What does that all mean for us....? Well, let me break down the day in stages. A wedding requires the photographer to shoot in various lighting and environment scenarios, maybe that is why some photographers consider it one of the most difficult photography discipline around.
All my packages include a couples session. This is a great chance to practice being photographed as well as another chance for me to get to know each you and for you to get to know how I work. It will make the portrait session during your wedding so much more smooth. For your session dress simple, meaning don't mix too many colors and stay withing the same style of clothing (formal, casual, colorful or whatever it might be). So if one of you wears jeans and flip flops the other shouldn't wear a ball gown. You get the idea. Let your personality shine. Keep in mind that the latest fashion can make the photos dated in 10-20 years. Think timeless. Think about what you want to achieve. Some inspiration can be found here. Then lets talk :)
On the big day we start usually with the getting ready and detail shots.....This is one of my favorite time to shoot. The excitement is in the air. I approach this in a more documentary style. I document whats happening. People drop in and say hi. I shoot that. The make-up artist has a whole big palate of colors spread out in front of you. Lip stick is being applied. I shoot that. I also document all little details like rings and dresses and shoes. But I use my knowledge here and move it into good light or move away some distracting details from the frame. Documentary photographers wouldn't do that.
Portraits: Some couples choose to do a "first look" before the ceremony. I find a good location and walk you through it. This is when you first see each other and it is always an emotional moment which produces amazing photos. It is best to be alone, without guests and make this a moment between you two. Well...and me, but that doesn't count :) You might choose to do your couples portraits then or after the ceremony. During the consolidation we will have talked through the plan for the day and decided on this considering the best light (golden hour- one hour before sun set.).
The portraits are a very important part of your photography and most people are most nervous about this. Don't be! You have practiced being photographed by me during the couples shoot. I will guide you through this. I will not heavily pose you. You wont' hear "Put your left hand on her shoulder and your right hand into your pocket." etc. I will say things like "Look into her eyes and tell her what you love most about her" or if I feel that you are a little nervous I might say "Close your eyes for a moment and stick your foreheads together and take a breath." Just trust me here. The little moments in between are often the ones that you will end up loving most.
Then comes the ceremony. The moment you have been waiting for. Time to say YES. I am fully in documentary mode. No interfering at all. I document whats happening around me. Parents who cry, kisses and promises, hand holding and beautiful churches. All you have to do it focus on each other. And if you do a first kiss, kiss long to give me a chance to catch that moment. During the vows, look into each others eyes and the loving expression that I want to capture will come. After the ceremony stand a little bit facing your guests in order for me to grab that photo. Then I will photograph you leaving the church by walking backwards. A very happy moment which translates into great documentary photos. Enjoy it! Afterwards I continue documenting hugs and kisses outside the church.
Now its time for the mingle and brudskål. I document all the lovely moments. I will have shot the venue with all its decorations and details at some point. Then the dinner starts and I will document all the speeches, kisses and moments. Another time where my approach is fully documentary. I try to get a photo of everybody per table, but won't photograph while guests dine. It does not look good when people chew and they should enjoy their meals in peace. I hope to get some food myself. Hungry photographers don't make good photographers. :)
If I am lucky enough to be booked for the cake cutting and dance, the approach here is also documentary. I love dance photos when everybody is relaxed and just having a good time. You are now happy that everything worked as planned and most important that you are now MARRIED! It makes for great photos. I add a little crazy to the photos that emphasizes the party mode we are all in now.
One more thing...
- It's your wedding...this is just a guideline of how most weddings plan out. Not every wedding follows the same schedule and I LOVE personalized weddings where all rules are broken. Speak to me and I adjust to what you have planned.
- From personal experience I know...the day flies by. Take a break in between, grab your partner, take a breath and watch whats going on around you, then hug and kiss. This is the beginning of your life together. Remember the moments.
- Natural moments are often the ones you will cherish most. We call those also "camera unaware". You do not look into the camera and for the viewer of the image it look unposed and natural. There is more emotion in such photos. Don't feel like you need to look at me all the time. I will once in a while ask you to look at me, but by all means, feel free to stare into each others eyes and focus on each other.
- Be realistic with your your schedule. Leave buffer time for travel in between locations and unexpected events. You want to avoid looking stressed in your portraits.