With the kickoff of Memorial Day Weekend, the non-stop wedding season is officially upon us. In order to ensure efficient turnaround time, all clients are well taken care of, and we have a moment to breath (and potentially even enjoy summer a little big- gasp!) we have to make sure we have all our tripods in a row. If you’re a wedding photographer/ filmmaker gearing up for a busy season, here’s our detailed list on how we prepare for wedding season:
- Team Schedule. Managing multiple geographic areas is not easy, so we use google calendar and our 17hats account to book which team members will be shooting which event! If you only have one go-to second shooter that works for you, this might be a bit easier but be sure to confirm all dates and locations with them ahead of time. In addition if your shooters are 1099 employees, be sure to smooth out all the logistics and collect this info ahead of time.
- Travel Accommodations. Depending on the schedule of the wedding day, we require overnight accommodations for before and after a wedding day for locations over 2.5hrs from our home base here in Saratoga. It’s probably not surprising how sleepy you are after lugging around 30lbs of equipment on a 10+hr day in 80 degree heat! We’ve had far too many close encounters with the rumble strips to take a chance on falling asleep at the wheel after a long day. AAA and Hilton Honors has great rewards, but we’ve also used Hotels.com or HotelsTonight in a pinch!
- Clean, organize and inventory gear (check those batteries, yo.)
OKAY OKAY We are pretty bad about this…but what is the saying?…”do as we say, not as we do.” Most of our gear is not as organized as it should be and if something goes missing- amazon prime 2 day shipping usually comes to our rescue. We should probably own stock in energizer rechargeables at this point. Most large camera manufacturers like Canon and Nikon have a professional member service where you can send your gear out for cleaning and maintenance. It usually takes a few weeks or more, however, so if you don’t have backup gear, this might be a little tough.
- ^^ speaking of, TEST YOUR BACKUP GEAR. Even though its just an “insurance policy”, where will you turn if you dont have a back-up to your back-up.
- Reach out to any new vendors you haven’t worked with and introduce yourself. The little things go a long way!! Shooting at a new venue? Check it out! While the lighting and layout might change a bit on the day of the wedding, taking a visit prior to the big day could help smooth out any uncertainties like parking, traffic, or weird circumstances.
- Set client expectations. We do this in the form of workflows, email templates, and questionnaires. We want to make sure our clients know when they can expect to hear from us, when the timeline should be finalized, how to obtain any permits necessary for their shooting locations, and when they can expect to receive all the final products! All of our clients fill out a detailed questionnaire giving us lots of information about their day well ahead of time. Then we will draft a timeline and schedule a call to review everything before the big day. Its super helpful if the couple is working with a planner, then we can work directly with them to get everyone on the same page without having to bother the couple!
While it takes some prep work, wedding season is always exhilarating and a ton of fun. We get to work with some of the most amazing people and take part in such a joyful time for them and their families. Not to mention – THE FOOD (and THE CAKE!)
Have questions about what to expect when shooting a wedding? Drop us a line!