Post # 1
I’m new here but I’m down to crunch time on wedding planning – the big day is May 30th! I’m so excited! We are having a big wedding (500 invites) on a small budget, and for our pictures we are using a friend who just started his own photography business. There is a gap of around two hours between the ceremony and reception so we’ve decided to take the old fashioned route by taking all of the pictures AFTER the ceremony.
I asked our photographer how long to allow for formal family/posed shots and then how long for wedding party shots (we have 6 on each side plus four ushers and two flower girls).
My photographer surprised me by saying that we would only have about 6 groupings TOTAL for the family shots, and that the wedding party pictures would only take 20 minutes. After looking through other peoples’ wedding photos it seems like there are usually way, way more pictures taken than this. Am I crazy? I just feel like other peoples’ wedding albums capture all these intimate details and stuff, but are their formal shots really so limited?
Post # 3
For the formals, we had about 1 hour of photos with the bridal party (small wedding party, just 2 bms and 2 gms), then 1 hour of just me and the groom, then less than half an hour for family pics, both sides. 20 minutes seems really short to me, too!
Post # 4
You should write a list of all the people who would be involved in your formals. Then you need to look at that list and figure out what combinations of people that you would want to have a picture of. Also ask your parents or other family members what formal combinations of people they would like to see. You should be able to present that list to your photographer before the day of. If he thinks that he’s only taking 6 formals, but you have 25 combinations and don’t tell him until the day of, it could complicate things. Just tell him ahead of time. Even though it’s a friend, you are the client and should be able to make reasonable requests. If you’re drawing a blank on what combos of pictures you should be considering, do a little googling, there should be wedding photography check lists out there.
Post # 5
My photographer said she can squeeze our formals in about 30 minutes. But, I told her I really don’t want formals. We’ll do them for groups…like our families and us, our families and us and all our attendants, etc. Then we get about 45 minutes of just me and my FI for pics. WHich of course, is more important to me. She’s going to know who is most important to us, but with our package, she’s also bringing an assistant and a photo booth photographer. So the photo booth photographer will snag fun photos of our friends being silly, but she and her assistant will do our formals, and more importantly, those ‘intimate’ ones, which are largely due to her photojournalistic style.
Almost every photographer I spoke with before booking mine had at least one assistant. They claimed one person could not easily cover a wedding, especially one as large as yours, without missing key shots.
Post # 6
The bottom line is that your photographer should take any number of the formal/group shots you request. It sounds like your photographer was saying she would ONLY take a couple of formals. If that’s not what you want, you need to speak up.
Definately make a shot list of the important groups to get, and make sure you stress how important it is to you that it gets followed. For example, how would you feel if a photo of just your parents gets lost in the shuffle? Is that okay, or would you be pissed? Would they be pissed? (This happend at my FBIL’s wedding. There is not one picture of his parents together and even though I’d been around for 5 years, there is no proof I was there. Things fell through the cracks because the photographer didn’t know how important those shots would be to the family.)
The photographers we’ve met with have said that group shots go much more quickly if you put someone who knows your people in charge of wrangling the crowd–either a member of the bridal party or an extra cousin, or your loudest friend. That can really cut down on the amount of time between shots.
Post # 7
I was in a wedding where we were freezing in the sunny outside in october shots. the Photographers were pros! They had us move around so fast they got tons of shots in about 20 minutes they had us lined up in the right way it was like step in click step out click and they took so many pics there were a lot of good ones. I think that takes a lot of experience though, but it was awesome that they went so fast and got us back inside!
Post # 8
I think you are going to need more time but talk it over with the photographer and see what he is thinking. Tell him if you want more shots, look at his formal shots from past weddings. communicate with him! 🙂
Post # 9
And vista girl is right there are photographers who can do it supper quick but you have to be firm and keep people moving. Go look at his work and talk to him about your concerns.