As a Planner, I get asked a lot of questions about wedding photography, such as some best practices, different styles, how it fits into the overall day, etc. While we have a lot of experience in this, I thought it would be best to go right to the experts and ask their opinion.
I sat down with Angela from Angela Divine Photography and Mark from Mark Fierst Photography to ask them the most common questions I get from couples. They have both been in the photography business here in the Twin Cities for a number of years, and have also worked together, so I knew that they would have similar but still different perspectives on things.
We started with one of the questions I find is hard to qualify for couples: what is the value of a second shooter. Mark took this question first and listed off a few reasons why a second shooter was important, but he brought up a good point about outdoor weddings, “when you are at someplace like a barn wedding, things are so spread out” as opposed to something indoors where you can gather people more easily. He also pointed out that if you have a lot of family photos to do, a second shooter can do some of those to help break them up.
We then moved on to one of the most debated topics: the pros and cons of a First Look. As a Planner, I will always advocate to have one. Everything about the day goes so much more smoothly when there is one, and for the most part, Angela and Mark agreed. Angela said it depends on the flow of the day, but also says that if you don’t do photos before the ceremony “you only have time after the ceremony to get photos of the couple, the family and the wedding party, so if you don’t have a lot of time between the ceremony and reception, or you don’t want your guests to wait, the a First Look is the way to go. However, she does also point out that some people really value that tradition, you need to be “willing to spend an hour and a half after the ceremony getting pictures done.”
That took us into the subject of family photos, and what is the best way to keep those from getting not as stressful and out of control. Both Mark and Angela said the best way to do that is preparation. Mark said he always allows an extra 10-15 minutes, and knows that having to find family and getting them into place takes time. He said “I have a list of every family photo the couple wants taken, so we can just check it off.”
What was supposed to be our final question (but wasn’t) is how working with a Planner affects their days as a photographer. Angela said that while there are many different types of Planners out there “if there’s not one, then I have to be the Coordinator, and I have to be the one staring at my watch.” She said that a second person advocating to keep things on time and an extra set of hands and eyes to see what’s going on. Angela uses an example about pinning on a boutonniere and said that she shouldn’t be doing that, she should be taking pictures of it. That is definitely an area we can help with!
When I talk with potential clients about what we do, I tell them that without a Planner or Coordinator, it’s kind of up to the photographer, the DJ and the catering captain to kind of keep the day moving, but that’s not what you hired those vendors for. You hired them to take amazing photos, to play great music, and to get food out to your guests hot and on time. Having a Planner or Coordinator to manage the timeline and group, it allows your other vendors you to do their jobs and couples get the most value out of them.
I threw Angela and Mark a couple of curve ball questions about two other topics I get asked about a lot: what is the point of detail shots (shoes, rings, invites, etc.) and what does it mean to them when a couple tells them they want “candid” photos. Click on the video below for answers to those, as well as expanded answers on the topics above. It’s a great way to hear things from a photographer’s point of view and will help couples who are starting the process of finding their wedding photographer know some questions to ask potential ones they are talking to.
I want to thank Angela and Mark for their time and perspectives and let you know where to find them:
Angela Divine Photography – https://angeladivinephotography.com/
Mark Fierst Photography – https://markfierstphoto.com/
Need some more advice on finding and hiring a photographer for your wedding? Here are some more things to think about!
Be sure to check out our other blog posts to some of your other common questions for other wedding vendors:
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Content from Keyed Up Events, a Minneapolis Wedding Planner