The time between your wedding day and getting the actual wedding photos back can seem like forever. As the anticipation builds, you're probably dreaming of gushing over the captured moments and using them for home decor, thank-you cards, or holiday cards. But what happens when you get them and are less than thrilled? Or, worse, what if you hate them?
While you unfortunately can't go back in a time machine to re-create your day or hire a different photographer, there are some things you can do to try to rectify the situation as best you can. Here's our best advice.
While hindsight is 20/20, one of the best ways to ensure that you're happy with your wedding photos is to do your research prior to hiring a photographer. You're trusting this person to capture the biggest day of your life in a professional and quality manner, so be sure you study his or her previous work, look for references, and are confident in your decision.
Another tip professionals suggest is to have a list of all the must-have shots and portraits you want, and share it with your photographer ahead of time. This will ensure that you have everyone you want in your photos and won't have regret in regard to missed moments.
While every bride should be able to gush over her wedding photos, if at first glance you aren't in love or, worse, you hate them, be sure to evaluate your perspective. Make sure that you're not being overly critical of yourself or your look. If you hated how your hair came out or are regretting your dress choice, that's one thing. Unfortunately, there's not a ton you can do there. However, if the photos are not at all what you were imagining based upon your photographer's previous work, and perhaps the ones you've seen on Instagram from guests are better quality than your professional's, it may be an issue with the photographer.
Just make sure you're not having a bad day before convincing yourself you hate the images.
So, you can't exactly just throw another wedding, but you can re-create your wedding-day look for a second shoot. While it may not have the same sentiment attached and there are of course added expenses involved, it would give you another chance to try out a new photographer, style, beauty look, etc. Maybe you'd like to opt for a different setting or go back to the grounds where your wedding originally took place. If nothing else, it's a second shot at having some images you can cherish forever.
Do Your Research
Reread your contract and find out about the specifics of printing, quality, and client satisfaction. Most of the time, you'll most likely be stuck with what you get, but if there is an issue with professionalism or editing, you may have some recourse. Try talking it out with your photographer first; perhaps some of the issues can be fixed with Photoshop or other professional editing tools. Unfortunately, if the quality of the photos is acceptable and you are unhappy with the images of the subjects themselves, you may just have to suck it up.
Black and White
Okay, hear us out. While you can't re-create your wedding day, you can play with your photos yourself to make them a little bit better. If your images are discolored or have bad lighting, try putting a black-and-white or sepia filter over them. It takes out some of the issues to provide a cleaner photo and, hey-black-and-white photos are timeless. There are tons of photo-editing apps and software that are available with a few clicks, and it can't hurt to try to play around. At the very least, you may end up with a framer or two.
Regardless of how you choose to proceed, keep in mind that even though it's extremely disappointing to be unhappy with your wedding photos, you still have memories and moments to cherish from the special day. While a picture is worth a thousand words, experiences and a life full of happiness are worth much more.