You’ve dedicated all this time and money to getting wedding photos that you can fawn over for years. The wedding day comes and goes, and it was straight-up magical.
You cannot wait to get your gallery back from your wedding photographer, because if your day was that wonderful, clearly the wedding pics are going to be out of this world.
Your photographer finally sends you the link, and womp womp – you’re just not feeling it. Or worse, you can’t find a single photo you like! So, how to tell a photographer you don’t like the photos?
Let’s hope this is a hypothetical situation and not something you’re currently living.
How To Make Sure You Love Your Wedding Photos
If you’re simply trying to get ahead of this kind of situation, then brava! There are things you can do that will help you avoid this awkward outcome entirely.
Hire a Photographer You Love
First up, you better hire a photographer you love.
Do your homework by looking at portfolios and matching your photographer’s style with yours.
If you care about your pictures, hire someone who takes photos you drool over. No offense to your friends and family members, but they’re probably not going to cut it as your wedding photographer.
You want to hire a professional to get professional work!
Someone who’s been in the game for more than a minute understands what angles work, they notice details that seem out of whack (like that stray bra strap), and they’re familiar with the ebb and flow of a wedding day (and all the pitfalls).
I can’t stress this one enough. Hire well!
Yes, it will cost money.
Communicate Your Expectations and Desires
Communication is crucial. Consider what photos you’ll expect from a successful wedding day.
Some things you’ll want to think about:
Your Shot List
Think about those wedding day photos that you just can’t do without. They might include certain family members or wedding guests, maybe a specific kind of wedding portrait, or details that you’ll be carrying with you on your wedding day.
Unique Moments + Locations
Consider where your wedding will be. Why are you having it there? Are there any special wedding shots you’d like at that location? Maybe some unique moments will happen during your ceremony that you won’t want your photographer to miss.
These restrictions could be put in place by your venue (i.e., no moving around in a church) or by your own religious or familial preferences. Or perhaps, they’re just things that you want to avoid. Maybe you’re sensitive to your waistline, face shape, or how your booty looks in photos.
If you hire a professional, your photographer will likely ask you many of these questions and have a shot-list of their own, but it always helps to be forthright with your expectations.
If everyone knows what the goal is, it makes it easier to hit the target.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Lighting can do a whole heck of a lot to level up your photos or… not.
Yes, your photographer (if they’re worth their salt) will know how to work with the lighting they’ve been given. But they’re not magicians. They can only do so much.
Harsh lighting will never work in your favor. Talk with your venue and see what you can do to get gorgeous, glowing light to set you up for success.
If you don’t see an iPad in your mind’s eye when you envision your perfect wedding photos, opt for an unplugged wedding.
You’ll be rewarded with guests who are fully present and wedding photos that aren’t inundated with smartphones and ugly tech.
How To Tell a Photographer You Don’t Like the Photos?
What if we’re too late, though?
If you didn’t get ahead of the game with the above tips, or you did, but you’re still unhappy, then what do you do?
Get Clear about Why You Don’t Like Your Photos
Take a breath and figure out what it is about the wedding photos that you don’t like.
And, tough love time – if it has to do with something you are insecure about, well, friend, that ain’t your photographer’s fault!
Your photographer is there to capture you in all of your gorgeous beauty, but if you have a hard time seeing your beauty, there’s not much anyone can do about that.
So, if you’re upset because you feel like you look heavy, hate your wrinkles, or despise how your legs look, then take a beat. Maybe use this as a prompt to look inside and figure out why you feel that way about yourself.
Talk to Your Wedding Photographer
However, if you decide that your photographer didn’t deliver what you expected, then simply talk with them about it.
Be clear but kind.
Remember that your photographer was hired to do a job, but they are also a human with feelings, and they deserve to be treated with respect. As do you.
Come to them with what you’re unhappy about, but be specific.
Was it the way they edited things? Does it not match the style they advertise in their portfolio?
Did they miss shots that you specifically requested be captured? Did they take a hundred photos of you eating and none of you dancing?
Take what you learned from the first tip, and bring it to your photographer in a kind and transparent way.
Ask If There Are Other Images
Most wedding photographers take home a ridiculous amount of photos and then deliver the best of the best to you.
But if you are unhappy with the photos your photographer chose, maybe there are some more that you might actually like.
See if your photographer would be willing to share the ones that didn’t make the cut.
Let Them Make It Right
If your photographer was at fault, allow them to make it right.
Perhaps they can fix things with a re-edit. Maybe they can send the photos out to a photo retoucher. Or they might even offer you a complimentary “day after” session.
That way, you can relive your wedding day magic and get those photos you were hoping for.
Ask for a Follow Up Session
If they don’t offer a follow-up session, ask for one.
If you feel that a “day after” session would help get you the photos you were hoping for, then don’t be afraid to kindly ask if that’s something your photographer would consider.
Put in the Work to Get Photos You Love
Ultimately, this is your special time, and getting the wedding photos you desire is your responsibility.
Put in the work to hire the right photographer for you, and consistently communicate with them about the big day.
If you do, hopefully, you’ll be rewarded with photos you love. If not, well, now you know what to do.