Congratulations! You're getting married!
The way I see it, there are many decisions to make when planning a wedding. From venues, the dress, color scheme, flowers, food, and everything else, you are going to be making a lot of choices between now and up until you say, “I do.” Hey… at least you already agreed to that, right? Check it off your list! Taking on these decisions may seem daunting (it is) and you’ll most likely discover things about a wedding that you have never thought of before.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING?
The majority of weddings are booked by the bride and groom around 10-12 months out from their wedding date. In the Northwest, the most popular months for weddings are May through September; the most common day of the week being Saturday. Dates during the these summer months are typically booked 12 months in advance. Inquiring about wedding photography and mentioning the date you’re getting married does not guarantee the date for you. It is quite common to receive multiple inquiries for the same date by multiple people. As a general rule, I will not book weddings further than 18 months in the future.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
The general rule is to book your wedding photographer soon after securing the wedding and receptions venues. These are typically the first two things booked. Once you have those taken care of, you and I can book the wedding photography together.
HOW MANY HOURS OF COVERAGE DO I NEED FOR MY WEDDING?
Before deciding on what length of coverage you would like for your wedding, consider these things:
- Where are you getting ready vs. where is the ceremony and reception?
- Is the groom getting ready in the same location or somewhere else?
- How large is the wedding ceremony and reception properties?
- What is the size of your bridal party?
- How many wedding guests will you have?
- How large are your families?
- What style and how many family portraits would you like?
- What is the length of the ceremony going to be?
- Are you okay risking NOT having something photographed (getting ready, wedding venue, reception, etc.)?
The amount of coverage you need for your wedding depends on quite a few variables. The MOT photography Wedding Day Experience is designed to capture the entire story of your wedding day. It begins with you getting ready and draws to a finish with your Grand Exit from the reception. Though I offer smaller packages designed for elopements or an intimate wedding at one location, I always recommend at least 8 hours (at minimum) for wedding photography.
HOW DOES HIRING A VIDEOGRAPHER IMPACT PHOTOGRAPHY?
Wedding films are incredible. I used to offer film services myself, but have now chosen to dedicate my profession to still photography. There is something so beautiful in having your wedding day preserved in both still photography as well as video.
If you do plan on adding a videographer to be part of your wedding day, I highly recommend budgeting more time in your photography timeline to ensure you don’t feel rushed. The reality is that both are stunning ways to remember your wedding, but each requires time to get the necessary shots.
Throughout the day, both the videographer and myself will be able to shoot together in tandem (examples: candid photography, ceremony, etc). However, there are going to be times where we will need to independently capture our own shots. Sometimes it is necessary to split the photographer and videographer up to “divide and conquor” - I’ll work with the bridal group while the videographer works with the groom and his best men. Then we’ll flip. Though this is an efficient use of time, it always takes longer when we add more people. It’s not impossible. It’s always worth it. But it’s important to stress that we need to make sure more time is budgeted for a videographer.
You’ll also want to make sure that the videographer’s style is compatible with your photographer. This is a great thing to discuss with both of them pre-booking. There are several incredible videographers I love working with and am more than happy to provide recommendations if you’d like.
ARE DIGITAL IMAGES INCLUDED IN YOUR PACKAGES?
All of my wedding packages include high resolution digital images along with a print release form. The digital images will be delivered via an online gallery and available for download. I host the photographs online for at least 6 months, but may be removed after that so you’ll want to ensure they are downloaded before the time expires.
The online gallery will include two options for downloading:
- High resolution which are perfect for large format printing (ie. big canvases, metal, etc.) Consider these your master files… the most important ones. They’re perfect for printing since the files have so much data, but they are not good for sharing via email on posting online.
- Web Size which are reformatted to share on your social media. These files take up much less space, look good on a screen, but are not to be used for printing since. Though it isn’t required, I am always thankful for a photographer credit / tag whenever you share via social media.
- Facebook: @MOTphotos
All of the images taken during your wedding will be professionally edited so they’re ready to print / share. Because every wedding is different, I don’t guarantee a minimum number images. Most galleries include somewhere around 500-1000 images, including some images being edited in black and white as well.
HOW LONG AFTER MY WEDDING WILL I RECEIVE MY ONLINE GALLERY?
I’ll do my best do deliver your finalized wedding photography approximately six weeks after your wedding. Though never guaranteed, I will do my best to deliver the photography earlier if possible. There are many factors that impact the timeline so keep in mind weddings that occur during peak wedding season will take a longer time to deliver.
CAN I ADD AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION TO MY WEDDING PACKAGE?
I’ve got a surprise - an engagement sessions is included with all of my wedding packages! It is my gift to all couples who book with me! Gifting this to you gives us an opportunity to work together before your wedding and helps us build our relationship. Taking advantage of the complimentary engagement session makes a big difference: you’ll have experience being photographed by me and I’ll get to know you both better. The better I know you two, the more authentic and timeless the wedding photography will feel.
The engagement session is a gift and may not be substituted for another session or extra hour of coverage on your wedding day. I choose to gift this to you for one very important reason: engagement sessions are a way for us to get to know one another before the big day. You’ll see my personality shine as I will yours. The more we know each other, the better I’ll be able to deliver you the absolute best wedding day photography… and it will truly shine.
But what if you’ve already had an engagement session? No problem. I still recommend we get together and you take advantage of this complimentary engagement session. It still includes all the same perks mentioned above PLUS who doesn’t love having more portraits to choose from?
DO YOU RECOMMEND SHARING A FIRST LOOK ON THE WEDDING DAY?
Just like with most decisions in life, there are strengths and drawbacks to doing a first look on your wedding day. There are many things to consider when making this decision and it can only be made by you two. Below are some of the things to take into account before deciding on a first look.
On one hand, enjoying a first look will immediately settle the nerves - it gets the jitters out of the way before you walk down the aisle in front of all your guests. Enjoying a first look provides you both a private moment together which can be a wonderful experience especially on your wedding day… a day where you’ll be surrounded by adoring family and friends. Doing a first look also helps get you to your reception sooner where you can enjoy time with guests. Doing a first look also ensures more photographs of just the two of you. On average, you’ll receive around 40% more portraits of the bride and groom than if there is no first look.
On the other hand, not doing a first look can build up the excitement (and it shows) until the very moment the bride walks down the aisle and the groom sees her for the first time. Going this route provides an opportunity for everyone (guests, wedding party, and of course the bride) to eye the groom and see his face as the bride walks towards him. Just because you chose not to do a first look doesn’t mean we can’t get terrific couples photography: I always recommend a private session after the ceremony (typically around sunset) where I pull the bride and groom aside for an intimate session. This can give you an opportunity to breathe and enjoy one another away from your guests.
WHAT IS THE SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER? WHAT IS THEIR ROLE?
A second photographer is someone who helps us tell your wedding story in a more immersive way. It’s another person dedicated to capturing still images throughout our time together. It lets us see things from another perspective (literally). While I’m photographing the primary narrative, a second shooter gives us a fresh take on things.
A terrific example of where a second shooter comes in handy is during the Getting Ready portion of the day. While I will focus on the bridal party, the second shooter can hang out with the groom and groomsmen who are typically getting ready at the same time. Having a second shooter ensures we capture the action going on in more than one location.
Another example is that important moment where the ceremony site is setup and guests have not yet arrived. Usually
I will be focused on capturing all of the action with the wedding party just before the ceremony. This is the perfect opportunity for the second shooter to document the gorgeous wedding venue setup and looking flawless.
And let’s look at another important moment during a wedding when a second shooter will help capture the story: As the bride walks down the aisle I will be focused on her, but the second photographer can capture the moment in which the groom lays eyes on her for the first time; this simply can’t be done with just one person.
Here are some other times when a second shooter comes in hand: wedding party and family portraits (capturing candids and/or helping call names to be photographed), cocktail party, private portrait session of the bride and groom, photographs of the property and so on. And don’t forget about the FIRST LOOK - capturing both the bride and groom at the same time!
Last but not least, photography is art and each photographer shoots in a different way from anyone else. Adding a second photographer to your wedding will let me build a more diverse wedding story with different angles, lighting, and style.
The second photographer is sometimes an aspiring wedding photographer who’s building their business and looking to learn from someone else. Other times they’re a proficient photographer who is helping out a friend or hasn’t worked at a particular wedding venue before and would like to build their portfolio. I have a number of professional photographers I work with that can be counted on, but exactly who is chosen depends on their availability.
WHERE IS MOT PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATED?
I am based in beautiful Hood River, Oregon but also office out of the incredible Park City, Utah as well. I regularly shoot weddings across Oregon, Washington, and Utah.
I also LOVE traveling for weddings too. It doesn’t matter where your final destination is… my passport is packed and ready for the next adventure. If you’re looking for a well-traveled photographer who’s comfortable in any location, look no further. I custom-tailor every travel package to fit your expectations and budget.