Being a professional wedding photographer can be very rewarding. There is always a need for professional photographers at a wedding ceremony and to make sure you capture the brides’ perfect day I have come up with a wedding photographer’s timeline that will help you plan your day.There should always be a mutually agreed upon time or schedule between the photographer and the bride. As a wedding photographer you have been hired to capture every memorable moment of not only the wedding ceremony and reception but the pre-wedding moments as well. The wedding photographer should be there for the makeup and hair to the departure on the honeymoon. Going over your schedule with the bride is critical as well as always being ready for the perfect shot.
Times may vary during the ceremony due to the many religious services that are available. However, no matter what the religion is for the wedding ceremony there are key parts for the wedding photographer in all weddings.Being one of the most important events in a person’s life, the wedding ceremony, the professional wedding photographer should strive to master the skills necessary to capture these once in a lifetime moments. The lighting conditions in many locations, especially inside a church or other low lit venues, can make taking expertly exposed images rather difficult. Professional grade wedding photography equipment is a requirement. A seasoned and skilled wedding photographer may bring $20-30 thousand dollars of equipment to do this right.
The ‘First Look’
A recent change to the traditional Wedding Day event is the “First Look”. This is when the Bride and the Groom have finished dressing and are ready for the wedding ceremony. This time between photographer and Bride and Groom will help them relax and set the tone for the rest of the day.
A little history: It is superstition that the bride and groom should not see other prior to the wedding ceremony. Since the beginning of time, arranged marriages were customary. If the bride and groom saw each other prior to the wedding it was feared that the groom may call off the wedding bringing shame upon the bride and her family. It has since become a tradition that the bride and groom are only allowed to see each other at the venue of the ceremony this way the groom can not run away. http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-ceremony-traditions/wedding-superstitions
Preparations (30 minutes to 1 hour for Bride and 30 minutes for Groom)
You will be taking photographs of the Bride and Bridesmaids putting on their finishing touches, hair and makeup. The Groom and Groomsmen will be finishing up with their tuxes and ties. During this time take advantage of taking the Bride’s portrait shots as well as the Bride with her Bridesmaids. The same will go for the Groom’s portrait and the Groom with the Groomsmen.
Due to the Bride and Groom being in separate places it is critical for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia wedding photographer to have ample time to travel between locations.
Ceremony Location and Details (15 minutes)
Prior to the ceremony, the wedding photographer should spend time capturing images of the ceremony venue including the flowers and the programs.
Ceremony Coverage (depends on the length of the wedding ceremony)
Post Ceremony Group and Family Shoot (20 to 30 minutes)
These photographs will take a good 30 minutes as this is where all of the family and group shots are taken.
Bride and Groom Formals (30 minute minimum up to 2 hours)
For the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia wedding photographer this is where your skill as a professional photographer makes all the difference. The more time provided to the photographer for these formal photographs the more professional the photographs will turn out.
As the wedding photographer you will use different lenses, flashes, reflectors and other equipment to provide the bride with her ‘dramatic’ magazine shots. You will need to balance the time with the Bride and Groom for their formal portraits along with their need as a newly wed couple who wants to spend time with family and friends to start celebrating their union.
Reception location images (15 minutes)
Before the guests arrive you will want to get shots of the reception venue. This will prove to be a challenge in itself, which is why it is prudent to have two Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia wedding photographers as one can work the reception while the principle photographer is working on the formal photographs.
The wedding photographers will walk around the reception taking the candid shots of guests as well as the Bride and Groom. The reception is where all the fun takes place and you, as the professional wedding photographer does not want to miss any of it. This includes but is not limited to:
a.Introductions of the Bride and Groom
c.First dances (Bride/Groom, Mother/Son, Father/Daughter)
g.Bride and Groom Departure (sparklers, birdseed, bubbles etc.)
Setting your timeline as a professional wedding photographer is the result of hours of trial and error as well as a lot of planning and experience. Taking your time and working with the bride, groom and family members is important to capturing the beauty and magic of the wedding day.
2013 Kelly Schneider: CPP