Pictures are our keepsakes. They’re our gifts to ourselves and our loved ones to remember our special moments, especially when it comes to weddings. Wedding photos get passed down for generations, allowing families to get a glimpse into such an important day in their relatives’ lives. And, while photographers tend to blend into the scenery on the day of, the truth is that they are such an important part of a wedding, no matter how discreet. But there’s plenty of work that happens before your photographer even arrives on your wedding day — sometimes even before you can even Google, “how to elope.” Getting to know the couple and figuring out the logistics of the wedding is just one way your photographer preps, but that doesn’t mean the couple doesn’t have any homework! Below, we’ve compiled five important questions to ask your elopement photographer before you elope.
Do you have experience shooting in this type of venue/for this type of ceremony?
It’s always great to know that your photographer has been to your venue (or a location that is similar), and may know some off-the-beaten-path locations near where you want to elope. If your photographer has yet to photograph your location, though, that’s no reason to panic. Just because a photographer has never been to a location does not mean that they’re not qualified – in fact, sometimes having a photographer look at a location with a fresh set of eyes allows for more inspiration. So long as your photographer is confident and excited, you can rest easy knowing that their expertise will lead the way.
What will you need from me and my partner on the day of the ceremony?
The biggest thing your photographer needs on your big day will be you! Otherwise, they’ll be totally in charge of any equipment, lighting, or assistance they may need for your session. There are a few small things you might want to remember, though. “Bring your license and your rings!,” Colorado photographer Noah Berg notes. “It’s easy to forget things on your big day, but as long as you have those, we’re all set.”
When can I expect my photos back after my ceremony?
Photographers take great care when editing photos. They want you to have the best experience possible — not only on your wedding day but every time you look at your photos. Each photographer has their own timeline for when their couples receive their images back, and although it may seem like an arbitrary number, remember that they not only have to edit your photos, but likely have a handful of other couples’ weddings to edit in their calendar as well.
Simply Eloped quotes about a 15-day post-ceremony wait for the hour you receive with your photographer, but remember: if you have your photographer for several hours, that wait time will likely be much, much longer! Whether you’re waiting two weeks or ten, just keep in mind that they are taking their time because they want everything to look as perfect as it did on your wedding day.
How many photos can I expect to receive in my package?
The amount of images you receive largely depends on how long you’ve reserved your photographer. Some photographers average about 50 images per hour, while others can go upwards of 100, but it’s ultimately the photographer who gets the last say in that equation.
In our standard photography inclusion, Simply Eloped photographers include a minimum of 75 photos for an hour. If you’d like more photos from your big day, though, considering additional time with your photographer is your best bet.
How involved will I need to be?
When planning to wed or elope, it can be easy to get in the zone of having to plan every detail. Fortunately, photography is one thing that doesn’t require so much tending. If you can trust your photographer, it will not only take the stress off of you, but it will make their job easier, too! Elopement photographer Ashley Mercer of Ashley Kristen Photography advises trying not to think too much about how your face or posture will look on camera. “Go ahead and cry during your ceremony,” she says, “When we hold in such powerful emotions, our faces tense up. It’s a beautiful moment happening! And I’m probably crying right along with you behind the camera.”
Because photos represent our memories, it can be tempting to want to micromanage their maintenance. Simply starting a dialogue with your elopement photographer and allowing your trust to build with them will bring huge relief and result in happy, relaxed wedding day memories that you can cherish for years.