Formals at weddings

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by danalec99, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    How long does it take for you?

    This is one area which I dread the most. I very much dislike directing and for me it is a very static affair. But this is an area which cannot be fully overlooked.

    Daniel
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It just depends. Some folks don't need so many, and are quick and easy to shoot. With others it's like herding cats. I try to keep it under an hour; if they want lots of posed pics it can take up to an hour and a half. Much longer than this and I think it becomes a drag. I hear complaints from people about how it took their photographer three hours.

    I talk to the bride, and try to get a shot list worked out before hand. With the posed shots it goes a lot faster if you can organize the groups, and check off the shots as you take them. I try to start with large groups and work down; so it's usually B and/or G and the wedding party, then B and/or G with family, and finally B and/or G by themselves.

    What really throws a wrench in it is if they don't want the B & G to see each other before the ceremony. Many photographers insist that all posed shots be taken before the ceremony, and I recommend this also to my clients, but for some folks it is an important part of the ritual, and they are signing the check.
     
  3. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    Before the ceremony:

    Bride, bride and family, bride and attendants, (2 hrs before ceremony starts)

    Groom, groom and family, groom and groomsmen (bride back in dressing room at this time, and you still have about 1 hour before ceremony starts)

    wedding party

    Now, after the ceremony, all you have to do are the photos with the bride and groom together.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^ This is THE way to do it.

    Actually, most of my couples want to do this at the altar right after the wedding. I can get it done in about 20 minutes, so long as the wedding party is complete and paying attention.

    Like Matt says, it gets to be a drag if it goes on too long, and that will show in the photos. I like to change locations anyway. I try to avoid having the same setting in too many shots, but sometimes the prevailing situation (time of day/year, weather, space, etc.) will dictate just how many I do in the church.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     
  5. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Yes, that can make it difficult. I also work off a shot list that the B & G fill out a few weeks before the wedding. Typically it takes about a half hour to get the formals done (all the family, etc). My style is more non-formal and my clients know that ahead of time. The first few times can be nervewracking trying to get everyone organized. I usually ask for a name of a good point person. Someone that will know all the people and isn't afraid to speak up. This job is usually given to the maid of honor and she will help us get everyone who is supposed to be there. I also start from large group and narrow it down. Whole family, then attendants, then get it down to just the bride and groom. Helps it move quickly and give them bride and groom a little time to themselves.

    Something that helps me is to meet with the couple about 2 weeks before the wedding date. We go over times and their plan for the day. It's a good chance to reconnect and help the actual day go smoothly.
     
  6. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again.

    I like it short and sweet, but when every guest wants to pose with the couple, then it becomes a "work".
     
  7. steve817

    steve817 TPF Noob!

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    Who is paying you the couple or the guest? If the couple wants a picture with the guest, that's fine. If it's the other way around politely decline and move on. Tell the guest you will try to get one at the reception, anything it takes to keep it moving.
     
  8. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    I wish it was that easy! :)
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hope this is not too far off topic...

    Ocassionally (and especially if I bring the "big lights"), guests will "present themselves" to me, explaining they're guests at the wedding and that I may now make their portrait. I don't mind much if this happens once or twice, but I'm not at all prepared to man a "photo booth" for the duration, speculating I might get an order.

    Now, I forget about all of this until I find myself at the next reception, and just want to scream for not having a plan. I have considered printing order envelopes for this so that folks can enclose payment at the time of the portrait. I suspect most would decline if they are expected to pay for my work.

    How are some of you handling this?
     
  10. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    For those who are interested in posed portrait work, the "photo booth", is a great idea to make additional bucks, once the session with the couple is over. Hand them your business card, get their email/phone# and email them when the pictures are ready to be ordered from your site. If they like what they see I'm sure they will buy. Who would not want a portrait of theirs, without the trouble of going to a studio? :) Surprise them with a frame. Create a database for these emails, send a customized greeting for Christmas and similar occasions.

    Stuff like these will be the seeds for future work/leads from them. That I think is the best incentive here rather than the 8x10 they might order.

    But I also think it is VERY important to let the couple know about this.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Unless the couple wants it, and we've planned for it, there aren't guests around when I shoot the posed shots. We do it well before the ceremony, before the guests have arrived, or after the guests have headed off to the reception. The only people around are the planned subjects of the portraits; usually the wedding party and family. I would be happy to take guests' portraits if that's what the B & G want, but it would have to have been planned for (and paid for) in advance.

    At the reception, with a hand held 35mm rig I'm happy to shoot all the guest portraits folks want.
     

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