Well hey, that’s a good question and I’m glad you asked.
I am aiming to document your wedding, like really document it. I want to get the moments that go unnoticed, like dad washing his glasses in the sink before leaving for the ceremony, or a friend busting some scary dance moves in the corner before the music actually starts. The quiet moments and the loud ones.
But also, the ones you and your significant other share. Those fleeting moments that you’ll forget before the day ends if I don’t catch them on camera.
HOWEVER. To do this, I have to get to know you guys so I can predict where to be and what to watch for. So, on your wedding day, I’ll be hanging out like a friend. I’ll crack some bad jokes sometimes, and other times I’ll be quiet in the corner, observing the atmosphere.
So what do I emphasize capturing throughout the day? Let’s run through a wedding day with Sonia V Photography as your photographer.
This is when I get to know your bridal party (if you have one) a little bit. I don’t direct you guys at all. I observe a lot and depending on how much coffee I’ve had and if there’s any talkers in your group, I’ll talk and joke around with you guys too.
Expect me to turn the lights off when I get in the door. The artificial orange light competing with the blue natural light makes editing really tricky, so while I’m shooting, I like to turn the lights off.
During this time in the day, I emphasize getting moments not noticed by most. I’ll also get those classic shots of your mom doing up your dress, you with your girls, your man and his guys, and shots of everything that is happening, but the unnoticed ones are emphasized in my head.
Again, I don’t direct anything during the ceremony. I’m hands off and I want to capture things as they happen. I put major emphasis on first, what’s happening at the alter, and second, guest reactions. I do my best to stay out of the way and go unnoticed by you and the guests. Of course, I’m not a fly on the wall, and you may hear my camera shutter between the officiant’s pauses, but unfortunately those are things I can’t completely avoid, despite my best attempts.
While your bridal party is coming up the aisle, I will be at the front of the aisle (unless you request otherwise) and will move to the edges and back of the room or edges of the seating during the rest of the ceremony. Generally, the only time I’ll come back up is when you guys sign the marriage license, I like to be a bit closer for that and it’s typically not a distraction since this part of the ceremony is fairly casual to begin with.
This is the one of two instances during the day that I pose, but even here, the poses are natural and life-like. There’s a lot of people involved with family photos and sometimes they don’t all trust me like you do (read: they want to direct the photos themselves), so it’s really helpful if you prepare friends and family beforehand about my natural, documentary style of photography so they know what to expect.
I’ll ask you to fill out a quick family + friends form that I’ll reference on the day of so we can get those photos you and your family really want while also quickly getting you back to enjoying the day you’ve planned for so long so you can actually enjoy it.
Family photos are the only time of the day where I use traditional posing. The reason behind posing these is simply that these photos are timeless and classic, and they are a lot more practical time-wise when you have such large groups.
Emphasis during family photos is on capturing traditional family photos in relaxed poses for everyone in the family to look back on. These will likely be the ones that get framed up in your home. And we do all of this efficiently so you can get back to the party as soon as possible.
I do a bit of casual posing during bridal party photos as well. Because again, classic and timeless. We have a bit more fun with these because the group is smaller than with family photos. Depending on how much time we have, I’ll get a few really good shots of the group and will ALWAYS get one with everyone smiling and individual shots of the groom with each of his men and the bride with each of her girls.
Emphasis during bridal party photos is getting simple photos of you and your friends that document your relationship and the party dynamic.
You and your babe. These are the other ones you’ll get framed up in your home. But I don’t say that to make them the focus of the day by any means. While I do absolutely love shooting these, they’re not everything. (Let’s keep the photos about the wedding day, not the wedding day about the photos.) I believe that getting to spend quality time with the most important people in your life (and they’re all in one place for this day) is more important than getting lots of beautiful photos of the two of you. I’ll leave it up to you how much time you want to spend on these, but honestly I highly recommend no more than 30 minutes so you can actually have time to hangout and celebrate with your guests without making them wait for too long after the ceremony!
Now, onto the focus of these images. Here I focus in on your relationship, and do my best to bring out your personalities in your portraits. I promise they won’t be identical to the wedding I did the week before, they’ll be unique to you two. If you see any photos of mine that you love and would like to replicate during your portraits, let me know. We’ll do what we can to get those as well (though that is often dependent on weather/lighting and location — we can talk together about if those are possible).
These photos will be romantic and artsy and fun and basically whatever you want them to be. If you want to bring out your longboards or motorcycle for some of them, I won’t be mad about that. We’ll work together to create portraits unique to you guys, even if all we have is you two and a patch of grass.
Emphasis is on you two and not simply creating images, but creating thoughtful art that encompasses your relationship and personalities. And then getting your butts back to hangout with friends and family.
This is your time to eat, drink, and be merry! I don’t want to get in the way of that, so I’m keep myself in the background again, capturing moments as they happen. If I wasn’t able to get to it during cocktail hour, I’ll take some time here to go around the room getting photos of your guests with their friends or with their date (I often post these to my Facebook page for them to save afterwards, so please tell me if you’re not comfortable with that).
When creating your photo timeline for your wedding, I will include the sunset time so that if the sky is clear, we know around the time that will look best for golden hour photos. This is typically around 30-60 minutes before the actual sunset, so I will be watching the time and the sky and when it looks perfect, I will ask if you two want to take a few minutes to go capture some portraits in golden hour.
I will be up on the dance floor with you guys taking sweet photos and grooving alongside your friends and family. Dancing photos are some of my favourites to take, so you won’t have to worry about me missing those unless we decide beforehand that my coverage will end before then. During the reception, please seat me at the end of a table that will have a good view of the podium for speeches so I can capture everything.
Similar to the ceremony, I emphasize getting photos of whatever is happening, candid photos of your guests’ reactions to speeches, games, and dances, and hugs between you and your family and friends as they naturally occur. I’m all about those sweet candid photos throughout your wedding day.
And finally, how long you can expect to wait until you actually receive your gallery? I honestly truly do work very hard to get it to you as quickly as I possibly can while staying on top of all my other work and keeping my work/life balance in check. (You can ask my husband about how well that’s going.) You can expect a small preview of 10-20 photos in the first 7 days, and the final gallery available for download within 4-6 weeks of your wedding date.