Your Questions Answered
Last week I sent out a call for YOUR wedding related questions! My biggest response came from fellow photographers who had questions about how I approach the day! While every photographer does things a little bit differently, I've definitely found a rhythm that works for me and my clients the day of wedding! I hope what I've shared below can inspire you to look at the wedding day a little bit differently and encourage you find a rhythm that works for you!
Abbey - Deborah, I'd love to hear how you prepare for posing your B&G the day of the wedding. I've had a few weddings this year and am beginning to feel like my poses are looking the same. How do you go about making sure that you have a variety of poses while maintaining your style? BTW, I love your new branding!!!!
Great questions Abbey! I think that it's natural to fall into a "rut" with our posing and photography, especially this time of year. We've been shooting, shooting, shooting and often times it can feel like our work is just melding all together. First I would say, don't be afraid to use the same poses with different couples. That's OK! Each couple will make that pose their own infusing their own personality and character into the image. I would suggest memorizing five-ten go to poses that you'll use on the wedding day, but don't stop there! Switch up your lenses and your angles to create different images. Keep the posing simple and use your composition and lens choice to help make each image stand out! That's certainly a challenge I've given myself this year, to use different angles and lenses to create different images of similar poses! Also remind your clients that it's ok to be themselves and stress they should feel free to enjoy one another! Often I'll find that my couples will do the most adorable things without me asking and I just have to be ready to capture those moments!
Sarah Adams - Can I ask one more question? :) What do you do when a bride has a timeline that does not allow much time for pictures? I want to be more involved with the timeline process but don't want to be too pushy :)
With every wedding client, I am completely involved in planning of the wedding timeline. I do what I call a timeline consultation where I go over each part of the day and give any suggestions where I feel they are needed. I remind my clients how long the Family Portraits will take, how long I'll need with the Bridal Party and how much time I'd ideally like with the couple. I have to educate my clients on all of this as many times they are unaware of just how long something might take. They are hiring me to photograph their wedding day and expect the same kinds of images they see on my blog and portfolio. So it's important for me to communicate with clients exactly what I'll need on the day of to accomplish that. I have had timelines that are extraordinarily tight. In that case I know before had, communicate to the client the restrictions and my concerns and then do EVERYTHING I can the day of the wedding to make the types of images I need. I don't think you're being pushy, you're the expert. Don't be afraid to communicate, communicate, communicate!
Alicia Candelora - I wouldn't mind hearing how you deal with the weather. My last 5 weddings have had torrential downpours, which always adds a ton of stress to everyone involved.
Before every wedding, I try to schedule a venue walk through where I scope out locations at the venue and the surrounding area. I make sure to communicate with the Bride and Groom before the wedding if there are any indoor options for pictures and figure out where that will be. Even if the weather doesn't call for rain... you never know in New England and I want to be prepared! I also try to limit my expectations. Not in a bad way, but in a realistic way. I have to remember that my primary job is to document the day, rain or shine. And while a white indoor room with no character is not going to be an award winning shot, it's my job to make that room work for the couple! The best example I have is a wedding from last fall way up in Vermont. It rained from sun up to sun down. There were really NO indoor options for photographs. So I placed my couple under an awning and stood in the rain shooting at them. My second shooter held two umbrellas over me as I worked. I had to do whatever it took to get great photos for the couple on during the TORRENTIAL downpours. I was SOAKED at the end of the night, but I had images I was proud to give my clients.
Sarah - As a photographer, this is my first season of shooting weddings! I've had SO much fun, but now its time to plan for NEXT season...and I've had a bit of an issue when it comes to naming my prices. I created a few set packages, all of which include an engagement session. I have had a few brides ask me what it would cost WITHOUT the engagement session- but truth is, I included the engagement session for a huge reason- to get to know the brides and grooms beforehand! Do you ever have brides ask you that? How do you deal with it? Love your blog! and your pictures are amazing :)
I have couples ask me all the time if they REALLY need an engagement session. Like you, I feel VERY strongly about the engagement session. I simply state to them WHY I feel that they NEED an engagement session: To have amazing pictures of the two of them during such a special time, to learn how to be comfortable in front of the camera, to get know one another and to "practice" before the wedding day. Every couple that I've had the opportunity to explain the benefits of an engagement session too, have in the end, agreed that an engagement session is a huge benefit to their wedding coverage! I would just encourage you to passionately express your opinions on why YOU love doing engagement sessions.
Gillian Fournier - I am planning my wedding (as a photographer this is extremely stressful, but I do have awesome bridesmaids!) and I am wondering what some of the best seating strategies you have come up with are...I have several people coming to the wedding who are equally important and in theory, should sit together, but they loathe each other. What ways have you come up with to divide tables? By family, by age, by _____? Any imput would be appreciated! PS: LOVE your photos!
Ahh the seating arrangements, one of the most "tricky" parts of planning a wedding! I remember this part of the wedding being the part I particularly loathed, but I did learn a few tips along the way! First and foremost, this is YOUR wedding and while you want to be aware of guests feelings and emotions, don't let that dictate everything you do. Do your best to accommodate but don't let this become a point of stress! Here are a few ideas. Perhaps have two tables next to one another that are both in prominent positions near the dancefloor etc, but allow "room" between guests who may not want to be seated together. Don't be afraid to mix family and friends together at tables either. Sometimes mixing up the groupings helps to create conversation and keeps certain guests separated. Also think about the types of tables you want to use! Long tables can allow people to sit at the same table but without having to be close to one another! Here is a wedding that incorporated long tables.
It was really fun answering your questions this week! I'd love to hear what you'd like to see for upcoming Wedding Love posts! Leave your suggestions below!
And congratulations to Gillian for winning the Starbucks Giftcard! Gillian email me your information so I can send some goodies your way! Happy Wednesday everyone!