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Wedding Photography in Two Prep Locations

April 15, 2013 - Business, How To, Photography

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Dear Jasmine,
I have a question that I am hoping for some guidance on – my partner and I work like you and JD, a team. We are each more than capable of taking great photos but, like yourself, I am the “lead” photographer and as such I prefer to be there for all the big shots, including bridesmaids/groomsmen portraits etc…

What is the best way you've found to handle responding to a bride who is expecting/asking the photo duo team to split up which one being with the groomsmen getting ready and the other bridesmaids getting ready, at two different locations? Including portraits of the respective groups.

Thanks so much,
Dynamic Duo Leader

Dear DDL,
Isn't working with a partner the best?! The chocolate to your wine…the Robin to your Batman…the dip to your chip…it's incomparable! I definitely prefer to follow the system JD and I have created for wedding days, but I always defer to what the bride requests. Always. Yes, there are many things to explain, but once she's aware of her options, her word is final.

So here's how it works for my studio: a couple will book X hours for wedding day coverage. I always photograph the bride preparing and JD always photographs the groom preparing. The hourly coverage begins when one (or both) photographers commence shooting. Ideally, the bride and groom are preparing in the same location (like a hotel), but it doesn't always work this way. If the bride is preparing at Location One, JD will drop me off and drive to where the groom is preparing, Location Two.
    Caveat: A Few Things to Explain to Clients
    1. The locations should be relatively close in proximity. Anything more than 30 minutes apart (including traffic) doesn't make sense to separate both shooters because by the time the second shooter arrived, it'd give him roughly 15-20 minutes to shoot the groom's prep (we usually have 45 minutes for prep photos). If the groom is preparing at a location more than 30 minutes away, we request the groom make his final dressing prep at the ceremony location so JD can capture detail photos (cuff links, bow tie, etc) as well as last-minute dressing photos.
    1a. Don't forget to arrange transportation for the first photographer. Sometimes JD will return and pick me up, or sometimes the bride arranges for me to join her in the limo to the ceremony.
    2. I explain my preference of shooting both the groomsmen and the bridesmaids for: a. lighting continuity; and b. location continuity. Shooting roughly at the same time of day guarantees similar light, which later presents itself much nicer in an album layout. In the same vein, if the first shooter can pose the bridal party in the same location, the environmental landscape offers aesthetic appeal in the album as well, as opposed to mixing locations which may look awkward once it's designed in the album.
     3. Lastly, it's important to educate the role of a second shooter: s/he is there to capture {important} candid moments while the first shooter is capturing the traditional photos. If there's only one photographer shooting the group photos, the bride is shortchanging her memories. There's a value in having two photographers shooting the groomsmen and bridesmaids, but it's our job as photographers to properly explain it.

Dynamic Duo Leader, I hope this sheds light into how I work and I wish you the best as you and your partner educate your clients for the best experience possible.

Stay Fabulous,
j*

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I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

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