Thankfully it's more common now than a few years ago, but having a second photographer at your wedding is of the most important and overlooked pieces of wedding planning. You might have set aside a specific piece of your budget for your photography services, and the photographers you inquire with ask you if you would like to add on a second photographer to your potential package.
Waking up on the day of a wedding is a lot like waking up for a big road trip. Is everything packed? Are the batteries charged? Do we have snacks on snack? How many water bottles should we bring?
I am one week away from my first 2017 Wedding and I am anticipating this season more than I have any season before this. Last winter, I took a lot of time to focus on my goals, my work, and my methods, and myself. Let's face it, I needed a refresh, and I needed to be re-inspired. Thank goodness for Hawaii!
This year, I'm ready to show up and create unforgettable images for my clients. But this starts well before the ceremony even begins! It starts at home the night before the wedding.
I prepare for a wedding by making sure to charge all my batteries, from my cameras and light meter, to my iPhone and laptop. I want to make sure when I show up, I have two full days of battery life, in case anything happens. I print off any printable materials I might need, such as timelines, family photo lists, and shot lists for personal reference. I add each paper to my bag, and to Jem's bag, and have two backups in the car for any emergency, or other vendor's reference.
Next, I make sure my lenses have been wiped down and checked for quality. I attach a 50mm lens to each of our cameras, and close it off with a lens cap. These are set down in our gear pile next to our gear bags. Next, I pack up the lighting equipment (used mainly for indoor receptions and low light situations), add new batteries, and stack it in a neat pile next to my cameras. Once the gear has been set, I take the last few hours of the afternoon to rest and recharge for the busy day ahead. I will make a full dinner, and check in with my couple to send them big hugs in advance.
The morning of the wedding, Jem and I like to take our time so we aren't stressed out prior to our work day. We eat a big breakfast, take a walk outside, and triple check everything we need is packed up and ready to be loaded in the car. Depending on the wedding location and time, we will usually head towards the wedding location around lunchtime and eat nearby. This ensures we aren't late or stuck in any accidents or traffic! On the way to the venue, we will usually stop off for coffee or tea at a cafe to get our last dose of caffeine of the day.
About 30 minutes before our scheduled start time, we arrive early to check our gear, say hello to the couple and the vendors, as well as take out last walk around the venue (sans gear), to do our final map of where we would like to take photos of for the day. This is incredibly helpful in case of any unforeseeable mishap, including the weather!
That's basically it! The most important thing to us when prepping for a wedding day, besides making sure gear is in check, is making sure we are showing up happy and inspired! The worst way to arrive at a wedding, is grouchy, unsure, or nervous. We do our best to get everything in order the night before so we can use our free time to enjoy the anticipation of the amazing work we get to do.
I have been working with my partner, Jem, since the creation of my business in 2014. From the start, he was just my "intern". He would carry bags, care for the equipment, and pretty much follow me around until I gave him something to do. Although I had secretly known I would hire him to be my second photographer, he was under the assumption that this would be the state of his work. I guess he was in for a wild adventure.