I do a lot of work to educate my clients on how to get the most out of my services on their wedding day. Here’s the thing, wedding photography ain’t cheap! But its soooo worth it to have someone who is very experienced and will treat you right on your wedding day. I mean, no one wants a pompous buffoon on their wedding day. BUT, confidence and experience should be a major reason why you hire a photographer. I think I’m rabbit trailing… that might happen a lot through this post. Bear with me, this should be helpful.
Without sounding like that pompous buffoon previously mentioned, I can tell you that whenever April and I shoot a wedding, we go a great job. On many weddings though, we do an amazing job and there’s some distinct reasons why. It has nothing to do with how big or glamorous a wedding is. (Although, that never hurts.) But it has everything to do with the timeline of the day. If you’re not one of my brides, you can ignore me. If you are one of my brides, I ask that you very seriously consider these tips. I promise you, it will improve not only your pictures, but your wedding day as well.
1) You don’t need 3 hours of pictures of you getting ready.
You’re not going to put a picture of you without your hair and makeup done in your wedding album. I like to arrive at the wedding towards the end of your getting ready. That gives us time to photograph your dress, shoes and jewlery and a few other details.
2) This doesn’t mean you won’t get “getting ready” pictures. I mean, one of the big parts of the day is putting on the dress.
I like an hour total to get pictures of you putting on your dress and then spend time photographing those details of you in your dress.
I’d also like about 30 minutes of the groom getting dressed. Hey, ya can’t forget about him. And besides, those boys look sexy in their tuxes!
3) First look. Don’t cringe yet, let me at least get my plug in. Here’s what I don’t understand about not doing a first look; Why would you want to spend your wedding day away from the man you love?? You go from spending all your time together, talking on the phone, consulting each other on everything to its the biggest day of your life as a couple and suddenly you’re quarantined away from each other! That’s just cra-cra! I mean, getting all your pictures done before in a relaxed atmosphere is really just a bonus. The first look is the most beautiful and romantic part of the day. And I PROMISE you, it doesn’t make the walk down the aisle any less special.
In fact, most often I see more emotion during the ceremony from the couples who have spent the last few hours together.
4) We need an hour of pictures of just you and your groom.
We don’t do engagement sessions in 10 minutes, so why would we discount the most important pictures of your life to even a 30 minute rushed session?
This is a high stress day, you need time to relax and to be yourselves. That’s what truly makes those unforgettable images. Many times we need to do your portrait session on location outside of your venue. (Downtown, Philbrook, and a hip bar are just a few ideas of great places to be photographed) Sometimes wedding venues don’t have the variety or locations to get awesome pictures.
6) Family pictures. Ooooh family pictures. You’re supposed to dread them, right? Nope, not at Andrea Murphy Photography. I was at a photography convention recently and one of the speakers said, “I think family pictures have no place at a wedding”. It made me feel sick. (And then I walked out.) I couldn’t disagree more. The sad truth is, you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. That may be the last time your family is together.
You NEED family pictures.
As photographers, we attract clients that are like us, and I venture to say that most of my brides consider their families to be of the utmost importance. Don’t worry! Family pictures don’t have to be stiff and boring. I’m gonna make you do things that feel a little goofy, but you will love them, and they’ll show off your personalities! For the family portrait session we need about 30 minutes and will shoot your closest family members (typically parents, siblings, grandparents). If you’d like a big family picture with all of your extended family, we suggest doing those directly after the ceremony. Don’t forget, we’ll be there during the reception. If you want a picture with Uncle Bob and Aunt Janet, just grab us and we can snap a picture. (That was definitely a rabbit trail)
So you may be seeing a repeated theme here… it’s all about time.
Gorgeous, fantastic, amazing, mindblowing pictures take time. They don’t always just magically happen. And quite honestly, if you want my ultimate creativity, I need time too!
But here’s the most important tip. If you haven’t hired someone to coordinate your wedding day, that always falls on the photographer (okay, sometimes the DJ too). I can not tell you how many wedding parties I’ve had to line up and send down the aisle. Or how many times I’ve cued music. Or when I’ve been telling everyone where and when they need to be places. This is VERY common. I’m more than happy to do it, and my brides have been so thankful. But while I was doing that, I missed that moment of the bride clinging to her daddy for that last walk down the aisle. And I couldn’t photograph the look on mom’s face as she saw her daughter for the last time as a single woman. I am friends with the best wedding coordinators in Tulsa and I am happy to send you their information. (and you can hire them just for the wedding day to organize things. That’s not why you’ve hired me. And its not your Mom’s job. Or your best girlfriend who’s too pregnant to fit into a bridesmaid dress. Just sayin’)
If you’re still reading this, thank you. I’ve really said this all so that you can get the most stunning pictures I’m capable of. Just giving the extra time makes your day fun filled and stress free! Imagine that, a stress free wedding! If you have some thoughts on the matter, leave us a comment!