Wedding Photography FAQ
Q: What styles do you provide as part of the wedding coverage?
A: I provide whatever mix of photographic styles that fit your needs. Typically, wedding coverage consists of mostly candid photography as I tell the story of your day in photos (photo-journalistic style). Some posed photography is done between the ceremony and the reception. This includes the family photos directly after the ceremony and some photos of the wedding party. On the way to the reception, it is typical to stop by a scenic location for bridal party photos. This includes some posed photography of the group and some fun photos that allow the group to relax and be themselves. I realize that most people do not like having photos taken, so I try to have some fun with it to keep the mood light. Once the bridal party photos are complete, I generally do a few romantic photos with the bride and groom. This can be just some quiet time you share together as I take photos in the background, or I can do what I call “posed candids” which don’t look totally posed and have a romantic feel to them. Finally, the reception is almost all candid – there are a few posed shots such as prior to cutting the cake and the toast if desired.
Photography and the Schedule
Q: What tips do you have to ensure the family photos go quickly and smoothly?
A: The main issue I have seen with family photos is having some of them leave before the photos are done. Determine what groupings you would like, and assign someone in the bridal party who is familiar with them to ensure they do not leave before having their photo done. You can also tell them individually before the wedding that they should stay for photos after the ceremony.
Q: How much time do you recommend for photos after the ceremony?
A: This truly depends on a number of factors – is there a receiving line, how much distance is there to travel between venues, and are there any stops along the way? Are there any time limits at the church? Family photos at the church take about 25 minutes and outdoor bridal party photos can be accomplished in about 45 minutes. You have to add in extra time for any of the above activities that apply to your specific event. It should be noted that receiving lines are one of the main causes for late arrival to the reception. This can take 30-60 minutes, depending upon the size of the group and will have to be made up for somewhere in the schedule if it is not properly planned for. This means either being late to the reception, or taking fewer photos with the bridal party.
Q: Is there any way to reduce the time for photos between the ceremony and reception?
A: I know it goes against superstition, but some couples prefer to do the “first look” photos before the ceremony. This session utilizes a private setting where the groom sees the bride for the first time as the photographer stays in the background to capture the moment. This can take place for 15-45 minutes and will shorten the time needed for photos after the ceremony. Many couples find this method more intimate and it relieves the stress for the bride coming down the aisle making the ceremony more enjoyable. If so desired, the bridal party can also have photos taken before the ceremony. In addition, in many cases, the bride can get photos taken with the bride’s maids and her family before the ceremony. If a second shooter is hired for the wedding, the same can be true with the groom.
There is also the option of a post-ceremony photo session used to capture bride and groom photos. Lesser time restrictions allow for a more relaxed environment and more creative photos can be taken. The bride can choose a different hair style and different props for these photos. This photo shoot can also evolve into a Trash the Dress session if so desired.
Q: What if it rains?
A: This is where having a professional photographer really pays off. A professional photographer can create a variety of photos even in the rain. If the bridal party is willing, shots can be taken with umbrellas outdoors, or photos can be taken indoors or in a covered area such as a gazebo or porch. The church can be utilized to create interesting photos if none of the above options fulfills your desires.
Q: Will the guests from my wedding be able to purchase prints?
A: Yes. Once the photos are touched up, they are put in an online gallery where people may order using Paypal, or by check. Prints are discounted for the first 2 weeks following the wedding.
Q: How come your prints are so expensive?
A: Prints cost more from me because each print that is ordered gets more detailed touch-ups. Blemishes are removed, distracting objects are removed, and other enhancements are made to the ordered photos. In addition, I don’t order cheap prints from the local outlets. My prints come from professional labs that use calibrated equipment and experienced employees to be sure that each print looks as good as it possibly can. Ever watch the lab technicians at a Walmart fulfill your order? You put your order into the kiosk and the printer makes the prints. The tech then puts them in an envelope for you – no quality control is utilized. The difference in the prints is readily noticeable – ask the photographer to show you comparison prints so you can see the difference for yourself.
Q: Aren’t all photos from the wedding touched-up?
A: Yes, each photo is looked at individually for proper color and exposure. A wedding results in an average of 700 photos. To do detailed touch-ups on this many photos would take an extended period of time and be cost prohibitive…to the tune of one “man-month” of work. However, any photo that is ordered in any way – put into an album or as a print, does get full edits.
Q: How many photos can I put in my album?
A: The number of images in an album depends on how many pages your album contains. I start albums at either 24 or 30 pages depending upon the album and I allow you to choose 3 images for each page. This comes to 72 images for a 24 page album, and 90 images for a 30 page album. This does not mean that every page will have three photos, I have just found this to be a good rule of thumb to allow for creative designs without too much clutter. You can add extra images to an album at a rate of $3 per image. You can also add pages to the album – the price for this depends upon the album you choose.
Q: There are so many photos, how do I decide what to put in the album?
A: Albums are created to tell the story of your wedding day. Since this is the case, you should choose photos from every phase of your wedding. I generally use 4 phases – wedding preparation, ceremony, posed photos, and the reception. Breaking it down like this will make it easier for you decide what to put in the album. Also, try to consider what images go together. For instance, if you choose photos of the cake, you could also choose an image of the cutting of the cake and the bride and groom feeding each other. Try to think of images in relation to each other – each album spread is a part of the story, so choose images that best tell that part of the story.
Q: How much input do I get in the album design?
A: You can be as involved as you like. The general process starts with the couple submitting the numbers for the images they would like included in the album. I then use those images to create an album design that will be submitted to you electronically for review. You can then request changes to that design…changes may be swapping an included photo for a different photo, requesting a black and white image to be color instead, general layout changes, etc. I make those changes and re-submit the design for you review…this process continues until the album is to your liking. Wedding albums are a special memento of your big day, so I spend a lot of time ensuring that the final product will be something you cherish forever.