what to expect wedding photographer
5 March 2017

What to Expect from me as a Wedding Photographer on your Wedding Day

Many thanks for booking me as your wedding photographer. I look forward to working together and creating some gorgeous images that you will remember forever! I have put together this little guide so you have a good idea of what to expect from your wedding photographer!

 

wedding photographer

 

What now? 

This largely depends on how long there is until your wedding. For the most part, please go about your business and continue planning your wedding as meticulously as you wish to, knowing that your wedding photographer is booked and one less thing is on your to-do list! If you have not yet paid your booking deposit, please do so at your earliest convenience as I cannot hold any date without a fully signed contract and fee. 

If we have not already met up in person you are not obliged to, however I do recommend it in a way such as booking an engagement session with me so we can get to know each other a little better, become more comfortable and you can get a feel for being photographed by me! If you have already booked an engagement shoot with me, we can schedule a session for this right now on an available date of your choosing.  

Planning 

If you are a Pinterest user, I can set up a Pinterest Board in which we can both pin and share ideas for your wedding photographs that you would like me to consider in my style and inspiration! 
I send all my clients a wedding questionnaire after booking – you may receive this immediately or you may get it a little further down the line, closer to your wedding date. This questionnaire has some personal questions (it’s not tailored to each individual couple, so some may have already been discussed in our consultation chats!) and requests the specifics of your day such as schedule, timings, guests, photos etc. 

Helpful suggestions 

I like to include a list of suggestions for all my couples, not only because I want your wedding photos to be flawless – but also because I want to help you out. I have quite a bit of personal experience with weddings so I’ve included these helpful tips just so you don’t forget! I will be unobtrusive and ready to capture your special moments. You are not required to abide by these points, they are simply there for you to consider and to help you out while you’re putting together your plans! 
 
 
– Be sure you have your hair and make-up trial at least a month before your wedding for peace of mind. Make sure to snap a few images after your session to make sure to make sure that all elements from hair, to dress, to jewellery, are a perfect match – and fabulously photogenic!  

– Allow 50% more time for your hair and makeup than you originally anticipated on the big day. This will ensure you have plenty of time for everything else and that if you over run – you’re not late! 

– Try to avoid glossy lipstick and consider foundation or powder that will reduce the chance of having a shiny face. Please note I have seen mineral makeup cause unflattering effects with flash. The minerals have elements in it reflecting light. 
 
– To shoot a private “bride and groom” portrait session, I will need at least 15-30 minutes of your time alone to take a walk. This allows you to take a little time to yourselves after getting married and can be taken at any point during the day. Please also allow 15 – 30 minutes after your ceremony for group photos, should you be wanting them. It always takes some time to gather people together and pose them so that everyone can be seen.

– Pre-assign a member of the wedding party, family member or friend who knows the people to be in the pictures to round them up for the photos. Getting people where they need to be for the photos is by far the most time-consuming part of group shots. 

– Please, make sure the cutting of the cake and/or any other parts of the evening to be captured occur within the booked time. 
 
– Don’t be afraid to smile and talk to each other when you are being photographed. Don’t feel that you constantly have to stare at the camera, I want you to create memories – not awkward photos!

Final Payment 

I ask that your remaining balance is paid no later than 14 days before your wedding day. This can be paid earlier than required or in instalments. 

On the day 

The big day has finally arrived! I will arrive at your bridal prep location at the agreed upon time and start snapping a mixture of candids and detail shots. I will usually leave just before you to capture your guests arriving at the ceremony location and the details of the interior/exterior. After the ceremony, most couples opt to head straight into group portraits while everybody is rounded up – this will depend on where we are shooting the groups because if you were married in a city church with no garden space, but your reception venue backs onto a forest – it can be a better decision to pop over to the reception venue first and snap the group shots there before the drinks! This is largely up to your discretion and what you would prefer to happen on your wedding day!  

We will then release the guests from their duty as minor models and you then have the option to go straight into a private bride and groom portrait session – allowing you a little break from everyone and a short walk alone to say “hi, we just got married!” We can pick the prettiest location in the nearby area and I will often have pre-scouted on the day if possible. I enjoy shooting these pictures straight after group shots because it means you can then relax for the remainder of the night and forget you’re being photographed! If you would prefer we can shoot these later in the night, perhaps around sunset – or once the light is low and the weather / time permitting we can head out for a second much shorter portrait session by sunset lighting to create some creatively-lit photographs!  
  
If your wedding is happening all-at-one-venue from start to finish or there is a small gap between the ceremony and reception, I may arrive a little earlier and to ‘light hunt’ around the location for the best and most aesthetic scenes! Don’t worry if I or my assistant seem a little odd here – perhaps you glance out the window and I am lying on the grass or walking in a circle with an outstretched palm – you don’t need to fret that the professional photographer you hired is on drugs, this is completely normal behaviour. We are checking angles and the way the lighting falls on our body. I use this trick often and I’m sure it looks very weird, but we sacrifice our dignity to capture the best possible photographs! You’re in good hands. 

Posing. As I’m sure you know from our discussions – I prefer not to direct you and will create a much more “natural” look for your wedding day. However, there are some instances where any photographer needs to provide some basic posing tips and direction such as during group shots and your private B&G portraits. There may be some subtle posing, such as “lift your chin, look at me” in a more formal group shot or “walk in this direction, then this one slowly” or even “give her a kiss, don’t hold back now!” I am largely here to make sure your photographs look lovely. However, this posing, if any, will be minimal and for the most part, I am only capturing the memories and moments from your wedding day. If you are confused by my direction, just ask me to physically show you what I mean! Sometimes it’s hard to communicate exactly what you want and acting it out can be a lot easier. 

Please note – if you have family who have a nice camera or love to snap photos, please ask them to be respectful of my work and not step in the way of any shots. If said snapping guest would like to shoot over my shoulder during group shots it may be a good idea to ask them previously to wait for me to finish shooting first.  The trouble with this seemingly harmless camera-ready guest along with the photographer is, among other things, no one is sure where to look or who to take direction from. This leaves you with a lovely group photo of your family and only half of them are looking at the camera. This will certainly affect your final images as well as your professional’s concentration, so I may ask them to stop shooting or wait for us to finish first if it is becoming a problem. When possible, I’ve found asking relatives to allow me my shot first and standing aside for them after makes everyone happy. 

I do not require you provide me with a wedding meal when you have your wedding breakfast – although it is always appreciated greatly! I will stick around to capture your speeches before taking a little break myself while you and your guests eat (and let’s be honest, nobody really wants to see photos of themselves shoving a piece of chicken into their mouth!). If there is catering available on site I may order myself a meal, grab myself something from a nearby foodplace or bring my own packed lunch and will return to shooting once the meal is finished and the plates are cleared! 

After this you should simply try and forget about me! Your hard work is done and the ceremony is over, you can cut loose! Just ask a member of the wedding party to give me a heads-up of your time schedule for the cutting of the cake / first dance / garter toss! Much of my job at this point is completely relaxed – here we see drunk dancing and goofy faces, and everything else that makes your family & friends hilarious and yours! The best reception photos are often ones taken while you’re unaware you’re being photographed in the first place, so forget about me and have a great time! 

Your first dance and the (remaining) party afterwards will form the end of your wedding day story in my images. During your first dance, I may set up some off-camera lighting to add to the aesthetics of the room and your photographs. Depending on how long you’ve booked me for I will usually stick around for another 30 – 90 minutes to capture the party getting really underway and your guests starting to get merry! 

Once I feel I have captured this, I will come find you to say goodbye, congratulate you once more and then take my leave. 
 
 
After your wedding 

I know how much you want to see your wedding pictures straight away, so I will share a preview (or two) from your wedding in the first few days after your big day on my Facebook Page and Instagram Feed. Like my feed and page now, and you’ll be able to see my updates when they come online. Woop Woop! 
After this it usually takes me around 4 – 6 weeks to hand process and individually edit all of your images, this is dependent on the time of year / season and how many weddings I am currently working on. As soon as your images are ready, you’ll be able to view them in your digital download/sharing gallery. Please feel free to share these and tag your friends and family – and I would love it if you tagged Emily Crutcher Photography too. 

With your wedding images on a USB stick on their way to you about 1-2 weeks later, we can talk through your choice of wedding album if you would like one. I will design your album with your favourite images in mind, and once you are happy with everything, and depending on the time of year, your album will arrive in around 7 weeks. 

Is this the end? 

The end of our wedding photography journey together doesn’t have to mean the end of our friendship or even our photography journey and I hope that you will continue to follow my Facebook page, blog and Instagram to let me know how things are going every so often! 

I would also love it if you could leave feedback about your experience with me as your wedding photographer. You can do this via Facebook page, email or also on the Emily Crutcher Google Review Page

Then, when you’re ready I would also love to photograph your future journeys or new family. If you’re having a celebratory romantic anniversary or even introducing a new baby to the world, let me know if you’d like me to capture it! 

I wish you all the best with your future endeavours and with your wedding day! Get in touch if you need any further help or have any more questions!

If you liked this wedding and want to see more, why not visit my recent posts? Or to inquire about my availability for your own wedding?

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