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The Biggest Hat Wedding Photographer’s Often Wear As A Wedding Planner




There’s a reality of being a working wedding photographer. I’m not talking about being a photographer who charges small fees and shoots a single-digit amount of weddings every s6 months. Am writing about the photographer who stays up at night worrying about his bookings, wondering if he will hit his goal, and putting in those 10, 12, and 14 hour days to make the business happen. The hustling wedding pro working day in and day out in the thick of it all to earn a decent living. However, i’ve realised that Wedding photographers have also become stand-in wedding planners.

In a perfect world a wedding photographer would show up to the hotel in the morning with his camera and team mebers and spend the next 6 hours making whimsical black and white art for his perfect clients on their stunning, perfect day. But the reality of being a wedding photographer is that you often also play the role of wedding planner.
It starts in the morning. What time is it? Why is there a bridesmaid missing? How long until the hair and makeup are done? Don’t they realize we have to be out of here at noon? And where’s the mother of the bride? Has she even showered yet? No one can find the brides shoes. Where is the car? Where’s the decorator?
No matter what the situation is in the morning, one thing is for sure: that ceremony must happen at the exact time it’s printed on the invites. An oftentimes it becomes the photographer’s job to keep everything on track.
This is why it is advisable for a photographer to have a pre-wedding meeting about 30 days before the actual day. It’s at this meeting the photographer discuss four key areas of the couple’s day.

1. Addresses. The wedding photographer wants the exact address of every single location he will be that day. The hotel, the church, the reception venue, the after party… all of it.

2. Timeline. The photographer needs a full-day timeline, broken down into 15 minute segments, to help run the day. This helps the photographer know when he’d be arriving, when should the bridesmaids be ready, when should the bride’s dress go on, when are we leaving the hotel, what time is the ceremony, how long is the trip between each location, when does cocktail hour start, where and when will we do the family formals, etc.

3. Family Formals. Wedding Photographer’s talk about these in advance, and with a lot of detail. The last thing a photographer want to do is to try and wrangle 30 family members together for photos with no set plan on what groups he is shooting and when. A photographer make sure h gets first names of the key people, and if you really want to make things easy, set a go-to person who can help.


4. Details. Every wedding has some of the same details (the dress, rings, flowers, etc). But did you know the bride’s best friend baked the cake? Did you know that there’s a special jewelry her dad has given her to wear on her big day? You have to ask these things in order to know to photograph them.

The point of this post is that you should never be afraid to take charge of the wedding. Oftentimes you’ll be walking into a group of people who will all be looking to you to fill the role of planner. Whether it’s fair or not, it’s a reality of being a wedding photographer.


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