How much coverage do we need?
This varies for everyone, but as a general rule of thumb, I recommend at least one hour of getting ready coverage, an hour and a half if we’ll need to travel to the ceremony location, until an hour past dinner. This way if dinner runs over, I’ll still get at least thirty minutes of dancing.
Some couples ask “Why do we need getting ready coverage?” I personally think it’s one of the most exciting parts of the day, and I love capturing everyone and everything leading up to the main event, opposed to jumping in right at the height of everything. It also gives you the chance to warm up to me and my camera before portraits later in the day, especially if we haven’t done an engagement session. I’m a very easy going person, typically the calmest in the room, but it’s not everyday you’re followed around by a photographer, so it takes everyone a few minutes to forget I’m floating around.
When should we take our wedding portraits?
When laying out your wedding day timeline it’s important to consider lighting. The optimal time of day for portraits is an hour to two hours before sunset. (If it’s cloudy on your wedding day don’t fret, any time of day is fabulous for portraits on a cloudy day.) But getting back to the realities of summer sun, mid-day light can be harsh, really harsh, think dark circles and shiny skin, not what you envisioned for your wedding pictures. Here are some tips to work around this, lets say you’re having a one o’clock ceremony, due to city hall restrictions, and sunset isn’t for several hours (this was my wedding day scenario) we can find a nice shady spot to take family photos and then later in the evening, as your guests are finishing up dinner, the three of us can duck out for a few minutes and create the pictures both you and I are after. But what if you’re having a morning ceremony and your party ends well before sunset? Lets work together to brainstorm shady locations for softly lit portraits. This means that the lovely beach down the street at noon isn’t our best option. Even the highest rated beach in the world won’t do you any favors if everyone is squinting and sweaty.
How much time should we set aside for family formals and couple portraits?
When it comes to family photos I suggest setting aside 3 minutes/small grouping (think immediate family) and 5 minutes/large grouping. I’m happy to take as many family photos as you would like, but recommend we keep the list short and sweet, as there will be plenty of time for candids of extended family and friends throughout the reception. As for couple portraits, a half hour is pretty typical, but I’ve spent as little as 3 minutes and 50 seconds (yes that is a real number) and as long as two hours. Typically somewhere in-between works well for everyone.
We would love to do an engagement session with you, where should we go and what should we wear?
When planning pre-wedding portraits with a couple my first questions are always, what do you love to do together? And who are you as a couple? If you enjoy biking, lets go biking. If you kayak, lets do it! And don’t worry if your favorite activities are movies and video games, we can do that too! What’s most important is that the session is about you. Sure I can tell you where pretty trees are and what I think is cool, but this isn’t my engagement session, I want to hear your ideas first. As for what you should wear, the one and only rule I have is, please do not match. Yes it’s nice to coordinate in some way, but if you’re both planning to wear denim button down shirts and khakis, I’m probably not the photographer for you. With that said, wear what makes you feel fabulous. No particular color photographs better than another, but based on the location/activity you choose, simply wear what’s appropriate. Prada’s in a kayak, not so much.
Do you have any recommendations for makeup artists, DJs, planners, etc.?
I do. Here is a short list of the wedding professionals I have had the pleasure of working with:
Makeup: Joli Visage Makeup Artistry
DJ: Beat Train Productions
Catering: Cuisine Chez Vous
Styling: Boutique Design
Elegant Engagements (Cape Cod)
SD Events (Boston, Newport, New York)