Tag Archives: Wedding Planning
Most video companies will send either a representative or camera crew to your ceremony site during the rehearsal to check out placement and entrances. They’ll then be able to determine the best equipment setup and how many cameras are needed. Remember, though, that this is a wedding ceremony, not a movie set; question suggestions of more than two to three cameras.
Generally you need at least two cameras for the ceremony — one in front and one in back. The second camera also can serve as backup to a failed camera.
Provide your videographer with a copy of any restrictions your clergy may have. You may even want to schedule a meeting during which you all can discuss the rules and any exceptions that may need to be made. Consider another venue if yours has too rigid limitations and find a different videographer if you sense tenseness or hostility.
Avoid conflicts all around with a specific written contract. Make sure you and your videographer agree in writing about what his duties are and what you’re expecting for your final tape.
The contract should cover all these issues related to the job:
- Schedule of coverage
- Depth of coverage
- Features of the finished product
- Payments and contingencies
The contract might also cover who the actual cameramen will be. There’s no such thing as a standard contract, and verbal agreements aren’t binding. Put everything down on paper so you won’t have any surprises on your wedding day or afterwards.
Hiring a professional videographer to videotape your wedding ensures you’ll end up with a high-quality, well-organized recording. Before you decide on whom to hire, outline what you want as the end result and understand what it’ll take to get there.
What you ask a prospective videographer should not only determine that he offers the services you’re looking for, but also that he’s willing and eager to expertly record your wedding onto tape. When interviewing, don’t be afraid to ask for an interpretation of any answer you don’t understand. Let the answers to the following questions shape your list of potential hires:
- Are you available for our wedding date and time?
- Can we see a demo tape (of an actual wedding – not a stylized, produced demo tape)?
- Can you attend the rehearsal?
- How much control do we have in the editing process? Do you also provide an unedited version?
- Can we add our own music or thoughts to the taping?
- How long will the final tape be?
- Will you supply more than one copy of the final tape?
- Will you preview the site beforehand?
- What kind of setup do you need?
- When should we reserve your services?
- What packages do you offer?
- What prices do you charge? Do you require a deposit? How much is it and when is it due?
- When will the balance be due?
- Do you edit digitally so we can get a DVD? If not, will you in the near future?
Start interviewing photographers as soon as you’ve chosen your wedding date, ceremony and reception site. Your initial phone call should help you determine if the photographer deserves a personal visit. Get a general explanation of his services and prices and make sure he’s available on your wedding date, then schedule a meeting to nail down the specifics.
Be ready with the following list of questions when you interview your potential photographer:
- Can we see your portfolio?
- How long have you been photographing weddings?
- Do you work in color, black and white or both?
- What sort of lighting will you need? Do you use soft focus or diffused lighting?
- How long will you be able to stay at the wedding?
- Do you offer any packages?
- How far in advance should we reserve your services?
- What if a photograph doesn’t turn out?
- Do you require a deposit? How much is it and when is it due?
- When is the balance due?
- What if we need to postpone or cancel?
- How much do you charge for overtime?
A professional photographer will have all required licenses and business insurances, a clean, well-maintained studio, back-up equipment, and possibly a membership in a professional association like the Professional Photographers of America (PPOC) or Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI).
When you’re looking for the right photographer, you want a professional who’ll understand and work toward the outcome you envision. To hire the right person for the job, decide on your likes and dislikes and discuss them in detail with all prospective photographers.
Look for a photographer who you feel comfortable with among the crowd. Find one who you believe will have a good rapport with your friends and family; he/she must be a team player and willing to work with everyone involved. Any abrasiveness you sense at your meeting will be worse on your wedding day.
When inquiring about prices, don’t ask, ‘How much do you charge?’ Rather, because your expectations and individual needs influence the final cost, ask, ‘How much should I spend to get what I want?’
Insist on a full disclosure of prices for additional prints and albums so you won’t have any surprises. Inquire about ways you can save money, too. For example, if your wedding is smaller, consider getting professional portraits done during the week rather than on the weekend.
There are some differences to consider between a large studio and an independent photographer. Some couples are more comfortable dealing with a large photography studio, as they offer backup if your photographer gets sick. However, most large studios employ subcontractors who may be new at the trade or for whom photography is a source of supplemental income. You’ll receive more personal attention with a small studio or independent and likely will deal directly with your actual photographer at all times. Therefore your album will better reflect your wishes.
Whomever you choose, sign a contract before your wedding date. Make sure everyone involved understands and agrees upon the conditions outlined in the contract. Too often couples are disappointed with their results because they assumed their verbal, not written, instructions would be followed.
Above all else, find a photographer who acts professionally and interacts well with both of you as a couple. Hire someone who appreciates the importance of your day and is eager to capture it all.
You know your photographer will snap plenty of pictures of you posing, smiling and enjoying the attention. Why not get creative for some wedding photos to remember?
Try these great shots of the bride and groom for a wedding album you’ll treasure forever:
- Dressing for the ceremony
- Full length solo
- With mother, father or both
- With grandparents, and brothers and sisters
- For the bride, pictures with maid of honor, ring bearer, flower girl and attendants
- For the groom, pictures with the best man and groomsmen
- Putting on the garter
- For the bride, a picture with her father walking down aisle
Don’t forget about the different opportunities for photos of the bride and groom together. Imagine all the possibilities and ways to remember these treasured moments:
- Father giving bride’s hand to groom
- Exchanging vows
- Ring ceremony
- Formal bride and groom shot
- Newlyweds with parents and bridal party
- Bride and groom’s hands together
- Bride and groom cutting cake and feeding each other
- Newlyweds toasting each other and the first dance
- Newlyweds getting into limo
- Groom removing garter
Capture every little detail of the atmosphere of your wedding. Looking back, you’ll want your photos to help you remember the:
- Bridesmaids walking down aisle
- Ring bearer and flower girl
- Receiving line
- Cake table and cake
- Punch servers and musicians
- Guests dancing
- Toss of bouquet
- Guests throwing birdseed
- Post-reception party
Come up with ideas of your own, consider your options and then discuss your preferences with your photographer.
Check out the following list of photography techniques to help you decide what types of pictures are going to best represent your big day.
- Set-up or stock shots: These photos include those classic poses, like the toast of the bride and groom or the bride and her mother. These shots are indispensable to any wedding album. Your photographer probably will be familiar with these timeless poses.
- Portraiture: The most common style of wedding photography portraiture is the formal, posed picture. Portrait-based photography carefully controls lighting and posing in a studio set-up. A well-planned pose can make for a perfect wedding photo, but getting the perfect pose can be time-consuming. Consider having these shots done before the wedding.
- Soft focus: The photographer uses a special lens that produces a hazy, romantic, dream-like effect. A couple of these shots work well in an album, however, use this effect sparingly or it loses its effectiveness.
- Natural light: This is photography without the flash. The photographer finds the needed natural light instead. If this technique is done well, the picture looks like a piece of fine art, more painted than photographed.
- Photo essay: This style is gaining popularity because it uses an arrangement of your wedding photographs to tell a story, similar to the way a photojournalist uses photos in a newspaper. This is a great way to capture emotions and the more natural, spontaneous moments of your day. The wedding photographer captures movement, mood and atmosphere on the fly. Many photojournalist photographers set aside a short amount of time for formal group pictures but take most of their pictures without any prompting or commands. Plan on having a lot of pictures in your album to take advantage of this style.
Know your moment, pose and style options for wedding photographs and discuss your preferences with your photographer. You’ll be much happier with the results if you contribute your thoughts about your wedding photographs prior to the big event.