How do I work as a wedding photographer?

Most people are getting married for the first time and speaking from experience as a past-groom myself there is so much to think about with the planning of your big day.

One thing I noticed while I was on the ‘other side’ is how uneducated you are to deal with what you need to plan, how you go about it, and when and why things should be done.

I’ve decided to put together this guide in the hope it will help you understand what to expect when dealing with me as your wedding photographer.

Get in touch with me via my wedding enquiry form. I’ll usually get back to you within a couple of hours to let you know if I’m available on your big day.

Be sure to write your date (or several dates if you haven’t finalised your venue). I get very booked up during peak season, so the earlier you can get in touch the better.

Once we’ve discussed availability, and the majority of your plans for your day are starting to take shape, we’ll catch up.

You can either visit me at my Petone Studio, or I can come to your place (or your local cafe or hangout) or if you’re out of Wellington, skype is a great way to virtually meet up.

This meeting is very informal, I’ll take notes on all the details of your wedding, timings, bridal party names, contact details for important people on the day, and any other notes about your photography requirements.

All I need from you after this meeting is a list of the family photos you want (i.e. Bride & Groom with Bride’s Parents, Bride & Groom with Groom’s Parents etc – but use actual names). Please get this list to me as soon as possible, don’t leave it till the week before – you’ll have enough on your hands, trust me.

It’s also great if you can bring any photos you’ve seen that you love. Either my own work, or any photos from magazines, other websites (read: Pinterest haha). Having such a dynamic style, by giving me some indication of the type of photos and style of editing you love, will help me deliver something you’ll be even more happier with.

Once you’ve decided you’d like to book me for your wedding, I will send through two invoices.

The first is for 20% which is my non-refundable deposit, this one’s due as soon as possible. If you’d prefer to split payments over a few weeks that’s fine – just let me know what works for you.

The second invoice is for 60% which is due a week before the wedding. Some people like to pay it as soon as I’m booked, some people wait till the very day, and some people make payments every week or month and split over a long period. Again, I’m easy with anything.

The final 20% isn’t due till you’ve got your photos.

The big day is here! After ironing my shirt & suit (or asking my lovely wife to) it’s off to your big day. I’d like to say I’m very personable and try and make a friend out of everyone. Clients always mention in their testimonials to me how I fitted in just like a guest at the wedding, and was hardly noticed at times. Of course there are times when I do need to be noticed.

During the family portraits after the ceremony, it’s critical I get through your family list as quick as possible. Otherwise it eats into our bridal party photo time, and trust me you’ll get bored of standing and smiling for any time longer than 15 minutes while family members come and go for their photos.

After the wedding I have almost as bigger job working on your photos. I’ve written a blog which talks about all the details of my workflow.

Once the photos have all been sorted & edited, I’ll invite you into my photo studio in Petone. There you will view all the photos in a slideshow. We’ll then choose out your favourite images, which will be presented in a lovely lie-flat book. At the back of this book is your DVD with every single photo from your big day. Multiple copies can be purchased for parents, bridal party, or other friends or family wishing a record of your magical day.