Wedding Photography Myths Busted

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming and stressful. After more than a decade in the wedding industry, I’ve seen and heard a lot of crazy things when it comes to photography, so I’m here to help by busting some of the top wedding photography myths!


MYTH: It’s too expensive / I can’t afford it

BUSTED: Everyone has a budget for their wedding and priorities within that budget. For some people having an amazing DJ to create an awesome party is their top priority; for others, it’s five-star dining for their guests. While those things are amazing, they’re also as fleeting as your wedding day! Beyond your new spouse and your shiny new wedding ring, the main thing you’ll have left after your wedding is your wedding photos. Consider how you’ll feel if your only memories are blurry, dark photos that only vaguely capture the day you so carefully planned.

Professional photographers come at a wide variety of price points and oftentimes can customize a package to meet your needs, so spend some time doing research and reading reviews on photography pros in your area. Ask recently married friends for recommendations and meet with your top 2-3 choices to see which wedding photographer works best for you.

MYTH: I’ll just have someone take photos with their cell phone

BUSTED: While cell phone cameras are getting better all the time, nothing beats professional camera gear, especially in low light! Wedding photographers shoot with super high-resolution cameras (which means you can make huge prints to hang over your fireplace) that have slots for dual memory cards to backup your images as they’re taken and high-end lenses and off-camera flash that bring even the dimmest rooms to life. Unlike professional cameras, there’s also a lag on camera phones when the button is pushed, meaning you might miss key moments.

MYTH: We don’t need a lot of time for family photos

BUSTED: If you have a big family and want photos with all of them, or even if you have a small family but want lots of different combinations, formal family portraits will take time. And family members tend to wander after the ceremony, adding to the time it takes to capture the images.

There are a few things you can do before the big day to speed the process. Talk to your photographer about who exactly you want in the family photos. Parents, siblings, and grandparents and my usual suggestions to couples and I love having a list of exactly what combinations my couples want. Let your photographer know if there are any step-parents and how they should be included in the photos to avoid any potentially uncomfortable moments on your wedding day. Alert family members before the wedding that you’d like them to stay for photos and set a meeting place for them to go after the ceremony. With all that preparation, your family photos will go more smoothly and quickly.

You might also consider doing a first look before the ceremony with your spouse-to-be! This would allow you to do your couple, wedding party, and family photos before the ceremony so you can go enjoy your cocktail hour!

 The royal blue and gold wedding of Jessica and Bruce at Noah's Event Venue in Lake Mary, Florida

MYTH: My family / friend can take all the pics we need

BUSTED: If they’re a professional photographer, that’s awesome! But your average person—and even some hobbyist photographers—lack the understanding of how to properly light in a dark room (like most churches or reception venues) or don’t understand the timing for capturing key wedding moments, leaving you and risk for lackluster images—and a damaged relationship with that person!

MYTH: Photographers are lucky—they only work one day a week

BUSTED: If only that was the case! Oftentimes wedding photographers will shoot two weddings in a weekend and also engagement photo sessions during the week! Add editing, emails, social media posting, bookkeeping, and all the other things necessary to run a business, and photographers typically work 40+ hour weeks! Don’t get me wrong, we love what we do, but it’s definitely a fulltime job! [Lori’s Note: this was written on a Monday, my “day off” after shooting two weddings this past weekend]

MYTH: I need to tell my photographers what to take pictures of

BUSTED: The reality is, all photographers work differently. Some photographers welcome lists and even require them, others don’t need or want them. Typically a list of family photo groupings (as mentioned above) is welcome as they speed up the formal family portraits. Before you book a photographer, ask how they like to work to ensure you’re on the same page!

MYTH: My photographer needs to have shot at my venue previously / tour my venue before my wedding

BUSTED: Is it helpful? Sure! Is it necessary? Nope! Wedding photographers are super adept at walking into new situations and creating amazing images on the fly. All venues are different and even look different (or are lit differently) on different days and flexibility and the ability to adapt to new situations and different lighting are some of the most important skills a wedding photographer can have! That said, it is okay to ask if they’ve shot at your venue before and, if so, to see images from that wedding!


MYTH: It can be fixed in Photoshop.

BUSTED: Can it? Sure. Should it be? Not necessarily! It takes two seconds to tuck in your stray bra strap and maybe 5-10 minutes to fix it in Photoshop, so Photoshop isn’t always the answer! Also, depending on the type of retouching needed to fix something in Photoshop, it may be an extra charge from your photographer.

MYTH: My photographer can edit my pictures however I want, even changing their style for me.

BUSTED: If you like light and airy photos, hire someone who shoots and edits that way. Prefer dark and moody or timeless and true-to-life? Hire someone who shoots and edits in those styles. Hiring someone whose style is dark and moody, then asking them to shoot and edit light and airy is like buying a ticket for Disney and then trying to use it to get into Universal.

Additionally, most photographers have in their contract that you are prohibited from editing the photos they deliver—and that includes Instagram filters. So save yourself the heartache and the headache and hire a photographer whose style you like!

MYTH: The most expensive photographer is the best photographer

BUSTED: Photographers set their pricing based on several factors and, yes, skill and talent can be one of those factors. But pricing is also based on so many things, not the least of which is our cost of doing business. Truly the best photographer is one whose work you love and who is insured and has the necessary city and state business licenses.

 wedding photos by Orlando wedding photographer Lori Barbely

MYTH: I need a photographer for 14 hours

BUSTED: It really depends on your plan for the day and what photos are important to you. Your photographer (or potential photographer) can go through your wedding day timeline and make suggestions on how much coverage you need. You don’t necessarily need a photographer the entire time you’re getting ready or for your entire reception, so a good photographer can help you balance your photographic wishlist with your budget!

MYTH: I need to book a photo/video team

BUSTED: If you happen to love the style of a joint photo/video team, go for it! If not, know that the majority of professional photographers and videographers are happy to work with each other to ensure that each other get the best quality photos and video for the couple!

MYTH: I need to book a photographer ASAP (or I can wait till last minute and get a good photographer)

BUSTED: Getting married in peak season? Booking your photographer early is highly recommended! Or if there’s a photographer that you’re absolutely obsessed with, I definitely suggest booking them early in the process since they can only shoot one wedding a day! Can you snag a deal by waiting until the last minute? Possibly, but you run the risk of not getting the photographer or style of photography that you want!

 wedding photos by Orlando wedding photographer Lori Barbely

MYTH: I don’t need engagement photos.

BUSTED: Need? No. But they’re a great way to help you get used to being in front of the camera before your wedding day. Being engaged is also a special—and fleeting—time in your life. It’s the time that the two of you decided to spend the rest of your lives together, why not capture that moment in time with a gorgeous set of photos?

MYTH: I’ll have my wedding photos back the next day

BUSTED: This is another one that’s photographer dependant. It’s important when you’re considering hiring a photographer to ask what their turnaround time is and to ensure that it’s stated in their contract. (And if you’re hiring a wedding photographer who doesn’t use a contract, well, just don’t!) Editing images takes time and 4-6 weeks seems to be average turnaround time, with many wedding photographers providing sneak peeks within a week of the wedding.

MYTH: One photographer is fine, I don’t need a second shooter

BUSTED: Weddings can absolutely be done with a single photographer. However, bigger weddings can certainly benefit from having a second shooter. A second shooter allows getting ready coverage of both people simultaneously and allows things like capturing different angles during that first look or the walk down the aisle. That said, if your photography budget is tight, not having a second shooter may be a good place to cut costs.

 Intimate wedding shoot themed around The Notebook Movie

MYTH: I don’t need an album, I only want digital files

BUSTED: I get it—everything is in the cloud these days. But remember flipping through your parents or grandparent’s wedding album as a child? Scrolling through the cloud through a mass of digital images just isn’t the same! A wedding album tells the story of your day from start to finish and is the first heirloom of your new family.

MYTH: I look awkward in / don’t take good photos / am not photogenic

BUSTED: Everyone can look good in photos! A good professional will take the time to make their clients comfortable and pose them in flattering ways. And yes, we do sometimes capture those awkward looking faces. That’s the reason that we don’t deliver every single photo captured on your wedding day! We edit out the photos that would make you feel less-than-confident and deliver the images that show you at your amazing best!

MYTH: I don’t need to feed the photographer(s)

BUSTED: When you work an eight hour day, you need to eat lunch, right? So do we! The reality is, it’s rare for us to sit down during the eight (or more) hours we work at your wedding, so feeding us keeps our energy up to ensure great pictures! And many photographers have something in their contract that if a meal is not provided by the couple, they can leave the event for up to 30 minutes to get food. So please, feed your photographer(s)! The reality is, we typically inhale the provided meal in 3.2 minutes and get right back to shooting because it’s typically the time for an important event, like a toast or a special dance, but we truly appreciate being fed!

Why Hire a Photographer for Your Wedding Shower

There can be so many events leading up to your wedding—engagement parties, wedding showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners—you get the picture! Well, you will if you hire a photographer to capture the occasion!

At most of these pre-wedding events, you’ll be the center of attention, which means odds are good that you won’t stop to snap photos. And you can certainly ask family and friends to take pictures, but who wants to rely on blurry cell phone shots for important one-in-a-lifetime events like these? Plus, having a professional photographer frees up your friends and family to simply relax and enjoy the event!

Now you certainly don’t need a photographer to document every single gift you open, so if you’re looking to keep costs reasonable, hire your photographer to come for the first hour or two to capture detail photos and images of you mingling with your guests. You’ll treasure the memory for years to come!

Top 5 Ways to Alleviate Wedding Stress

There’s no denying it: weddings can be STRESSFUL! Odds are good that you’ve never planned an event of this size and everyone has opinions! I’m sharing my top five tips for ways you can alleviate wedding stress!

"Is this really happening right now?" Kelsey and Nick had literally just flown in from New York to start their Disney vacation and needless to say, she was not expecting it to be this magical! Congrats you two!
#shesaidyes #imgettingmarried #proposal #engagementring #shotbylori #lovestoryteller #orlandoweddingphotographer #2020bride #imengaged #destinationweddingphotographer #engaged #theknot #storyteller #orlandoweddingphotography #loveauthentic #floridawedding #orlando #orlandoproposalphotographer #proposalphotos #bluehour

1. Don’t Rush

Newly engaged? Don’t ask everyone you know to immediately be your bridesmaids. Don’t book the first venue (or buy the first dress) you see. Take some time, enjoy your newly engaged status and talk about what you two as a couple envision for your wedding BEFORE you start making decisions that come with non-refundable price tags!

"Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.
#shesaidyes #imgettingmarried #proposal #engagementring #shotbylori #lovestoryteller #orlandoweddingphotographer #2019bride #imengaged #destinationweddingphotographer #engaged #theknot #storyteller #orlandoweddingphotography #loveauthentic #floridawedding #orlando #florida

2. Prioritize

What are the things that are most important to you as a couple? Not your parents or your sister or your best friend. (Caveat: if your parents are kicking in cash, they’ll have opinions that you should definitely take into consideration.) Once you’ve determined what’s important, divide your budget accordingly and be prepared to spend less on some things and more on other things. You may spend more on flowers and less on an open bar than your best friend if that’s what’s important to you and that’s perfectly okay!


3. Get Help

Wedding planners and coordinators (yes, there’s a difference!) can help keep your stress levels in check. A good wedding planner can help you with all the details along the way, heck, they can plan the entire wedding for you if that’s what you want (and is within your budget)! Wedding coordinators can run point on your big day and keep this flowing smoothly and allow you to focus on the fun things!

If you’re more of a DIYer—there’s no shame in that—don’t try to do it all yourself! Ask bridesmaids for help with small projects like tying ribbons on favors or sticking stamps on invites. But be sure to not bite off your than you can chew—no one should be cooking for 200 or assembling bouquets on their big day!

 wedding photos by Orlando wedding photographer Lori Barbely

4. Don’t Overspend

Weddings aren’t worth going into debt over! Repeat after me: weddings are NOT worth going into debt over! Yes, lavish weddings are impressive and fun, but your wedding day should be about the two of you and your marriage, not just your wedding! It’s easy to get caught up—and prices start adding up—in your planning, but starting out your newlywed life with the burden of debt from an over-the-top wedding isn’t a recipe for success! At the end of the day if you spend $500 or $50,000, you’ll still be married and that’s what matters!

 wedding photos by Orlando wedding photographer Lori Barbely

5. Let it Go

Here’s the thing: you put a lot of time and energy into planning the perfect day. And to be honest, odds are good that something will go wrong on your big day. Now it’ll probably be something minor and what really matters is how you respond do it. Maybe your napkins are (ever so slightly) the wrong shade of pink. Now being super involved at planning, you notice, but your guests will probably have no idea. Unless you blow up and make it a big thing. So take a deep breath, let it go, and marry the love of your life! Because that’s truly what this day is about!

15 Gift Ideas for Newly Engaged Couples

Whether you just got engaged and want to treat yourself or are looking for a gift for a newly engaged friend, these 15 engagement gift ideas are sure to make you smile faster than you can click add to cart!


I Said Yaaasss T-shirt

Said yaaass and want to tell the world? What better than this adorable I said yaaasss t-shirt? Complete with an engagement ring emoji, this blush pink tee is perfect for dress shopping, your bachelorette party, or even as an option for your engagement photos.

Wedding Countdown Calendar

Count down the days to the big day with this wooden wedding countdown calendar. Adjust the blocks daily to count down towards your wedding and after you tie the knot, flip it to the other side and use it as an anniversary tracker to count upwards from “years since we said I do”.


Does This Ring Make Me Look Engaged? Coffee Mug

Maybe it’s the ring, maybe it’s the excited glow, but this Does This Ring Make Me Look Engaged? coffee mug is a not-so-subtle way to tell the world you’re about to tie the knot. Spill the tea with your coworkers on how your partner popped the question while sipping your tea from this generously sized 11 ounce mug.

Engagement Ring Dish

Stash your sparkler safely with this cute engagement ring dish. This ceramic trinket tray will keep your engagement ring soap free while showering and prevent it from getting damaged while washing dishes.


Leveling Up to Husband T-Shirt

Your guy may not have a shiny new ring to show off his status, so get him this Leveling Up to Husband t-shirt as a fun way for him tell all his friends that he’s about to tie the knot!

Wedding Planner

Apps and online notes are great, but sometimes you just want to write stuff down and keep it in one place. Enter the wedding planner. This spiral bound hardcover paper planner has spots for guest and vendor planning as well as monthly planning and areas to jot down your vision for your big day.


The Groom’s Instruction Manual

The groom-to-be’s role doesn’t end with popping the question. With answers to common questions and male-oriented advice, the Groom’s Instruction Manual is the perfect wedding planning companion for your guy.

Champagne Flutes

Engagements and weddings mean lots of toasts in your honor, so say cheers with these hand blown crystal champagne glasses. Raise a glass with them at your wedding and save them for sipping champagne on your anniversary for years to come.

Wifey Sweatshirt

After fiancee comes wifey! And this slouchy wifey sweatshirt is perfect paired with leggings and makes a comfy outfit to wear on your flight to your honeymoon. And who knows, maybe you’ll score a free upgrade by sharing your new status with the world!


Wedding Planning Cup

Weddings and wine go together like you and your partner! So sip chardonYAY from the straw of this wedding planning cup while you check things off your to do list as the big day approaches.

Ring Cleaner

Keep your bling extra sparkly with this on-the-go ring cleaner. Just dip and twist and bring your ring back to its original extra shiny state!

Instax Camera

Give your newly engaged pals a fun way to document their wedding planning process with this Instax Camera (bonus if it’s their wedding color).

Bridal Magazine Subscription

Flipping through a phone book sized wedding magazine is something of a wedding planning rite of passage. A six month print or digital subscription to a bridal magazine is the perfect way to get your wedding fix while taking away useful planning tips.

Personalized Engagement Ornament

Celebrate your engagement with this personalized engagement ornament. Featuring two sweet little lovebirds this wooden milestone ornament can be personalized to include your names and the date of your engagement.

Mr. and Mrs. Passport Holders

Give your passports some panache with these matching Mr. and Mrs. passport holders. The blue leatherette passport covers fit standard size passports and are a perfect way to kick off your honeymoon in newlywed style.

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