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May 6, 2016

Coverage time :: How much you don’t need

Tips and Tricks

We’re here today to talk about wedding day coverage time… how much you really need and which portions of your day can be documented in creative ways. Now, we realize the diehard photojournalists of the world are going to clench their chests when we make these suggestions. It’s always our goal to document weddings  in their truest form, preserving real moments with integrity and beauty. However, we just can’t be there for 12 hours, and frankly couples don’t need to overspend on hourly photography coverage when we can replicate photos just as easily, in a smaller window of time. What we want to do, is give our couples ample coverage time for the moments that really mean something, that should be left to happen naturally and without intervention. Mingling with your guests during cocktail hour, hugs and happy tears following the ceremony, heartfelt exchanges before walking down the aisle, and of course relaxed and natural portrait time! There are two ways you can fit these irreplaceable moments into your 8 to 10 hours of coverage time, and we’re revealing the secret here today! Shaving an hour off of the morning, and an hour off of the evening will do the trick!

Hair and Makeup

Every Bride wants those glamours and timeless images of herself as she gets ready for the big day. The photo of a Bride leaning into a mirror, brushing her bottom lip with rouge has become an iconic image. We completely understand the importance of these getting ready photos that focus on hair and makeup especially. But what to do when coverage begins at 1, yet hair and makeup finish at 12? Here’s how: we remake those classic shots when we arrive. Here’s the thing, most gals don’t love the idea of being photographed until their makeup is done. So for us to arrive hours early just to have a Bride say “oh no! don’t take my picture until my makeup is almost done!” is pointless.

Here’s our fix: Instead, we’ll arrive when your makeup is done, and we’ll arrange moments that allow us to remake and photograph your makeup being done in a natural and candid manner. It takes us 5 minutes to do, and you save 1 to 2 hours of coverage time. In fact, all of the photos you see below were taken after hair and makeup had been finished. Moments before getting into the dress, Brides will always do one final touchup. That’s what we’ll photograph!

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Send Off

On the opposite end of your wedding day, after hours of dancing and sweating and having a blast with your guests on the dance floor… it’s time for the big finish. Many couples have a sparkler send off, and we really love getting these awesome shots. What couples don’t realize, is that to get a great shot of a sparkler send off in the pitch black night, there’s a bit of planning and equipment involved from a photography point of view. We have to set up our off camera flash, typically with umbrellas before guests even come outside. Then, we start handing long, pointy fire sticks to folks who have typically been drinking. Next, we must arrange said group of tipsy fire stick holding guests into two lines and light the sparklers fast enough to avoid them burning out before the couple makes their way through the line. Our light stands have usually been knocked over once or twice by now, so we set those back up and there’s just enough time for the couple to run through the sparklers before they all burn out. We get a few great shots, and everyone is happy! But to accomplish this, we had to cut the morning short and only had time for half the amount of portraits as we would normally want to take, just to fit the final moments of the reception into the coverage time. In our opinion, it’s just not worth it to have your photographers take the same photo over and over at your reception for 2 or 3 extra hours to get one sparkler send off photo.

Here’s our fix: Stage a mini sparkler send off with your bridal party! We don’t need 100 guests to be there, and in reality you’ll never get all of your guests in the one frame even if they were all there. So all we need are about 10 of your friends, preferably the bridal party who is used to working with us from earlier in the day, and we’ll sneak away from the reception a few minutes before our coverage ends. We’ll have a small group to work with, and we’ll be able to really set up the moment to give you the best photos possible! We’ll end up taking more sparkler photos this way! Then you get to go back to the last hour of your reception without having to worry about anything at all! Your planner can arrange your real send off, and you and your guests can just enjoy that big moment without flashes going off or a couple of photographers following you around!

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