Tips from an expert wedding photographer for your big day

A good wedding photographer will be able to beautifully encapsulate the moments, big and small, of your big day.

Every wedding photographer will have his or her own approach to capturing the details of a wedding, from invitation and ring shots to first looks and family photos.

Since all photographers have their own unique style, completing diligent research and deep dives into a photographer’s work can give you an idea of whether they are a good match for you and your expectations of wedding photography.

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After all, your wedding photos are prints you’ll look back on for years to come.

One globally recognized wedding photographer spoke to Fox News Digital about her tips for couples, from the booking process to the big day.

Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring a wedding photographer. Make sure you choose someone you trust. Book someone you know will artistically capture the event and the love you and your partner share. (Kristin Piteo )

Do: Find a photographer whose approach aligns with your vision

Photographers have individual preferences, from shooting couples and wedding day festivities to editing the shots later on. Looking through a wedding photographer’s gallery will allow you to gather an understanding of the person’s shooting style.

When searching for a photographer to shoot your wedding, it’s vital that everyone is on the same page. During the booking process, just as you will have questions for your potential photographer, this person will likely have questions for you, too.

“As much as it’s important for the client to interview the photographer, it’s just as important for the photographer to also interview the client,” Kristin Piteo, a U.S. and Europe-based wedding photographer told Fox News Digital.

“I think in the booking process, it’s important to make sure that you’re aligned with the same vision of approach, artistic views and overall essence of the day.”

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Many wedding photographers offer questionnaires to potential clients prior to their initial call. This is to make sure the client and couple are a good fit for one another before delving too deep into the booking process.

Piteo shared that some questions appearing on her questionnaire are the date, venue, wedding investment, whether the couple has a wedding planner, plus mood and inspiration.

Piteo also noted that couples should ask potential photographers to see their galleries and details of their experience in the field.

Do: Develop a relationship with your photographer before the big day 

Your wedding photographer is going to be part of one of the most important days of your life. They are going to be there each of the moments, both the vastly populated ones and the intimate memories.

As a couple, you’ll want to feel comfortable with your photographer in order to get authentic, beautiful photos. Piteo spoke of the personal and professional importance of building a relationship with her clients ahead of time.

Having a relationship with your photographer before your wedding will make for a more comfortable environment when the day comes. (Kristin Piteo)

“I find that my work is really inspirational to my clients because I have a way of creating a space of comfortability and allowing my clients to be vulnerable,” Piteo said.

“I show up on the day, and I want to make sure that I feel like a friend, I feel like somebody you’ve known for a long time, and I do this because the intention behind my photos is to have a feeling and to embody the essence and the personalities of my couples.”

“The reason I’m able to do that is from inception of booking, I make sure that I build a relationship with them, whether that be via social media, phone calls or texting. I try to be an aid to them in the process and through being that person to them, we obviously end up developing some sort of deep friendship outside just being their photographer,” Piteo continued.

Do: Book a photographer whose photos make you feel something 

There is a client for every photographer and a photographer for every client, according to Piteo. However, finding that perfect partnership and establishing a relationship can prove tricky.

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“I think when couples are looking for a photographer, really go with what your intuition is telling you. … If you feel something from the images, then that should mean a lot. Go ahead and book a call and see what that looks like,” Piteo noted.

“That’s my biggest advice. Just make sure that whoever you choose resonates with you because that is the person that’s in charge of documenting one of the most important days of your life.”

Do: Be present in the moment 

Stressors before and on a wedding day are expected. However, couples should avoid letting stress or nerves take over the meaning of the day. Don’t lose sight of what you are celebrating.

I think a huge mistake on the wedding day is not being present and letting the outside stressors of what’s going on in the background affect the clarity of your wedding day,” Piteo said.

“I’ve seen couples being taken away from the day.”

If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed throughout the day, take a step back, a deep breath and focus in on the love you share with your partner.

Your wedding day is an occasion you’ll want to look back fondly on.

Don’t: Spend time writing an extensive shot list 

Unless you have requests for specific family photos or a very small detail that a photographer should know about, as long as you’ve hired someone you trust, an extensive shot list isn’t necessary.

During your wedding, try to be as present in the moment as you can be. Don’t let outside stressors overwhelm you on your big day. (Kristin Piteo )

There is so much that goes into wedding planning that a shot list should simply remain part of the photographer’s job.

“I don’t particularly work off shot lists because it kind of takes me away from being in the moment on the wedding day. Unless there’s something very in particular, like, ‘Oh, I’m wearing my grandmother’s ring, I want to make sure that I get a photo of me wearing my grandmother’s ring,’ something like that I want to be brought to my attention. Other than that, you chose your photographer because you trust them and you like their work and you’ve invested in them,” said Piteo.

“I would say the only time a shot list would come into play is for anything that’s out of the ordinary or family photos or something like that.”

Don’t: Underestimate the importance of your photographer on your wedding day 

Your photographer is tasked with an enormous responsibility. Don’t underestimate the importance of a photographer on your wedding day. Hire someone who is well-qualified to take on the task and will be able to artistically document your event.

“I think a mistake that couples can make when looking for or booking a photographer is maybe not realizing the importance of what your photographer is capable of,” Piteo said.

“I’ve seen it before, where couples say, ‘Oh, we’re just going to go with a family friend route’ or ‘We’re going to go through this or that’ — and they’re not really understanding the level of importance of what the documentation of their wedding day means. I think that that could be a mistake.”

Don’t: Wait until the last minute to book your photographer 

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to book your photographer. Locking in a professional should be one of the first vendors you secure.

If you wait until too close to your wedding date, your top choices will likely be booked.

Piteo said that the wedding planner, venue and photographer are the three vendors you want to book first. She noted that she’s seen couples book these three in different orders, but getting these locked in early is vital.

“It’s very important because the wedding industry these days is very aggressive in the bookings. So, for example, 2024 is completely booked and 2025 is starting to fill up,” Piteo said.

“So, if you want the vendors that align with you and that really inspire you, I would say that very early on in the wedding process, you should start looking at who you want to book for those.”

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Ashlyn Messier is a writer for Fox News Digital. 

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