What’s it like having me capture your day?
Past, present and future Gina Lee Photography brides, just want you to know how much I love and appreciate you visiting my blog and reading my words. Here, you can enjoy an inside look at a typical wedding day from my point of view. I’m hoping this post can help future brides envision how simple, enjoyable and memorable her photos can really be. After all, your wedding day is a huge day that you may or may not have been planning since you knew what a wedding was. Kind of a big deal, right??
(I desperately need photos of myself shooting. Here are some wedding day insta story screenshots.)
Getting to know my potential bride.
For me, your day starts from that first message that looks something like, “Hey, I just got engaged and I’d love to check out your packages. Our wedding date is set for so and so day.” Of course the first thing I say is “Congratulations” followed by a questionnaire asking you things such as, “Will you need engagement photos?” and “What style of wedding photography are you interested in?” This sheet also has prices and packages listed along with some bullet points that I feel are good to communicate right off the bat.
So we chat, we like it, we set the date. Next, we schedule engagement photos. Engagement photos are one of those things that are great to get out of the way before you get completely wrapped up in wedding planning. Usually you will use these photos for things like save-the-dates, wedding websites, invitations, decor etc. That being said, I recommend getting engagement photos done 1-2 months after your engagement, weather permitting, because we all know that’s not always possible when you are a Minnesota bride.
Is it your Wedding day yet? Nope, not yet.
In between the engagement photos and the wedding day we may not see each other. This might make you wonder if I have forgotten all about you and I promise I haven’t! I’m always around to answer any questions you might have about photo locations and the days schedule and I love when I’m able to help out during the wedding planning process, so ask away!!
A couple weeks before the wedding I send another questionnaire asking for locations, addresses and other different details about your big day. You may be thinking about making a list of every photo and detail you want photographed but I’ve got to be honest, it’s not necessary. Aside from family photos, because every family is different, I know what shots you will want and what details are important to get, so just leave all of that up to me! I also provide a place to list any MUST HAVE photos in the questionnaire.
Finally, it’s Wedding Day and it will be your best day yet!
Hey, guess what, it’s WEDDING DAY!! The day is finally here. You have the florist, the dress, the food and the DJ so it’s time to do this thing. I’ll show up while you are getting your finishing touches, meanwhile I’ll be snapping photos of you and your best girls getting gorgeous and having a blast. I will then ask for your dress, flowers, garter, veil, shoes and jewelry so I can capture the detail shots right away, followed by you getting dressed in all it’s emotional glory. After all, you are getting dressed for your wedding day, emotions are completely acceptable. 😉
If it’s possible, I will then sneak off to take photos of the guys getting ready and get your man in position for the first look. Understand that this is what I have done for 90% of my weddings, I totally get that every wedding is different and none of these details will be the same as another. Some couples choose not to see each other until the ceremony, in which case I could just move some paragraphs around 😉 ANYWAYS, I love hyping the groom up before his first look by saying things like “Oh my gosh, wait until you see your bride!” or “How pumped are you to see her, are you nervous?”
After the first look I’ll let you have your alone time, giving you a minute to be present with each other in the moment. After the first look I grab a few posed couple photos before I get the wedding party together. I love having fun with a wedding party and capturing everyone’s personality and their love for the couple. However, we are on a schedule and I really try to stick to that. After the wedding party photos I sneak in a few more couple photos, preferable away from the group to again, be in the moment and enjoy each other. These photos are usually less posed and give more of an “in the moment” feel.
Family photos are usually next, depending on the days schedule. Once we are done with couple, party and family photos you get some down time. Relax and enjoy the day with the loved ones that surround you. During that time, you probably won’t even notice me sneaking around to grab some candid shots of the most important people in your life. I’ll also probably sneak in some more detail photos and perhaps grab a little lunch, girl’s gotta eat!
During the wedding you’ll see me at the front of the ceremony until everyone is down the aisle, at which point I will head to the back. I try to stay as hidden as possible, I would hate to be a distraction from what is happening up front, you know, when you become that thing called man and wife. I have seen a lot of things during a wedding ceremony including, bawling bridesmaids, rogue flower girls, rolling wedding bands and trick candles, no matter the situation you’ll always have that photograph reminder. 😉
Thank You Thank You Thank You.
After the wedding I try to lay low while I capture the wedding party and your guests enjoying the party you have worked so hard to plan. I’ll also be grabbing detail shots of the small things like your reception decor, cake, and drink of choice. The rest of the evening you will be so busy having the time of your life you will barely notice me snapping away. I will occasionally pull you aside for certain shots here and there, whether it be sneaking away to catch your wedding day sunset or your great aunt Ginger’s extended family photo which includes 50 people, either way!
Dance the night away, you have earned it.
The day is coming to an end, you married your forever person and it’s time to celebrate with the people who are most important to you. Celebrating usually means alcohol of some sort which definitely brings out the best dance moves, am I right?? I absolutely love getting down to the dance photos, they capture all the pure joy and wild personalities of your guests, especially your second cousin, Jim, who has had one too many tequila shooters. While I join you on the dance floor, it’s important to me to make sure I capture all of the emotions during the first dance and the excitement of your wedding party because these photos are always fun to have in the gallery when you look back on your day. After I feel I have gotten all the photos of cousin Jim and Great Aunt Ginger +50 I need, I pack my bags say my goodbyes while wishing you a fun and unforgettable evening. While driving home, it takes everything I have to not scroll through my camera to see what I’ve captured throughout the day, it’s seriously so hard to resist. However safety first, so what I do instead is reflect on the day and all the amazing memories that were made.
I can’t express how honored I am when I get to be a part of a couples one and only wedding day. They get to look back on my photos for years and years to come. The first year the photos are often viewed to show friends and family how beautiful the day was, you’ll then hang your photos in your home as a constant reminder of the start of your life together. 30 years down the road you might find yourself digging out the album on your anniversary or to show your kids, all the while thinking back to all the memories that were made. I genuinely love the thought of creating the beginning of how your love story is told.
Thank you for letting me capture the best moments of your day.