Wedding photographer – how long for?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

Some of your question depends on the style of photography that you desire, as well as the approach of the photographer that you’re interested in hiring. A lot of people tend to think the getting ready photos are somehow not important, or okay to cut – for us they are an essential part in our process of how we get the sort of results we do later in the day. Telling a story of a wedding needs a beginning, middle, and end. There is a lot of bonding in the beginning part of a wedding between us and the couple and bridal party and families. That trust and rapport can be pretty important in getting people to want to do creative things later on.

Post # 4
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Personally I would include the getting ready shots, since it is often the only time the photographer has to focus on getting proper individual portraits of the bride and bridesmaids (plus groom/groomsmen if you have two photographers) in a hectic day. Most of the bridal portraits you see that are taken on the day are going to be taken in that getting ready period. It is also the time when the photographer will get to know people and build a rapport with you and your friends/family. Plus you will miss wonderful moments with family (your parents seeing you in your wedding gown for the first time, for example). But it’s really up to you what shots you value.

As for how long, depends on your schedule. Photographers generally stay up until the cake is cut, so I’d schedule them up until then plus another 30-45 minutes since weddings just about always run late.

Post # 5
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@laceydoilies:  Only you can answer that based on your timeline. Some folks get 4 hours, some 12. There’s no right answer, it’s just determining what you need for your specific day.

Post # 6
Member
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

When we first started looking at photographers we didn’t know how many hours we would need either.  But in speaking with the photographers we interviewed, they asked us questions about our wedding and helped us come up with a rough timeline for the day that determined how many hours we neeed.  We’ve signed a contract with our photographer for 9 hours.

Post # 7
Member
3210 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@laceydoilies:  We are also not doing getting ready shots–I’m getting my hair done by myself in a salon, lol, so not very photo-worthy. Our photographer will arrive an hour before the ceremony, and will be there for me putting on my dress, giving corsages and hankies to my grandmothers, the dad first look, and then the whole ceremony, pictures after, then throughout our dinner (we’re not doing a traditional reception). We originally planned for 4 hours, which would have her leaving partway through dinner, but we’re going to bump it up to 6, let her eat dinner with us, then hopefully do a wish lantern release afterward, which she’ll photograph.

Post # 8
Member
3432 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You really have to look at the timeline for your wedding day, and what you want to capture.  We had someone for just three hours, which included some getting ready, the ceremony, and formals afterwards.  (The reception was a luncheon, and we didn’t feel the need for professional photos of people eating.)  Obviously, you want at least some of the reception.  But how long you need the photographer depends on when you are planning on having things like the first dance, etc.

Post # 10
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@laceydoilies:  It’s not just about you being comfortable with the photographer, it’s about everyone else. But yes, an engagement session will help you with that.

Post # 11
Member
7 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

include the getting ready shots and until the last dance of the evening. This way you make sure he/she is there from start to finish. It’s your wedding day.. and you should be capturing the whole thing.. just ask yourself, what would you want to remember? 

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