Photographer – How to get the most out of your time with them & FIRST LOOK

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
Member
4872 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

artdeco:  

  1. Is it rude for us to tell them to take photos during dinner, since it is included in their paid time and it’s such a lengthy period of time as well. They don’t have to take photos of people eating, but I’m sure they could get some great candid shots. Or do we just let them enjoy the meal for the 2 hours and just count it out? I do not photograph during dinner. I’ve found that in all my years as a wedding photographer people feel very uncomfortable eating while there is a camera around. A lot of times there is also not a lot of converstaion going on while dinneris happening, and so you really get very few “candid” moments that don’t have people just looking down at their plate or with odd expressions. Now, if there are moments happening (like toasts) I always keep my eyes open and will obviously photograph those moments. I’m not just sitting down hanging out for an entire hour while dinner is happening. I always request to eat and be served when the bride/groom are eating, that way, when they are finished I am finished and am available to capture them as they go around the room to greet their guests at various tables. Dinner is also the time that I’m changing out batteries, cleaning lenses, and setting up any lighting that I’ll need for later in the reception. My contracted time is consecutive, so dinner is part of that time frame – same as travel between venues.
  1. For people who did first looks, did you like it, is there anything you didn’t like about it? We’re considering it now,just because of the timeline we have with the photographer. First looks are awesome. I’ve never had a couple regret doing a first look. In fact, when doing a first look I find the tone and overall feel the rest of the day is far more calm and relaxed. I know people get hung up on the “moment” he sees you when you walk down the isle……but I can promise you I get FAR MORE genuine moments during first looks than I ever do during ceremonies. During the ceremony usually grooms are trying not to cry, or they’re nervous, and there is just SO much going on. Every bride write to me in their info form “I really want you to capture my grooms reaction as I walk down the isle”. 9 times out of 10, there is no reaction other than a regular smile. It’s not that they aren’t excited, but they’re nervous. During the first look it’s a private moment with just the two of you, with no one watching. I do not allow people to join us at the first look because it’s a distraction and takes away from the moment.

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Post # 3
Member
1466 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

starfish0116:  Wow this is so helpful! Thank you! What about grooms who used to improv? Haha my groom is actually the one insisting that we first see each other at the ceremony. But if you think a first look sets the tone for the whole day, you might have us rethinking this and having a discussion 🙂

Post # 4
Member
4872 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

nawella:  It’s my expereince that even the most calm and collected people get nerves at their wedding. There are tons of emotions rolling around….nervousness, excitement, etc. Will I trip? Everyone is staring at me! I don’t want to cry and ruin my makeup! There is also A LOT of expectation to have one of those “OMG Pintrest worthy first look photos” and 99% of the time those reactions don’t happen. It’s not that people aren’t genuinely excited, it’s just that nerves sort of take over without them even realizing. The reactions I capture during first looks are usually far better, because it’s a private moment with out 100+ pairs of eyes watching. Once the stress and excitement of seeing each other is out of the way, most couples just tend to be so much more relaxed the rest of the day.

Post # 5
Member
1466 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

starfish0116:  yeah so FI and I talked about this and decided to have a first look! And then there’s an added bonus of doing family and wedding party pics beforehand. Do you think it’s necessary to have family and wedding party pics after? We’ll definitely do portraits after but we don’t want to miss the entire cocktail hour! 

Post # 7
Member
3928 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

artdeco:   One of our photographers shadowed us when we did table visits during the meal.  Some of our nicest shots are of those moments.  

Post # 8
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee

artdeco:  We did not do a first look, but we also had a “Catholic gap” in which we took all our couple/group photos. We are more traditional and wanted to do it that way. We were both very nervous though!

I had to piece together what my photographers did during dinner. I assume they ate, but there are also photos of the plated food, detail shots (rings, invites, decor, etc), and they also trailed us around as we greeted our guests while they were eating. Additionally, our speeches were during dinner, so they have photos of that too.

Post # 9
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

2 hours is a LONG dinner service. My advice to you is the same advice I give my couples – your photography/video team should be on your schedule at all times. When you are eating, they should be eating. That way if there are interactions between you and guests you want photographed that can happen. Also catering staffs are notorious for wanting to feed the photographers last, which means we sit around doing nothing during the period people are eating, and then when things are starting to happen is when they want to feed us. Which means we either don’t eat, eat in 5 seconds, or miss something. Your photographers likely aren’t going to eat for 2 hours either, there are usually things to be done in preparation for the next phase of events.

Post # 10
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

artdeco:  I can’t tell you how much we loved our first look! Like starfish0116 says, you can capture such genuine emotion when it’s just the two of you! While my DH did get a little emotional as I walked down the aisle, it’s nothing compared to the emotions we had during our first look and he would have never done that in front of the 200+ guests we had in the church. Here’s a favorite of mine from our first look:

As for dinner, all our vendors ate while we all were eating. No one wants to be photographed or on the video shoving food in their face lol. Though I would make them aware that you’re having toasts and all that during dinner so that they can be prepared to capture that and any reactions.

Post # 14
Member
1762 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

One way to get the most out of your photographer’s time is to talk to them as you’re planning your timeline.  Ask them what they recommend to make the best use of their time.  Good recommendations and reviews are important, so chances are they’ll make suggestions that are helpful and honest.

Post # 15
Member
2132 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Generally, the meal time is included in the contract time.  I would consider it highly rude for you to tell him to take picture then.  He is a professional and should know perfectly well how to take photographs.  Also, as a wedding guest if someone took a picture of me stuffing my face, I definitely would be uncomfortable and enjoy myself a lot less.  

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