What is your one peice of advice for couples on their big day?
Don’t drink too much before the ceremony. It seems simple, but a lot of couples overlook this, or should I say, overdo this. I am not saying don’t drink. A glass of champagne or a cocktail is great for calming the nerves and taking the edge off, but too many might make those beautiful moments something you don’t want to remember.
What should be done in advance of the big day to make sure the photography goes smoothly?
I always tell my clients there is no such thing as a stupid question. Communication is key. Make sure you have already established what time you want your photographer to arrive. Are you going to have them take some shots of the bridal party getting ready as well as the ceremony? Or do you want to only have the ceremony and family shots? Prepare a loose timeline for your event and the shots that you want your photographer to get–along with the family members involved and their names–and give that to your photographer. A list like family shots, romantic shots, ceremony, post-ceremony group shots, reception socializing, ect. ensures there is no ambiguity in what you’re expecting.
Is this something that a wedding coordinator can assist with?
Sure, a wedding coordinator is helpful. You can hire a wedding coordinator to handle all of the details of your celebration and ceremony, or you can also hire one for the day of. Wedding coordinator packages vary, so again, ask a lot of questions. Some handle the photography for you, and you will not have the option to pick a photographer, others may give you a list of photographers to choose from.
Most packages will outline a price, the number of hours the photographer is shooting at your wedding, the number of prints you get back. With videography, you will want to check that there are two wireless mics offered, will the video be edited and how many DVDs you will recieve at the end. Is it just one video camera angle of the ceremony or will there be two? Photographers will offer several varying levels of pricing and packaging for different budgets. You’ll want to know if copyright on your photos is released or not, how many prints you will recieve, what kind of digital output you will get, will your images be touched up, what styles the photographer will be using. Some styles include photo-journalistic, candid/fun, romantic or traditional. You can also request all styles.
What does copyright release mean?
If copyright is released by the photographer and you get images on a disk that means that you have the right to make enlargements and prints from the disk. There are some restrictions, however: you cannot then turn around and sell those images to a bridal magazine, for example. Most photographers make money from making prints and many will retain the rights to do so; others will give you the rights to make those prints.
How far in advance should I start booking a photographer?
I have bookings that are over a year out. Every year some dates are special, like this year October 10, 2010, and next year’s November 11, 2011. If you are choosing a date like that you may need years of advance planning. But for the most part, as soon as you have a date and location for your ceremony you can start reserving a photographer. Just remember that here on Maui, because we are a destination wedding location, wedding photographers can be busy all week long, not just on the weekends.
What are some keys to working well with a photographer?
Talk to them over the phone and meet with them in person in advance if you can. Get a feel for working with them. Remember this person is going to be pointing a camera at you and capturing your every moment. Relax and have fun at your ceremony and your photos will reflect that joy. It can be a stressful day, but you don’t want your photographic memories to show that. When you’re planning your ceremony and reception, allow some photography time in between. Nobody really wants to have to do a full-on photo shoot on their wedding day; you’re there to have fun with family and friends and celebrate your union. So to ease that fact, schedule the time for your romantic shots, family shots or whatever. Gathering family members for a photo can be a challenge–be prepared to appoint someone to wrangle Uncle Edward away from the pupu table for the photo you want him in. Then once you have knocked it out you can focus on your guests and enjoying yourself.