June 19, 2021
Guest Post by Lynzie Kent, Mad Bash Group
Weddings are all about relationships – and not just between the couple! While the roles may seem quite different, the photographer and the wedding planner communicate quite a lot to ensure the day runs smoothly and the couple’s vision is brought to life. At Mad Bash Group, our planners understand the importance of collaborating with photographers and know from experience how this affects the success of the wedding day- if we aren’t in sync, then the timeline can fall apart. In this blog post, we’ll explore how wedding planners and photographers can work together effectively with seven actionable tips.
Communication is obviously the key to most successful collaborations. Wedding planners should take the time to communicate their vision of the day, including the timeline and any special requests they have. Photographers should explain their style and how they approach wedding photography. At Mad Bash, we always reach out to photographers in advance of creating our timelines to understand how much time they need for the first look or portraits, to know if they will be bringing a second shooter, and to know how much time they will need with the couple while they are getting ready. This prepares us to build a timeline that suits the photographer’s needs, and starts the relationship on the right foot.
Although having different roles, talented photographers and design-heavy planners like Mad Bash will have a strong sense of ‘the vision,’ including a knack for composition, styling, attention to detail, and a general sense of aesthetics and surroundings. A wedding photographer will have taken the time to know the couple, and understand their style and their vibe. Similarly, great planners understand the couple’s vision and ensure every aspect of the wedding is on brand. Having an eye for composition in common, the photographer and planner can have a conversation about the vision of the wedding, the photographer’s style, and how they can jointly produce memories that are authentic to the couple.
Shot lists are a great way to ensure that the couple gets the photos they want. They should include specifics like family portraits or photos with the bridal party. By discussing this early on, the planner can ensure that there is enough time for these shots to be taken. However, shot lists can be overwhelming and frustrating for a photographer, so a planner needs to discuss this with the couple too. Couples should choose a photographer whose work they love, and not be incredibly particular about a lengthy list of detailed shots, as it can limit a photographer’s time on the wedding day and limit their ability to be creatively attuned to your day. Shot lists should be limited to people only, and the couple should trust in the photographer’s ability and awareness to capture other details. This is something a planner needs to explain when booking a photographer. If the planner would like specific detail shots of the wedding for their portfolio, this is a shot list that needs to be discussed in advance and approved by the photographer. Time for these details needs to be built into the schedule too!
The timeline is the wedding planner’s bible. After communicating with the photographer, they will have the information needed to ensure all the important moments are captured on camera. The timeline will include key events such as the ceremony, first dance, and cake cutting, and will have time built in for portraits and any special requests from the couple. Incorporating a list of requested shots directly in the timeline will ensure that all these details can be found in one place, and make it easy for both the photographer and planner to cross reference throughout the wedding day to ensure nothing is missed. By working together to create a detailed timeline, wedding planners and photographers can ensure that they are always in the right place at the right time.
Wedding planners play a vital support role to the photographer by ensuring that the relevant people are close at hand at the correct time. Sometimes, photographers work on events with no planners or coordinators and have to take on the role of managing photography timelines or moving the couple and their bridal parties along to stay on schedule (which they hate!). Knowing early on that a planner is on board will relieve them of this burden and allow them to focus on what they do best! A supportive planner who successfully manages the timeline and all the moving parts is a photographer’s best friend, and by the end of the night you’ll be laughing!
It cannot be understated how important it is for planners and photographers to maintain a positive attitude. Often what leads to professional referrals is not just the quality of work, but that the person is enjoyable to be around. Despite the pressure, when the wedding day rolls around, everyone wants to feel happy, relaxed, and ready to celebrate, so it’s important to carry that within yourself as well. So be a team player, stay flexible, communicate, and be willing to help each other out when needed.
After the dust has settled and everyone has caught their breath, it’s wise to take the time to check in with the other person. This step is often overlooked as everyone moves on to the next event, but it’s a professional way to conclude the relationship. This is the time to share whatever feedback you may have – as planners, we can provide feedback on how the photographer interacted with the guests and whether they captured all the important moments. The photographer can comment on how the planner helped coordinate the day and whether the timeline was effective. Receiving honest feedback is how we learn, grow, and improve our craft.
With these tips, the planner-photographer team will be an unstoppable power couple! At Mad Bash, we have had the privilege to work with Alix Gould on many occasions, and are always delighted to recommend her to our clients, knowing she will deliver the most beautiful and creative memories. The photographer is one of the most important vendors to book, and nourishing relationships with the top professionals is very important to us as planners, and is one of the reasons people book with us. We know how to elevate the photographer and support them so that they can produce their best work. We want our couples to look back at their wedding photos decades from now and still remember that beautiful feeling!
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