The secret to a Stress Free Wedding Photoshoot is being prepared and knowing how much time you’ll need. Wedding photos are especially important to brides and grooms because they are so busy, the entire time during their celebration, they might miss the details. Certain family members or special moments that take place on their special day will go missed because the day is a whirlwind. This is why wedding photography is very important. But often times Brides and grooms miss adding photoshoot time into their jam-packed wedding day schedules. This is why wedding photographers must take it into their own times to figure out what is really needed.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Know how much time you need
- Prepare beforehand
- Find out details about the wedding day schedule
- Sunset time
KNOW WHAT YOU NEED:
KNOW HOW MUCH TIME YOU NEED
Start to time yourself during different photoshoots, and wedding shoots to figure out how much time it takes you to photograph the family, the bride & groom, the bridal party etc. Then in the future you’ll have a better idea of what to tell the bride and groom you need, as far as amount of time for the photos. Keep in mind something always happens, whether a natural weather disruption, or a dead camera battery, full memory card etc. Create and learn your own process that way you can give an accurate schedule for the wedding shoot.
Sometimes the bride and groom will forget to plan for the time it takes for the wedding shoot. This causes the photographer to find open pockets of time within the itinerary during the wedding day. Maybe you can’t do the whole shoot in one shot
(punny). But if you find out how much time you really need for a shoot you can work it out with the couple and any free time they may squeeze out of their big day.
KNOW WHAT GEAR YOU NEED:
Of course aside from all this, you’re going to want to make sure you have all the right gear. Any lenses, tripods (if that’s your style) flashes, SD cards! and backup SD Cards, Batteries, battery chargers, extra batteries… etc. Not only do you need to know what gear you need, but make sure to pack the night before and make a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. The worst feeling is having your team member ask you where their macro lens is and you picture it sitting on your photo editing desk. oooopppss.
That last paragraph was kind of stressful for being on an article about “Stress free” so let me just say there are valid ways to avoid a mix-up like this. You can plan a pre-wedding consultation a week or so before the wedding to go over any last undefined details with the couple. This will help to plan where your photoshoot fits best into the wedding timeline. Planning it a week before means they should have all the details figured out already and if they need to make small last minute adjustments to find more photoshoot time, they can squeeze by.
Make sure to know the sunset time so you can plan for enough light for any evening photos and also for sunset pictures, if you know the sunset time you can plan ahead.
Go “photoshoot backdrop location scouting” on location the day before or a few hours before your work/shoot day begins. This way you can find possible photography backdrops .
You can also mention to the couple any details you want to get photos of before they get dressed, like macro shots of their rings, shoes, jewelry, etc. small details like that. This is where you can also ask if they’d like to do the “First look, beginning of day shoot” (question #4 below). If a couple agrees to a first look photoshoot beginning of day, you can also get some of the family shots during that time, this saves time during the wedding to get all those special moment photos.
Always take the biggest group photos first, then work down to the smallest group photos. That way the large extended family members don’t have to be missing the whole party waiting for their two photos to be taken.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE THE WEDDING
Another way to prepare beforehand is to ask questions, find out more details about the wedding day schedule. Here are some questions to help you out:
- Find out their family situations, who’s their VIP’s they want pictures with during the wedding party photoshoot. What are the groupings important to the couple?
- Figure out if the couple has chosen an photoshoot location. If the photo location is far, you may have to account for the travel time, that takes time off of your photoshoot time. Is the photoshoot location within walking distance of the ceremony or will there be traveling?
- There are many obvious groupings that a photographer puts together considering the relationships of a bride and groom and their families. Bride with parents, groom with parents, both with all, bride with grandparents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc. But make sure to ask if the couple has any special requests. Do you have a special relatives or friends that you request to have photos with during the wedding shoot?
- Sometimes you can save time if you get “First-look” photos before the wedding ceremony begins. Traditional bride and groom might not agree to this due to the old superstitions about bad luck seeing the bride in her dress before etc. But personally if they both agree, how can seeing the one you want to spend your life with cause any bad luck?? Completely up to them but be sure to leave the option open. Would the bride and groom be open to allowing a special moment for a “first look” photo-op before they get ready?