Ideal times for photography and cinematography

With the diversity of the cultural aspects of our weddings, it’s difficult to pin point an exact wedding photography timeline template. However, there are ideal time frames you should consider when planning your day. Some of these times may seem long on paper but keep in mind that 1) the day will fly by, 2) most weddings run slightly behind schedule, and 3) we’ll make these photo sessions fun, so it won’t seem like a long time.
PREPARATION AND PORTRAITS

RINGS, DRESS, SHOES, AND OTHER DETAILS
* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite
* Advice – Having at least 30 minutes for details ensures that we have plenty of time to get that perfect photo of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets, and the other details of the day.
There are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing and we have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside. This can take some time, but as you can see from the results, it’s well worth the additional work.

PREPARATION
* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite
* Advice – Having 45 minutes to an hour of preparation is ideal for our style. During this time, we are getting close ups of the make up and hair being applied as well as the candid moments and the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these are some of the most emotional and fun times of the day so you definitely don’t want to cut it short.
The lead shooter will be with the bride, while the second shooter will be with the groom. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great moments during this time between the groom and his family and friends.

INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby, or Venue Garden
* Advice – Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides make up and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t gotten hectic yet so we can take our time and really get those perfect portraits.
Also keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms create a unique look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.
FIRST LOOK, WEDDING PARTY AND FAMILY

FIRST LOOK
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon
* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)
* Advice – A first look should be around 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.
Ideally we are saving the bulk of the couples session for later (see the “couples session” section below). However, if there is no other time in the day, it is best to allocate another 45 minutes to an hour here so that we make sure we have enough photos of just you two.

WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS
* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location
* Advice – Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, we get a variety of shots in a variety of poses. We start off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting. Then we move into a set of fun and creative shots. Finally, we know how much your wedding party means to you so we are sure to get pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY
* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location
* Advice – Immediate Family Photos should take another 45 minutes to 1 hour. It’s important to have additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings beyond the basic formals (mentioned in the section below). We all know how much weddings mean to the immediate family and we want to make sure we’re capturing enough pictures with them.

CEREMONY DETAIL AND VENUE
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon
Advice – Please allow 20 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area. You’ll never get to see the complete set up of your ceremony site before any guests are seated so it’s important that we’re there to capture these images.

FORMALS (EXTENDED FAMILY, IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND FRIENDS)
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon (Post Ceremony)
* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
Advice – Formals should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your family and depending on who you want formal pictures with.
Some couples have decided that they want a picture with all guests, while others have decided that they only want pictures with select VIPs to save time. We recommend something in between.
We also recommend being very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up.

COUPLES SESSION
* Ideal Time Allotment – 1 hour
* Ideal Time of the Day – Late Afternoon (Sunset)
* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park
* Advice – Couple session should be around 1 hour and should take place ideally 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. The is the best time in terms of lighting.
It also allows us to capture the awesome scenic shots with colorful skies. If your wedding is in downtown or in an area with tall buildings, it’s not as important for us to have this specific time frame (although it still helps). However, if you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean or the gorgeous vines in the winery, it’s essential to follow this advice in your timeline.

WEDDING RECEPTION TIMELINE

RECEPTION DETAIL AND VENUE
* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Early Evening
* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site
* Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for the second shooter to take pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.
Similar to the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity we have to capture the beauty of the reception room prior to guest arrival.

COUPLES SESSION – RECEPTION SNEAK OUT
* Ideal Time Allotment – 10-20 minutes
* Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time
* Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, fountains, city scapes and mirrors
* Advice – During the reception, please plan on sneaking out for a couple of night shots. We only need 10 minutes, as we understand the importance of being a good host. However, this time is important of you appreciate the night photography that we deliver. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or maybe right when the dance floor opens up.

OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Table Shots – Table shots are when you go around visiting tables. There are two options for photography during this time. 1) You can take formal pictures with each of these tables or 2) we can simply focus on photojournalism, capturing the smiles and hugs as you mingle with each table. If you’re planning on doing formal table shots, please keep in mind that these will take a significant time (up to 1 hour or more depending on the size of your wedding). We highly recommend option 2, the photojournalism route with exceptions for the VIP tables.