Post # 1
So we have a photographer for a set amount of time. They had mentioned to us during their initial visit that they do not like taking photos during dinner because people are eating, and no one wants shots of people eating, which I get. We are paying for a full meal for the photographer, and they are sitting with our guests, but because our dinner time will run roughly 2 hours (4 courses) and speeches will be intertwined, we wondered if the 2 hours would be included in the paid time with the photographer, which we were told it does.
My questions are:
- 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?
- 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.
Any advice would be great ladies!
Post # 2
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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 # 6
artdeco: I started a thread on the first look thing and got tons of great opinions and advice from those who did and didn’t do it…incase u want to check out people’s comments on it:
POLL: To first look or not to first look? SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE!
Post # 7
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
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
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
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 # 11
starfish0116: Thank you so much for your reply! It’s great having that inside knowledge 🙂
We have decided to do a first look because we want to ensure that we have those special moments. I spoke with my photographer as well, and we’re just going to pay her for an additional hour to ensure we get enough time before the ceremony and after the first dance with her. I was more concerned because our dinner will run about 2 hours so that seemed like a lot of time with no photos. I just requested that during speeches, or peoples down moments between eating if some candid photos could be taken and she agreed.
Post # 12
kortizi0: Thank you! I will definitely check your thread out 🙂 I love this board because when I’m having a confused/stressed moment I can jump on here and see that I’m not alone!
Post # 13
LindyLu: Ah I love the idea of having photos taken of the food, we’re such big foodies and our menu is going to be really great because it was important to us so that’s definitely something we’ll request our photographer to do. Thanks!
continuumphotography: Yeah I think the dinner service will be relatively long, perhaps it will end in 1.5 hrs, I’m not quite sure. If it does, then great. We can do our first dance earlier and then take photos in the front of the venue space. Thank you for your insight!
tigergrrl2008: That is a wonderful photo. I’m sure my FI will be very emotional and we’re both super private people so we’ve decided that a first look would work for us. It would make me far less nervous walking down the aisle and it will give us an opportunity to be alone with one another and get weepy if we need to. Beautiful photo!
Post # 14
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
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.