Our coverage of your wedding day will start wherever your wedding preparation begins—whether it's the hair-salon, the bridal boutique or your mother's spare bedroom, we'll be there to document the transformation.
About half of our favorite images of the whole day come from the prep! It's often the first thing that clients want to cut out in order to save costs, but it's central to the tradition of the wedding day as a ritualized transition from single to married life. Clothing, make up and hair decorations, applied and adorned by those we're closest to, have been essential parts of ritual throughout human history, and for good reason; they're powerful ways of marking a major turing point in life.
This physical change isn't just for your 'audience' of friends and family, it's for you, the bride or groom to be. The moment when a bride first sees herself in the mirror wearing a wedding dress, on her wedding day, is every bit as significant as when her partner first sees her; it's something that's important for us to capture because it often gets lost in the chaos of the day.
More often than not, Joey will go with the bride and Sarah will go with the groom for prep, although not all the time. Joey is very particular about how bridal prep is captured, and loves making a perfect series of images for the bride to show her transformation. The guys' preparation is usually a little more bawdy but no less momentous, and Sarah is great at making guys look great while still being guys. Just an FYI though, if everyone is doing shots and you offer one to Sarah she'll have to decline, because if the drinks then the pictures will be blurry :-(
The time just before the ceremony is a good time to grab some casual, candid group shots; everyone is fully dressed and ready, but they haven't had time to mess up / sweat through their outfits yet. Depending on how much time we have, we might even do some of the 'formal' shots then. This is also the high point of anxiety for the day, so it's a great time for candids; lots of hand-wringing and nervous glances.
Once the ceremony starts Joey usually becomes the 'safe' shooter, making sure he gets all of the 'required' shots of your ceremony–the bride walking down the aisle, the ring exchange, the first kiss, all of that stuff. Sarah, on the other hand, becomes the 'fun' shooter, since she's free to grab candid shots of, for example, your Mom crying while she's watching you exchange vows, or the way your husband looks at you the first moment he sees you.
One question we get a lot is about how close we'll get to the bridal couple during the ceremony, and the answer is as close as you want us to be. No matter what kind of camera gear you're using, there's much more freedom in composition of an image if you have the ability to get close to it, as well as to be farther away. Using a wide angle lens and getting close to a wedding ceremony creates an image that you simply can't get from 80 feet away with a telephoto lens. Of course, you might want to think twice about giving us free reign if it's going to provoke the ire of your family (particularly if they're the ones paying for the wedding). The bottom line is, if don't want us to be visible at all, we can hide in the back and sides of the church and be ninjas, and we'll still get great photos of your wedding ceremony, but if you want the greatest variety of images then we're happy to get closer–it's entirely up to you.
After the ceremony is traditionally when the 'formal' pictures are done–the big family photos that everyone wants to print and frame. If it’s a church wedding, we’ll need to set up some lighting gear near the alter first, but at the most we’ll be ready to go 10 minutes after the ceremony ends. We like to get the family photos done at this point because
- Everyone in the family we need to take pictures of is usually there
- They haven’t had anything to drink yet.
- They’re motivated to cooperate so they can get to the reception and start drinking.
If both Sarah and Joey are there, Sarah becomes the ‘people wrangler’ at this point which allows Joey to focus entirely on getting all of the technical stuff right. She’ll move everyone in and out of frame, help people get posed and generally command the space. One thing that really helps her is having a list of photos you want taken. Please make a list! It makes everything much more efficient, and if your guests are waiting around to have their picture taken they’ll be much happier if they feel like things are moving.
Following the formal group shots, we normally move on to the bridal party photos. Just about everybody wants these done someplace OTHER than where they got married–a park, a museum, an abandoned building that gives off a industrial vibe–which we are wholeheartedly in agreement with,
As wedding photographers, bridal party shots are what push us the most. For one thing, we need to make the pictures happen-we can't just be flies on the wall like we are during the ceremony. They also usually involve lots of people, which makes composition more challenging, Our goal is to create images that say 'these people were here today for Jack and Jill's wedding, and they're dressed up, but they're still these people' without being trite, corny or offensive. Above all, we try to bottle up the joy of the day and let those photos shake it up then spray it all over everyone who looks at them, forever.
After working our mojo as portrait photographers for the family and bridal party photos, we usually slip back into journalist mode at the reception which, if you think about it, is pretty action packed and so provides us with plenty to document. Depending on which traditions you're into, there could be:
- A grand entrance where each couple enters the dining room to a formal announcement, applause and fanfare.
- A toast by the Best Man, Maid of Honor, and maybe Mom and Dad
- The First Dance
- Parent-sibling dances
- The groom-carried-around-the-room-in-a-chair dance
- Bouquet Toss, and for the more adventurous, the Garter Thing,
- Our new favorite, The Shoely Wed Game.
- Lots of glass clanging and kissing!
...not to mention some of more interesting ethnic ones. Like the ceremony, at the reception we try to balance staying out of the way with getting the best shots, and our clients often can't believe how many great candids we come away with!
If it’s a summer wedding, we’ll grab the bride and groom for about 20 minutes later on, for we affectionately call a ‘couple’s shoot,’ a few shots of them together on the evening of their wedding. We wait until then to do it because we want the sun low in the sky, throwing out all kinds of delicious, orange-y light, and there’s usually a lull in right after dinner anyway so it works out well. Our hope is always that, when (not if) you get in an argument over something stupid a few years down the road, you’ll see one of these photos somewhere and remember that you were crazy about each other not too long ago, and that in this short little life love is the greatest gift we can hope for.
A question we get a lot is ‘when will you leave’ or ‘how late will you stay?’ Simply put, we don’t work by the hour, so we’ll stay as long as we need to stay. At every wedding there comes a point when everyone’s had 2.6 drinks and the Electric Slide has come and gone, when the pictures we’re taking go from being ‘memories’ to being ‘evidence.’ That’s when it’s time for us to go.
Immediately after your event–sometimes even AT your event–we start transferring your photos onto the computer and the ‘real’ work begins.
First up is Processing, where we plow through the 3,000+ photos we’ve taken at your wedding and pick out the best photos that are able to connect seamlessly into a story of your wedding day, usually 500-700. Then it’s time to make them look their best.
In most cases we’ll start with the RAW file, which records all of the original information the camera saw, in order to get the cleanest results. We use several different pieces of software, including the perennial favorite, Photoshop, to make sure the exposure, color and contrast are just right. We’ll smooth out skin and remove blemishes, brighten up teeth, and reduce the prominence of wrinkles. Our goal for post-processing is to give you images that look incredible but completely natural–we actively avoid having an ‘airbrushed‘ or ‘photoshopped‘ look to our work.
Next is Gallery Selection, where we pull out the best 150-200 of our Processed photos for posting to an online gallery - either Facebook, Dropbox, or both. Wait, did we say Dropbox? Yes, Dropbox.
It looks great on any platform—desktop, smartphone, tablet, whatever
It’s easier to navigate than any of the fancy website galleries we’ve ever seen,
You can very easily download images you like, or the whole album, immediately.
It’s super easy to share - just send the album link to whoever you want!
If you want us to put all 600 of your processed images in the gallery, we totally can, but hear us out: we don’t use the 200 number as a hard and fast rule, but that seems to be where we wind up, and it’s probably because, when you’re looking through a set of photos, you can go through 200 in 3-5 minutes; after that, your attention becomes strained. That’s why 99.2% of Billboard Top 40 songs are 3-5 minutes long, and just might be why Facebook’s max album size is 200 photos.
Your Select images (150-200 for a full day) will usually be posted to a private gallery on our website within 48 hours. From there you can share with family and friends, as well as order prints using your print credit or a gift card. We also post them on Facebook (only if you’d like us to), since that’s where most of our clients find it easiest to share.
About a week after the wedding, you’ll receive a USB flash drive from us with all 3000 unedited photos in one folder, and your 150-200 selects in another. If there are any of the 3000 that you really liked and wished were included in the selects, we’re happy to process them for you at no additional charge.
We’ll keep all of your wedding photos, including the RAW files, on hand for at least six months after the wedding, after that we’ll keep the Selects for quite a bit longer (we haven’t deleted any yet). And that’s pretty much it, at least until you ask us to do photos of the baby, or your anniversary, or just because!