Wedding Photogs: Bride & Groom creative portraits - when?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by keith204, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With the weddings I've been a second shooter at, it seems like the B&G never make enough time in their schedule for portraits of the two of them. Usually they try to cram it in about the hour before the wedding starts, or just after the wedding, on their way to the reception.

    Is this normal? Peanuts, for example, has B&G in fields, barns, phone booths, old-time play buildings???, etc. Do the creative B&G portraits usually happen on a different day? Or, are the B&G more willing to give up more of their morning for photos in other areas/cultures?
     
  2. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i always do them the day of. I tell the B&G that if they want good photos, they should schedule AT LEAST 1.5 hours after the ceremony, and before the reception, so we can do some great shots (like the ones mentioned above)
     
  3. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I always ask the couples if they would want to do some photos beforehand. Everyone says no and I don't push it. Maybe someday I will get a couple open for that!

    Anyways, I recommend at least 2 hours between the ceremony and reception. Without fail that usually somehow winds down to 1 hour. The ceremony starts 10-20 minutes late, the receiving line always takes longer then expected and the family photos .. well they end up being a bigger ordeal then the couple sees it as being. I require that they have a list of the formals, then they must put a cousin or someone in charge who is familiar with both sides of the families who can help 'coordinate' - that helps the formals go as quickly as possible.

    Then it is off for the couple pictures yay! One big 'hint' I picked up is to have several copies of direction maps printed out, whether for the limo or the wedding party who is driving. On it I have my phone number so if anyone gets lost.

    That being said, my first 'winter' wedding two weekends ago did not go too smoothly due to the time crunches as mentioned above and the fact that we lost our sun. Not good! The couple forgot to do the family formal list (although I called them the week and day before to remind them) so lots of tim was lost trying to figure out 'who' was next and 'where did Aunt Sally run off to'. Luckily I know this couple from way back so if I do not have a sufficient number of couple portraits I would be happy to do some another day - I do not want this to happen again though. Ack!

    The last winter wedding I did this weekend, well the mother was er.. let's leave it by saying 'efficient'. She had the pastor announce that the receiving line was to occur at the reception and that no one was to even go near the groom and bride after the ceremony as they had to go for pictures. :lol: Everyone listened for obvious reasons and we got away in perfect time and it was a 'relaxed' photo session :) Yay..

    *end of ramble*
     
  4. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    No one ever schedules enough time, and worse, one of the two is usually pouty and won't participate-- I had one where he was too hot so he just refused to have his picture taken.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On #1:
    Formals were done in 15 minutes by 2 photographers (he and I), where we started off with 1 main huge group then divided things up into "his-N-hers" sides and the 2 of us were busy like MANIACS. 125 pics in 15 minutes, 11 different groupings. This was done in the park behind the church at literally in a last second change from the 2 hours promised us in a local botanical gardens, 5 minutes drive away.

    On #2:
    Schedule was for a 90 minute shoot at a beautiful water park 2 minutes drive away from the church. We got there and were given 30 minutes. They also had a loooooooong list of "must have" formals and we were able to get through 70% of them, unfortunately only 50% complete after culling. They gave us crap for it too... lol.

    On #3:
    Dream wedding! We were given 2 hours BEFORE the wedding in a beautiful location (hand built gazebo in a huge park, dressed up for the wedding and even had several RCMP on horses join in on the impromptu shooting... we *almost* turned it into a TTD session, but she did need her dress for the wedding a couple hours away... LOL). We were then also given 1 FULL hour inside the beautiful church for formals and then whisked away to the reception area, where on the 3rd floor they had prepared a 2nd place for us to shoot more formals in an almost gothicly decorated hall that was being unused at the time, complete with 2 HUGE chocolate fountains spewing calories of pure swiss chocolat. This we had for about an hour before the reecption 1 floor below started.

    #4: Everything as per "the book". We had time to do pics at the B&G's houses as they dressed (1 hour), we had time for formals inside and outside the church (30 min total) we had 30 min at the reception to stage a few things and then it was full journalistic shooting becuase there were a ton of surprises and things happening ALL the time for the first couple hours of the reception (including a best man that changed into a HOT PINK shiny disco suit to do his speech...LOL!).

    Never ever count on things going as per the schedule... apparently, it almost never does and I was lucky to have participated in the one that did.

    BTW... this is all "planned" out during the meetings at the photographer's location... well in advance (usually the same time contracts are signed and downpayments are made). Never leave this stage to the unknown and never NOT plan this out in as much detail as you can!
     
  6. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i've lucked out so far, that all the weddings i've shot, the B&G for some reason looked at me as an authority for the day, and kind of, what i said went... which was weird...

    my last wedding the B&G basically they told everyone "we're going to do the photos, we'll be back when Chris is done, if it takes 5 minutes, it takes 5 minutes, if it takes 2 hours, so be it... we'll be back when he's done... you can all wait for us"... MIND YOU, I don't like holding up the reception, so I TRY to keep things going on time...

    also in the same wedding, I've actually had to yell at people, which I didn't really like... we were doing family formals, outside (blistering heat) and people kept standing in behind the poses.. which was really annoying.. so after about the 3rd time of yelling, I grabbed 2 kids, and made them guard the area so no one could walk there... also the same wedding was VERY HOT outside... i think with the humidex it topped out around 40 celcius, which is friggen HOT around here... PLUS, 2 hours before the wedding, it poured, which meant it was REALLY STICKY outside.. the groom, who i knew from paintball (my other hobby) was getting really cranky, because he was hot, and he kept complaining and winning.. I basically yelled at him and told him to stop being a baby and assured him that the blistering heat would be worth it in the end.

    good times!
     
  7. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Our most creative shots seem to happen with brides and grooms who get excited about trying creative shots. During our pre-wedding consultations, we try to get them excited about taking some cool shots. The bottom line is that if the bride and groom want to get some great shots, they'll make time for it.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The important part is planning for lots of time. Long before the wedding, ask for 2 hours or more. As peanuts said, it will get wittled down by the time you get to start.
    Working with time constraints is one reason why this is a hard job. You don't have time for mistakes and then you have to be creative on demand.

    The family group shots usuall take up a lot of time, so the faster you can get those done, the more time you have with the wedding party and then with the bride and groom.
    I've heard that some photographers will evev refuse to do the group shots, they are just there to create romantic images of the bride & groom. A lot of us would love to do that but 99% will want family shots.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The few that I did, all wanted family his-n-hers parents shots, yes.
     
  10. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Jerry that wedding sounds amazing-- it's all about finding people who care about the images enough to make the extra effort. I figure people get what they want, more or less, by choosing to limit the photography or not. However, I think many people expect me to be able to magically compress every thing into their shortened schedule (usually some hanger-on has no concept of time management).
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It was, and according to my photographer friend (the #1), it was the first time in decades that he ever had this level of preparation and cooperation. He also went out of his way to do a few extra things to add to the event.

    Apparently, this doesn't happen very often. If that is really so, I was darn lucky to have been a part of it, and I learned a LOT from this event.
     

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