Because I am largely a wedding photographer and have been for 14 years now, my business cycle follows the wedding season. Let’s face it, January is not as busy for me as say, June. What does happen this time of year is planning. Brides are activley planning right now for their upcoming spring, summer and fall weddings. So far, I have booked weddings in every month coming up all the way to October. That is some serious thinking ahead!
Here are some things to think about when you are planning photography for your wedding. I am speaking from the experience of many hundreds of weddings so pay attention.
1. Plan in the margin: It is the rule, not the exception that people (family) are late, typically to the reception. I normally do some formal photos prior to the reception and someone in the family is always late almost without exception. Plan to have them there 30 minutes prior to the photographer showing up and you will have a better chance of being on time and you will get some nice pictures without rushing too!
2. Choose a photographer that suits your style. Occasionally, I will get a bride who books me and then says something like, “Can you photoshop the heck out of these pictures for me?” I wonder if they have seen my work. This rarely happens because most of the brides that book me know that I am very minimal with my photoshopping and that I love a more natural feel. Photographers are very different so make sure you research.
3. Do a little leg work: Generally, I like to have control over locations but I really like input of the “types” of places, like fields, forests, water, etc… The more you know about what you want, the clothing you want to wear (engagements) the more likely you will be super happy with your images. It helps me when I have a discussion and people can give me a little guidance. On the other hand, many couples simply don’t know how to describe what they want and just trust me. That is fine too. Just know that communication goes a long way. Also, be realistic when emailing ideas from pinterest. I often get images sent that show a lot of fall leaves or flowers and the wedding is in the dead of winter. I am good, but I can’t make flowers grow in January 🙂
4. Be on time to engagement and formal sessions: I plan my weddings for when the sun is going down which means we have a closing window. I can’t tell you how many brides eat up 30, 40, 60 minutes of that window because they are still getting their hair and makeup done. It does two things: 1. I have to change my plans sometimes to accommodate and improvise. 2. I can get a lot done in 30 minutes. Imagine the images that the bride will never have because she isn’t in front of the camera. It pains me!
5. Plan your wedding for YOU. Some of the funnest weddings I photograph are of second marriages. They realize that a lot of what they did in their first marriage was unnecessary and boring and they approach their second wedding with the idea that “this time we are going to do it right. We are going to ENJOY every minute of it.” Personally, I wished I would have had a dance at my reception and cut the line early, way early. Many receptions I photograph, the couple (and the family) can’t wait for it to end. What kind of a day is that? Be bold and make it fun! For the record fun weddings make fun pictures! HAVE FUN!!
For the sake of simplicity I will leave you with those five things to ponder.