Tips for Stress-Free Wedding Photography

0Comments

As wedding photographers, we love to think photography is the most important element of a bride and groom’s wedding day. Surely they want fabulous wedding photography, so certainly they will give us all the time in the world to create beautiful images.

But it doesn’t really work that way. Weddings are busy. Often you are scrambling to get all the images you need really quickly, leaving no time for the fun, romantic images you really want to create for the couple. Worse yet, someone springs a pose list on you that you weren’t expecting, or changes the location everyone is meeting for family portraits.

Bride groom romantic location photograpy

The easiest way to make sure you have enough time for all the photographs you want to create on the wedding day, is to know how much time you need and to be prepared.

Know how much time you really need

Depending on their style and process, every photographer needs a different amount of time to take photographs at a wedding. As well every wedding is different, with unique locations, bridal parties, and families.

If you are not certain how long it takes you to create the images you need, time yourself. When you know your own process, you will be better able to help the bride and groom accurately schedule enough time for all the photographs.

wedding-flower-bouquets-dresses

Can you travel to the beautiful park the couple wants to use for photographs between the ceremony and reception? Or did they forget to allow for the time it actually takes to drive there? Do you need 20 minutes to photograph the family, or is it really more like 45 minutes when you include the set up of lighting equipment?

Look for open pockets of time in their schedule during the day. You may not get all the photography time together in one block, but when you know how long you need for each session, you can schedule it to work within the couple’s timeline.

Tips for finding enough photography time on the wedding day

outdoor-location-ceremony-barn-wedding

Pre-Wedding planning consultation

Have a pre-wedding consultation. A final consultation one to two weeks before the wedding is a perfect time to go over details. Discussing the timeline with the bride and groom before the wedding will let you see where photography will best fit into the day. It will also help them see how much time you need to do your job well. This is close enough to the big day that they should know all the details, yet far enough out that they can tweak schedules, if need be.

Bride bridesmaids posed wedding

Ask about other wedding vendors. Find out how everyone from the florist to the caterer will also fit into the couple’s day. The follow questions may help you:

  • Ask when hair and make-up appointments are scheduled to be done and where.
  • Find out where the flowers are being delivered and at what time.
  • Ask how long the ceremony will last and how they plan to personalize it.
  • Know if the couple will do a receiving line, or somehow greet guests formally right after the ceremony.
  • Confirm what time they want to arrive at the reception.
  • What time will dinner be served,
  • When would the DJ or band like to start the dance.

Wedding idea list for photographers

Knowing when the other professionals need the attention of the bride and groom will help you know when it’s your turn.

Plan for family portraits. Many photographers balk at the “dreaded pose list,” but capturing family photographs is an important part of wedding photography. To make the process of organizing family portraits easier, find out who’s in the their families, and what groupings are important to the couple. When you set the time for the wedding photographs, have the bride and groom inform everyone of the timeline, so they will be ready when it’s time to start.

Remember to add in travel time. Often the ceremony and reception are in different locations, and sometimes the couple likes to stop off at a third spot just for photographs. Make sure to add in the time that it will take to drive to these places into the schedule.

Wedding planning worksheets photogfaphers examples

Know the sunset time. Whether you want to make sure you have enough light for evening portraits or for sunset images, knowing beforehand when sunset is that day, lets you plan accordingly.

bride-groom-sunset-romantic-wedding-location

Before the wedding day

Pre-scout your locations. Go to the wedding venues a day or two beforehand, to look over the locations for possible photography backdrops. If you can’t scout before the wedding day, plan to arrive early at the venues to find the spots you will use for photography.

Have the bridal details lined up beforehand. Let the bride and groom know if you’ll want to photograph cufflinks, rings, shoes, jewelry, and such details before they get dressed. Having these together and ready saves time.

outdoor-wedding-ceremony-vintage-sign-theme

Consider a “first look.” If your time between ceremony and reception is tight, it can be hard to get all the photographs done. Allowing a special moment for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time at the beginning of the day, can open the couple up to the idea of doing photographs before the ceremony.

On the wedding day

Know how to pose people. Brides and grooms are usually not experienced at posing themselves for photographs. If they aren’t sure how they look, it can take longer for them to get comfortable in front of the camera. When you already have a variety of flattering poses in mind, you are able to quickly move through the session.

Bride groom wedding location photography

Avoid backtracking. Whether you need to set up lighting equipment, gather family for portraits, or go to a cool location with the couple and the whole wedding party, do it only once. When you consolidate, you save time and hassle for everyone.

For example, it’s much easier to ask grandparents, or small nieces and nephews, to attend just one photography session on the wedding day. Pick a time when both the bride and groom will be ready for photographs, and plan to do all the different combinations you need to do at once. There’s no need to ask Grandma to arrive two hours before the ceremony for one photograph, if she needs to stick around after the ceremony for one more.

When the couple does a “first look,” before the ceremony, it can work well to take all the family portraits at that time as well. Otherwise, immediately after the ceremony is a good time to do them, before people wander off to the reception and start mingling.

Wedding party posed garden

Work down from the biggest groups to the smallest groups. When you have large, extended family photographs to organize, get those done first. It allows people that only need to be present for one or two photographs to leave, letting you focus on the smaller groups with less chaos.

Summary

When you look at all the elements that go into the schedule on the wedding day, you can be prepared. When the bride and groom see how the photography fits into their schedule, they can make sure they have allowed enough time for you to do your job.

wedding-party-bride-groom-kissing

Do you have other tips to add? How do you carve out enough time for photographs on the wedding day?

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Becky Appleby is a professional wedding photographer and freelance writer based in the midwest. She’s obsessed with business, creativity, writing and weddings. She also enjoys a nice glass of wine and running, but never at the same time. You can check out her photography at Appleby Photo, or hire her for writing at beckyappleby.com.

  • Grace2034

    I currently get paid roughly 6 thousand-8 thousand bucks monthly for freelancing i do from my home. For those of you who are prepared to do simple online task for some h each day from your living room and gain valuable salary in the same time… Then this job opportunity is for you… http://ur1.ca/pm79n

    sdsdsa

  • DJ10111

    Thanks Becky for these wonderful tips, very helpful. Unfortunately Africans don’t understand the notion of time, ceremonies start and end late. One time we went to a park that was booked for two hours, but because we were late, we had only an hour. I had to work like a crazy person and prayed i did well. Can you email me some of these check lists? Thanks.

  • elizabeth.kittelson

    I get paid approximately $6000-$8000 a month with an internet task i found on the internet. Anyone prepared to finish simple computer-based task for 2-5 hrs each day from ease of your home and get solid salary for doing it… Test this invitation http://ur1.ca/pm79n

    dfgdf

  • DJ10111

    What does this got to do with my comment? How does disqus allow people to advertise in a post? this user must be banned.

  • Becky Appleby

    Thanks for reading! That is exactly why these tips are helpful- when you know how long you need and how much time the couple has, you’re better prepared to get your photographs in the time constraints you’re given. Good job for using that one hour at the park well! Message me on Facebook (link is in my bio) and I can send you my checklist.

  • Linda

    I agree. These trolls are annoying. Hopefully everyone will agree to NEVER click on their links. If they don’t get results, then maybe they’ll stop.

  • We do ban them and disqus has systems to try and catch spammers but we can’t read every comment on our site and the system misses some. If you see one just flag it and our moderators (me inc.) will deleted it and block the spammer. Thanks.

  • Rose3021

    I currently benefit something like six to eight thousand bucks /a month from freelancing at home. Everyone eager to finish easy at home task for some hours every day from your living room and get valuable income while doing it… Test this task http://ur1.ca/pm79n

    cdfsad

  • rachel.dostal

    I currently benefit approximately 6 thousand-8 thousand bucks /month doing an internet task. If you are prepared to finish easy freelance task for 2h-5h every day at your house and get solid benefit in the same time… Then this job opportunity is for you… http://2.gp/G8zm

    dfdfg

Join Our Email Newsletter

Thanks for subscribing!


DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed