All the Things Your Photographer is Dying to Tell You

Updated: May 12, 2020

I asked a few of my lady photographer groups on Facebook what they are dying to tell their clients, but just can't. Here is what they said…

Specifically Weddings...

"We know how to do our jobs, we don't need a play-by-play list!" I have never encountered this one! I know there are shot lists all over pinterest, but no client has ever tried to give me one. *shrug* "Your courthouse wedding photos at noon aren’t going to look like a $40k wedding at golden hour." "Your mental health is the number one determining factor for whether or not you’ll enjoy your wedding. If you’re not taking care of your anxiety, body image issues, and emotional well-being, you can hire the best vendors and everything can go perfectly and you might still have major stress, conflict, and regret. If you’ve been waiting for “some time” to deal with your issues, Now is that time."

"Hire a good makeup artist. Actually, hire a great one. Somebody who won’t underestimate the amount of time needed per person cutting into photo time. Someone who understands flash photography."

"Before you choose that wedding dress, sit in it. Slouch in it. Be relaxed in it. You won't spend your day in a constantly perfect posture. You might not like the dress when you see yourself relaxed in it in photos." If you are uncomfortable - it will show. It makes for a really miserable day if you can't breathe or sit down in your dress! Keep this in mind, rather than getting fitted for a dress on the tight side and thinking, "Well, I'll just lose a few pounds and it will be perfect". Try thinking, "I might need just a bit of breathing room" instead.

For Them Pinners...

"Pinterest sets an unrealistic example AND we don't want to copy every photo 🤣"

"We aren’t magicians. The photos they see on Pinterest are usually taken in a controlled environment (styled shoot) and/or photoshopped. You hire a photographer for their skill/style, not for the unrealistic expectation they can recreate something

. That’s not how photography works." "Pinterest is a collection of the very best photos from many, many, sessions. To expect that someone can reproduce a board you saved in a single session is unrealistic... especially if it's family portraits or a young child."

Umm, about your makeup...

"Don't overdo makeup for shoots. wear what is comfortable for you. can't tell you how many times peo

ple get makeup done for the day of that is unlike their daily wear and end up hating the heavy makeup in pics. it's out of our control!"

"Make sure your makeup matches your skin and is well blended!" "When in doubt, wear waterproof."

What Are You Wearing?

"Don't wear graphics on your clothes, please please no bright colors (unless that's the concept), and for the love of all fashion please coordinate your shoes with your outfit!" "For the love of god stop spray tanning before your session." If you wore an outfit you weren't comfortable in and wasn’t flattering, it wasn’t “the posing” that you don’t like about the images lol"

YAS - Be comfy, be confident.

"Please coordinate and do not match head to toe!" "What you wear matters! Take our advice. If you want Pinterest worthy pictures you need to wear Pinterest worthy outfits!" "If you are struggling to choose an outfit, (maybe fashion isn’t your thing!) or you just want a second opinion, or you’re dressing your whole family with no idea how to coordinate everyone, PLEASE reach out!! The sessions where I’ve helped pick outfits have turned out so much better than ones where they wear a tee shirt and assume I’ll make it look flawless."

Your Family Portraits

"Yelling at your kids to behave or cooperate doesn’t make them happier! Let them be who they are, I promise I’ll capture the moments in between while chasing them and actually getting laughs! When you walk away thinking I didn’t get it, I did."

"When scheduling your family portraits please have it be a time of day where your child is generally happy, well-rested, and not starving. If your little one has to skip a nap, or get woken up early and put into clothes they probably don’t want, it will probably be a shit show..."

Dad playfully throwing daughter in the air at Tolmie State Park in Olympia, WA. Their family pictures were captured by Cherish Harper at Cherish Shanell Photography

"Also, sessions are not the time to discipline your children. It's the time to bribe them and give in to all their bullshit to make them not cry for about an hour."

Then you can go back to your regularly scheduled discipline.

Oh, and Just so ya know...

"Please understand that at the end of the day we are human beings running a business by ourselves. Just because we’re posting on social media about having fun or being out doesn’t mean that we’re slacking off - we just deserve breaks too. We don’t have the weekends off like most!

"Lighting is everything, and we can't always control it."

For example, Let's say you are internet drooling over some incredible golden sunset photoshoot hoping your photos look exactly like that, but when you have your session, it's rainy, or overcast and the sun never shows its face. I cannot make your photos look like they were taken on a warm, sunny, sunsetty day if I shot them in clouds or rain. I can, however, make them look amazing no matter what the weather.

I also don't want to have to use a bright, distracting flash during your wedding ceremony, but if you have it at night, in a dark room, by candlelight, I will have to or your images will be awful! There is nothing wrong with romantic lighting, but go too dark and oftentimes our cameras won't focus! Think a warm, even glow for indoor cere


"Don’t ghost a photographers reply, if you’ve gone a different direction just tell them." "Remember that you are beautiful, individual, and unique. You deserve to be photographed and have memories to cherish. ❤"

"All 'mirror faces' are to be left at home."

"Everything about what we do when we get home [from a session] takes an incredibly long time. Processing, culling, editing, and delivering your photos requires a crazy amount of hours, skill, knowledge, and expensive software. We don't just slap a "filter" on and call it good."

"Sometimes life brings shit to our table. When we pour all our heart and soul to what we do and come to you before anyone else to let you know something is up with our life/health - don't be a dick. Have some common sense and try to think how you'd feel if you were in our shoes." "Tag us! Oh and if you actually like your gallery pleeeease tell us! I hate when I think otherwise and then I somehow stumbled on your page and you seem to love them... sooo much anxiety." On behalf of myself, and all of the amazing photographers who contributed to this list, I'd like to thank you for trusting us with your photography, and just know that all of these tips are not meant to shame you, but to show you a little bit of what it's like on this side of things. I hope this list was helpful! Got anything to add?


Tags: Olympia wedding photographer, wedding photographer, photography, family photographer, maternity photographer, Tacoma, Centralia, Chehalis, Seattle, Portland, Washington State, Olympia

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