Today I wanted to bring you guys some information about why it is important to shoot your reception UNTOUCHED from a photography point of view. You see, while in the cocktail hour, your band or DJ is setting up, the servers are adding the last minute things to the tables and your wedding planner is making sure everything looks perfect before opening the doors for guests to enter. So when I say I need to shoot the room untouched, that is because I want to get a shot ( or a few) of the entire room. No people. No jackets, No purses. Nothing. Just the room set up, as is.
Sometimes, during you cocktail hour, a guest or two will try to sneak in to the room to claim their seat. How they do this, is beyond me. I have no idea. The doors are closed and you can see only the staff working inside if you try to peek in. Some guests will try to claim their seat without even realizing there is a set seating chart which is kinda funny they go in there to claim a spot only to need to move once the room is actually open.
I will add that I am a pro at running around reception rooms hiding shaws and clutches and bags and shoes under tables so I can get the clean untouched shots I am talking all about in this blog post!
So here are reasons why it is SO SO SO important for me to capture these UNTOUCHED shots
- The bride, groom and their families may not get to actually see the final product of the room. Month and maybe even years of planning went into making their wedding day perfect but the day is so jam packed and full of emotions, that getting to see the finished room isn’t something they get to see untouched. When they do see it is when they are walking into the room after just being announced as Mr. and Mrs. It is my job to capture this room for them as they are talking with friends and family and distanced cousins at their cocktail hour. I will take several photos of the whole room, centerpieces and table-scapes. These images will allow them to see the room before it has purses and jackets hanging on the chairs.
- These images are all part of telling the story of the wedding day. I strive to shoot all of my weddings as if there was a guest that couldn’t make it, but they want to see how the entire day unfolded. So, with this said, if you want to tell/show someone who wasn’t there you really need to capture the entire FEEL of the day. Sharing the people to the venue and setting of the event along with ALLL the details. With that, not only do I need to just shoot a wide shot of the reception room, I also need to capture the outside of the building as well. These photos are a lot more valuable to photographers and the bride and groom more than you know.
- I photograph this for the Vendors! These amazing, untouched photos are shots for the vendors to love and keep as well! If you are a florist and the arrangements you have created for this day are absolutely incredible and set in this perfectly decorated room, but then you never get to see them all set up without things all over the tables and chairs from guests, that would be so upsetting! Venues, Florists, event designers, rental companies and anyone else that had shared their talent absoltely LOVE it when I provide these photos for them. If you are a photographer, TIP: They will love you too! This is how I provide them with FREE promotional images. Yep! FREE. I do not charge vendors for images of their work. If you think about this from a photographers point of view, why not offer them all something that can help grow their business by providing professional images of their work and in return, have them refer me to other brides because they know if we work together again, they will have free promotional images! It’s a no brainer and a win win!
- These images are important for getting published. Some weddings have a lot of potential to be published on major wedding blogs and magazines. If you are shooting a wedding that has the potential to be published on any of these major platforms, then untouched receptions photos are MUST HAVE photos to add to your portfolio to be published. It’s something that needs to be had when showing editors why this wedding should be shown off and in their blogs or magazines. Every editor will want a shot of the venue untouched. This will include the ceremony and the reception.
And there you have it. Brides and Photographers can benefit from reading this post. This is why making time for the untouched reception photos are extremely important. When it all comes down to it, in the end, this is going to help everyone out! You may be thinking, yea but how do you fit all this in to the wedding day timeline? This is something that needs to be talked about when planning your timeline AHEAD of time. Do not plan this in for the day of. You might forget about it. The bride will 100% want these images but you need to make sure you have the time in the day to make it happen. When this is talked about in the timeline planning process a few weeks before the wedding, you are most likely able to fit in 10-15 minutes if some untouched shooting time!