Photograph Your Own Wedding (6) - The Initial Meeting

June 22, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

The Initial Meeting with the Prospective Bride and Groom

Often our first meeting with a prospective bride and groom can be as much as a year, even two years before their wedding. At this point in time our couple may have booked the venue but probably not a lot more.

However, we use this opportunity to find out what sort of day the couple are planning, what sort of photography they like – do they like traditional photography with lots of formal and posed pictures or do they prefer the less formal approach which provides a more ‘natural’ feel to the photographs.

We have spent a lot of time determining how we ultimately want to present our photographs for our brides and grooms and after a lot of research we decided that we’d like to team up with Graphistudio – one of the foremost photobook providers in the world but unfortunately, for our one off would be wedding photographers, this product is only available to professional photographers. 

Either way it is a good opportunity to sort out with the couple how they would like their images presented. I have to say that my least favourite option is to provide the couple with a CD of my images, for a number of reasons – 1) because I have heard so many tales of people receiving a CD of images, putting the CD in a drawer and it never seeing the light of day again, and 2) you are never sure who is going to print your images and whether the eventual printer of choice will do your treasured photographs the justice they deserve. 

I also use this opportunity to mention to the couple (usually the bride) that she may want to leaf through her favourite magazines and save the pictures she likes to show me at our next meeting. This will give me some idea of the type of photography that the couple prefer.

It is a big commitment and responsibility to take someone’s wedding photographs. Let’s face it how many times in your life are you fortunate enough to be the centre of attention, wear the most beautiful dress and have the opportunity to employ a makeup artist and hairdresser to make you look your stunning best.  Not many that is for sure and it is important – no essential that as the official photographer you make sure that your images of the bride (and groom of course) are as fabulous as they both deserve.

So, if you are a friend or family member and have agreed to be the photographer for the day I would suggest that you agree with your couple what their expectations with regard to ‘your‘services’. We normally use a contract for this purpose but you probably won’t want to be that formal but having said that getting something in writing is not a bad idea - after all you want to remain friends after the wedding – I say this because memories are fallible and a year down the line it is not always easy to remember exactly what it was that was required or agreed.

So a few things to consider include: –

Timings – when will you be expected to start taking photographs and when will you be expected to finish.

What you will be expected to photograph – bridal preparation, groom preparation, guests arriving at the church, bride and bridesmaids arriving at the church, the service, formal photographs after the service, confetti throw, bride and groom leaving the church in the car and arriving at the reception, formal and family photographs at the reception, special photoshoot of the bride and Groom, casual and informal  photographs during the afternoon of guest, photographs of the reception venue before guest arrive, the receiving line, throwing the bouquet, cutting the cake, the speeches, the first dance, evening guests arriving, the evening entertainment and if there are any special arrangements like fireworks etc.

What post processing your couple will expect – colour correcting, straightening, cropping etc.

How will your couple want the photographs presented? Are they happy to receive a disk of unprocessed images or are they expecting a complete set of processed images presented in a photobook or album.


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