How Many Hours Do I Need A Wedding Photographer?

It’s the new year. You’re still high on the emotions of becoming newly engaged and now the work is beginning to start searching for those people who are going to help make you wedding day unforgettable. No, I’m not talking about your bridal party, you know they will be great. I’m talking about your wedding suppliers. Your venue, a wedding planner, and your wedding photographer.

You’ve probably also had a little bit of time to think about the budget and what you want to spend. Planning a wedding can be really hard, no matter what size budget you have. I’ve been there so I understand. It starts by writing out all of your dream wedding scenarios, then looking at what they costs, and then realising that you need to save money somewhere.

I’ve recently had a few enquiries from couples looking to book just two hours of wedding photography coverage for their wedding day. “We only need the ceremony and some portraits afterwards” is how most of the emails are worded. In previous years I would have had no problem offering them just two hours coverage during a weekday, weekends are a little different because I’m potentially turning down a full day of work for just a two hour shoot. But in 2017 I have decided to only take bookings for 6 hours or more, and the reason why is probably not what you think.

Over the last year I’ve covered three weddings where I was only booked for two hours. And in my honest opinion, I don’t think the photos that resulted reflect a lot of the work I show on my website. They were nice, but for me they lacked something. And it was only last week that I realised what that was.

When you work with a couple on their wedding day, no matter if you’ve spent the months running up to the wedding chatting via email, or met up for a pre-wedding shoot, nerves are running high. And not just the couple’s nerves. I am nervous at every wedding. I think I’d be in the wrong job if I wasn’t. But being able to spend at least half of the day with you means that I’m with you along the journey. I get to capture all those little moments leading up to the ceremony which I promise will be some of the ones you cherish the most after the day has passed. As the day progresses you’ll learn to relax around me and get used to the sound of the shutter clicking away. I’ll get to know your friends and family too, so I’ll know who to look out for during they day when I’m capturing those candid shots of everyone having fun.

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But where you will most notice the difference is for your portraits. One of the reasons I hear a lot from couples when they book me is that they chose me because of how natural and relaxed my portraits look. But getting that look doesn’t just happen instantly. I wish I could just click my fingers and get people to relax and act naturally in front of my camera. But if I’ve already spent a few hours with you, capturing you getting ready and saying your vows, you’re already used to having me around. And it’s so much easier to relax when you feel like your in the company of friends. After a few minutes you’ll forget that I’m even there, and that’s when the magic happens.

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For the rest of the day you can let your hair down and have fun. You’ve said your vows, you’ve married your best friend. It’s time to party!

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Next week I’ll be sharing with you a sample wedding day timeline along with some more planning tips to help you work out how long you’ll need a photographer for.


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