Working with Wedding Planners
If you’re one of the many wedding photographers that have had the experience of working with planners, I feel your pain, trust me.
But whether you have or haven’t had experience with them, I have some tips to make it as positive of an experience as possible.
Often times when we are working with planners, they take control of the day and rearrange the timeline to leave us no time for pictures, giving us the option to “deal with it”.
In order to combat this unfortunate situation, here are some things you can do:
1) When you find a good planner, stick with them! Treat them like gold, give them all the free pictures you want, give their info to your brides! There are a few planners we love to work with because they get what we do and they help us get what we need in order to make amazing images.
2) If you do happen to be working with a difficult planner, look to the bride for direction. If a planner were changing a timeline to a point where I was worried about the images we would be able to capture, I would call my bride, let her know the situation and what she is at risk with in regards to the images we will be able to capture, and let her dictate what direction I should take. Don’t waste your time arguing with the planner. Let the couple fight this battle. After all, they are the ones paying you. Typically once I present the situation to my bride she reigns the planner back in, lets them know pictures are a priority, and I have the timeline back to where it should be.
3) You can also prepare your bride in advance with some tips and timing that create great images. I create a document that lets them know all the important things that go into creating great images on their day. The bride can then pass this document along to the planner.
The next time you have to work with a planner, try killing them with kindness first, let them know you respect their job, and try to work with them. If that doesn’t work, go to the bride, and if the bride defers to the planner, let the bride know what images you will NOT be able to capture because of the set up, once the bride is warned, it is out of your hands and you have at least covered yourself once the wedding is over and the bride is wondering what happened. Work together so you are all in sync.
Think about it this way, its in the best interest of the planner to work with you. We can produce great images for them to use in their portfolio as well. Unfortunately, we have had more bad experiences with planners than good ones. I would say its probably a lot like photography. In the sense that, in our experience, the planners that are full time tend to get it (not always) and they respect us and other vendors. It seems to be the brides that planned their own weddings and now are planners on the weekends that create the most tension for everyone involved. Being a planner doesnt mean being a drill Sargent. Can you imagine how professional wedding planners must feel? – “everyone is a planner.”
Best bet to get in good with planners and develop that referral network, turn digital images around for them very quickly. Like in 24hrs quick! Give them something to post on their social media and you will be the hero.
Good luck to all of you who are and will be working with wedding planners, it can definitely be a huge benefit for them to help set up the day so that it is conducive to great images, so sing Kumbaya and try to make it work. 🙂
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Good recommendations, especially about delegating to the bride about switched timelines. Planners can help reduce stress, or create stress and fuss (which is why working with people you know and trust goes a long way in my book). If you are ever out in Minneapolis, let me know and I’d be happy to roll out the red carpet for ya. And I’ll be in NYC next summer/fall for weddings, so if you’re looking for some creative second shooting / exchange for services please let me know.