Deciding how many hours to keep your wedding photographer around on your wedding day can be tricky. Contracting for too little time can lead to a fairly hefty bill for overtime charges. On the other hand, keeping them too long means taking a bigger bite than necessary out of your wedding budget. Planning early and in detail can help you calculate the coverage you need from your photographer as accurately as possible.
The number of hours you need really depends upon your individual plans and the size of your wedding. The average wedding needs eight hours of coverage to get all the shots necessary to capture the essence and emotion of the day. However, couples who request a lot of portraits may need 10 or 11 hours of coverage to fit them all in. On the other hand, a small, intimate wedding may need as little as six hours of wedding photography to produce a wonderful selection of wedding photos.
Most miscalculations that happen in terms of photography time fall into the category of underestimating the time you’ll need to get all the wedding pictures you’ve requested. Weddings rarely run along as smoothly as planned. Organization is a challenge with so many people to manage, and it is nearly inevitable that someone, somewhere will be late for something, throwing events off schedule.
This is where a seasoned photographer can help. With hundreds of weddings under their belt, wedding photographers know where the typical wedding timing pitfalls lie and how best to navigate around them. Book your photographer early and spend plenty of time working with him or her on your photography time-line.
Allow more time for each item on your schedule than you think you will need, especially tasks such as hair and makeup. These two steps are notorious for running overtime, causing the bride to be late. Travel time is also a frequent schedule shredder, especially if hired transportation will be used, so make sure you allow plenty of room for error in arrival and departure times.
Wedding photographers generally have a pretty good idea of how long photo sessions will take and how to keep them on schedule. Make sure that you let your photographer know how many portraits you will want and who will be in them to ensure that every detail is accounted for as your time-line is constructed. Communication is the key to creating a realistic time-line, making it easier to get an accurate idea of just how many hours your photographer will need to produce his best work on your behalf.