Last week I discussed the Tampa Photographers responsibility for time management, how a photographer is efficient with his time can be the most important quality in a wedding photographer. This week I will discuss some things that are outside of the photographers control, but with proper planning of the bride, can greatly aid the quality and quantity of your wedding photography.
I had a couple of weddings in a row where the bride really did everything right in regards to photography, which prompted me to write this blog. The first wedding was at Lange Farm (a beautiful country venue in Dade City, FL) where the bride decided not to have us start at the hotel but to start at her wedding venue, a great move! We had 3 hours before the wedding, did the first look, had plenty of time for pictures, and as a result the bride was not rushed, she was able to get 30 minutes before the ceremony to relax and enjoy her wedding. We were not rushed which allowed us to focus more on creativity. The next wedding was at the Powel Crosley Estates in Sarasota, where we were just doing the video but worked with Tampa Photographers, Life Long Studios, who was doing the still photography, and it had to be the best first look I have seen. The photographers and I had plenty of time to control all the surroundings so it was absolutely perfect. The bride again started the photographers & videographers 3 hours before her wedding, and so, as a result, had plenty of time to get a variety of shots. Here are four points that can greatly help to ensure you get great wedding photos.
1. ALLOW ENOUGH TIME BEFORE THE CEREMONY FOR PICTURES. We recommend to have the photographer start at least 90 minutes before the ceremony. Many times on a wedding a bride will try to cram too much activity in a short amount of time, and new unexpected obstacles will arise, and before you know it, it’s time to walk down the aisle. Make sure to stress to your hair and make-up person that you have to be done no later than, 90 minutes before your wedding. So often, we end up just waiting on the make-up person, and by the time they are done, its time to go, thus, all that time we could have had for pre-ceremony pictures evaporated.
2. LIMIT THE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. We are often running around from location to location, which takes time parking, setting up, driving; time which would normally be used for shooting pictures, not to mentioned everyone being rushed, not a great atmosphere for creativity. I remember a wedding a couple of years ago. We were on the way to the reception, and the bride made a decision in the limo to stop at the Courtney Campbell Causeway (a beach area in Tampa) for a picture that was not all that great because it was so bright outside. By the time the Limos were parked, the bridal party getting out, clearing the area from the public, 20 minutes had passed by. This was a valuable 30 minutes that was sacrificed from taking pictures at her reception venue which had a great variety of areas for photos. What makes a great picture is contrast and lighting. There are technical issues that a bride is unaware of, so it is usually best to follow the photographers advice. For example a bride will sometimes find a location like a beach, but not realize that if it’s in the brightness of the day, the color is just not going to be very rich. Being a photographer in Tampa, most wedding venues here, have plenty of areas that give good variety for photos, so sometimes it is not necessary to go to a different location, but if you do, be aware that, that will limit the amount of pictures.
3. LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF PINTEREST POSES & PROPS. Don’t get me wrong, we love Pinterest and we suggest to use it to communicate to us your style of photography, however; realize that many of the poses can take 5-10 minutes to set up, so there is only so much time. We suggest to print about 8-12 pictures off pinterest. Props are also a good idea, adds a little flair to your wedding, but too much of them, can take up a lot of time and limit the amount and variety of other poses that we do.
4. LIMIT THE INTERRUPTIONS DURING THE FORMALS. Once the ceremony is over, as a photographer, my main concern is to keep the bridal party separated from the guests. People will begin to talk, and before you know it, we have lost critical time for pictures. When we are done with family shots, at the risk of sounding harsh, “we like them to disappear”. Often times well-meaning family members will tag along with us as we do the portraits for the bride and groom, and it can really slow things down. They will interject their opinion about a pose, or dress, or Aunt Suzie, and distract the bride and groom while we are posing them. A wedding photographer is creating a look, a mood with his subject, and the more that focus, that connection, is disturbed, the lower the quantity of pictures you will have, not to mention the quality of the picture. Ideally we want to have uninterrupted time, especially during the formals, and then we can get you to the reception and so you can enjoy being with all of your friends and family.
Like anything else in life, good planning will lead to more pleasing results. This is one of the most important days of your life, and your wedding photography and video will be the two most important things you will have that will help you to re-live it and share it with others. We suggest to plan ahead and make time for the photography on your wedding day, and if you have skilled photographers, you will have pictures and video, that you will cherish for the rest of your life.