Tips for Getting Enough Time for Wedding Photos

Dear Jasmine,
How do you handle it when a bride wants a lot of couple photos but the groom don't care that much and even begin to be annoyed by those?It happened to me and they chose me as a wedding photographer and now it's like I have to beg them to have a picture... Also, how would you calm them down when they start having an argument about it? It really killed me and my inspiration, it made me feel next to nothing and I certainly don't want to document two people fighting on their wedding day...
Sincerely,
Caught in the Middle



Dear Caught in the Middle,
Being center to an argument is never fun, but I can only imagine it's amplified when it comes to clients having a dispute about photos in front of you! It's definitely a difficult situation, but the only way to avoid something like this in the future would be to communicate as much as possible in advance. Here are a few tips:
    1. Ensure the Clients Know What's in Store
Ensure the couple approves the wedding day timeline in advance. It's important for both of them to know how the day will unfold and how much time you need for documenting different aspects of the day. This information should come in the form of an email at least two weeks in advance. More than anything, manage the groom's expectations by ensuring the bride has communicated to him what she wants...and this conversation must happen before the wedding day.
    2. Find a Compromise
If for some reason the groom loses his patience and wants photos to end (and the bride does not), tread carefully. If one person is emotionally checked out, the photos after that point will reveal the truth. And nothing's worse than photos of someone who's forced to be there. In this case, I'd have an honest talk with the couple and try to find a compromise. If we had 30 minutes for slated for photos and the groom wants to be done in 10 minutes, I'd ask him to give me an extra 10 minutes and guarantee he'll finish all photos in 20 minutes. The key is to find some middle ground and make him feel like I heard him. That's important. Yes, it'll be hard to finish all the photos in less time, but at least we're on the same page and the groom will give me what I need when he's in front of the camera.

I hope these tips help for your future weddings and I hope you're never caught in the middle again!
Communication and Compromise,
j*
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DM Bali - Dear Caught in the Middle, Just take some pics when the fight. It will give a nice memory to them when they see their wedding album and find some photos of their fighting on the wedding day :)  08.29.14 - 6:38pm
Shaina DeCiryan - Great advice for finding a positive solution for this common problem. Guys are usually the ones who don't care about photos at the moment, but you have to realize that they will love and cherish the photos later. Learning to help them look to the future, behind the momentary annoyance or discomfort is essential.   08.07.14 - 5:01pm
Mike Davis - Great advice, it is definitely important to let them be prepared beforehand. I also like to mix it up, so when I start to notice the groom getting tired we do pictures of the Bride and her ladies. That way everyone can take a break from the constant smiling.   08.04.14 - 2:23pm
Mindy - Great Advise. It's amazing how little time venue planners think people need for photos. Educating couples is always a must.   07.29.14 - 9:37pm
frank - This was a useful tip. Jazmine, thank you for sharing your experiences. Will you ever have a workshop in Miami?   07.26.14 - 12:44pm
Kate O'Brien - I've been there! The best thing to do is relate to the groom like you said! I always let him know I'm on his side and say the sooner we get going, the sooner you're done and go have a beer! I try to lighten the mood as much as possible. Positive feedback that hes doing a good job always works wonders as well!  07.24.14 - 8:06am
Joanna Smith - This happened to me recently and I was also at a loss. I agree that communicating your photo expectations ahead of time will definitely prepare the groom, I am looking forward to trying that for next time! Thank you always, Jasmine!  07.24.14 - 6:11am
Coralie - Thanks Jasmine, for all your precious advice, I sooo appreciate the way you always seem to find how to handle things, whatever the circumstances. Also, special thanks to "caught in the middle" for sharing.  07.24.14 - 3:56am
Alastair - Sound advice, especially making the timings clear in advance. So much depends on the personalities in terms of what you might do to recover the situation, but there may be underlying reasons way beyond your control.  07.24.14 - 2:15am
Katelyn James - Love this!! And that portrait!!! Gorgeous!!!  07.23.14 - 6:35pm
Kristine Marie - This happened to me before, although it did not escalate into an argument. The bride and groom just wanted to hurry up and get to the reception. Great advice!  07.23.14 - 6:03pm
Cramer Imaging, Pocatello Photography - Some people are really sensitive about having their picture taken. It could also be that the groom is using rented tux shoes with no support or cushioning. That happened to us. That will sour any groom's mood in a hurry to have increasingly sore feet.  07.23.14 - 12:20pm
Jenna - This is so awesome! I have been dealing with this a lot lately, and it makes me feel better to know that it happens to other photographers, too. Thanks so much for being willing to share, Jasmine!   07.23.14 - 12:02pm
Claudia - I just love your photography posts.... :)  07.23.14 - 10:28am
Sam - I've been there...and it's awkward enough all by itself...but how about when it's a couple of months AFTER and then they don't "remember" why there aren't more couple shots. Awkward all over again...do you say, "Uh, in case you guys forgot, you were FIGHTING?" (Even if you find an eloquent way to say it, is it wise to ever blame the client, even if it really was their fault?)  07.23.14 - 10:27am
Sarah Querido - It is good idea to take groom's idea sometime, and give a middle solution. I tented to just listen bride.  07.23.14 - 9:46am
Hochzeitsfotograf Wien - Nice Picture!  07.23.14 - 9:09am
Amy Sprunger - Great advice Jasmine. Sadly this has happened to me in the recent past. I quietly told the couple that they paid me for services and at that point I felt as though they had not gotten their money's worth. I asked for 7 minutes. A groomsman started his stopwatch and I was finished in 6 minutes 45 seconds. This is a HARD situation to be in. But sadly it does happen once in a while.   07.23.14 - 8:55am
Di - THANK YOU SO MUCH for this!! I have not yet had this situation at a wedding but have had 2 or 3 couples argue during an engagement shoot although not about the session. Very sad. I just stood there feeling dumb, extremely uncomfortable and waited. In the future if it happens (which I hope it doesn't)....I'll be more proactive as far as having an honest conversation with them and try to steer them away from it because you are right...it does show through in their images.   07.23.14 - 8:49am
Digna Toledo - Thank you for sharing this. So helpful to me. You totally ROCK!!!!! I can't wait to attend one of your WORKSHOPS.   07.23.14 - 8:26am
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