Great Expectations – Let’s Talk About Wedding Photography
By Kristin Joseph, Sales & Online Media |
Being engaged is one of the most exciting times of your life. We want you to soak it all in and enjoy every moment of your planning! But, we also want you have healthy expectations of your wedding photography so that you – and we – are set up for success.
Here are the 4 best things that you can think through now and plan for the most magical wedding day possible:
1) Months and years down the road, you will care much more about the photos you have printed than a flash drive full of files.
If you pay someone to build the house of your dreams, and they drop a bunch of lumber, drywall, and nails on your property and then leave, would you feel like a satisfied customer?
The same idea is true for your wedding photos. The image files are just the supplies. Then we take the files and use our “tools” like our professional editing software and our color-true print studio to build you the real final product.
That’s why we include a free high-quality Photo Album designed with you by our professional editor in or Premium and Ultimate packages, and free $$ in print credits in ALL of our photography packages.
Somewhere along the line of our rapid technology progression, we started to teach brides that more photos = higher value. That’s not always true.
100 amazing photos are worth a thousand times as much as 2,000 “okay” photos.
And having those 100 photos in a high-quality tangible album to show your friends and loved ones, or a few of your absolute favorites framed or on a mounted canvas in your home that you see every day, is worth more than all the flash drives in the world.
After a few months pass by, you probably won’t look at something that you have to dig for. Life gets too busy. Do yourself a favor now by booking photography with someone who will take care of you through the entire process – including printing.
2) Pinterest (and other media) can be either wonderful or distracting for your planning, depending on how you use it.
Hey, we love Pinterest as much as the next guy. Check out our awesome inspiration and planning boards here.
BUT, it can also be a sensory overload and set you up with unreasonable expectations of your wedding day – including your photography – if you let yourself get carried away.
What you can’t do is make a board with your 105 favorite bride and groom portraits and then give it to your photographer as a “shot list” and expect them to be able to recreate all (or even most) of them in an hour or two.
You see, those 105 pictures most likely came from 105 different weddings. There is a reason they ended up on Pinterest. They are the best ones of their respective shoots.
Excellence takes time. Have you ever seen a corporate photo shoot? A whole team of professionals will spend hours and hours adjusting the placement, lighting, coloring, and a million other details to try to get the perfect shot. Singular. One shot.
Wedding photographers don’t have that luxury. They are dealing with weather, crazy guests, high emotions, venue restrictions,and strict time constraints to give you the amazing photos you will have for the rest of their life.
What they do is truly amazing.
What you SHOULD do is pick your 3 or 5 absolute favorite shots that make your heart melt and then make sure your venue (and your schedule) have a good space to make them happen.
Then you can send that to your photographer along with the plan you’ve made to give them the time and location to emulate those shots.
Also, remember that every wedding and every couple is unique. If you hire the right photographer, you will end up with some shots that you didn’t even think of – and those may be the ones you love the most.
3) Of all the things you can’t control on your wedding day, your schedule is not one of them. Build in enough time for your photographer to do their best for you.
There are a couple ways to make this happen without making your guests wait an impolite amount of time.
First, take whatever photos you can before the ceremony. Your hair and makeup will be fresh, and you will be much less rushed.
We recommend having a first look because it is so intimate and it frees up time for portraits before the ceremony, but you have to follow your heart on this one.
At the very least, take bride & maids photos or groom & men photos before the ceremony, and get some family shots in as well if you can.
Secondly, build in more than 45 minutes between your ceremony and reception start time.
That is just not enough time for your photographer to get portraits, bridal party photos, and family formals.
Add on another 30 or 45 minutes to “cocktail hour” and include some hors d’oeuvres; your guests will be perfectly happy.
Thirdly, schedule a short time at your reception when guests are dancing for your photographer to get some additional shots with you.
If your ceremony is in the afternoon or early evening, this will allow for some nighttime photos. It also gives the photographer a chance to go through the shots they have so far and make up for any missed pictures. It is a great opportunity after everyone has been able to eat and relax a bit to get a last handful of posed shots before the grand exit, or to take advantage of a space at the venue that you haven’t used yet. Keep it to 15 minutes or less and your guests will hardly notice that you left the dance floor.
4) Your photographer may need a mediator if you have a large bridal party and a long list of family formals to capture.
If you have a lot of extended family attending your wedding and lots of holiday card photos to get, you should assign a helper who knows who most of the VIPs are.
The photographer only has two hands and they should, ideally, both be holding the camera and focusing in on getting a great photo.
Enlist the help of a bridesmaid or close friend who has a good idea of the family dynamics to call people in for their shots – and give her a copy of the “must-haves” list. This will save precious time for your portraits and keep everything moving smoothly.
We hope these tips enable you to have the best expectations for your big day, and to plan accordingly. You will thank yourself for it later as you enjoy your amazing photos for the rest of your life!