CCCW ThoughtsPhotography

Mastering your Wedding Day Photo Timeline | Please ask your Photographer!

Many photographers have run into this situation.

A client hires you and you find out that all the wedding day timing has been set. The schedule for the day is done. When you look at the excel spreadsheet, it’s apparent that the exact amount of time given for photos is zero. The photos were just not taken into consideration.
What comes after is a series of emails and phone calls, explaining, educating and pleading to change some things around to be able to actually capture the photos that the couple hired this photographer for.
To the Couple:
It’s a good idea to speak to the photographer and cinematographer very early on in the planning process as they should have a say in these decisions.
A good reminder for you is the fact that your wedding day does not receive bonus hours. The day will last 24 hours. Just like any other day. As a suggestion, it’s a good idea to not plan activities and travel that can barely fit into a 3-day weekend, let alone one wedding day.
Here is a little breakdown of how much time you will need for photos.
Getting Ready Photos or Prep Photos:
45 minutes to one hour is sufficient. Once the makeup is 90% finished and the hair is complete, is a good place to start. No one wants a hundred photos of themselves with no makeup.
What about the guys? Typically, couples get ready in the same location, if not together. In the same home, B&B, hotel etc… And these images can be easily captured.
For those that are getting ready at another location (ie: In another part of town) (Separate from the others)  This, (In our opinion), is a huge mistake. If having a photo of the guys straightening their ties is really important, these can be captured candidly during the day.  In the time it takes for the documentation team to travel two ways, for just a couple minutes of photos, they could be capturing moments that you’re experiencing, not in a vehicle.
Couples Portraits:
35-50 Minutes MINIMUM is ideal. Any less and you’re rushing. Keep in mind, it’s never 45 straight minutes of clicking the shutter. There is walking, talking and other moments happening during this time. There are some couples that will happily go for three hours or more. But photographers, do need to keep in mind that this is first and foremost a couples wedding day, not a photo shoot. If they see a couple getting uncomfortable 20 minutes in. They will stop and ease your minds and take a “time out”
Bridal Party:
15 minutes is needed. (Give or take) Typically you want a record of your bridal party. As long as everyone is ready and there are no latecomers. There are usually a couple minutes left for some ‘Alternative” Fun photos.
Family Pictures:
30 Minutes. No more No less. Each photographer has their own groove and rhythm during these pictures, let them take charge. It will be less painful.
It’s rare now to work with couples who have their ceremony, wedding photos and wedding reception in several different locations.
There’s a reason for this. Most couples would rather spend their day taking in and living in the moments, rather than jumping in and out of cars.  It’s hard for your family, friends and especially guests that have to prearrange travel and accommodations.
If you must get married in different locations, a good rule of thumb is to stay within 5 miles. For metro locations, 10 minutes.
Photos Post-Ceremony:
For couples who for whatever reason insist on not doing photos prior to the ceremony, please remember that this will take your family away from receiving guests from the cocktail hour. You can certainly ask your caterer if you could extend cocktail hour to 90 minutes which will help a little.
We hope this helps give you a guide when planning. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. – CCCW


Cheers! CCCW