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Lead Wedding Photographer, Owner of Three16 Photography, and Boba lover.

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Helpful Tips

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Congratulations! You just had one of the most exciting moments in your life… you were proposed to! Super exciting because for the next couple of days, you’ll relive the moment over and over again in your mind of all the emotions you felt when the moment happened, especially if it was a surprise or a well thought out plan. Then there will also be the days of storytelling to your family, friends, co-workers and of course, making it Facebook official. Am I right? But now the real work begins. Putting together a wedding! And not just a wedding, but YOUR wedding. Hiring of vendors, including a wedding photographer.

One of the most important decisions you will make during this process is the hiring of vendors, especially your photographer. After all, compared to any other wedding vendor, we are the ones that will capture your moments for a lifetime.

Here at Three16 Photography, we feel there are things to consider when planning a wedding and building that relationship with your photographer. Therefore, as experienced wedding photographers, we recommend the 15 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You to Know about.

Enjoy and best of luck!

1. Trust Your Photographer

Work with a photographer that you feel you can trust. It will reduce a great deal of stress on yourself, and you will feel more confident that they’ll photograph the moments you want captured. Here at Three16 Photography, we strive to have your complete trust in us, so you don’t feel you have to be over our shoulder making sure we shoot the items you want. We want you to have the confidence that we have your back for the items you want captured.

Trust in your vendors. After all, what’s the point of hiring a wedding coordinator if you don’t trust them to get the job done? If you don’t feel that trust, replace them. Trust your DJ that they will play the right music and that they’ll do the introductions properly.

Trusting in your photographer and other vendors allows you to enjoy your wedding day and not worry about whether or not the professionals are doing their job for you.

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2. Hire Good Quality Vendors

If you feel that trust in your photographer, feel free to ask them for vendor recommendations. We are always happy to recommend a wedding planner, a wedding venue, a DJ, an ice cream vendor, a cake person, and so forth. We have worked with quite a few vendors over the years, and we feel some stand out more than others. We won’t steer you wrong.

In addition, it’s easier for us to work with vendors that we’ve worked with in the past because we know each other’s processes and what to expect from each other. They understand how we work, and we understand how they work. Not to mention we love seeing the faces we’re familiar with. Our industry often feels like a large family, and that makes it easier to connect you to them and communicate as well.


3. Wedding Coordinators are the Chiefs of Staff Amongst Your Vendors

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We absolutely recommend wedding coordinators as they make a huge difference in how your day runs. As wedding photographers, we often find ourselves playing the part of the wedding coordinator when a couple does not hire one. After all, we are the only vendor, outside the coordinator, that works with your entire itinerary. And as much as we don’t mind helping, things will run much smoother with a professional wedding coordinator, which in turn will allow us to focus on what we do best… photography.

Your wedding day can be exhausting, stressful, overwhelming, and simply daunting, so why not let someone who does it for a living handle that for you? We recommend doing your research. And with that, we would be happy to refer you to some great coordinators. Hire a coordinator who will lead and guide you along the way and help make the wedding planning experience much more enjoyable. They are the coach on the wedding day, and they make sure everything comes together perfectly.

Often, wedding venues will have a “coordinator” of their own, but they are really not the same. Some do a great job for you and with the other vendors, and some only care about how it affects their venue and their bosses, and not so much your wishes for other vendors. An outside wedding coordinator handles all aspects, and YOU are their number one client. They will advocate for you and will go toe to toe with any vendor or guest to protect your interest as the Bride and Groom and make sure you get the best out of your day.

If you are in need, here are some wedding coordinators we have worked with and hired for our own weddings in the past:

Rebecca Calagna Events     

Tala Events                             

Events by Katherine             

Brandi Jane Events              

For additional vendors, visit


4. Communication is the Key to Success

I cannot stress this enough. Your vendors need to be in communication with you and it is just as important for you to be in

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communication with your vendors. This will build that trust we spoke about earlier. Not only will build trust, but you will also have a better chance that your vendor will truly know what it is you want them to accomplish for you and not have questions about it on the day of your wedding or hope for the best on the day itself.

There have been times when couples do not send their timelines in until the last few days before the wedding. This makes everything more stressful and difficult for us on the wedding day to capture everything to the best of our ability as things take last minute. There are often certain logistics and communications with you, your family/guests, and vendors that need to take place and if you wait until the last days, don’t be surprised if something gets missed.

We always recommend having your final meeting with your photography studio 3-4 weeks before your wedding. It gives everyone involved the time to correct and change things. Communicate with your photographer so they have time to instruct their team and other vendors in advance, plus have all the proper equipment ready to go at your ceremony.


5. Not Fond of Surprises

Oftentimes, couples like to surprise their guests and add something to the wedding or the reception. Perhaps it’s a special dance, a special exit or grand entrance, or maybe to honor someone. We HIGHLY recommend giving us a heads up. Why? We don’t want to miss it. We want to capture that moment because it is obviously something special for you to create. In some cases, we might need to change out equipment to capture it correctly, and having a heads-up will allow us to be ready for the moment.

The bottom line is we want to be sure to capture all of your events beautifully.


6. Please Don’t Ask Them to Match Another Photographer’s Price

In Orange County, most of us wedding photographers have become friends. We get along and often work together. Here at Three16 Photography, we believe in community over competition. Photographers set their prices according to their business and family needs. So, if you ask another photographer to match our price, you are in essence taking money off their table. And the same goes if you were to ask us to match another’s pricing.

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I’ve been asked before why pricing is different from one photographer to another. For the most part, we are all in a certain range, but perhaps one photographer works solo or works out of their home, or has many years of experience or just a couple years, and/or different approaches. You may pick a package where it requires two photographers, thus they have to be paid, or the photographer has a studio, an in-house staff to pay for, and again, experience. A lot goes into setting prices. Everyone has their reasons for the pricing they offer. The money they charge is often put back into their business, upkeep on equipment, new and improved software, and paying bills. In essence, you are supporting a small business.

Instead of asking to price match, it’s always fine to ask to modify a package to meet your budget. We get that, and we have done that, but that usually means fewer features.

Lastly, we surely don’t want you to select your photographer simply based on price, but because you love the quality of their work.


7. We Strongly Recommend an Engagement Session

Having an engagement session prior to your wedding is truly a great way to connect with your photographer before the day of the wedding itself. We have found that the couples that do the sessions are much more at ease with their photographer on the day of the wedding. After all, there is a big difference between meeting your photographer and actually working with them. An engagement session allows you, your fiancé, and your photographer to spend some quality time together at a location, communicating, sharing some laughs, working together, and simply building that communication and trust with one another. It can make a really big difference on the wedding day itself.

In addition, if you are someone who isn’t too comfortable being in front of a camera, this will give you some time to adjust in a non-stressful way to become comfortable. If you have a great photographer, they will ease you into it so that you will be more at ease on the day of the wedding. You’ll be a natural.

It’s also a great opportunity that will allow your photographer to share details and scenarios with you for your upcoming wedding, so you’ll know what to expect or maybe practice a few poses.

Also, having engagement photos is not only a great way to decorate your home, but to use for your Save the Date announcements or to be used on display at your wedding. And if you don’t have a location already in mind for your engagement shoot, ask us and we can help recommend some spots that will fit your personality. If time permits, and another location is nearby, we often will shoot at a second spot to give you varied choices and scenery.

And the last reason you should consider an engagement photo session… It’s a lot of fun!!

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8. Guests Should be Courteous and Respect Your Day

Bottom line, we want your guests to be in the moment with you. And to do that, we highly recommend an unplugged ceremony. Meaning, put away the cameras, cell phones, and iPads. Trust us to capture your wedding day. It often becomes discouraging when we are in a position to get a good shot of you at the altar, only to have a guest lift up their phone or iPad causing your face to be blocked prior to the shot or sometimes as we are shooting the photo.

Believe it or not, it can also be a risk factor. I have seen photographers be in position snapping photos before quickly moving to the next spot, only to step backward and trip over a guest who kneeled down behind them trying to get their own photo. The photographer landed hard on the cement ground banging that very expensive camera onto the ground as well.

You can have signs put up or have an announcement made before the family and wedding party start making their way towards the aisle. I have seen the pastor make the announcement, the backup coordinator, the venue operator, or even the DJ.

We encourage guests to take as many photos as they would like during the reception time. So, there is plenty of time for their photos. Just ask them to respect your day and the significance of it.


9. Please Treat Vendors as if They Are Guests

Vendors, especially photographers and videographers, love to have a table towards the back where they can sit and have a meal during your

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reception. It’s also great to have that small area so that we are able to set down cameras and other equipment as it can get pretty heavy after a while. Especially during the summer when the temperature is much hotter. It serves as a location where we are out of the way and can be at ease and unwind before the second wind takes hold.

This all said, no vendor should ever take advantage of this, but when the wedding couple goes the extra mile for their vendors with a table or offers an appetizer, it is truly appreciated.

A great way to be sure your vendors have a spot to sit and that they get fed properly is to include them in your overall headcount and add a table to your seating chart. Want us to feel really part of your wedding? Send your vendors a Save the Date, especially if you use a photo from an engagement photo session. You can also send us a wedding invitation and a thank you card.

A little kindness goes a long way.


10. Vendors Love to Eat

Your vendors, such as DJs, photographers, wedding coordinators, and perhaps videographers love to eat just like anyone else. But besides the joy of eating, it is often required. At many weddings, we work will your event for 8 to 10 hours, and although we may be our business owners, when we are at your event, we are required to follow the state’s labor laws. Vendors such as your florist, hairstylist, etc, are not included unless they happen to be a guests at your wedding in the first place. Many of them do their job and leave the site.

Typically, we eat when you eat since there is usually no event going on to be photographed, other than catching fun photos of you and your guests shoving food into their mouths. Probably not a good idea. Besides, keeping vendors fed during a long day keeps their energy up and going. We shot a wedding once where the guests were served a fancy meal, and the vendors were given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Pretty discouraging.


11. Give Your Vendors Time to Catch Their Breath

As mentioned, your photographers and videographers are running around trying to get into that perfect position, and with it, they are lugging around equipment. Often heavy equipment. Be patient and allow for little breaks throughout the day. It gives us a chance to refuel for the next challenge. In the long run, it benefits you to have a refreshed vendor.

And it’s not just for your vendors. You as the wedding couple should also take short breaks throughout the day as the day can be very overwhelming for you. Everyone pulling you one way or another to spend time with you or you have certain things to accomplish, it just never ends.

The best time we recommend for little breaks is right before the ceremony begins. Initial photos are done, and guests are starting to arrive. The other time is right after you are announced during your grand entrance at the reception. Traditionally, the couple is announced and is seated before dinner service. That is the perfect time. A more modern approach is to have your grand entrance and go right into your first dance before sitting for dinner. Once the first dance is over, the break can take place.


12. We Don’t Want to Have Our Photos Edited

Photographers as a whole are very particular about their work. Their camera is their paintbrush and are just as much of an artist as a painter, a sculpture, and other great artist categories. So, after we shoot a wedding, the selection and editing of photos is when the real work begins. About 90% of photographing a wedding takes place back at the studio and that is why it takes as long as it does to provide you with your final product.

If you are the only client that we are working with at that moment, of course, it will be much quicker to get your photos back, but ask yourself, how come this photographer has so little business going on? Many couples we have spoken to over the years have preferred a photographer who is in demand because the quality of their work is often better. Whether it’s the busy season versus a non-busy season can also dictate the length of time it takes to provide the finished product. That’s why we note this in the contract with our clients so that we can not only get their photos to them in the proper time frame, but with great quality. What good is it to get them quicker if you are sacrificing quality?

We understand the excitement of wanting to see your photos, so, feel free to ask for a few sneak peeks, and the rest will be ready at a later date.

We recommend when deciding on a photographer to read Google and Yelp reviews and look for those photographers that have consistent issues with delivering your photos within the time frame in your contract. Those red flags should guide you to someone else.

Lastly, if you edit your finished photos on your own and they are not done well, and then you share them, it makes it look like we did a poor job as you are representing your photos as shot by your photographer and that can be a misrepresentation of our work.


13. Encourage Your Photographer to Share About You

At Three16 Photography, we love posting blogs and sharing our couple’s events on social media. The more we celebrate you, the better. One of the nice things about social media is it becomes a way for you to share some of your better photos with your family and friends who may not have been invited, couldn’t come, or simply live too far.

Also, keep in mind, as you planned your wedding, you might have looked at other couples for inspiration. By sharing your experience, you will only inspire those coming up after you. Be excited and share information with your photographer. Loving details from the time you met, to your first date, to your proposal, to the engagement up to the wedding. Be an inspiration.

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14. Tips Are Not Required, but Always Encouraged & Appreciated

Often a vendor you use will build in a gratuity, especially restaurants and some wedding venues. But not all vendors do, so a small gesture can go a long way. As vendors, we understand budgets and we understand prices are high for weddings, but it’s ok to give a little something extra. When vendors do everything, they can do to fulfill your wishes when you choose to hire them, getting a tip always puts an extra bounce in people’s steps and you want to do even more for the client.

So, keep in mind the person who does your hair, your makeup, the photographer, the videographer, the DJ, the wedding coordinator, the florist, or any other vendor you use.

And although not mandatory, it truly is greatly appreciated.


15. Don’t be Afraid to Have Fun

I cannot express this enough… Have fun with your photographer!! Have fun on your wedding day. It’s your special day, so enjoy it. Being able to joke around with your photographer makes you more comfortable. So, take advantage of the opportunity to connect with them.



Many photographers would love to connect with you on a personal level as well. It often makes your day run a little smoother. Speaking about my team and I, we have been happy and blessed to continue to be in touch with many of our clients over the years. So, don’t be afraid. Feel free to reach out to them and invite them to coffee, lunch, or dinner. It will allow you and your fiancé to further connect with your photographer before your wedding day.


If you and your significant other are in need of photography services, please reach out to us for a free consultation.


15 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wants You To Know

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Congratulations! You just had one of the most exciting moments in your life… you were proposed to! Super exciting because for the next couple of days, you’ll relive the moment over and over again in your mind of all the emotions you felt when the moment happened, especially if it was a surprise or a […]

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

01. Frequent Questions

Resources to guide you as you plan for your engagement session, wedding, or family session.


03. portfolio

02. venues

04. contact us

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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