I am a professional wedding DJ and a business owner that also offers photography. I work with photographers every weekend at wedding and special events. One of my biggest “pet-peeves” is when the photographer leaves the wedding 1, 2 or even 3 hours before the end. Let’s discuss this problem and why you should expect more from your photo crew!
So, as previously mentioned I am a wedding DJ. Part of my role on the day of a wedding for my clients is to organize and plan activities together so the event flows smooth and timely. Every wedding reads like a book. There is an introduction, a build, a climax and a conclusion. You would never read a book only to ditch the final chapters. You certainly would read to the conclusion to see how it ends. The same would make sense for a wedding photographer. They should stay to capture every element right down to the final goodbye.
It has become more and more acceptable these days for a photographer to offer a time based package. Maybe 8 hours of coverage. The problem is that a wedding might span beyond that 8 hour window when adding up the ceremony, time between the church and the venue, cocktail hour and reception. And if a 8 hour service window expires with 2 hours left in the reception the photographer is walking out and missing the meat and potatoes of the party!
Lately, I have dealt with scores of photographers coming up to me and asking if I will move up the cake and parent dances to accommodate them as their coverage expires soon. They actually want me to change around the original plans and timeline to make sure they don’t miss a key part of the wedding, but yet don’t seem to take that into consideration during the booking process. They either are concerned to keep a package in the sweet spot price point or don’t wish to work beyond a 8 hour window.
” In either case I would argue that if you are not willing to capture the entire day you are selling a incomplete service. “
You would never buy a car without a steering wheel or tires. Why hire a photographer for only part of your wedding? And so many times after the photographer leaves amazing moments happen. Just this past weekend the photographer left at 8:30 from a wedding scheduled to end at 10:00pm. During the last 90 minutes the dance floor was electric and slammed with guests all singing, dancing and having a great celebration! But sometimes unplanned moments can happen. The grandmother of the groom asked for a Dean Martin song and the groom then pushed her around the dance floor in her wheel chair while the whole family sang to her. A amazing moment, but no photographer to capture that!
Don’t get me wrong, a 10+ hour day can be very difficult to work but I have witnessed time and time again where there was no photographer at the end to capture a last dance, or a amazing good-bye moment. The bride and groom need to be aware of this and ask the following questions when interviewing their wedding photographer prospect:
- Are you going to cover the entire wedding day right through to the last dance?
- Do you start early with getting ready documentation and is there a extra option for a first look?
- Is there a limit on how many images you take and I receive?
- Are the images processed and digitally enhanced with photo shop before I receive them?
- Are my images provided in on cloud based gallery or by flash drive?
- Do I have ownership over my wedding images or do you put a watermark through every proof and I still have to purchase images after the wedding?
Ask those questions because they are important. Book a photographer who will provide FULL wedding day coverage and not make you pay extra to remove a watermark from the samples. Also, find someone you genuinely like because you will be spending your entire wedding with them!
Alittle about me and my credentials to write this article: I am the owner of Music In Motion Entertainment along with In Motion Photography and Video. When we book a wedding for our clients they receive full coverage of their wedding from the ceremony right through to the last dance. The only additional option to add on is a “first look” session which usually starts about 2 hours before a ceremony. We provide all of our images to our couples without a watermark and already digitally enhanced. The only additional fee is if the couple wants to order a wedding album which is custom constructed for them. Do not accept less and you won’t have wedding day photography disappointment.