Happy August Bank Holiday everyone!
Did you ever wonder, when you are booking a Wedding Photographer, what is included in your packages? Today I hope to shine some light on this subject!
So you got engaged, you started looking for venues, bands, flowers, THE DRESS (or suit) and a photographer. Very soon you get overwhelmed by the amount of vendors out there. Planning a wedding can be a daunting task! Some wedding venues offer planning services, but what if you don’t have this option? Or you just wish to find out a little more about wedding photography?
I hope to answer some of your questions here today. Although I try to keep this post as generic as possible, this post is mainly describing how I approach a wedding, so please keep in mind that other photographers may have different approaches.
Firstly, check out some photographers and take note of what you like. Each photographer will have its own style and have different prices. Have a look at their portfolios and decide if this fits your wishes. Keep in mind that the images are there forever! You want to make sure that the photographer you choose is producing high quality images and albums when you choose one. Feel comfortable with your photographer. They will spend the largest chunk of the day with you to capture all the moments.
When a couple is interested in booking me, I usually schedule a face-to-face consultation with them. This way we can discuss your plans on your big day and get to know each other. All your questions will be answered here and some examples of weddings and albums will be shown. If the distance is too far, the consultation can be scheduled via Skype if required.
Is the photography making you nervous? Or would you like to see how your photographer works before your big day? Booking an engagement shoot can help with this. This is a great way to start feeling comfortable in front of the camera! There is no pressure and this will also create some lovely images of just you and your loved one. The shoot is usually very informal but you can let your creativity go wild if you wish. It is also a great idea to have Save the Date cards created from an image or even the Invitations or Thank You cards if you wish.
Wedding Packages are usually divided into time frames. The two standard time frames would be from bride prep to dinner or bride prep to first dance. If you require a shorter time frame for only the reception and couple photographs, please let your photographer know. Depending on what time the bride is getting ready, your photographer will arrive to take some images of you and the bridesmaids getting your hair and make-up done. This is a great time to get some detail shots too! The dress, shoes, flowers, jewellery, invitations, rings etc. Time permitting and depending on where the other half is getting ready, their prep can also be photographed. If this is on a secondary location, a second photographer could be hired to take those images. I will come back to this a little later.
When all the bridesmaids are dressed, and everything is ready to go, it is time to dress the bride. Some pictures will be taken during this time as well as some first looks. Perhaps this is the first time the parents will see the bride and as many candid shots will be taken at this time. Very soon after this, the photographer will head over to the place where the ceremony will take place. Sometimes this is at the venue itself or a short distance, sometimes this is a little further away.
Then it is time for the ceremony! The images taken here are usually very candid as they evolve naturally. The first look, the rings, the first kiss and walking down the aisle are all important moments here.
After the ceremony there is time for the family portraits and the styled couple shoot. I have done a number of weddings in Ireland but also in The Netherlands, and one coming up in France. Some cultures differ in timelines and I am fully flexible with those. For example, in The Netherlands the couple images are usually taken before the ceremony, in Ireland this is done after when the guests are at the reception. This can be discussed during the consultation and can fit around your needs on your big day.
It is advisable to create a “shoot-list” before the wedding and email this to your photographer at least 2 weeks before the wedding i.e. couple with siblings, couple with parents, groom with sibling, bride with grandparents etc. This way you can assure that the images include all your loved ones. Ask the help of someone in your wedding party who knows your guests to have these images taken as smooth as possible. They can round up the people for you.
When you are mingling with your guests your photographer can take some pictures at this time of the guests, but also of the venue itself. This is another great opportunity to get those detail shots in. The cake, the dinning room, your guestbook, the favours if you have them etc.
When a photographer is booked until dinner, this will be the time they leave. If you have booked them until first dance, you can expect they will take images of the speeches, some during the meal and of course the first dance itself.
One photographer can capture your wedding. Hiring a second photographer however can give another perspective on your wedding. Two photographers can capture different angles and can divide their time. For example, when the main photographer is taking images of the couple, the second photographer can take images of your guests. Please keep in mind there is usually a surcharge for hiring a second photographer.
After your big day, your photographer will start editing the images. Post production can take up some time. I usually aim to have the images back to you within a month to a month and a half, depending on the season. You will receive the images on a USB stick and an online gallery for you to view.
If you have ordered a package with an album, your photographer will design the album for you after this time. You can have a selection of your favourite images included. This can be a little timely depending on the album vendor.
The vendor I use is hand making all albums and the turn around time is normally 2 months. All albums are in a square format: 12″x12″, 10″x10″, 8″x8″ or 6″x6″. The covers come in leather, eco leather, cotton or silk and there are numerous colours to choose from. These albums are made to last a lifetime and have a superb quality. Each album is wrapped in a cotton bag and a presentation box. Further details on the albums and prices, can be discussed during the consultation.
I hope this blog post gave some clarity. But feel free to leave a comment if you have further questions, or drop me an email for further information!