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Once Wedding season begins, we get flooded with the same question over and over again…. “How do you have time for SO many portraits on a wedding day?!”. It’s taken me a few years to really grasp how we run our business and our wedding days differently from other photographers that allows us to accomplish this. When photographers would ask us how we were able to accomplish so much in such a little amount of time, my first response was “I guess I just shoot really fast!”. Ha! That’s not a helpful answer… and it’s not the full truth. There are several other contributing factors!!

I truly believe that ANYONE can accomplish a ton of gorgeous portraits on a wedding day! It’s true that my couples continually have a TON of portrait options. The “Bride and Groom” folder on their PASS galleries is always the second largest folder (the reception normally has more images!).  So how do we do it? How do we get so much portrait time and then accomplish so much in the portrait time that we do have? Well, I could literally write about this for days… but I’m going to leave you with 6 steps for now that will help you start making progress!!

  1. EDUCATE : You have to realize that you’re in charge of educating your clients. What you SHOW is what you’re going to SHOOT! Have you ever noticed what the focus of my wedding blog posts are? They aren’t family portraits. I love doing family portraits for my couples but I have trained my couples to fall in love with Bride and Groom portraits because I excel in that area and so I highlight those shots when I blog and share on social media!
  2. Use EVERY moment of the day. If you’re walking to a second location, don’t walk and talk with them…. do that during the engagement session. Let them walk ahead of you and hold hands. Tell them to stop for a split and share a soft kiss… and then ask the bride to smile over the shoulder while the groom goes in for a nuzzle…. then keep walking. BAM. You have 1. A walking shot from behind, 2. A kiss, 3. Bride smiling and groom nuzzling shots instantly. That’s an album spread. USE your TRANSITIONS!
  3. Use The Posing Evolution! I’ll be offering more on this topic soon but it’s basically our approach to posing. My goal is to do a TON of different poses, use ALL of my favorite lenses, rotate through different EMOTIONS and shoot numerous compositions and ANGLES all in one spot… without ever moving the couple’s feet. You don’t need 5 different portrait locations on a wedding day to have a bazillion gorgeous portraits… you need two… three if you’re lucky. :)
  4. If you find great light, STAY THERE!! Max out that one location and don’t move until you have done EVERYTHING you can think of! It would be a SHAME to leave great light and then move to a second location where the light isn’t ideal and then all of a sudden you’re out of time and the bridal party is waiting on you!!
  5. Encourage First Looks! Do my couples have to do them? Nope! Not at all. But I make sure there is a VERY clear understanding about how not doing a first look will affect the amount of images they would receive. I don’t want ANYONE to be disappointed. Bride’s can’t expect a massive gallery of gorgeous bride and groom portraits when they give me one hour after the ceremony for Family formals, bridal party, AND bride and groom shots…. oh, AND I’m supposed to shoot the reception decor and travel to the reception location? Ah! You have to make sure you set expectations. If they aren’t doing a first look, you’ll need more than an hour between the ceremony and introductions. Educated is essential!!
  6. Be present and available to help with the timeline. I’m normally the one that helps my bride with her timeline. This is because we get our Bride and Groom questionnaires out several months before the wedding and we are the ones initiating that conversation. You can’t be annoyed that you have NO portrait time when you didn’t offer ANY advice for creation of the timeline! Most brides have never done this before… so help a sista’ out!

Ok I could go on and on! But I’m going to have to cut it off here because I’m leaving for an out of town wedding today… and my sister is getting married in 7 days… AH! And I’m serving in many MANY different roles which means there is a lot to get done! :) So enjoy your weekend everyone!! And happy shooting!!

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xoxo, Katelyn
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