Ah, time. One minute you have loads and the next, well, it seems you have none! And that couldn’t be more apt than on your wedding day. And when time runs out, what’s the main thing that suffers? Yes folks, you’ve guessed…it’s usually your photography!
So, while I’m not renowned for taking you away for ages on a wedding day for your photographs, we do need to factor in some time, so here’s some advice around timings to make sure that you get the kind of images that you see on my website – after all, that’s why you booked me :-).
For me, there are three key points in the day that I’ll be looking to do some more “directed” photography, and these are…
In many ways, as I work on my own, this is the most crucial time for me, as I need to photograph both the bride & the groom, who will often be in different locations. I start with the bride and do some detail shots plus hair and make-up. Then the crucial bit – if the bride & groom are in different locations, I’ll be looking to do the shots with the bride (and also bridesmaids and parents) before I leave for the ceremony venue, which, usually, will be about 45 mins before the bride herself leaves. I usually take about 15-20 mins doing these shots so:
Timing Tip: Brides – please aim to be ready approx. one hour before you plan to leave for the ceremony for 15-20 mins of photography.
When I arrive at the ceremony venue, I’ll then be looking to do some shots of the groom (and best man, ushers and parents), again, about 15-20 mins.
Timing Tip: Grooms – please make yourselves available around 30 mins before the ceremony for the above.
Of course, if you are all getting ready at the same venue (albeit in different rooms), then naturally different timings apply, although I would still look to get the same shots, just in a different order.
This is the main time for photography where I’ll be looking to do your family group shots and your key bride & groom shots. But not straight away….there’ll no doubt be a drinks reception for you after the ceremony so I think it’s important to do a bit of meeting and greeting before we start the photography and around 15 mins for this is usually fine.
I recommend doing between 10 and 15 group shots and, at an average of 3 mins per group, works out between 30-45 mins. After that, it’s good to get straight into your bride & groom shots and for this I would again recommend around 30-45 mins.
Timing Tip: Please allow 1 hour, 45 mins for the above from the end of the ceremony to the start of the wedding breakfast, factoring in any time for travel to the reception venue as well, should this be different to the ceremony venue.
The turnaround time after the wedding breakfast and before the dancing starts provides another great opportunity for a few more bride & groom shots. The light at this time of day will be different to that from earlier, and will result in shots with a very different feel, often using flashlight for creative effect. This time of day can sometimes be a bit tricky, as often, evening guests have started to arrive, but for approx. 15 mins of time, we can get some really eye catching images, so it’s worth the effort.
Timing Tip: Please try and put aside around 15 mins for a few shots in the evening. It will definitely be worth it for the different light that we get at that time of the day :-).
So, there we have it guys. Wedding days can often be unpredictable and, of course, I need to be quite flexible as well but, if we can try and work to the timings above, then everyone’s a winner!