What they want you to know (but are afraid to tell you) BRIDES : Northern, Ca

In my own wedding research I have been getting a kick out of reading the "What you should ask your photographer" sections of books, magazines, and websites. Sometimes, they are dead on (What happens if you're sick?) and sometimes well... you might just embarrass yourself if you follow them. (What do you wear to shoot in?) I mean, come on! Someday I am going to answer, "A swim suit usually... flip flops... pajamas... ya know.. whatever is comfortable." I might get a good laugh or a slap in the face, depending on the client. :) BUT, I recently came across the best article in BRIDES Northern California. It was really truthful and I thought it was totally worth sharing!

And because posts are no fun without photos here's one of me and my best friend since birth (practically) Aubrey from Dana and Keith's labor day weekend wedding! Photo credit goes to Heather Kincaid!

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Photographers: What they want you to know (but are afraid to tell you)

HIRE A MAKEUP ARTIST "Invest in a make-up artists - it will pay off in the long run. Do-it-yourself brides look fine for the first hour or so, but then the makeup wears off. Or they wear very subtle makeup that doesn't photograph well; Nothing 'pops'." Cathy Short, Devonshire Photography - Wilbraham, MA

My take: Please, do! I am a non-make up wearer- seriously, I probably put make up on my face 2 days a week and usually its a tinted moisturizer and mascara- but I will hire a make up artist. Sure we can fix it in post,

but it's so easier when there is a beautiful base to work with! Smoooooth it out.Ā  Jasmine Dashtizad in Los Angeles is one of my favs.

SEE EACH OTHER BEFORE THE CEREMONY "I think the bride and groom should see each other before the ceremony. It gets the jitters out of the way and gives me time to get some fun, unique images. When portraits are taken after the ceremony, it's hard for the couple to focus. They don't want to miss the party!" Sarah Maren, Sarah Maren Photography - Sacramento, CA

My take: HUGE advocate. Who says the bride and groom have to miss all of their cocktail hour??? Couples are always saying to me, "Well, we had already come to the conclusion that we'd just miss it." Why? Do a first look (it's just as, if not more, intimate and special as seeing each other at the aisle- and we actually have more than 2.5 seconds to catch your reactions!), spend an hour and a half or so doing all your family , bridal, and

couple photos before the ceremony that way when it's over all your friends and family can just enjoy the party!

SHARE THE PICS "When we take posed or more traditional shots, sometimes guests attempt to capture the same images, potentially slowing the process. If you request digital images from your photographers, you can send them to your guests later, and save time on your wedding day." Craig Butler, Craig Butler Studios - Northville, MI

My take: I'm whatever on this one, although it does bug me when I see photos on facebook of a bridal party set up I did before I've had a chance to post the pro-version... but definitely share the gallery link so friends and family can order what they want without having to bug you for the images!

JUST GO WITH IT "Realize that even though you feel stupid while you're getting pictures taken, they're turning out great. If you can just laugh and go with it, the images will reflect your personalities and show the connection between the two of you. You can be in a crappy location, but as long as you're in a good mood (with a smile on your face), your pictures are going to rock." Genya Garrett, Vue Photography - Panama City, FL

My take: Yes, yes, yes! Most important thing is to trust that we are professionals and we'll be able to feel and anticipate how you will react to certain things we ask you to do. Sometimes I'll say something like, "Okay, now rub your two little noses together Eskimo style!" and instead of capturing some cheesy Eskimo kiss I click the shutter JUST as the couple is busting up laughing because of the cheese factor. Trust us!

CLEAN YOUR ROOM "If you want your 'getting ready' pictures to look their best, keep the place clean. That room becomes the basis, the background, for all your pictures. If you have ten girls dressing and undressing in the same room, it will show in your photos. The room should be clutterless. I get the best pictures when I walk into a room that someone has intentionally kept neat." Brian Dorsey, Brian Dorsey Studios - NY, NY

My take: Love this! If you don't have any space to keep things neat and tidy, what about finishing getting ready in a friend or family members room that is a little more organized?

DON'T INVITE THE PARTY "Don't cut your first dance short or have your bridal party join you halfway through it.

This decreases the amount of images I can get of just the two of you during your reception. If you dance for the entire song, you'll end up with more sweet, intimate photos." Alison Conklin, Alison Conklin Photography - Philadelphia, PA

My take: Usually I have enough time to capture enough images in the first minute or so but why cut that short? Just enjoy your dance together and forget about your bridal party- they can wait 5 minutes to cut a rug.

LIGHT YOUR DANCE FLOOR "There are so many great things that happen during a reception, so you should think about how yours is going to be lit.

Ask the DJ or band to light themselves and the dance floor. Or, it it's in your budget, look into a lighting designer, who can add uplighting to the room and give it extra pop. Lighting makes the space look cooler and preserves the ambiance." Anne Ruthman, Anne Ruthman Photography - Boston, MA

My take: Totally worth the money photo-wise ... do whatever you can to avoid overhead florescent lights! There is very little we can do to make that look good.Ā