This month, the wonderfully talented Rowan from Parrot and Pineapple Photography and Jo of Joasis Photography join us on the blog to give you their complete guide to getting the most out of your wedding photography!
I’ve worked with both Rowan and Jo a few times before and they are super fun as well as super professional, not to mention delivered absolutely stunning photos! (And quickly!) Added bonus is that they are also talented fast shooters, as well as being super creative with a great eye, so won’t take you away for hours and hours to get your photos done.
I get asked these questions all the time so thought it would be super helpful to let some expert ‘togs share their wisdom – direct from the horses mouth! And I couldn’t think of two better ‘togs to answer them!
So to start things off I asked a few questions on behalf of all of my couples…
1. How long should we allocate for group shots?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – I let my couples decide what group photos they want (if any at all). The most important thing to remember is that the more arrangements you have the more time you need. I recommend approximately 4 minutes per group arrangement. This generally allows enough time to arrange people in formation and get them laughing.
Joasis Photography – It really depends how long do you want to be away from the party! Formal family photography can be fun, but most of my couples prefer to be off enjoying their reception drinks with all their loved ones rather than anything too posed for too long – so would rather have less ‘formal’ family photos.
Saying that, I advise my couples to have a few photos with family in a slightly more structured way. It is normally a rare occurrence to get families all together, so these sort of photos give the gift of memories – and are ever lasting for families. As each group can take up to 5 min to coordinate, I suggest having up to 5-7 group shots, and allocate 30 mins for this part. It is also worth noting that it is absolutely vital to designate 1-2 helpers who know the families well and will swiftly find and gather everybody on time.
2. How long should we allocate for couple pics?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – Again, I let couples decide how many or few couple photos they want. We discuss all of this before the wedding. Some couples fancy a bit of an adventure to have some photos in a space that’s special to them, others just want a handful of photos to document them together on their day. As a minimum I think couples need 20 minutes for their couple photos – this is generally a really nice break for the couple to take a breather from the hectic schedule of a wedding day. If you want your photos to be taken away from your wedding venue (like at a beautiful sunset location), remember that you will need to allow for travel time too.
Joasis Photography – Couple photoshoots is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day. It is great to have at least 20 min but I like 30-40min to let us move around to best spots and play (or even change location altogether, like for this photo when we went to the Barbican). On sunny days I usually split this time to two short sessions with one just before sunset for that amazing golden hour light! My main goal is to create cool and creative photos but in a relaxed and non cheesy way – so the time flies quickly while you are having a moment for yourselves to enjoy being just married. Going away from the wedding party for your photos is probably the only time you will be able to be on your own, just the two of you, so worth scheduling that in! Saying that, I once had only 10 min as the couple preferred only documentary photography… and on the opposite end of the spectrum I once had 90 minutes and the option to move around London – and that is fine too. It is your wedding, your rules!
3. Where should I look to find a great photographer?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – I have so much to say about this that I wrote a really useful guide! You can get the guide here on my website. I’ve covered how to search for your photographer, what to look for when choosing, and given you a handy checklist to use when narrowing down your choice.
(OMG thanks Rowan!!)
Joasis Photography – There are lots of places from internet searches to social media apps and online directories. In any case, make sure to check both the website and social media accounts for examples of latest work. The key is to find the right style of photography for you so start from thinking what you like when you imagine your wedding photos – is it traditional, editorial, or documentary, cool, fun wedding photography? Usually when you spend a bit of time looking at wedding photography you will see what speaks to you the most.
4. Should we get a second shooter?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – This entirely depends on what you want from your photos! Some circumstances where you might consider having a second shooter are if you are having a big wedding with over 90 guests and you want photos of all your guests enjoying your wedding. Having a second shooter will ensure that you get good wide coverage. Another reason might be that you want photos of both you and your partner getting ready for the day – you would need two photographers to cover the two different locations. This also translates nicely through the day as both photographers work together to capture multiple angles of the same moment (e.g. capturing your first kiss from the front and also the back of your ceremony).
Joasis Photography – I say – yes! The benefits of having a second, equally experienced, photographer are huge- from covering preparations of both partners in the morning, to alternative angles during the ceremony (that first look), and greater coverage of fun moments when formal or couple photos are being taken. Smaller weddings, especially those that happen in one venue, from preps to party, can easily be managed by one photographer. So do check this out with the photographer you like, even if the main package offered includes two photographers.
And now a few questions from me…
5. Anything that really gets your goat at weddings?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – Yes – guests taking photos during the ceremony. The ceremony is the part of the day which can be very emotional. When I photograph a couple getting married I will capture what happens, and also the reactions of their guests. Those reactions are generally hidden if guests are holding up phones (or even worse, tablets) to take photos. The best ceremony photos are when the couple have chosen an unplugged ceremony and there is a sea of happy smiling faces watching them get married – and not a sea of phones and tablets pointed at them.
Joasis Photography – Hmm a few things, but let’s focus on the positives!
6. Most fun photo you remember?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – Always a confetti photo! I love confetti – it’s always full of glee and joy. And there’s only one rule with confetti – MORE IS MORE.
Joasis Photography – Wind swept bride’s encounter with granny! (Below!)
7. Any photography advice in general?
Parrot and Pineapple Photography – YES! Sit back and enjoy your wedding day and try not to think about the photos. The best photos are when you are relaxed and enjoying your day.
Joasis Photography – Yes, lots! Your photographer is the expert in their field. Get their advice with regards to best light for photos; from table arrangements (that backlight from head table pinned against the window is the least flattering), to the time and location of family and couple photos, and even first dance lights (no one wants to look like they have green chicken pox, yet we still see laser lights!). Make sure to create a timeline that allows plenty of buffer time, as it is normally the photo time that gets eaten away when there are delays. You have invested in your wedding photography, it is important to you; make sure to create space for it. Enjoy the day, hire a planner or on the day coordinator for stress free experience, and simply have a great time. This will be the best gift you can give to your photographer. And be you!
I worked with Jo on this beauty of a wedding which was published on Rock My Wedding (says it all, hey?!), and more recently this super cool one back in Oct (on the edge of my seat waiting for the photos back!!).
Rowan was the second shooter at this stunning Christmas wedding which was published in Your London Wedding mag, and she also did these headshots for me when I gave a talk at The National Wedding Show a few years ago.
So if you’re still looking for a photographer, I can personally voucher for both these awesome gals!
Please email any hellos or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org