Congratulations! Jeff and I are so happy that you have found the one person that you want to share your life with. We hope you are as happy as we were on the day we decided to get married. And we hope even more, that like us, you find yourself 20 years later, happier and more in love than you ever dreamed possible. I could take this opportunity to give you all the marriage advise I’ve acquired over our years together, but I’m quite sure you’re getting that from more people than you would like right now. So instead, I would like to extend some helpful hints on making your wedding day a “photographic success”.
Choose a photographer that you like! Your photographers will be about as close to you on your wedding day as any of your family, wedding party, or other vendors. While everyone plays an important role in making an enjoyable day, your photographers should equally add to the experience. You want to find someone you “click” with. They will be there from the getting ready to the going away, so they need to bring a positive energy to your experience.
Experience counts! Wedding photography requires a very skilled professional. It goes without saying that this is not the time to allow “Cousin Ed” to practice his photography skills on you, but just as importantly, you want to make sure the professional photographer you hire is more than just a step above Cousin Ed. Jeff and I have found that every wedding is unique and requires constant technical skill and know-how to provide the most awesome images.
Most of the brides that come to us requesting that we shoot their wedding are already sold on using us because they’ve been referred by one of our happy clients. If you too, already have your mind made up that we are the photography team for you, keep reading. Now we are getting to the good stuff!
The best advice I can give you regarding your wedding day is – HAVE FUN! Yes, this is one of the most important days of your life and it is easy to get caught up in the stress of making it perfect. However, go ahead and accept the fact that something is not going to go as you’ve planned. It will still be a perfect day! Surround yourself with people who are going to be reliable, helpful, and dedicated to you.
Jeff and I work as a team to provide you with the best possible coverage. We will both be shooting throughout the day to document every moment, detail, and emotion. Jeff is strictly a photojournalist. His style of photography is in great demand as every bride wants those shots of emotions to look back on and relive the experience. Here’s some good advice, ignore him. (Okay, this is not part of the marriage advice I was talking about earlier.) But seriously, just pretend he isn’t there. He is going to stay back and wait for a smile, a giggle, a tear, even the occasional rolling of the eyes. I play more of the roll of the director. I’m going to gather your groups for formals and pose those. I will also shoot candids and details. It is up to you as to how much formal posing we do. Most brides want a combination of formal and candid shots, but of course it’s your call.
The day will begin with us covering some “getting ready” scenes. The amount of time we spend here again depends on how much coverage you request. I typically shoot the ladies, while Jeff covers the guys. If possible, take into consideration what the rooms look like that you’re getting ready in. A well lit area, preferably with lots of windows, makes for more flattering photographs. Even the furnishings of the room will help create a gorgeous shot. We’ve been known to get in some strange places just to get the right angle to avoid background clutter. We can also use special lenses for this same purpose. It’s helpful if you fill your wedding party in on what to expect from Jeff and me throughout the day. Most of our attendants quickly relax when they see the approach we take to get the shots. I can’t tell you how many times a groomsman has said, “ya’ll really make this easy” or “I sure hope you’re at the next five weddings I’m in.”
Now the real fun begins! The next step is to get the two VIP’s together for some awesome images. I would venture to say that 90% of our couples agree to see each other before the ceremony. If this is the route you choose, we will find a great location to set up a “first glance” session. This moment is all about your groom seeing his gorgeous bride for the first time. Yes, it is special. I’ve been known to tear-up myself. We both document this special moment and capture the many emotions involved during this time. Whew! Now you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day with your leading man. We’ll spend as much time as you like creating beautiful images of just the two of you. After all, the two of you are what the day is all about. You will have enough images from this session to fill your album. Oh yeah, you might want a few of all the other people that got dressed up for this occasion, so we’ll start adding in the wedding party and family next.
If you choose the more traditional route, and want to wait until the ceremony to see each other, we will completely respect that. We will get as much as possible covered at this time and then resume shooting after the ceremony before moving on to the reception.
Formal groupings usually go pretty smoothly if everyone knows what to expect. Having everyone in one place really helps. Another thing that helps us move along is not having to wait for Aunt Sue to get the shot with her camera after she figures out she still has the lens cap on and reminds everyone not to move after that first confusing flash because the second flash is actually when the shot is being taken. You get the point. We really don’t mind if your guests take pictures with point and shoot cameras but we do have a few important notes regarding this that I will hit on a little later.
Our goal is to be done with you and the rest of the party about 45 minutes to an hour before the ceremony. This gives you a break and a chance to freshen up before your grand entrance. During this time, Jeff and I are getting shots of all the little details you’ve labored over for months: the flowers, the candles, the church, and of course your guests. Once the ceremony is about to transpire, I will grab a seat close to the front of the church while Jeff stays in the foyer with you and the attendants. This is one of his greatest moments as emotions are really flowing now and he’s snapping away as the story unfolds. Once the ceremony is underway, we will not be a distraction of any sort. We will use lenses that allow us to shoot in low light without flashes. We would also like to know about any restrictions your venue might have about our positioning during the ceremony. Some churches restrict us from shooting beyond the rear of the sanctuary. If this is the case we will simply be more creative with longer lenses.
Congratulations, now you’re married and it’s time to party! The reception is typically covered with dozens of candid shots. We’ll also get your traditional cake cutting and the toasts. Another great thing to remember is that you can always grab Jeff or me and have us snap a portrait of you with old friends or a relative not covered earlier in the day. Let everyone know they can do this as well. By the end of the night, everyone’s exhausted; you, your groom, me, and my groom. We’re all just plain tired. Lucky for you, you’re headed off to some tropical destination and we have only just begun the process of creating your fabulous wedding memories. In the weeks to follow, we create the fabulous images you’ve come to expect from Gandy Photographers. We personally review and edit each image taken on the wedding day. We want you to love every single image, not just a handful that we select as our favorites. You can expect to be able to view your images online within about four to five weeks. Now the ball is in your park to choose the images for your album.
Hopefully, this gives you a little insight on what to expect if you choose us to be your wedding photographers. Please let us know if you have any questions or if you need more information to make your decision.