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Planner’s Perspective: Photo and Video Tips

It can be challenging to decide between wants and needs on a wedding day, so we’re going to share with you all about the must-haves, and the extras, for photography and videography from a planning perspective!

Do I really need photo AND video?

We’re going to go with yes, and hear us out! There are moments throughout your day, like the reading of your vows, your maid of honor’s toast, or your parent dances, that you’re just going to want to have on video. As gorgeous and memorable as your photos will be, they cannot capture the words that were said. And then there are other moments, like stolen glances during couple’s portraits, or capturing the full spectrum of emotions you feel during your first look. Plus, have you SEEN the highlight reels that videographers are putting out these days?? STUNNING! On the other hand, there are pictures that you’re going to want to have for albums, and social media, and to hang in your house, that you would obviously miss out on without having a photographer. Both photography and videography serve different purposes, and they complement each other so well. So if you want to be able to relieve all of the highlights, we highly recommend booking both photo and video coverage for your wedding!

How many hours of coverage do I actually need?

Photo: In our professional recommendation, 8 hours is the absolute minimum for full day wedding coverage. We highly recommend 10 hours, but we know that is not always in the budget for every couple. Where 8 hours of coverage will allow for all of the essentials to be captured, 10 hours will allow for all of the extras! If you are doing a send off, for example, 10 hours of coverage is an absolute must! If you have 8 hours of coverage, your photographer is either coming at 12:30pm to get started on getting ready photos, and then leaving right after cake cutting at 8:30pm, or they’re missing getting ready photos and coming at 2:30pm for portraits so that they can stay for your send off at 10:30pm. And trust us, you want photos of all of it! If you’re not doing a send off, you can get away with 8 hours, but again, there will still be parts of the night that will be missed!

Video: Same with video coverage! From getting ready, through late night send off, you really want to see every aspect of your day captured! Each of those moments adds up to the sum total that is your amazing wedding day, and you definitely do not want to miss capturing those moments!

How many photographers/videographers do I actually need?

Photo: Just like we strongly recommend 10 hours of coverage, we will always advocate for 2 photographers. If you’re doing a first look, it is still super helpful to have 2 (see our blog about Why We Love a First Look). But if you’re NOT doing a first look, it is really critical that you have 2 photographers. This way one photographer can be taking photos of one group, while the other photographer is taking photos of the other group. You can also get family photos and wedding party photos captured in half the amount of time when you can be split up in two groups rather than 1 shooter with 1 huge group. Then, during couple/family/bridal party photos, which will obviously be after the ceremony, the second photographer can be taking detail photos of the cocktail hour and reception spaces. A second photographer is also vital if your ceremony and reception are at 2 different locations. Trust us when we say we have seen too many couples not get all of the photos that they were hoping for because one photographer simply can’t be in 2 places at once. It is absolutely worth the investment to have a second photographer for at least the first 6 hours of the day!

Video: More often than not, we see just one videographer. But just like with a second photographer, a second videographer gives you more options for logistical flexibility, and ultimately, more coverage! It is really all in the little details, and a second videographer means that everything can be captured. So if you don’t want to miss a moment, we recommend having a second videographer!

What things should I keep in mind as far as logistics?

We’re so glad that you asked! If you’re NOT booking 10 hours of coverage and/or not booking a second photographer/videographer, we recommend making sure that you communicate your priorities with your planner. This way your planner can structure the timeline to accommodate the limited coverage, and make sure that the moments that are most important to you can be captured. Over communication in this area is key, because there are a lot of moving pieces. And when your planner sends you your timeline to review, definitely double check it to make sure that everything you wanted is in there!

There are little details that us as planners can make sure to coordinate to make transportation, photo timeline, and overall logistics stress-free and seamless. For example, if you are getting ready at an Airbnb and then being transported to a venue for all photos and the big day, do your first look at the Airbnb instead so you can all take transportation together, not only to save on cost, but also time! Then, get with your photographer and provide them with a concise shot list of the days must-have photos as well as your entire family photo list with all the combinations you want. This will help them to hone in on what is most important to you first, and then fill in the rest. But don’t forget that you have hired your photographer because they are the experts! You absolutely should have your essential shots, but make sure to leave them room to do their thing!

At the end of the day, you have invested time, energy and money into this celebration, and you will want to make sure that you have a way to look back and remember everything. Trust us, the day will move at light speed. We tell all of our couples to take it in and be present as best as they can, but when it's all over, you’ll want to be able to see the memories, not just relive them in your mind. Ultimately, this is the biggest day of your life, and it deserves to be captured from every angle!

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