontaneity, who with his unparalleled professional experience will provide awesome images no matter what challenges and constraints come his way. I don't doubt that. What I doubt is that he would get as many pictures of you relaxed and exhibiting composure. Or as many pictures of Daddy smiling calmly…after all, he did promise the Vicar you wouldn't be one moment late to church and he wouldn't want to report that something as ‘trivial’ as portraits got in the way would he?
I must also note that The Photographer should lose the ‘super duper’ designation if the reason there wasn't enough time was because he showed up late.

Guest Phone: Sometimes though, the guests have a cool point of view.

2) Help The Photographer be known as ‘The Photographer’.
I say this not only because it’s good for The Photographer’s ego, but also because it helps him do his job more efficiently. In this age of camera phones, everyone’s become a ‘professional’ photographer. So chances are you'll probably have dozens of ‘photographers’ on that day...that means more images…yaaay!

To be on the safe side though, you forked out a decent sum so that you could hold someone accountable for great pictures, irrespective of whether lightning strikes their camera or not. The Photographer is answerable to you, and in his zeal to give you the best, would want to alert the others who are obstructing his shooting view…after all you paid him to deliver…right? Hopefully he shouldn't have to go asserting himself every single time another ‘photographer’ compromises his work. The Photographer though, being the polite professional that he is, may not even bother to assert himself; he'll be courteous, accommodating and well…ready to compromise his work just that teensy weensy bit so as not to spoil the mood of that special day.

The Photographer thus needs your help, either directly, or through your appointed spokesperson, in getting everyone to know that his word is law (of course second to yours) when it comes to the pictures. After all you want everyone looking in the same direction in the pictures don't you? That in fact brings us to the next point.

3) Help The Photographer by deciding with your spouse to look in the same direction throughout portrait sessions.
Portrait sessions after the service can be hectic because there are so many people zip-zapping about the place and requiring the couple’s attention at the same time.
It would be nice if you both were looking only at The Photographer (except when you’re looking at each other of course). It’s however more important that you look in the same direction (or at each other) no matter where you’re looking. It could be at another ‘photographer’, at the sky, at the ground…it doesn't matter too much as long as you're both looking in the same direction. That gives us the impression that the two of you are now one…committed equally to this glorious journey known as marriage…without any distractions.

An exception of course is the back-to-back "Charlie’s Angels" pose I sometimes impose on couples. That still gives the impression that you're committed to one journey and are not distracted…only this time you're trying to get each others backs because you occasionally but necessarily need to ‘kick butt’!
So determine with your spouse before each click what you will both be looking at…unless The Photographer says otherwise…and even then you need to be watching him.

Yummy! Food fresh off the stove. Mmm mmm!

4) Help The Photographer with food.
On a serious note, The Photographer may need help with food. The Photographer is not a glutton or a poor hapless bum; he’ll most likely have had breakfast before showing up. Most times however, especially if he’s really busy doing a good job for you, he may not have time to eat at the reception.
Most times, The Photographer is at the bottom of the banquet food chain, meaning that the servers would rather first serve all the guests. By the time food gets to The Photographer (if any) the show is probably over, and he’s been on his feet non-stop for hours. The best time for The Photographer to grab a quick bite is when the couple is having their meal and relatively little is going on. Once again, The Photographer is not going to bother asserting the importance of feeding him on time to the servers because he knows they answer to you and not to him.

The Photographer, being human, will function better for you if he’s had a little something to eat. You wouldn't want him ordering and having a pizza delivered at your wedding would you?
Even if he doesn't get to eat, the fact that someone bothers to ask if he’s gotten food, will go a long way.

In summary…
Treat The Photographer with the respect he deserves…I'm sure you'll get a better job in the end…not that he'll ever intentionally give less than his best in the first place!
DrAjao Wale (DrAW!)


  1. lol! Wale u no go kill person oh!
    but very relevant none the less :)

  2. Wale,

    Tunmise just sent me this link. You'd have had me in stitches if not for the fact that I could have sworn you had somehow entered into my brain!

    Honestly, I don't think I could have put it better. Thanks.

    I think we should get it published in a "traditional print" format as well.

    Keep up the good work, bros!


    P.S. Can I link to this article on my website?

  3. Thanks so much, I think I need to send this to all my Brides and Grooms, mamas and papas. Covered an even last week and the amount of unofficial and towering paparazi was something else.

  4. I've been reading the posts on your blog: hilarious. I just had to comment on this one. The life of a photog :)


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