Should Photographers Interrupt A Wedding Day?

Ask Anything

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


Top Categories

Browse All

read more


Browse All


Browse All


A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony


Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

Some people have asked us about our shooting style. This is something that brides will sometimes ask and it’s also something that “The Knot” tells brides to ask their photographers. (You know, that list of 30 questions that you receive over a over again? Note to self, answer them once and then SAVE them!) It’s a great question! What brides want to know is, how do we ACT on a wedding day? Are we involved? Do we just stand back and capture candidly? Will they need to know how to pose on their own? Will we let them be themselves or will EVERY pose be arranged by us?

These are GREAT questions! And I have an answer. However, this is MY answer and MY answer stems from MY style of photography. I’m not saying this is how everyone should shoot, it’s just my approach that has worked for several years and so I’m sharing it! :)

I’ve always worried about this. How much is too much instruction. Should I tell my couples to kiss when they recess down the aisle? Should I recommend that they dip and kiss at the end of their sparkler exit? Should I share input and request certain things throughout the day or does that ruin the natural flow of the wedding day?

I think there are “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” with this topic! There are some situations where I would say “Yes! If you don’t interfere you’re doing them a huge dis-service” and then there are some other situations where I would advise you not to do anything because you’ll interfere with the celebration. It’s a fine line! Here are some guidelines to try to use when you’re trying to make a decision:

DO: Give suggestions to your brides that they EXPECT you to do.

It is YOUR JOB to make adjustments and give advice to make them look their best. If your bride is going to look at her pictures later and  think “I wish I had known that my arm looked awkward” or “Why didn’t Katelyn tell me about the piece of hair that was falling down” then you should say something. Now, this isn’t exact. Sometimes I don’t notice these little things! However, if I do notice something that needs to be tweaked, I tend to adjust it while I’m shooting because it saves me a lot of work later and it ensures that I did everything possible to make my couple happy!

pinterest worthy weddings_9175

DON’T: Don’t be a distraction during emotional, sensitive moments. 

You need to test lighting, make adjustments and try not to move before dances and toasts. It’s so distracting if you’re running around during emotional moments. If you REALLY need someone or something to move during sensitive moments, wait until the in between moments to adjust. (In between toasts and dances)

pinterest worthy weddings_9167

DO: Share your creative ideas!  

Sometimes I have ideas and I think “Shoot, they are going to think I’m crazy… I’m not even going to try that idea”. This is SUCH a disservice to your client!! They are PAYING for you to be creative and you’re not going to mention a creative idea?? Some of my BEST ideas have been last minute and super crazy! … But these are the images that win contests, that become “insta” famous, that get pinned and that get shared. GO for your ideas!

pinterest worthy weddings_9171

DON’T: Ask your clients to do something creative without really thinking it through …

and testing it if possible… especially with flash! I use this rule with my “Specialty Shots” at receptions! I ask my clients to stop dancing for two minutes in order to get these shots and if I’m going to pull them away from the dance floor, I better know what I’m doing! It’s the same thing for ANY creative shot! Test it and try it out before pulling them away from their celebration!

pinterest worthy weddings_9170

DO: Instruct and Initiate certain poses. 

My clients WANT me to instruct them. Most of them are not models (well, until after their eshoot that is! :). They want me to help them. Some photographers are worried about their posing stripping away all of their client’s natural interactions and that doesn’t have to be the case! Start with clear, precise instruction and then as they loosen up, let them create their own poses and interact more freely!

pinterest worthy weddings_9176

DO: Share ideas that you know will give your client the images they dream of. 

Brides LOVE those kissy sparkler shots…. they LOVE the shots of them kissing as they recess down the aisle. Sometimes I SEE potential shots, I’ll stop them in their tracks and I’ll recreate that shot with a little more structure and I’ll praise them the whole time! SEE EXAMPLE BELOW: So yes, I’m interrupting them but I’m saying “Oh girls! Stop really quick, you just did something so perfect and you didn’t even realize it!!! Keep walking but lets have all of you hold a piece of the dress!”  See more of Chris and Sarah’s Wedding

pinterest worthy weddings_9173Some other shots that were created through “Interruptions”! :) pinterest worthy weddings_9172 pinterest worthy weddings_9169 pinterest worthy weddings_9168

Did you find this helpful?  Be sure to check out all the other ask anything posts here!! Should Photographers Interrupt The Wedding Day by Katelyn James Photography

Should You Interrupt a Wedding Day?! Learn the Do's & Don'ts for Giving Direction on the Wedding Day from Katelyn James Photography

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn


Growing Your Business in 2023 Easy way to boost your brand!

People always say “Katelyn, how did you grow to this level?!” and the truth is, it all started with a blog. Blogging was TRULY my beginning! A decade ago, I was posting almost EVERYDAY and you can still find these posts today!


If you’re a photographer, it might seem hard to document your own family. Isn’t that ironic?! We spend our days documenting other’s lives but it’s hard to document our own! 

How I document Our Family

How I Document Our Family! My updated way to document!

is the R6MKII worth it?

Is the R6MKII Worth It?!

When a new model or version comes out, it’s always tempting to upgrade and buy the next best thing! But do you really NEED it?!

2022 Wrap Up

Ep. 13 | 2022 Wrap Up! What Worked and What Didn't!

A LOT has happened in 2022! Some things that we expected and others that threw us a curveball.. but I want to take a look back to see what worked well for us and what didn’t work so well! 

The Katelyn James Podcast

If you’re a wedding photographer, chances are, you are VERY familiar with how much goes into creating a smooth, photo-friendly wedding day. 


How to Photograph the First Look Wedding Day 101 Series

How to Handle Burnout in your Business

Ep. 12 | How to Handle Burnout In Your Business I was ready to walk away from it all!

Have you ever thought, ‘I just can’t do this anymore!!! I’m DONE!’

The Katelyn James Podcast


"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”


"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ


Join 70,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.


and none compare to what I get from KJ!"