As a photographer who has shot well over 300 weddings, Martin Hill has picked up a trick or two that will help any bride and groom plan their wedding photography to perfection. Here he reveals 8 mistakes that couples regularly make – don’t fall into the same trap!

Not putting enough budget to photography

The old adage is true, you get what you pay for! Finding a great wedding photographer can be a tough task, searching through the chaff to find the wheat can be daunting. My best advice to you is to go and meet your favourite photographers. Really dig into their work and don’t just rely on what you see on a website, ask to see several real weddings they have shot.

Not meeting the photographer beforehand

Sounds obvious but you really do need to have a great relationship with your photographer. They will be with you, close hand, on one of the most important days of your life, so it’s important to have a great relationship with them. We like to spend quality time with our clients prior to their wedding day to help create that relaxed relationship and our pre-wedding shoots are an integral part of that.

Not planning group shots

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In my experience the biggest headache for any photographer is the group pictures! I appreciate that for certain generations this is an important part of the day. However don’t get carried away with the number of group pictures you request. Remember the longer the photo team spend taking group shots, the less time they have creating those lovely natural images. To get around this issue we suggest a maximum of five group pictures. If you consider each group picture could take up to five minutes each to organise, you can see quickly how precious time gets eaten up.


Not having a shot list

Whatever you do, don’t forget to give your photographer a list of your must-have shots. Give some thought to these, this is your chance to get across to your photographer exactly what you have planned for your big day. Photographers are not mind readers, so if you really want a specific picture taken, let them know well in advance. Download your free wedding photography shot list right here!

Scrimping on a make-up artist

In my opinion, a fabulous make-up artist is worth their weight in gold. They’ll make you feel wonderful and will really add value to your images, particularly any close up shots. Make-up artists are well trained individuals but do make sure you have a trial prior to your day.


Keeping the ‘fun’ guests in one place

This is going to sound a bit odd coming from a photographer, but do give thought to your table plan. Every wedding has a group of guests who are up for a party and good old laugh. Here’s the clever bit, spread their fun throughout the room rather than gathering them on the one table out of the way. By spreading their love, there’s a good chance there will be more laughter throughout the room, rather than in one area. This really helps the dynamics of your pictures, particularly during the speeches as laughter and fun is infectious and makes for a great wedding breakfast buzz.

OTT table centres

My absolute pet hate is enormous table centres. Yes, they do look amazing but they do create a few issues. Firstly they stop people from chatting across the table and virtually split the table in two. Secondly it’s almost impossible for the photographer to capture guests naturally, because of a whopping display in the centre of the table. Do have a table centre, but less is certainly more.

Not finalising contracts

It sounds a bit dull, but do make sure you tie up all the financial and any contractual issues associated with your wedding photography. It’s always best to get the nitty gritty sorted, so that both parties know exactly what you are working towards.

There you have it, just a few things to think about. Don’t forget to download your free shot list from our Planning Tools and find more important wedding photography advice here.