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“I wish I had better getting ready photos at my house.”
I was talking to a buddy of mine this afternoon about their awesome experience with their wedding photographer, and they mentioned something I asked if I could pass on:
“My wedding photos were amazing, and both photographers were awesome. I just wish I had better photos of me getting ready at my house.”
The photographer for my friend’s wedding was scheduled to be at his house for 20 minutes. Of course, a good photographer can easily get awesome getting ready photos in twenty minutes if they are familiar with the venue, but it’s really hard to get to know someone’s home without asking a ton of questions. Of course, no one wants to answer a bunch of questions or make decisions on the morning of their wedding. He even mentioned to me that, knowing the difference it would have made, he would have been willing to PAY for an extra twenty minutes of coverage with the second photographer. The second shooter should have done a walkthrough for a few minutes before shooting was to begin. This way they could have planned out their shots without the pressure of having to get the shot NOW.
Taking prep photos in someone’s home can be….interesting….at times. Here are a couple of things that can help with getting AMAZING bridal/groom prep photos at your house.
Schedule enough time for getting ready photos
I always recommend having the photographer there for at LEAST an hour if the groom prep is at someone’s home, even if they “aren’t going to be doing that much.” Why? The first thing I do when I am the second shooter in someone’s home is put my camera down, introduce myself to the groom, and walk around. Often, a dad/brother/best man will be MORE than willing to give me a tour of the house. At this point I’ll learn if there are places in the house that have special meaning, if there are any quirky/fun backdrops for details, and introduce myself to any pets that may be wondering who this crazy guy is that just walked in.
Plan ahead TOGETHER
I have one ace up my sleeve any time I walk into someone’s house and I am the primary photographer. The couple and I know each other. I know their likes and dislikes, and we’ve talked at length AHEAD of time about what shots they would like. We actually schedule a time about a week or two before the wedding. The discussion includes timing, which details they want to have photographed, and where they will be located. We also go over any other pertinent information I or the second photographer will need to know about the bridal or groom prep locations.
Hopefully this has sparked some thoughts about how to make getting ready in your own home an AMAZING time. Having enough time for your photographer can turn “yeah, they were good pictures” into “wow, those are amazing!”
Tyler Rieth is a wedding photographer in Baltimore, Maryland. More than just that, he is also a part-time therapist, timeline consultant, comic relief specialist, and above all, your personal storyteller. He currently lives in Maryland with his beautiful wife, two amazing kids and a pair of feisty dogs.