Our Wedding Philosophy
Important things to know
First of all, congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming nuptials. I thought that I would take the opportunity to pass along some information about the way that I work and. Perhaps, plant a few ideas for you and your fiance to consider as you plan the Big Event. The best advice I can give is to remember that this day, while one of the most important ones in your life, should be a source of enjoyment, not pressure. Surround yourselves with professionals who are dedicated to removing obstacles, not creating them. Good decisions about all the key players will make your day one that is filled with perfect memories.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to step outside yourself, to see yourself reveling in a perfect moment? You can. As the photographer and chronicler of the very special occasion, I am your eyes for these very important moments. I relish the opportunity to paint these memories onto film. To that end, you need to decide what you feel is important in your photographic coverage. Perhaps you haven’t really given it all that much thought, or maybe you have already formed strong opinions. As in a good marriage, communication is the name of the game, so I’ll start.
Let me tell you a little bit about my vision of a “perfect day” on the job as a wedding photographer.
Hopefully, we will have already worked together on your engagement session, in the process, while learning how to capture you both in a flattering way, we will have gained that most precious of elements, your trust. This is especially important for the guys. Generally the fellas are a little bit more self conscious in these early stages, so surviving this session unscathed does wonders for their tolerance of all photography they must endure, come the Big Day. With that pleasant experience behind us, you, although excited and a little bit nervous, are pleased to see me arrive a bit before the ladies begin to get ready. This, the first of many little story lines, is one of my favorite picture opportunities. Although this situation is somewhat intimate, most of my brides choose to have me present at this moment. If you are ever uncomfortable, simply ask for me to turn around or leave the room until you are ready. That being said, I will most likely slip into the background and quietly work away, allowing you to relax and be “in the moment” This is the place we want you to be, and this is where some great images are captured. No fake, stiff poses, no stress, just the recognition and appreciation of the moment - just you, your bridesmaids, family and your emotions. Beautiful.
This, then, is the pattern that will occur throughout the day. Find or create the most beautiful light, open ourselves t o unique little storylines, and capture them as they unfold. During these, and many other photo-ops we cover throughout the day, we want you to resist that urge to look at the camera and grin, unless I ask of course. Ignore me. Relate to your family and friends and just forget I’m even there. The earlier you can manage this, the sooner the photographic opportuntities will improve. Don’t worry, if I see a little problem with the dress or can offer a little advice on hand position, I’ll speak up. If I’m not suggesting a lot of posing, it’s because I think everything looks perfect. No worries
Here’s a special tip: as the bride, you yield special powers unmatched by any photographer. Make an effort to speak to each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen separately and passalong this same advise. Also take the opportunity to express how important it is to you that they flash their fabulous smiles during any formals we might capture. Smack them if it produces unwanted side effects. Or just smack them on general principal. Ok, I’m joking. After successfully learning to ignore me you hear me call out your name, I might say something like ”slower” or “hold please”. Briefly acknowledge me, but keep doing what you were doing. Just slow down a little or pause for a beat. Relish the moment. These extra seconds allow me to really pick the right angle, change a lens, and perhaps snap off a few extra frames of something really special. This request will shortly be followed by “got it , thanks” and you’re free to continue on your way.
If you stumble across a special relative and want to mug for the camera, just grab them and turn towards me. I’ll be happy to take a few images. And what about family grouping? These days, most couples prefer the reality of the photojournalistic approach, but I still do traditional posing, as a photographer that was trained from the very beginning as a combination shooter, you will get what you wish for, going back to again, communication is key. If you have a large quantity of the traditional posing needs, or expect unusually large numbers of individuals in a given shot, we will need to pre-scout a suitable location and allocate the necessary time needed. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular matter well in advance. The cold reality of this particular subject is the amount of time it takes away from mingling with friends and relatives. If we hustle, figure on a minimum of four to five minutes per grouping. Please assign a trusted, strong-willed, and agreeable friend or relative who - this is very important - actually recognizes all the players and is willing to act as your “people wrangler”. I won’t be able to do the photography if I have to round up wayward groomsmen or family members in the next group shot. Consider this individual to be essential.
We’ve also learned that it can be a bit problematic when the formals are scheduled before a reception that follows tight on the heels of the ceremony. This tight schedule does not properly allow for capturing the images that you may want to get. Consider doing them before the ceremony, This frees you up to enjoy the emotional moments after tying the knot, and also provides us with many more “real” photo opportunities. It is worth adding that if you are willing to see the Groom before the ceremony for the formals, we could also sneak off for some really great spontaneous portraits and simultaneously settle a few nerves before the Big Moment. Many great images are captured at this time, but consider this as a voice of experience speaking....
And now, the ceremony, the moments leading up to the ceremony are a bit of a mad scramble for a photographer. Emotions are high and photo opportunities abound. During this time, I make a special effort to capture the connection between you and your family and friends. These are moments you’ll cherish forever and I will be there, watching and recording it all. I always try to cover these moments with a flexible plan. I have my assignment well in mind, but am constantly alert to new plans. One never knows what special moments might appear as emotions unfold. If there are no restrictions imposed by the clergy or the venue, we like to move discreetly close to the action for close-ups and details. As you utter your vows, we will catch them, when you slip the ring onto each others finger, we will catch that, after you kiss, my eyes might get a little misty, but I won’t miss a moment of it. If I am required to work from afar, and if some of the more intimate photo opportunities are denied us, we can re-enact them. No worries
Congratulations, you did it It’s ok to breathe again.
After the recessional, what shall we do? It’s your choice, we suggest the recieving line with lots of mingling, hugging and kissing with people close to your heart. Don’t rush these moments. Relish them. This is the time when I capture some of the best spontaneous images. These are a few of my favorite moments. Lucky me, I get to see people at thier happiest. If you have not chosen to do the formals prior to the ceremony, and the reception is only a short time away, we probably need to move quickly into the aforementioned formals. I’ll do this as quickly as I can, but sometimes I’ll have a member of the group who’s a chronic blinker or someone who has already discovered the bar. Things like this sometimes require a bit more shooting time to assure a good result, but I’ll move with cheerful determination.
Videographers, please let us know if you’re planning to have a videographer. Figure on this expanding the shooting time a little bit, as they tend to get in the middle of my set-ups. While we try not to trip over each other, the double coverage always adds some time to the process. Other photographers and shutterbugs. I don’t mind Grandma or cousin Jim popping off a few snaps of my set-ups unless they begin to affect my ability
to perform the job that you have hired me to do. Please forward a request to family shutterbugs that they should wait until I have “gotten the shot” to try thier luck. I’ll let them know when I’ve got it. Again, it should be noted that while I don’t mind the interruption in workflow, the little extra bits of time required quickly add up, and can seriously reduce the amount of work I can accomplish in a fixed amount of time. If I can make your support on this matter understood prior to the event, it avoids hurt feelings in the moment.
On to the reception, as the reception gets into full swing, lots of dancing to be sure and , of course, any of the traditionals, first dances, cake cutting, bouquet and garter. If you spot someone that you want to get a picture with, feel free to grab me for a quick snap. While I do not generally do table shots,
I find most people dislike having conversations interrupted for what usually ends up looking like so many deer caught in headlights, although, if you are willing to go around to each table, I can do these shots for you, people don’t seem to mind if the bride and groom request a shot of each table. I am alert to anyone looking interested in having a quick, light-hearted snapshot.
And then suddenly, it’s done. At this point, I have just begun my involvement in the archiving of your memories. Over the next few weeks, while you enjoy your honeymoon, I will be slaving, slaving, I tell you - over your precious memories. I edit and color-correct all images. When you return, tan and well-rested, we can meet to view your images in a proof book. You can expect to get anywhere from 400 to 600 images in the book, depending on the events of the day. This book of proofs is yours to keep. From this book, you will choose your favorite images to be designed into the final wedding album, if your package includes an album.