One of our most commonly asked questions from prospective brides and grooms is, “What is your approach to photographing a wedding day?”
In other words, how involved will we be in the day? Are we the type that sit back and let everything happen? Or are we the type to walk around with a bullhorn, tapping our watch, telling people where to be and how to stand?
Our approach to photographing wedding days is simple – to help your day run as smoothly as possible!
Storytime .. our wedding photographer in 2011 (yes, singular – but that’s a whole other story) was totally hands off. She barely spoke up or made any suggestions other than posing family members during family formals. While we definitely didn’t want a tyrant running our day, we needed direction, too! Rob and I had never been married before – had only stood in a few friends’ weddings. We didn’t really know how the day was supposed to run. I remember feeling unsure and confused more than once during that September day.
That’s what Rob and I want to avoid for your wedding. We curate our approach to photographing wedding days on an individual basis around what that specific couple needs. In general, we tend to fall right about in the middle of the photography spectrum.
We’re happy to stand back and let events unfold. There’s no need for us to be in your way at the reception telling you how to dance, etc. However, we also know you are hiring us to capture and tell the story of your day – and you want to feel good about yourselves when you look back through your gallery and album! That’s why there are times when we’re not afraid to speak up and make a suggestion about how to make your images even better.
Real Life Examples – Let’s Make This Even Better
For instance, Sheena got ready for her wedding day with her family at her grandmother’s home in the Keweenaw. It is a very nice little house with nice, large windows in the living room. When it was time for her to put her finishing touches on (veil and jewelry), I asked her to stand in front of the window and pulled away two armchairs to give her a clean, simple background. Once that was finished she went back to the kitchen to grab a snack and I rearranged the furniture as it was previously.
Another example is pretty much any bride putting on her earrings. Without a mirror it’s totally normal to need to concentrate when attaching earring backs. As she was putting on her earrings, I reminded Sheena, “And just a little smile, this is a happy day!” This resulted in a natural sweet expression instead of a look of … determination 😉
While Rob and I will definitely speak up to share suggestions to give you clean, beautiful images with simple backgrounds, we don’t orchestrate every moment of your getting ready time or any other part of the day. I love capturing sweet, unprompted moments like the laughs Alison and her mom shared while putting on her final touches.
Is part of the day running a little long? We’ll come up beside you and give you a bump – if you want your mom to help you get in your dress she really needs to be getting in her dress now so she’s ready. But we’ll never tell you what to do or when to do it unless you request that – promise.
What is our approach to photographing the wedding ceremony?
When it comes to photographing the wedding ceremony, our approach is to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Rob and I coordinate our gear and shoot with a combination of lenses to give you a variety of images of your wedding day. We want you to have plenty of closeup images that capture your reactions during the officiant’s speech, the vows – and, of course, the kiss! But we know you also want to be able to see the wide angle views that you don’t get to experience once you’ve walked up the aisle and are standing at the altar.
No matter which lens we may have attached to our camera, we aim to be quiet and not distracting for any of the guests. We have all sounds disabled on our cameras (like that BEEP when the camera focuses), and we ensure even the shutter sound is minimal by taking a few extra steps back.
What is our approach to photographing family formals?
When photographing family formals, we know efficiency is key! (We have an entire blog post about planning family formals here.) That’s why we communicate with you ahead of time to gather a list of all the family members (with names, not just ‘groom’s aunt’). Using the list, we have a practiced strategy of building up and then working down. That means we can get everyone off to cocktail hour with smiles still on their faces!
What about the reception? How do you photograph that?
Great question! This is the part of the day when we hope you notice us the least.
You already made it through a long day of hair and makeup, that nerve-wracking walk down the aisle, getting your vows out without twisting your tongue in knots – and now it’s time to party! Other than key moments like cutting the cake, where we may need to give you a heads up on where to stand so we can capture it (people always want to put those pesky cake tables in narrow corners), we’re totally hands-off. Have fun and let your hair down – we’ll be there to capture the laughs.
But be warned – I pretty much always cry during the father-daughter dance.
Rob and I photograph weddings the way we wish ours had been photographed. We are fully invested to make your wedding day memorable for all of the right reasons. There is no one way we approach a wedding day, because every wedding is a little different, but know we’re ready to support you any way we can!