Tips about PHOTOGRAPHY for Your Wedding Day (Part 1 of 2)




How much time do you need for photography on the wedding day?

A good rule of thumb is to plan about 30 minutes for family formals at the church or ceremony location and between 1.5 and 2.5 hours for creative (out-and-about) photos. Seriously, after a couple hours it gets very tiring, so don’t try to do photos for four or five hours. Also, keep the family formals short by focusing on only the most important groupings rather than every possible combination you can think of.

How many places should I stop at for wedding day photos?

I’m a firm believer that less is more. Pick one or two really good spots rather than a bunch all over town. Travel time eats up your day like you wouldn’t believe. For Wedding day runaround photos apply the 50/50 rule: Remember it’s YOUR day after all. Some couples are so obsessed with getting photos of the entire wedding party they forget to get any of just the two of them. Those romantic, just the-two-of-you moments are special. No less than 50% of your runaround photos should be of just the two of you, and bonus points if it’s closer to 75%. Yes, get some great shots with the entire wedding party, but then give them a break and have some one-on-one time. Wedding day runaround photos – keep it casual DON’T over pose with the runaround photos. We all want those dynamic photos, yes, but your photography should capture who you are. Your relationship. Your personality. Your unique facial expressions and body language when you’re together. You can’t tell the story of who you really are through generic glamor poses. There will always be an element of staging, but it should balance well with natural expression. It’s a hard balance to get right.

How many family formals should I do?

Everyone will thank you and you’ll have a better time on your wedding day if you keep family formal photos short. 30 minutes is the goal to shoot for! That means you’re going to need to focus on the MOST IMPORTANT groups and accept that you’re probably not going to get every possible combination of groupings. I always have the “big four” in mind (bride alone, groom alone, B+G together, and entire wedding party). After that, six to ten groups should be all you should try to do. Larger groups take longer to set up, so if you have several big groups keep the total number of shots small.

Tips to keep formal photos short.

Keep the list small. Have a helper who can organize the next group while the photographer is working with the current one.  Don’t think up shots on the spot.  Don’t try to get separate photos with each bridesmaid and groomsman.  It’s faster and less stress as a group.  Make sure no one getting their photo taken disappears into the bathroom.!  Don’t let anyone take over.  Mom, Grandma, or Uncle Joe always have ideas for photos they think are great. Don’t let them hijack your limited time. – Don’t let guests snap photos. It’s not about limiting anyone, it’s about time management. These “Oh, just one” snaps build up and can literally double the time it would otherwise take.   No talking when in front of the camera! Again, time management. Waiting for people to finish a conversation adds to the total time significantly.

This is the first part of a 2-part post.  Check back tomorrow for the 2nd part.

Guest Blogger – Patrick Pope Photography (

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