We get this question a lot: How much time do you need for formal photos. Well, we are very flexible and have worked “formals” into every wedding we’ve done so far, so there’s no need to worry that we’ll miss them. But after 5 years of doing this who wedding photography business, we’ve learned a thing or two about what helps us get the best photos during “formal time.”
1. Preemptive strike: Do an engagement session
While it may not initially seem that an engagement shoot would save you time on your wedding day, we find that the couples who go with an engagement shoot have a smoother wedding-day portrait session. We feel so strongly about the importance of an e-session that offer this within each of our packages.
2. Consider doing a “first look” bride and groom session
We absolutely love having extra time before the ceremony to capture amazing images of you and your fiance and you’ll love the up-close, emotional photos of you seeing each other for the first time. These let you spend some time capturing images you’ll cherish forever. Then, after the ceremony you can party the night away, with no delay!
3. Tell your bridesmaids and groomsmen to be ready early!
Even if you decide not to see your fiance before the ceremony, we can still do a fun pre-wedding
photo shoot while there’s nice bright light outside. Make sure you tell your wedding party to be ready
at least an hour before the ceremony starts. Heather does the girl’s group portraits, and Jesse makes sure to get the guys. If you have people in your wedding party who are notoriously late, tell them to be there EXTRA early to make sure they arrive on time!
4. Expect hair and makeup to take longer than expected
No matter how amazing your hair stylist and makeup artist are, you’ll probably need them there a little
bit longer than you plan for. We can’t even begin to tell you how many times we’ve run out of picture
time because hair and makeup ran long. Always add an hour to however long you think hair and makeup
will take – especially if you have a large bridal party!
5. Make sure you and the limo driver are on the same page
Limo rides are fun. Unfortunately, limo companies love brides a little too much and can
sometimes overbook themselves. Make sure if you book a limo, you know what time they’ll be picking
you up and dropping you off at each location you need to go to. Having to cut photo sessions short
because the limo driver needs to leave is AWFUL! Be safe and get times in writing!
6. Make a list of posed family photos you want to get
Some photographers hate these lists, but we welcome them! It helps you think about how many formal photos you want and make sure no one gets left out. Depending on if you want to see each other before the ceremony, we can do family formals before or after the ceremony. To make this time go by as quickly as possible, we take the photos of the biggest groups first, then work down to smaller groups. It is helpful if the list includes first names of everyone (instead of “gram and gramps”) so that we can call out names. Another helpful way to move this time along is to designate one person from the bride’s family and one from the groom’s to be in charge of gathering and calling out names for the posed photos. Our biggest suggestion is to KEEP YOUR LIST AS SHORT AS YOU CAN! Many of our clients have hired us for our ability to capture candid moments, and while Jesse is taking the large posed group, Heather does take candids in the background. However, the best way to get candids is to let people be candid, so we recommend not taking the same photo in multiple variations in order to conserve time and get the most candid photos possible!
We know you have a lot of important family, but nobody likes to stand around for hours! Expect each
posed photo to take around 3-5 minutes and decide how long is long enough BEFORE the big day!