Wedding panorama portrait at the Scansonia Ferry.
The wedding of Kelly and Shaun, Skansonia Ferry, 2008

Taking Care of your Wedding Photographer

Many times I have photographed weddings where I start taking pictures around 8:30 AM and go through the whole day following the couple around. I shoot them as they get ready, and then the ceremony, and then the posed formal photo session (this is usually the hardest work for me, not the shooting but just getting everybody rounded up and checking off all the names from the shot list). Finally we cruise around and do some photos in various locations before we arrive at the reception.

Everyone applauds the couple as they make their entrance to the reception and make their way table by table to their seats. I keep shooting as they sit down and begin to eat their meal. At this point I look around for a place to sit down to do the same thing (I have never had anyone ask me where are those photos of us stuffing food in our face).

What happens sometimes at this point is I realize that there is no place to sit. Either they forgot about me or I needed to remind them that after 6 hours of taking pictures, I have to eat oo. Sometimes, I can find an empty seat at a table where someone did not make it and sit down with the guests. In fact I enjoy getting to know the friends of the couple.

My least favorite weddings are where the venue insists that the vendors must sit out in the kitchen with the staff or some distant room and eat a boxed lunch. This is a good way to alienate someone you have just spent 6 hours hanging out with getting your photographs made. My preference is that I sit where I can keep an eye on the wedding couple. They often get up during the meal and do some wonderful interaction or someone makes a toast that makes a great and memorable photo. For just the cost of an extra plate you can keep the photographer happy. He will also then be around to capture special moments as they happen for the whole day. And he will be happy to stick around for the rest of the reception however long it might extend to keep recording the pictures that will help you remember the most special day of your life. I suppose I should write it into my contract so that it does not become an issue for future weddings. What do you think?