We teamed up with one of our favorite photographers in the area – Emily of Elle Reaux Photo – to talk about what we wish engaged couples knew about wedding photography! In this post we will deep dive into the behind the scenes of wedding photography – from the booking process all the way to post production. We believe an educated client is the best client – so let’s get into it!
What type of questions should you ask a photographer you are considering hiring for your wedding?
Ask them questions about how they approach wedding photography and why they do this for a living. You want a photographer that is putting heart and soul into their work. Photography is inherently artful. Not only are you hiring a photographer for capturing your wedding day – you are hiring them to be a part of the memories you associate with those photos. When your photographer loves what they do, it will show up in the photos and make you more comfortable in front of the camera!
Here are some example questions: How do you approach a wedding day? Tell me about your style and why you love this job? What’s the “why” behind your wedding business? Why do you enjoy shooting weddings?
What are other elements to note when booking a wedding photographer?
Here are the basics: the number of hours they are providing service on the wedding day (check with your wedding planner or coordinator first to make sure this matches with your timeline), if the package includes an engagement session, if a second shooter is included, and the gallery delivery timeframe.
How do we prepare for our engagement session? I’m nervous!!
You don’t have to perform. Not for your engagement session, for your wedding or anything. There are no rules. Just show up being you and a quality photographer will be able to capture your spirit!
How do I create a shot list? What is a wedding day shot list even for?
We are so glad you asked! A “shot list” is a list of formal family photo groupings you create for your photographer in advance of the wedding day so it’s easy for them to organize those groupings and expedite the family photo portion of the wedding so you can get to the fun stuff! A shot list includes the name of the photo (ex: Bride’s Immediate Family) and the people included with their title and name (Mother of the Bride Karen, Father of the Bride Steve, etc.).
A shot list is not a comprehensive list of every single photo you want your photographer to take. This is micromanaging and undermines your trust in the photographer to artfully capture your wedding day. If your photographer has their nose stuck in your 5 page detailed shot list they are forcing moments to happen rather than capturing what is naturally occuring. A calm atmosphere and down time on the wedding day fosters space for sweet and genuine moments to happen. Let them do their job (this is their chosen career, after all) and trust them to capture everything you want (and more)!
What if my venue has regulations about photographers? Especially if my ceremony is at a church?
Before you book ANY venue (especially a church) make sure you fully understand the regulations photographers have to stay within. For a wedding at a Catholic church, the standard rules limit where the photographer can go, when they can use flash, how long they have to take photos, and how they are allowed to move during the ceremony. These rules affect the photos your photographer can capture from the wedding day, so please understand them well!
Do we have any meetings with our photographer before the wedding day?
Yes! You should have a final details meeting with your photographer to talk through your shot list, any relevant family dynamics, and your timeline. Your wedding planner or coordinator should also attend this meeting! Your photographer will remind you of things to note like their arrival time and when you can expect to receive your full wedding gallery after the wedding day.
What advice do you have for couples’ to enjoy their wedding day while being photographed?
Have expectations but go into your wedding day with an open hand! You have done all of the planning and curated a stellar vendor team, so enjoy your hard work and let go! You can choose to be happy on your wedding day. If you have a team of vendors you trust, there is nothing for you to worry about.
The magic words your vendors want to hear on your wedding day are “Whatever you think is best”. We pride ourselves in problem solving under the understanding that wedding days are dynamic and fluid. Just enjoy the day! Enjoy the people around you, be present, soak up the moment, and let yourself be in your emotions!
When can we expect to get our wedding photos back after the wedding day?
Refer. To. Your. Contract. 🙂 Read that again! Then go read your photographer’s contract!
The contract will state how long it will take for your photographer to deliver your final gallery of photos. The standard here is anywhere from 8-16 weeks. That’s 2-4 months! This timeframe doesn’t change if you text or email your photographer asking when you will receive your photos. Exceptions cannot be made here. Post-production is a part of the creative process for your photographer. They need a specific amount of time in order to produce the types of photos that you feel in love with in the first place. Give them space and be patient!
PLEASE don’t reach out to your photographer asking about gallery delivery until the full timeframe listed within your contract has passed. Only then do you reach out! You can always ask your wedding planner for advice if you feel like you are having trouble with your photographer’s delivery schedule.
We hope you found this blog helpful! At the end of the day, your vendors want you to enjoy the planning process and your wedding day. At Plan On It Events & Design, we believe the foundation of your success in engagement is to be equipped with appropriate expectations for your vendors and their services.
Thank you so much to Emily from Elle Reaux Photography for partnering with us on this blog! Here’s a little more about Elle Reaux Photography:
“Elle Reaux is a film wedding photographer based in Austin, Texas. With a collaborative spirit and storytelling heart, Elle Reaux’s style is classically editorial with a photo-journalistic flair. Embracing every wedding’s inherency to be a trove of emotion and the human experience through all stages of life, Elle Reaux captures each celebration with intentionality and artistry.”
Owner & Head Planner
Plan On It Events & Design
Still have questions concerning wedding photography? We’ve got you covered! We know the pressures that planning your wedding can produce. That’s why, at Plan On It Events & Design, we take on the responsibilities with organization and clarity so you can experience less stress. Put it all on us so you can enjoy the planning process and the wedding that you’re throwing!
Contact us today so we can help you get planning started the right way.
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