ElM & BLOOM

Wedding Photography

Prepare for an engagement shoot

An engagement shoot is a photo-shoot you have just or a few months after your engagement has been announced. These can also cleverly be used to send out on the wedding invitations, which I love. When getting ready for the photo shoot you might want to think about getting your hair done this could be a great opportunity to see how your bridal hair would turn out in the images.

PICK A LOCATION

 

The engagement shoot dose does not require you to shop for matching outfits, however, I always suggest to wear something that makes you feel at your best but comfortable to be moving around for a few hours. Pick a location that has to mean for you and your partner like a restaurant you both love or a place you often walk the dog. If you can’t think of anywhere speak with your photographer about your style and personalities and they should be able to find the best place to photograph you.

 

LET YOUR HAIR DOWN

 

Take a prop, I ask my clients to bring a prop along hopefully if you are not overly comfortable in fount of the camera the prop will act as a distraction and will allow you to let go a little more relaxed. Have fun and laugh – let your hair down and have a little fun this will really help to capture beautiful and authentic photographs of you both. And finally try to think as if it’s only the two of you, I sometimes ask my clients to think about the first time they met or what happened when they were proposed to, to help provoke the feelings as they shine through the face and images.

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What Information Do Photographers Need From Me Before The Wedding Day?

Your photographer will probably come to you with a list of things they need to know before your big day. Most photographers have their own individual approach and clear ideas about what is important for them to know. Even so, it’s a good idea to have your own list ready, because this information can make all the difference when it comes to making sure you end up with a fantastic set of images of your wedding.

While some information is obvious, you would be amazed at how easily it can get overlooked amidst the thousands of things you’re trying to organise. Other information is less obvious but just as important, because it will help your photographer get an idea of the feel and atmosphere of your wedding so they can plan appropriately to reflect this in the images.

I’ll put them in bullet points for easier reading:

 

  • The addresses and phone numbers of every location you will be on the day, including the day before. That’s everywhere from the salon where you are having your hair done to the place you will be sleeping the night before the wedding. Why? Your photographer will need to know where he or she needs to be during the hours of the shoot (obviously), and the last thing you need is phone calls asking for addresses while you’re fitting your dress. But your photographer might also need to contact you with last minute questions before your wedding day. By giving him or her every contact detail you can, you’re safeguarding against last-minute dramas before they can even arise. Smart planning, right?

 

  • The names of all the vendors you are using. Why? Your chosen vendors make up the sum of your whole event, and knowing which town hall or florist you’re using will help your photographer get a feel for the style of wedding you have planned – and therefore the style of images that would suit. Always follow this up with a conversation. Nothing can beat face-to-face communication with your photographer when it comes to getting your dream wedding photos. [Kimberly: link to style blog]

 

  • A list of the names and phone numbers of all the people in your bridal party. The more ways your photographer has to contact you the better – plus it might not be just your photographer needs to contact. When your photographer is able to smoothly coordinate group photos by locating a missing groomsman, or can quickly check in with a bridesmaid instead of you while you’re in the middle of having your hair done, you’ll be thanking yourself for your excellent foresight.

 

  • A schedule of the day from start to finish. Your photographer needs to know how long he or she has for each photo session and where they need to be. If you only have half an hour for photos after the wedding and before the reception starts, they need to know this. A useful tip is to arrange the arrival time of your photographer half an hour before you actually need them, in case they are held up. This happened at my wedding – if only someone had given me this tip beforehand!

 

Most of this information covers the logistical stuff. There’s a whole lot more you should communicate with your photographer and that includes your expectations about thestyle of images you want. Make sure you and your photographer are 100 percent on the same page as to expectations, and your expectations will be met!

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Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

1.WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE WEDDING PACKAGE YOU OFFER?

Every Wedding Photographer charges different fees for their work. When comparing these fees, check what exactly is included in the price they are quoting for their wedding package: does it include albums, canvases, printed photographs, engagement shoots? Wedding photographers can and will (usually) modify their fees if you negotiate with them, as well as what’s included in their package. For instance, maybe you don’t want an album, but would prefer to choose your own later and include more photo shoot time in the fee instead. Just remember, to get the best value for money from your photographer, the key is to know what you’re getting for your money. That way you can be sure you are comparing apples to apples!

 

Amsterdam Wedding Photography Shoot

 

2. HOW MANY HOURS OF COVERAGE DO WE GET ON THE WEDDING DAY? AND ARE THERE ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR OVERTIME?

Many brides and grooms forget to ask this all important question – how many hours of photography coverage do we get for our money? The usual time spent covering a wedding ranges from between four hours to twelve hours. But it all comes down to the wedding photographer and the package you choose. If you’ve been offered a flat fee for a wedding package, make sure to ask how many hours are included in that package to avoid any nasty surprises on the day.
You should also factor in the possibility of overtime. Maybe the reception will carry on into the wee hours, and you want to capture those moments (your bridesmaids might not thank you!). Ask your photographer about his or her over-time fees and, if they are going to cost a bomb, factor this into your planning and the package you choose.
For example, if you have seven hours of coverage included in your package but your wedding photographer charges a massive hourly rate for overtime, you might have them leave after you have tossed the bouquet instead of after the last dance. Or you might skip the shots of you getting ready with your bridesmaids, in favour of more shots of your guests during the reception. Remember, it’s better to choose a larger package that requires you to pay a little more upfront, than a smaller package with a massive overtime charge later.

Groom kissing the bride for wedding photograph

3. WHAT WILL YOU, THE PHOTOGRAPHER, BE WEAR TO OUR WHEN PHOTOGRAPHING THE WEDDING?  

Okay, this is a really big pet peeve of mine: wedding photographers who don’t dress the part. Maybe it’s because I’m a wedding photographer so I’ve exceptionally tuned it into it. But I was a guest at weddings long before photography became my passion and I know it’s bothered many a bride and guest before me.
So why does it matter what the photographer wears on your big day? It might seem unimportant but when you, your groom, your bridal party and all your guests are dressed in their finest and one very important guest is dressed like he’s strolled in from a hike in the woods, it grates. It’s like the minister of the church or your wedding celebrant wearing jeans and an old shirt. Somehow it just detracts from the magic of the occasion.

There is nothing offensive about asking your photographer what they usually wear to weddings or even asking them if they can follow the dress code of the day. This could mean that if you’re wearing black for an evening loft event or lighter colours for a daytime garden party, your photographer should follow suit and dress to blend in. You’re entitled to have your photographer make the effort to keep the whole occasion feeling special and important, so don’t hesitate to ask!

 

4. WILL YOU BE MY ACTUAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, OR WILL IT BE ONE OF YOUR COLLEAGUES?

Sometimes wedding photographers work for large studios and are just one of several photographers working for the business. When researching wedding photography websites, remember that Jack of Jack’s Wedding Photography might not be the one taking your photos! Of course, Jack’s partner Kate might be just as good or better, but you certainly want to meet her and see her portfolio, right?
Every photographer has his or her own style and personality. When it comes down to it, you want to know the actual person who will be there on the day. So if it’s a studio you are working with, arrange to meet with the photographer who will be taking your pictures, take a look at their portfolio, and interview them. This way you’ll ensure you’re making a truly informed decision. This is a very big day for you, and you want a photographer who’ll meet your expectations in every way. To read more about how to make sure your photographer meets your needs take a look at my blog How to pick your wedding photographer.

4. WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED FROM ME BEFORE THE WEDDING DAY?

Your photographer will probably come to you with a list of things they need to know before your big day. Most photographers have their own individual approach and clear ideas about what is important for them to know. Even so, it’s a good idea to have your own list ready, because this information can make all the difference when it comes to making sure you end up with a fantastic set of images of your wedding. While some information is obvious, you would be amazed at how easily it can get overlooked amidst the thousands of things you’re trying to organise. Other information is less obvious but just as important because it will help your photographer get an idea of the feel and atmosphere of your wedding so they can plan appropriately to reflect this in the images.

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