Choosing a Wedding Photographer – Length of Coverage

The second in our series of articles about wedding photography looks at how long you will want the photographer to be taking photos on the day for. You may want photos getting ready at a house or hotel before the ceremony. Often this is useful to get used to having you picture taken and also for the photographer to get some pictures of the bride, bridesmaid and her parents before setting off to the ceremony.

Some photographers use this time as an opportunity to get the bride feeling relaxed and get some of the formal photos out of the way before the ceremony. It also gives the groom a nice surprise when he sees the pictures as he’ll be off getting ready somewhere else. Some wedding photographers will spend time with the bride and then go on to meet the groom and his ushers for some getting ready shots as well. This makes a nice story in the wedding album as both the bride and groom can see what the other was doing on the morning of the wedding in the finished album.

If your budget doesn’t allow for preparation shots then normally photographer will simply head straight to the venue to catch the grooms and his ushers there, then the arrival of the guests and finally the arrival of the bride. Most venues allow photography during the service. The best wedding photographers will be very unobtrusive and get some great reaction shots during the ceremony and really capture the emotion on the bride and groom’s faces as they say their vows looking adoringly into each-other’s eyes.

Once the service is over, it’s outside for the bride and groom to be congratulated. Generally wedding photographers will leave the couple for a few minutes to greet their guests as he captures the natural shots at this point. Once this is over it’s time for the formal / family photos to be taken. It’s best to work out if you want all of these in one place or to make things more interesting in your album, these can be done either in a church door way to frame the groups or maybe on a nice lawn or set of stairs for bigger groups. Normally it is recommended to leave at least an hour for the group photos even though you won’t be posing for the whole time.

Once these shots are done often wedding photographers will take the bride and groom into the room for a mock cutting of the cake. This is just to get a shot with the cake for the album before they actually cut it later in the day. It is after this point that some photographers will finish for the day leaving you to carry on with the celebrations.

If you want photography until the evening, this is usually a more expensive package or charged as an extra to the smaller package. However it is often well worth having as it will include reaction shots of the speeches, arrival of evening guests and first dance. Sometime the best natural shots can be taken at the evening reception as guests will have relaxed and the alcohol will be flowing, meaning that people are less self-conscious having their photo taken.

Our next article in the series will look at what’s included in the wedding photography packages.