OK, so we have told you why you should hire a professional. We have explained how to work with that professional to achieve beautiful wedding pictures that you will love for a lifetime. We have even given you tips on questions to ask, research to do, guest etiquette and things to consider for your wedding. You have hopefully taken some of this advice to heart and have nailed down some of your plans. We know that the wedding day is a stressful, exciting, happy, wonderful, anxiety filled day for you and your significant other. Guess what? Its stressful, exciting, happy, wonderful and anxiety filled for your photographer as well. Let me share with you your wedding day from our point of view. (this may help you understand why we charge more then a non-professional)
In the days & weeks leading up to your wedding, it has been on our mind. Do we have all the equipment we might possibly need as well as back up equipment? Do we need to travel/make travel arrangements? Have we gotten all the information from the couple that we need so we know where we are going and what time? What’s the weather going to be like? What does the light look like at whatever time of day your wedding is in your location? What if I get sick or break my camera the day before the wedding? What should I wear? Yup. All of these things and much more.
On the day of your wedding, we start preparing early. We count in travel time of course, have to load up the car with whatever equipment we are bringing (which is usually heavy and awkward) and get to the location on time. While driving there, we of course are anxious. What if the car breaks down? What if my camera fails? What if, what if, what if? We are running your wedding and reception through our heads, thinking of what poses we might do, what shots we would like to get, what angles we want to capture.
Once at the location, it has begun. There are hundreds of pictures to take. Bride & groom getting ready, the ceremony, the reception, the details, groups,the couple, individuals, kissing, dancing, cake cutting, posed, candids, hairdos & flowers just to name a few. During the ceremony, we try our best to be inconspicuous while still getting beautiful pictures. We do our best to not have 100 cell phones/tablets in all your pictures, which the guests will hold up at all key moments despite the fact that you asked them not to. We are like shadows on the edge of the stage, quietly capturing every moment of your day.
Then comes the couple/group pictures. Maybe we move to a different location for some of these. We have to keep the day progressing, so it is often the photographer that has to ask people to step away, let the bride and groom do this, they will be back shortly. We act as photographers and crowd controllers. We straighten clothes, dodge running children, and give direction, all while taking beautiful pictures and trying to keep you happy & relaxed. This also includes large groups of bridesmaids & groomsmen who like to play and joke around, and family members who think we are there to take direction from them.
Next comes the reception. We must capture all the big moments, and lots of the small ones. A look between the two of you, a father daughter dance, the moment when you cover your new husband/wife in cake or when you steal a kiss during a toast. During this time, we are again helping the evening to progress on a semi-time table, as well as dodging running kids, staying at the front of the crowd when everyone is pushing to see and trying not to let our thousands of dollars of equipment become victim to your drunken relatives. During this whole time, which can range from 2-10 hours, you notice I did not include things like getting a drink of water, sitting down or using the restroom. Hopefully at your reception we were able to sit and eat something, relax for a minute, take a bathroom break, but that is not a given. We only do that if time & bride permits.
Once the reception ends, or our time to stay is up, it is time to go. We have to pack up all that equipment and load it back into our vehicle. We bid you farewell and return home. So the day is done right? Nope. There is still hours and hours of work ahead of us.
That night or the next day we will download all of your images. Usually well over 1000. After they are uploaded, the editing begins. We will spend the next week or 2 editing your pictures, removing the lousy ones, the ones where you made a terrible face or ones that were not flattering. We will go through and edit down at least 3-4 times, to ensure that only the best images survive the cut. Then we will do some level of photo shopping. Depending on your photographer and what you have requested, this can take hours, days or even weeks to complete. Then we still have to create an album if it was requested, show you your images, put the final touches on anything you have ordered, place the order and once it has come in, scrutinize it to make sure that everything is exactly right. Only then can we hand you a product that we are proud to put our names on.
Your wedding day = at least a months worth of work for your professional wedding photographer. This does not include the time, energy and cost that it took to book you as a client in the first place. So, you might ask, why would a person do all that, put all that work in for someone they don’t really know? The reason is because we love it. We love to share that happy day with you. We love the look on your face a month later when you are able to view your images and all the moments from that day come flooding back. We love photography and the joy that it can bring to you and your loved ones. Not all photographers take wedding pictures. It takes a special person to want to be there for those moments in your life.