For couples planning their wedding who have no background in wedding photography, they may not have in mind what exactly is covered during preparation time in terms of photography. This is the part of the day where most couples want to shave off some coverage time if they are trying to keep their photography budget under control, and it is honestly one of the most impactful parts of the day in terms of final gallery and creating a gallery which captures the mood of your day in regards to the details.
Preparation time is obviously the time of the day when we shoot candids of you getting ready – hair, makeup, getting dressed, sharing a toast, and more – but in addition to those amazing candid moments it is the time where I am able to photograph the small special touches you have spent months planning. Your grandmother’s wedding ring, your mother’s veil, your handwritten vows, and so many sentimental touches which are much much more than just wedding day details. These details often play a large role in the mood of a gallery. Of course, people and emotions come first, but if you are a lover of your wedding day details and want a gallery which reflects those touches, you NEED to plan enough time during preparation to allow your photographer (hopefully, me) so not only photograph them but STYLE the details beautifully to create an artistic image of them.
Styling wedding day details involves thoughtful placement, adjustments, lighting tweaks, adding in additional elements to enhance the image, and more. All of this takes time.
If I am photographing an invitation suite, I am most likely:
1) pulling out a styling surface or board
2) organizing the invitation elements themselves
3) pulling out dishes, trays, ribbons, and other elements I carry in my bag to enhance the photo
4) arranging things and rearranging them until it looks just right
5) locating flowers or greenery to adorn the piece
6) trimming and arranging flowers and other styling elements
7) perfecting the lighting
8) running in and out of the room to make sure I don’t miss emotional moments in the other room
This takes a lot more time than one may think!
Consider allowing 1-2 hours during preparation time for photography coverage. Have all details ready and in one place. Preparation coverage usually works best if we are able to do it in a beautiful space with neutral or light walls and good natural light AT YOUR VENUE. If we are in another location such as a hotel, this is often beautiful and images turn out lovely but the style and mood of the space can be completely different from your wedding venue and can cause a disjointed look in overall gallery.
Should I provide my own styling elements? trays? ribbons? etc?
GO FOR IT! I love it when clients have as many details as possible to enhance these photos. I always have a few small items in my styling kit to enhance detail photos, but your own special touches will truly make these the most special.
How do I get flowers in my prep location?
I will reach out to your florist if possible in advance to see if they are able/willing to leave me some loose blooms and greenery for styling. Sometimes, however they may not be starting their work for you until later in the day or may be at a different location if you are getting ready offsite. Try to plan to have your personal flowers (bouquets and bouts) delivered to your getting ready location BEFORE I arrive so that I have these and hopefully some styling flowers to work with!