Even if you are using the best wedding photographer in Nigeria for your event, most Nigerians still make blunders in the photo sessions of their wedding. If you are sincere, if you are wedded, you definitely made some of these mistakes and if are yet to wed, you can avoid them. Now, which of these mistakes did you make?
1. The African Time Syndrome
Nigerians are notorious for being late to their weddings. Most of the time, they let panic get in the way. I can recount a pathetic but funny situation where the bridegroom’s wedding suit was still with the tailor as at 9am on the wedding morning. The tailor’s shop was under lock and key and his mobile number was switched off. The bridegroom had to wear his younger brother’s suit. I can tell you that you don’t want to hear how he looked in that outfit. That day, he could pay anything to have his confidence back. The beauty of a good photograph stems from your confidence. He was generally restless and it showed on the shoot. Therefore if your photographer says 4pm make everything ready before 3pm so you don’t rush to the venue in haste.
2. Letting Relatives Get in the Way
Since the emergence of smart phones and tablets in Nigeria, weddings have become an avenue of showing off, we find these “ajibos” (usually friends and relatives of the celebrants) scrambling to capture the couple on their devices for social media sake. It’s not a bad idea though, but it can be, especially when they keep getting in the way of the professional photographer. This happens all the time, the relatives of the couple may think they’re doing you a favor by taking more shots for the couple, but usually he just gets in the way and makes the professional miss the shots.
3. Not Explaining How You Like to Look in Photos
“Beauty is really very subjective. I ask my clients to send a photo of themselves before the wedding, especially the pictures they like and ones they don’t.” By doing so, I will pick their best poses. Most couples just want to look cutie. Prior to their wedding day, they strike good poses. On their wedding day, they falter. Most people are not used to getting too much attention, many eyes staring at them and they blush excessively in their wedding photos. For such couples, I capture them unawares.
4. Not Getting a Second Shooter
Sometimes, couples can be ridiculously cheapskate. It’s either that they want to save a little money or feel that it is too obtrusive for more than one photographer to be present on the wedding day. But consider this: The second photographer offers another unique point of view throughout the entire day that you would not have had photographed. Most times, the second photographer captures random reactions from your guest when you say “I do”, who grinned, who smiled, who hissed and so on. It’s a story told with pictures. In football video coverage, different moments are captured. Like the coaches reactions when an opponent scores, reactions from the fans, racist chants from the stands and placards from fans.
5. Trying to Make Things Perfect
Perfect pictures are not taken when you display your best pose, perfect pictures come from moments of brilliance. I will always tell my clients, “Just have fun — whether it’s getting a little cake on your face or some little detail that didn’t turn out 100 percent like you had hoped, go with it, have fun, and keep smiling. The photos will be so different if the bride is scowling at her new hubby, don’t you think?”
6. Skipping the “First Look”
“A ‘first look’ [aka taking your couple photos before the ceremony] is so much better than trying to rush bride and groom portraits after the ceremony — especially if your ceremony ran a little late (which most do). You end up trying to hurry up and get to the reception party.”
7. Looking at the Camera All the Time
Some couples want candid photographs, but they always feel like they need to look up at the camera and stop what they are doing. It could be an instinct, but remember, unless the photographer asks you, try to act natural for the best journalistic shots.
8. Not Providing a List of “Don’t Takes”
“Let the photographer know before the wedding if there are certain photos you don’t like. It can be anything such as ‘I don’t like the photos you took of us not smiling’ or ‘I don’t like smiling excessively in photos; it makes me look weird and fat.’ It totally throws off a photographer’s creative approach when a bride spills her feelings while he is on his job.
9. Skipping the Pre-wedding Studio Photo-shooting Session
Engagement sessions increase the confidence and comfort level of the bride and groom in front of the camera and allow the bride and groom to practice having their photo taken in a fun, no-stakes atmosphere. Ultimately, an engagement session will let the bride and groom see why the photographer might tell them to do something funny, and this leads to wedding day comfort and trust in the photographer.
10. Not Hiring a Professional Photographer
Choose a professional photography company in Nigeria and not just anyone with a digital camera and a website. Make sure the photographer you choose has an education as a photographer, has apprenticed or interned with other photographers and paid their dues, and has the experience and ability to consistently capture the moments of your wedding no matter what situations may arise.
Hope it was insightful?