Anyone and everyone can have their dream wedding and you can too. While we will all have different and unique variations of our dream wedding, the processes we need to go through are pretty much the same. Jamie, a modern documentary photographer with over 15 years worth of experience capturing wedding events shares with us what we must consider as we implement the necessary steps to bring our dream wedding to life.
1. What common mistakes do you see couples making?
Couples are often too focused on details or spending too much money on their wedding ceremony. Trust me, you don’t want to start your marriage in steep debt.
Another mistake made by couples that deeply saddens me is when couples try to make their wedding fit the expectations of their parents or grandparents, rather than preparing a wedding to suit their personality and current financial state.
2. What’s the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding?
One of the best ways to re-live wedding moments is to capture them in photos, so it is important for couples to let their photographer know which people in attendance are the most important.
If there’s a seating chart for the reception, use the chart to let the photographer know where those people are sitting. Otherwise, your photographer will have no idea that your dad’s lifelong golf buddies will all be together for the first time in 10 years.
If you don’t have a seating chart, have someone point out the important people/groups out. And if you’d like certain group photos of people, let your photographer know! Be sure to ask your parents/ families if there are any group photos that are important to them.
3. What don’t couples know about your business that they need to know?
The focus has always been to capture and piece together the tiny, authentic, sparkly moments and connections into a magnificent mosaic that will live on and tell the story of the wedding for generations to come.
As a photojournalistic wedding photographer, my presence will not be felt but I’m ever present throughout the entire ceremony. The day will unfold just as it should if I weren’t there. It’s never awkward or weird, because I allow the freedom and the space to make the wedding events unfold naturally.
However, I will make myself immediately available when specific family or group photos need to be captured and take as many photos as desired. During that time, I’ll step up and take charge to make sure everything goes smoothly and moves quickly.
Also during portrait time with your wedding party or just you and your partner, I will follow your lead. I’ll give you guidance if you need it, but I always leave space for you to be yourselves.
4. What questions should couples be asking that they don’t know to ask?
Forget the list of questions to ask that you found on the internet! A photographer’s style is far more than just what their Instagram feed looks like. Find out what the photographer’s shooting style is. How involved are they in posing / interrupting during the different parts of the day (getting ready, first looks, cake cutting, etc.). Do you want to be interrupted / posed during special moments, or do you want those things to happen naturally?
Find out how much of a photographer’s portfolio is a styled shoot, and how much of it is from actual real weddings? Ask to see wedding images from your venue, or from a similar venue or church. Everyone can take great photos outdoors or in perfect light, but dark churches and reception venues are a different story.
It’s also important to ask if your photographer is shooting on dual memory cards (they should be) and what their backup processes are. Do they store the images on multiple hard drives? Do they immediately re-use the memory cards or do they wait until your wedding has been edited and delivered until they re-use the memory cards? (I see photographers posting about lost wedding images daily in Facebook groups. It happens. A lot.) Find out how many images they normally deliver in a wedding gallery. Ask to see a few full wedding galleries. Pay attention to what’s actually there. Are there more detail photos than people photos? During the reception, are there only photos of the dance floor, or are there also photos of the guests gathering at the bar, and chatting together at a table in the far corner?
Ultimately, you need to decide not only what you want your photos to look like editing-wise, but also HOW you want your photos to look, and what really want to see in your gallery (not just now, but 20, 30, and 50 years from now). That will help you figure out what to ask and what you need to communicate to potential photographers.
5. What’s your best piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?
Prioritize spending quality time with those most important to you on your wedding day. Take a few minutes for just the two of you either right after the ceremony, or sneak away for a few minutes during the reception.
Set aside a few minutes to spend with your grandparents. Nix the head table and eat dinner with your parents or families.
Instead of hitting every landmark in the city, pick one good photo location, then spend the rest of the time hanging out with your wedding party and/or friends. Go to a favorite bar or patio. Have a picnic lunch. Get a game of bowling in, or whatever it is you love to do. You’ll actually have fun, you’ll make some great memories, and you’ll get some awesome candid photos that you’ll treasure far more than 10 more group photos, but this time in front of the arch or stadium. Being intentional with your time will help you enjoy (and remember) the day better.
6. What’s the most unusual wedding you ever did?
I’ve had quite a few unusual weddings (those are my favorite kind!) but my favorite was probably second shooting a Back to the Future themed wedding, complete with a Delorian and Doc impersonator. The venue was decorated like the prom theme from the movie, and guests were dressed in vintage attire. It truly was a blast!
7. What was the most memorable wedding you have ever worked, and why?
The most memorable wedding is memorable for all the wrong reasons, and definitely NSFW material. If I didn’t have actual photos of it, no one would believe me. Even now, I still can’t believe everything that happened.
Don’t be like that wedding. (And unless you take a lot of different drugs and mix it with alcohol and fall out of horse-drawn carriage and then later fall into your wedding cake, you’ll be fiiiiiiiine. And actually, I’m not even mentioning the really messed up parts.)
As you fully immerse yourself in having your best wedding ever with your partner, family and friends, I will be the invisible presence who will capture and piece together your wedding moments into a beautiful mosaic that will make you smile whenever you re-visit it. It will make me happy if you reach out to me via https://jaimienicolekrause.com to make this happen for you.