How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Do You Actually Need?

August 6, 2016

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With packages and wedding photography collections listed at 6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, and everything in between, you might find yourselves scratching your head over which is a good fit for you to catch all the right moments on your special day. Consider, first, that 8 hours is the standard package. For example (as all weddings are different), a standard night might look like this:(2:00pm) An hour to an hour and half prep coverage(3:30pm) Ceremony(4:00-6:00 pm) Family photos and Bridal party(6:00pm) Cocktail Hour(7:00pm) Intros(7:15pm) Cake cutting(7:30pm) Meal and speeches(8:15pm-10) Dancing and typical shenanigansBe prepared for things to run over: sneak attack speeches might happen, the groom might choose to impromptu dance to every track of Purple Rain, or the wedding party might decide to create a cheerleader pyramid with the bride and groom. This is why each photographer has a per hourly after the package ends; be sure to familiarize yourself with it beforehand and to make sure you’ve added it as a contingency to your budget. You’d hate for the clock to strike and for your photographer to become a pumpkin right before the entire room broke out into an arm-in-arm belted version of “Lean on Me”.Factors that might affect the packageIs your wedding a non-traditional backyard wedding? Then you will probably only need a six hour package. Preparation, photos of the new married couple, pics of families, speeches, etc… Short and sweet weddings only require short and sweet packages.Do you plan on having a first look between the bride and groom? Then that needs to be scheduled in the prep. Do you intend on having a send off? How long does the reception start after the wedding? All of these affect how long you’ll need to schedule the photographer.Things you need to knowPhotographers are booked continuously for the full day; keep this in mind when mapping the length of your day; extended periods of time between ceremony and reception, for example, will affect the length of your package. The period also includes mealtime when your photographer will be on break. It is also typical to include the photographer as one of the diners.My personal suggestionsI like to start the day off early, when the whole story begins. There is never a time the bride looks more radiant than when she surrounded by her mom, sisters, and best friends. This is the perfect time to whisk her away for the ultimate bridal portrait, long before the long exciting day takes its toll.You’ll probably ask it, so I’ll ask first: How many hours of dancing photos do you really need? Eventually snaps of your drunken boss and his wife shaking it to Lady Marmalade is going to get tired. While you are paying photographers remember to think strategically. Should we sneak off and get some quiet newly married shots? Should we stage an exit with the attendees? Perhaps we can do a quick round of night shooting while the bridal party’s cheeks are still nice and rosy.In my experience no one needs photo coverage all the way till the final midnight hour of their wedding reception. As the night gets late, there are diminishing returns on the photos you can hope to get. Keep this in mind as you schedule when you want the package to begin and end.If you have any more questions please visit my site at http://www.laurawitherowphotography.com/ or contact me at laura@laurawitherowphotography.com and I will be happy to help you find exactly the collection you and your partner need.

+ A prioritized focus on you, your family and your favorite people
+ Clear and concise communication
+ A timeline built around your day
+ Flawless collaboration between your photographers and your vendor team
+ Gentle posing guidance for portraits
+ A laid-back and personable approach
+ Honest, joyous, real moments that reflect your true personalities
+ A beautifully curated final gallery of photographs
+ Photographs that stand the test of time

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