Getting hitched is no easy project. And while you might be obsessing over those white wedding gown alterations or still deciding on that first dance song, you probably haven’t considered how *crucial* it is to make sure your wedding photos look as stunning as you do when you tie the knot. Choosing a photographer is a key piece of your wedding puzzle (unless you want to take your own wedding photos). The images the photographer captures will live on, so you want them to be totally on point. But things can definitely get a bit awk if you don’t know what to do once the camera starts snapping. Samantha and Graham Terhune, Chapel Hill-based wedding photography duo, are here to give you some guidance and know-how to ensure you have beautiful images from your special day. These tips will show you how to get the most out of your wedding photographer!


Together, Samantha and Graham have photographed over 100 weddings and love the excitement they continue to feel at the start of a new wedding. Needless to say, you’re about to get lots of pro tips for your special day. Get your favorite pen and journal ready to take notes!


1. Get to know your photographer. “When booking a wedding photographer, couples should take the time to do their research and to look through photographer portfolios. We also encourage either meeting in person or via Skype. We always tell our potential couples that they will be spending a lot of time with us on their wedding day and we want them to feel comfortable. You don’t have to look for a best friend in your wedding photographer, but you certainly want to find someone with whom you get along and feel natural around.”


2. A wedding planner can come in handy. “After photographing many weddings both with wedding planners and without, we’ve begun to strongly encourage our couples to work with planners. A wedding professional will really help take the pressure off the bride and groom and their families, allowing you to be fully present and avoid worrying about the details. From a photographer’s point of view, a wedding planner helps us maximize our photographic opportunities so we’re not spending too much time worrying about timing or logistics.”


3. Find a room with lots of light. “We always encourage our clients to find a dressing room that has a lot of natural light. This will result in more beautiful images.”


4. Try to not make a mess when getting ready. “Along the same lines, we encourage our clients to delegate some friends or family members to help clean up the getting ready location so it’s peaceful and clean before the bride puts on her gown.”


5. Share your timeline and shot list. “We always work with our clients to create a photography timeline for their wedding day. This includes a list of all formal family photographs. Our goal for the formal pictures is to reduce stress. We’ve noticed that this is usually the most stressful time of the day, so we like to take control and let the bride and groom relax. If we have a list of family combinations, we’re able to move through quickly and get everyone to the reception.”


6. Take a deep breath. “We always encourage our couples to take a deep breath during portrait time. It helps you look more relaxed in photographs and keeps your shoulders back and posture straight.”


7. Be in the moment. “Our couples often ask us how we capture unique moments and we always say that it is easy to photograph people who are genuinely living in the moment and soaking up the beauty of their wedding day.”


8. Consider doing a first look. “For couples on the anxious side, we suggest considering a first look photo. 100 percent of the times we’ve suggested this, our couples have been happy they went with it. It seems to really take the nervous edge off and allow you to be present during the ceremony.”

View More:

9. Trust your photographer. “After you’ve looked over a photographer’s profile, you should have a good understanding of their style. This will help you go into the wedding trusting the images the photographer will create for you. It’s ok to show them different images that you like, but understand that your photographer has their own style of work and that it might be hard for them to recreate images that aren’t already in their repertoire.”


10. Remember it’s your day. “Go into your wedding day knowing that it’s one of the most special days you’ll experience. Your photographer will do everything in their power to capture it as beautifully as possible. Help them by being thorough with your timeline and getting ready in natural light. Most importantly, be fully present in the moment. That’s how you get images that feel authentic and joyful.”

Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know your favorite part of working with your wedding photographer!

(Photos via Graham Terhune Photography)