Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Musings: December. Wedding Day Photography

The title says “Photography” but this is all about the schedule. As photographers we face the challenge of delivering on our promise of providing artistic photographs from your wedding while working within a schedule. What I have been told by many other professionals and noticed over the years is that, despite advice and warnings, schedules run late and among the first things sacrificed is photography. Everyone wants the style of imagery they hired the photographer to take, but are willing to give up photo time when the ship starts to sink. Time is a resource constraint so tradeoffs are made. Oftentimes, looking back, the client is not too happy with the tradeoff.

How can we control the schedule and obtain terrific photographic results? Here is a very short list of suggestions that get you started down the right path.

Make photography a priority and give the photographer a lot of time. Set aside time, before the ceremony if necessary, for photographing the bride alone, the groom alone, and the bride and groom together. Couples frequently do not give enough time for these tasks. Great portraits are rarely shot while in photojournalist mode.

Pad your schedule before the reception. The vast majority of album-worthy images are taken before the reception so if you think a missing piece can be covered during the reception, please reconsider. Allocate plenty of time and then add a little more. It is better to have extra pockets of available time should things become dire. Schedules tend to run late when no one is in control.

Make someone else accountable on the big day. Your wedding day means you (bride or groom) should not do any work or have to make major decisions. Designate someone to make sure things run according to your plan. Make sure this person has a thick skin, is responsible, will not hold a grudge against you, and is stern when necessary. They will need all of these traits when dealing with you and others on the wedding day.

A new BMW costs upwards of $30K; that does not mean you can build one yourself if given the money. The answer is "highly unlikely"; your wedding is no different. Hire a day-of planner or, better yet, a full event planner. Leave it to the experts who are far more experienced. They are paid to be accountable and will do a great job for you.

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Winter Musings are monthly posts between November and February. They cover a range of topics related to wedding photography with couples and photographers in mind. I hope you will tune in next month. Comments and requests are appreciated!

1 comment:

Brandon Williams Photography said...

This is so true. Also, great advice to anyone planning a wedding. BTW love your work!