Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get the Job Done: A wedding booking with a twist

Yesterday evening I had a wedding consultation with a young couple who's nuptials I will be shooting in December. Jessica and Nathan are such a fun pair that I know I'm going to have a blast with them. In fact, their wedding will present me with a new challenge: their church won't allow me to shoot the actual ceremony!

During the consultation, the couple explained that their church's restriction not allowing any photography to take place during the nuptials, deemed a sacred rite that shouldn't be disturbed with flashes, etc. The only chance I and my assistants might have would be to shoot from a balcony. That wouldn't be so difficult if it weren't for the fact that the wedding will be at night and the balcony is very far away from the altar. I have the equipment that would allow me to get some decent shots even in low light and no flash (High ISO and a tripod to the rescue!). Another photography colleague said she and her lead shooter had to work under similar circumstances and got good results by turning most of the images into black and white, allowing the low light to create ambience and mood.

But my client voiced concerns that she didn't want to upset anyone at the church by not following their rules. I think my best course of action is to speak with the officiant and church wedding planner to hear out their concerns and see if there will be time allotted for us to recreate some of the key moments from the ceremony after the wedding, including the bride walking down the aisle, the vows and ring exchange and "the kiss." The church will be decorated for the holidays with clear lights and gold and silver bulbs shimmering. It should be gorgeous! And if it snows, which is likely, we can have fun with that as well!

Jessica and Nathan want full coverage of the wedding preparation, including both of them getting dressed, formal portraits of relatives and the wedding party and about an hour or so of their reception, capturing highlights such as the cutting of the cake and the first dance. My assistants and I will also be working off a shot list to expediate the shooting, as my clients only booked three hours of actual shooting time. During the meeting, Jessica also booked a bridal session, which is wonderful!

Even though I have set wedding packages, I think every couple I've worked with so far has appreciated knowing that my ala carte items helped them create a custom package based on their specific needs. Jessica and Nathan also enjoyed having access to view a previous wedding I shot last month. That allowed me to talk to them about the differences between candid captures and traditional posed shots, as well as the type of shots they preferred. They both picked out the photos included in this post as some of their favorites, taken during Harriet and Peter's lovely day.

It's interesting to note how Jessica became my most recent wedding client. About six months ago, Jessica's company sent her to my house to do an estimate for some work I needed. I remember her walking around my home, asking me if all the photos I had up were my own work. I had no idea at the time, but Jessica would soon be getting married, and when it came time for her chose a photographer to capture her special day, she said I was the first person she thought of, "because I knew you did good work!"

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