*At a wedding, you are responsible for these shots so communicate with other photographer.
Outside of building
Reception Site (if set up and in the same spot) *If not, be sure you have a plan to get the reception site set up without people in it!
Girls getting ready/ detail shots (toggle back and forth between details and candid moments to ensure nothing is missed)
Guys getting ready
*For girls and guys, get a mix of posed and candid shots and be sure you get soft smiles paying attention to what they’re doing, not awkward faces (use common sense to ensure these are perfect) -I try to get all photo combos I can think of with “her girls” and remember, robe shots etc.
Tie up of dress (all angles, have bride do a circle if you need to ensure clear/ best background)
Bride alone both close up and far away all ready/ back of hair (show her these so you know how picky she is and to ensure she loves her hair/ makeup! We tell our brides we do, so this is so important)
First look with dad (if applicable) *Or first look with anyone else
Gifts/ notes exchanged between couple (if applicable)
Check questionnaire, notes, and bride’s Pinterest prior to wrapping up to see if you missed anything!
Prepare for Ceremony (about 20 minutes prior)
Speak with officiant, test light, get guests arriving etc.
Ceremony (walk-in and out, groom’s face, bride from the back walking down the aisle, first kiss, all events in between)
Receiving Line (use a step stool if needed, one photographer should get the guests’ faces and as for the other photographer, try for both the couple and their guests (their profiles) if you’re able to get both angles… KEEP IN MIND, we really don’t ever need to see only the bride/ groom’s faces over and over!)
Family Photos (call out confidently and tell people who’s on deck so they’re ready and waiting) while the other photographer shoots! *Make sure all family poses look great!
Before leaving ceremony site: get bride alone, bride and groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and full bridal party, then if ring bearer and flower girl and/ or the ushers aren’t traveling with the party be sure all poses are done that the couple wants with them before leaving.
Wedding Party (with and without ushers, flower girl etc. if requested that way)
Bride alone (train, front/ back, close up, lots of shots of this!)
Bride with all the bridesmaids
Bride with all the guys
Groom with all the girls
Groom with all the groomsmen *Even if gotten previously, if prettier location, get a few again!
Bride individually with each bridesmaid (both fun and smiling!) *Give ideas and ask us if you don’t have any!
Groom individually with each groomsman (both fun and smiling!) *Give ideas and ask us if you don’t have any!
Best Man/ Maid of Honor and Bride/ Groom
Bride and Groom (You MUST show them photos and be SURE they are liking them!) *Don’t forget, lots of “candid” type poses/ natural posing, some serious, several looking at camera for a more traditional option)
*Be sure all poses are uniformed when it makes sense
-Check questionnaire, notes, and bride’s Pinterest prior to wrapping up to see if you missed anything as sometimes they want groom individually with each bridesmaid and bride individually with each groomsmen or bride and groom together individually with each member of the bridal party, them with other couples in the bridal party etc. and this will be written in on questionnaire if they do but still double check with them to ensure it’s all covered!
Outside of the building
Reception Site (full room and details close-up without people in the shots)
All guests in both candid and posed moments (**we book other weddings and family photos because people see our work ethic and how thoroughly we cover our receptions! With couples, give them options as they may not love the pic looking at the camera. After, they look at the camera, say something like, “now let’s do something cute… maybe kiss, kiss him on the cheek, or look at each other, whatever you’d like.” If it’s a fun table I’m shooting, I’ll say after I’ve gotten a smiling shot, “now let’s all have fun with this and make the bride and groom smile later when they see the photo!” There are also families that love their photo taken. I’ll get a posed photo looking at me, then I’ll have them group hug and look at me or I’ll have the kids cover their eyes while the parents kiss, something cute. Additionally, if there’s guests that love photos and pose it up or maybe it’s the bride that loves ‘em, after they smile for the camera, I’ll comment, “now just keep talking, I’m not even here” and they’ll laugh and give you a good candid after that posed moment. We hear constantly that we are selected from a massive sea of photographers because we get so many awesome photos of the bride/ groom with their guests and their guests alone so keep that in mind. Additionally, families choose us for their family photos because we did a cute one and they loved it! The more business you give us because of your work ethic and fun personality that everyone at your weddings falls in love with, the bigger your bonus this year. J We’re not obnoxious, most enjoy photos and for those people, you’ll want to go above and beyond to give them options and ensure they’ll have some photos they love and we’ll stand out from the many photographers they’ve seen at weddings but for those that don’t enjoy them, I’ll get a quick shot and move on. Even if people feel a bit silly doing the shot, keep in mind, we have MORE downloaded couple shots looking at each other and candid family type photos than the traditional so they do want that shot! I do make sure to get the parents of the bride/ groom if still married in a nice shot and I tell the bridal party to get some photos with their person too.
All events (remember to get the guests’ reactions after you get solid shots of the events, especially with good speeches and shoe game, you must get a photo of the bride and groom kissing at head table, even if you tell ‘em, “I’m seated a bit far away and totally missed that, let’s get another!”)
Sunset Shots (I take a pic of the sunset and show them then give them the option to go out, set an alarm for 15 minutes prior to sunset so you don’t forget)
Night Shots (don’t forget a mix of silhouette and our typical lighting, I recommend picking up both traditionally and them facing each other, a dip, and a twirl for these, as well as a more traditional shot. Some brides looooove night shots so get a lot of them.)
Check questionnaire, notes, and bride’s Pinterest prior to wrapping up to see if you missed anything! *If something is missed, have a good reason and tell them before you leave so there is no issues we are dealing with later.
*Be sure you’re always doing something, some people wait for the bride getting makeup done when you should get all the bridesmaids’ hair and then a fun/ posed shot of them or create other shots/ moments while waiting. Some stand around during group shots while others get the bridal party with their significant others, the wedding party members individually in fun and smiling shots or the girls’ hair close up, and any other combos anyone requests. Some shoot SO many candids/ posed guest shots at receptions and are clearly having a great time with everyone. There are photographers that instead of setting up for the ceremony and standing there waiting for it to begin, they’ll get the guests/ details. There is always something to shoot. Everyone there has attended weddings and many are comparing you to other photographers. Have that work ethic that always finds something to do so we are someone they too wish to hire!
Do you have all equipment charged and back up equipment for everything, extra clothes and shoes, the questionnaire, notes, and Pinterest printed and ready to go in your binder prior to the wedding? Are you walking into the bride with at least 20 minutes to spare? Do you leave at least 10 minutes after your scheduled time? *You must not leave until all events are done. Do you have an emergency kit, binder, umbrellas, a step ladder, wooden hangers, and command strips? Did you get creative and artsy throughout the day? Did you keep them on their schedule throughout the day?
*Backgrounds and subjects must look as perfect as possible day of. Be sure all is shot flawlessly throughout the day in camera or redo the shot. You’ll have to adapt throughout a wedding day so just be sure you’re always thinking about how to best handle every situation so there is never an issue later! Get SOOO many bride/ groom and be sure you follow the couple with their guests throughout ENTIRE reception as we tell couples we do! *One can pay attention to bride and groom at all times while other gets those fun candids they can enjoy later of their guests! *Get the dance floor but don’t lazily sit out there!
*Ask yourself throughout the entire day, if this was my wedding, what would I want?