Have you ever wondered What does a Wedding Photographer do?
At least once in your life, you have been looking at an album of your friends’ or family members’ wedding photos, and while admiring how stunning the couple looks and how effortlessly beautiful all the moments are captured, you wondered what the photographer did to make the photos look so perfect!
In this blog post, I will walk you through the steps a wedding photographer takes in order to make your wedding day everlasting.
I am here to take you on a behind-the-scenes tour! Buckle up, you will discover what exactly a wedding photographer does – aside from holding the camera, and pointing at the lovely couple.
Well, you would not expect your wedding photographer to show up on your big day completely unprepared. Behind the flawless shooting outcome that you and your guests love, there is an extensive preparation process. First and foremost, I always try to get to know my clients and their requirements. Although every artist has a different approach and offers different wedding photographer packages, it is crucial that they understand what the couple is asking from them.
I put together forms and questionnaires which I send out once I receive an inquiry just to get an idea of how the wedding day has been envisioned. One of them contains basic questions such as the venue location, phone numbers and things like that, and the second one which I call, “what-kind-of-couple-you-are?” is a fun, short questionnaire that visually helps the couple to deliver what they have in their mind, and more importantly, it allows me to learn about you, your character and your dream of your wedding day. Trust me, I have captured hundreds of weddings in Chicago and I have met numerous numbers of people and can be a great source of information.
I think every wedding photographer has come up with a method or means to get to know the couple. Chicago weddings require much planning beforehand for the couples, as well as the service providers, and this is how I handle it.
I send out the “what-kind-of-couple-you-are?” alongside my pricing information before having a meeting (in-person or virtual) with my couples. I found out that having clarity would make everything smoother. In this case, both the couples and I have enough information to make a decision going forward and usually, the meeting would seal the deal and brings assurance to both sides.
So, if you have some ideas, this is the time to discuss them. As a Chicago wedding photographer, I will create a plan of action that will allow you to get the desired result. And although I will do my best to meet all of your expectations, if I am certain your idea needs a different approach than the one you are suggesting, I will suggest an alternative.
After the meeting, it is time to go forward by signing the agreement which makes both of us committed, then, I will block that day on my calendar. Since I only accept a certain number of weddings each year, my calendar fills up fast usually by the end of January for the entire year, but this should not discourage you not to reach out. If I am available on your date, I always love to work with people whom my soul loves, regardless.
So far we talked about the pre-wedding preparation and plans, and I explained how much work and effort the wedding photographers would put into each inquiry to make sure that in the end, the wedding pictures would be the best. And I explained each wedding photographer, be it the best wedding photographer company in Chicago or a not-very-famous one would have a method to get to know the couple beforehand. Now let’s talk about a week or two before the wedding day.
Now that we are close to THE day, it is time to update the information. A year in advance, no one expects the couple to have detailed information about the day, but two weeks before the wedding day, everything is planned precisely (Hopefully. LOL!).
I send out another form with more detailed questions such as the exact address of the getting-ready location as well as the ceremony and reception.
Other questions would be the contact information of the person who can be a help on the wedding day, someone who can be available to help in emergency situations. If the couple decides not to have a wedding planner, usually the best candidate would be one of the bridesmaids or the parents.
I also ask if there is any family situation that I need to know about. For instance, if the parents are divorced, they may or may not want to be in one frame in the family picture. Knowing the situation in advance, helps me to reduce the sensitivity, lead the day smoothly and let the couple enjoy their day.
I also ask them to come up with a brief timeline so then we can elaborate on it in our upcoming meeting. If the couple decides not to have a planner_which I strongly advise against and later I will write a blog post about it I can help to put together a precise timeline to follow on the wedding day.
After having the needed information we can schedule a call to double-check everything and review/arrange the timeline together. As I said in the previous blog post, clarity is the key to having a smooth day, and the purpose of this phone call is to clarify everything before the wedding and in some cases adjust accordingly.
Next, I will explain what will take place on THE wedding day itself and how a wedding photographer would handle the day of the wedding.
So far in this blog post, I have tried to take you behind the scenes of the wedding photographers’ jobs in detail. This doesn’t mean that all the wedding photographers in Chicago would have the same approach to communicating with their clients. I just tried to give you an idea of how, I, take care of it in order to deliver consistent, high-quality wedding photography services to my clients.
In this part, we are going to finally discuss what I, and probably other wedding photographers in Chicago, do on the wedding day (and probably the night before).
The night before the wedding day is very crucial for me. I make sure to charge up all of my 56239873946839000 batteries 😀, and ready to go. Triple-check the address and logistically, I plan to either drive or take an Uber. If I decide to drive, then I should make sure that there is designated parking at the wedding location for me, if not, I always reserve one close to the location and try to leave earlier so then I can manage the parking and everything.
I also print out the timeline so then I can have access to it whenever I need to, even if I have it on the phone, a hard copy is always my preference. Why? I won’t get distracted by the notifications on my phone while checking the timeline. It is a Once-in-a-lifetime day for the bride and groom and I MUST be focused and be my best.
The night before the wedding, I never drink alcohol, and I go to bed early, for I want to be sharp the day after.
Finally the wedding day has arrived, everybody is excited and probably a bit nervous, as I have witnessed.
I didn’t know how effective and powerful the photographer’s role can be in bringing peace and calmness to everyone when I started to shoot weddings. I remember, years ago, the photographer, I second shot for, was a super nice and confident person. We stepped into a room full of people running around trying to get ready on time and the bride was very stressed out. His assurance attitude brought peace to everyone including the bride. He knew exactly, what he wanted and had a plan for it, and that gave the bride sense of security that he is going to lead the day and let her enjoy it. I learned a big lesson that day, that if I be calm and confident, the bride will experience a stress-free day.
Later, after shooting so many weddings, meeting so many people, and encountering so many different odd situations, I confidently was ready to lead the wedding as a wedding photographer.
When I start my day, I know that my mission, not only as an artist but also as a person whose presence can make a difference, is started. Somehow, I give the sense of, “don’t-worry-everything-is-under-control” feeling to my couples, and sometimes it is not turned into words and one can feel it through my attitude and calmness.
I follow the timeline, and instruct people what to do and where to take great pictures.
I try to stick to the bride and groom, either driving and following their vehicle or in some cases riding with them, so then I won’t miss any moment.
I pack small snacks and water, for, on the wedding day, I barely have time to take a lunch break.
I always shoot on two cameras, each equipped with proper-to-the-situation lenses so then I won’t miss any moment on the wedding day.
If the couple wants to, I can bring a second shooter just to make sure that we can cover the entire day flawlessly.
At the end of the day, I am exhausted, yet satisfied that the day went well.
In the next partt, I will explain the after-the-wedding process which is an effort in itself.
BTW, I still accept applications for 2023. Let’s talk!
So far, I tried to give you a behind the scene tour of the wedding photographers. The wedding photographers in Chicago may need to consider extra more thing before and on the wedding day, for the weather is not always cooperative.
Now, I am going to give you an idea how what the after-wedding looks like for wedding photographers; be they modern wedding photographers, bohemian wedding photographers, photojournalists Wedding photographers, editorial wedding photographers, fine art wedding photographers, or Traditional and classic wedding photographers, they need to edit the images before delivering.
After photographing a celebration, it is time to store the files safely. I make sure to save the files on multiple drives.
Next is editing the photos. Although I never submit my art to heavy editing, sometimes a simple touch-up makes a remarkable difference in the final result. I always strive to deliver professional shots that make my clients look at them often. After all, they are all about you and the most special day of your life, so you would like to receive a high-quality piece of memorabilia to remind you of that day!
I highly recommend printing the images, and I do offer albums and professional printing services that exclusively work with photographers. My customizable wedding albums are handmade in Italy and will be a treasure for your family for generations.
But apart from simply showing up to your special day and making your wedding photos look like a dream, your wedding photographer has other tasks to do, as well. As one of the best wedding photographers in Chicago, I have to dedicate a lot of time to planning my blog and social media content. To improve my discoverability and ensure that more couples are considering my services, I need to make my content SEO-optimized and check my Google ratings every week. So, when you search for wedding photographers near me, I want to ensure that my name pops up among the top results!
Another important thing every professional wedding photographer does is follow up with their clients. It does not matter whether that is someone who has inquired about my services or a couple whose wedding I have already covered; I always dedicate time to check up with my recent or potential clients.
These are just a handful of tasks that wedding photographer has on their agendas – professionalism requires hard work, not only love and dedication. If I have provoked your interest, do not hesitate to book a free consultation to discover my services!