Let's get real here...
Photographers, even the super nice and helpful ones, are still human, and we have some shit that bothers us a little, or worse, makes our jobs harder. Read on to find out what those things are!
1. Not padding your wedding day timeline
We totally get it! There's so much you want to fit into your wedding day, and so many moments you want your photographer to capture, but not padding your wedding timeline enough will leave you, your wedding party, and your photographer(s) feeling stressed. If your photographer is a pro, they won't show it, but I guarantee that everyone will feel better and have a nicer time if you don't try to pack too much into the wedding day timeline!
2. Aunt Judy's ipad
Okay, so maybe your Aunt's name isn't Judy, but if you're like most couples, I am positive that you have at least one Aunt or extended family member who will definitely show up with a giant iPad pro and want to use it to take photos during the ceremony. Any other time, we'd say knock yourself out, but we really recommend an unplugged ceremony so that your guests can focus on what's important (the wedding!) and avoid stepping immediately in front of the photographer(s) you're paying to be there while they're trying to photograph your wedding. Let the professionals be the folks with the cameras during the ceremony and you won't regret it.
3. Not having seats at the reception
Of course your photographer isn't going to be seated for your entire reception, but we do have an awful lot of equipment generally, and it's nice to have a designated place to set it down, as well as a 'touchdown' station for super important things like water and dinner rolls to help us keep up our energy and hydration during the reception. It's also very helpful if the seat is near the head table when possible, so we can capture those impromptu kisses and things, even while we're eating fast enough to break the speed of light. Also, even if you don't plan on doing 'assigned seats', it's a great idea to reserve a few spots that are specifically for your close family members (parents generally) and for your vendors. Trust me, your photographer(s) will thank you!
4.overly restrictive photo rules at venues
There are some venues, largely of the more religious variety, that have some really restrictive rules around photography, including significant restrictions on where photographers can stand, and even what they can take photos of. No joke, we've done weddings where we actually weren't allowed to photograph the first kiss. Now, if the couple knows this about their chosen venue and is cool with it, great! But we find these rules and restrictions are normally communicated only to the photographer(s) and only on the day of, not in advance. For that reason, we strongly recommend that couples check with their venue about photography rules ahead of time, to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the big day!
Okay, I like Pinterest as much as the next person. That said, most photographers will cringe inwardly (sometimes outwardly) if you say something like "I'm going to send you my wedding photography Pinterest board!" Here's why; you very likely hired your wedding photographer because you like his or her style, and not because you want them to recreate another photographers images frame for frame. It's totally fine to have ideas of stuff you'd like to have photographed, but it's a really good rule of thumb to try not to recreate something you've seen on Pinterest (or Facebook, or Instagram, etc.) and instead work with your photographer to get your own unique photos that are representative of you and your partner!
6. Creepy or Rude wedding guests
Okay, I hate that this is true, but it is. Sometimes guests (or wedding party members) can get a little creepy. It can be inappropriate comments, unwanted touching (seriously Dad of the Bride, I don't need a back rub), or any number of other creepy-dude type things. Also, sometimes guests can get a little rude, even if they're not being creepy. This includes things like touching our photography equipment without permission (seriously, just don't), making out loud derogatory comments about us 'taking up table space' or 'eating' (I don't know why some guests really struggle with thinking it's weird to feed your vendors or rude of vendors to take you up on the offer of food during a long day), or just generally being jerky. Normally, your photographer(s) can handle themselves and are super used to this kind of behavior, so you should know that if it rises to the level that your photographer has to say something to you about it, it's a big deal, and should be taken very seriously. You should also know that most photographers/vendors have clauses in their contracts about a zero-tolerance policy on harassment. If your photographer (or any vendor), lets you know about a creepy or crappy situation, please take that seriously and assign someone to talk with the offending party about the importance of good behavior.
7. Overly complex Formal Shot Lists
I'm all for folks getting the formal photos that they want to have, but sometimes, in an effort to make sure they didn't miss anything, couples can go a teeeeennnnyyyy bit overboard by building in every conceivable combination of the same 20 people into their formal shot list. Now, this is an interesting pet peeve because the photographer really doesn't care, it's more of an issue because the more combinations and more extended family being worked into the formal shot list, the longer the formal photos take, and the less time there is for things like fun couple's photos, candid shots, etc. (you know, the stuff you'll actually be excited to look at later) AND the more likely it is that family members will start getting cranky or hangry or both (and not just the children) because photos are taking forever. Always do a once-over on your formal shot list to examine whether there are any photos that are essentially duplicates and that you could pare down to make the experience faster and better for everyone (yourselves included!)
8. "We're just going to Wing it"
You should never use this phrase in relation to your wedding day. No seriously. All photographers who hear any version of "We're just going to wing it!" come out of couple's mouths want to run for the hills (but we won't, we'll just stay and watch the train wreck happen, unable to look away). The truth is that weddings are a big deal, and there is a LOT of planning that goes into them, so it's best to either take the time to plan out the details (break it into chunks to make it easier or hire a wedding planner) or to decide that if something is too stressful to plan, you will just leave that thing out of your wedding day entirely. 'Winging it' normally means timelines that don't work, cranky and confused guests and wedding party members, and a couple that's actually more stressed out than if they had just planned ahead or hired a professional to do that bit of planning. Trust us, preparedness is key to things going smoothly!
9. Ghosting your photographer
Okay, so like, I know that your relationship with your photographer(s) isn't really something you think about much after the wedding day, but for photographers who love wedding photography, and are super invested in the couples they work with, I can't tell you how disheartening it is finish editing a couple's wedding, be SOOOOOOO excited for them to see it, hit that send button, and then.... nothing. *crickets* Like... you literally never hear from this couple again. I also can't even begin to describe the crippling self-doubt that sets in. "Do they hate the photos? Do they hate me? Did they get in some sort of horrible car accident? Are they literally in a coma right now?!" I've learned over time that it's normally just because the couple got busy, and kind of forgot to say thanks or provide feedback, and not because they didn't love the photos. They viewed the whole thing as more of a transaction than a relationship, which is also okay, but dude, we're begging you, at least say you got the album! I'd also wager a bet that these are normally the couples that never quite get around to sending their thank you cards either. Don't be that couple.
Hopefully this has been insightful, and allows you to avoid some of these pitfalls when planning your own weddings! ;)