In the last article, we talked about the ordering of wedding vendors couples usually get. We also talked about the importance of having a wedding album goal in mind and setting up your perfect wedding day. In this post, I’m going to continue and give you more tips from a professional wedding photographer point of view!
Hire a professional wedding planner
I cannot stress the importance of having a professional wedding planner. Although a most of couples don’t think it’s necessary (most of the time the venue provide a “coordinator”) However, a professional wedding planner plans the whole wedding experience for you from start to finish. While a wedding coordinator the venue provides only make sure your wedding day (that day only) flows smoothly. Make sure you understand the difference and choose a planner or a coordinator wisely!
Choose a venue that you can do the getting ready, ceremony and reception all in one place
This is another great tip and it greatly affect the hour of coverage with your photographer. For example, if your getting ready place is at home far way from wedding venue, then you have to travel to the ceremony area plus reception venue afterwards, then you’re losing at least an hour (plus Atlanta traffic) of wedding photography coverage. If your photographer deliver 60-80 per hour than you are potentially missing out 60 shots that could be included in the package. Furthermore, if you are getting a wedding album at the end you may need consider what affect it’ll do on the album. For example, the photographer may need to spend extra time to take overall shots of the different venue location you’re going to. Which takes time out from being with you and your fiancé for photos on your wedding day.
Find a photographer that fits your vision and personality
Most wedding photos you see online probably look similar to you. Unless you are a trained person it’s hard to tell the differences between a good and a great photographer, and the extra charge they are putting onto you. The easiest way to define whether or you a photographer is great fit for you is to ask his/her vision of your wedding. You probably need to explain to the photographer what you want first, then ‘listen’ to what the photographer said. Some photographer will work strictly on his/her style and would not incorporate anyone’s idea. Whereas some will come to the middle ground and work with the couple on the style that they want. While you’re talking with your potential photographer, see how he/she react and determine if he/she a great fit for your vision and personality.
You may need more hours of coverage than you think
When you are planning your own wedding, make sure you give yourself enough gap room before and after the ceremony to capture enough photographs. On average a photographer needs about 3 hours (if doing first look) before the ceremony to get all the getting ready, bridal photos and family formal pictures. It’ll be around 2 hours before ceremony without any first look and family formals.
Before the reception, you probably need a 15 minutes break and some time to eat. Going back to the first look vs no first look option, if no first look was done then you’ll need at least another hour to 1.5 hour to get all the bridal and family formal photos done. Overall, 8 hours is the standard coverage most couples get even though the ceremony time and reception time only last for about 4 hours. Plan with your wedding planner and/or photographer because you may need more hours of coverage than you think!
Have the wedding Albums as the end goal
Many couples don’t know this. But having a wedding album in mind is the best way to determine your wedding vendors. It sounds confusing so let me give you some examples.
If you want to maximize the quality and quantity of your wedding album you can then choose a venue where getting ready, ceremony and reception are all at the same place. The photographer/wedding planner will then know how to best plan your wedding shots and spend more time with you instead of traveling around during your wedding day.
You can select a florist that provide you suggestions on flowers that stands out from a wedding shoot. For example an editorial style shoot that looks like what you see from a wedding magazine.
You can also get a DJ that does great at giving all vendors a heads up by announcing what’s going to happen next during the wedding day. These are just simple examples but as you can see they all tie together.
Build rapport with your photographer during engagement session
It may come to your surprise but engagement sessions aren’t just for photos only. It’s the time you get to work with your photographer the first time. Don’t get me wrong yes you will get some great pictures but remember it is also the time you and your photographer learn how each other works and each others personalities. You certainly don’t want to see your photographer the first time on your wedding day and start learning the way he/she shoots. It’s just too risky!
How do you find a good photographer? Next post.
My name is Gary Lun and I’m an Atlanta wedding photographer that specializes in wedding and engagement photography. I locate in metro Atlanta but I do travel nationally and oversea! I am always looking for fun and friendly couples to capture their big day!