Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

When to say enough is enough with photos?

So everything I read is stressing me out about photos.


"74 must-have wedding photos!"


Good grief.


Neither my FI or I are particularly fond of having our pictures taken, but we do want some nice photos to remember the day. We've gotten a couple of very, very generous quotes from photographers for about 4 hours of coverage (about 45 minutes pre-ceremony, the ceremony, photos during cocktail hour, and an hour or so of the reception) and I think this is enough but the internet is making me second-guess myself.


How many hours of photography did you do? Were you happy with the result? Do you like having your picture taken? I feel like having a photog follow me around for an entire day will only result in a migraine.


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Re: When to say enough is enough with photos?

  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Sorry in advance for the long answer. (Short answer I think you'd be dandy with 4 hours)

    I'm a photog (not wedding) so I love photos - but I HATE photos of myself. I knew I didn't want the 74 must have set, but I also knew I wanted a few nice ones of DH and myself. Bc of this we did a first look. We went out for about 2 hours with our photogs (and videographer) and just had fun. Granted we had a golf cart downtown and street festival to do it at, but we all just relaxed and had a good time. We didn't worry about posing or looking all magazine angst-y.

    In realty, I think you can get the necessary shots in 4 hours easy. People think they need a bizzilion shots when in reality what are you going to do withe them? Are you the type that will hang a canvas photo of your shoes, next you one of DH's boutonniere, and finally your dress hanging in a window? Some girls are, the industry is tailor to them. In reality you need a few good shots of the 2 of you, maybe 10, bc that's more than most of us would ever print to hang on the wall. 

    You really need someone who is good at group shots - mom will want the posed family photo for her mantle, not the arty pose of you looking away from DH into the distance with you arm on his shoulder and him gazing at the ground. You want a solid in focus shot of the key reception moments - toasts, spotlight dances and cake. You can get all this stuff in 4 hours. If you don't want 3 hours of getting ready shots or jumping on beds with matching BMs - don't.

    I had all day coverage (12 hours) to allow for the long first look and just hanging out being as comfortable as you can being asked to kiss in public 5,000 times. I had complete reception coverage bc we had the fireworks display and those were the photos I really wanted. Had I not had those 2 situations, I would have been happy with 4 hours. I'm fairly certain my photog and video guy chilled in the corner during chunks of the reception waiting for the fireworks, which worked for me bc I wouldn't want them on my heels all night.

    Most of the true must have photos are ones you get by having a good photog and everything working out - they are the ceremony shots and reception moments. Otherwise you need 15 mins and nice place to take some gorgeous shots of a couple in love.

    I would get a second shooter if possible. They make a difference in angles and back up that adding more time to your package can't replace.
    Sorry for the babbling. GL!
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    grumbledoreAshleyNicole1218
  • I'm not a fan of those lists. There were a few things I knew I wanted pictures of (the cake I made myself, my best friend reading our marriage certificate, etc.), but beyond that, I hired a photographer I liked and trusted her to do her job and capture the individual moments of our wedding. She did a great job.

    I don't really like having my picture taken, so I hired a photographer whose personality I really liked, as well as her style. We did an engagement session so I could get used to the whole thing, which was totally worth it.

    Photography was our top priority, so we booked a package with 8 hours. We did a first look, family photos, an hour-long ceremony, and then most of our reception. I didn't want any getting ready photos, so we skipped that. 

    What's your reception schedule like? Will the photographer have time to capture toasts, the cake cutting, the first dance, and some dancing (if you're having any of those things)? If so, then that package will probably be fine.
  • Thank you both for your awesome answers, you made me feel a lot better. I already feel like having my picture taken for 4 hours is insane. I don't want the whole day to feel like an unnatural freak show lol.


    We are still working on the timeline (wedding is in November) but the most important thing to capture, for me, is the ceremony. It will never happen again. After that, it's a big dinner party for everyone we love - I want pictures of it, and them enjoying it, but it's not my top priority where photos are concerned.


    We're not models, or movie stars, and I don't want to spend any more time than I have to that day pretending otherwise - I don't need all my closest friends to jump in the air while holding balloons to get a clever photo.


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  • Thank you both for your awesome answers, you made me feel a lot better. I already feel like having my picture taken for 4 hours is insane. I don't want the whole day to feel like an unnatural freak show lol.


    We are still working on the timeline (wedding is in November) but the most important thing to capture, for me, is the ceremony. It will never happen again. After that, it's a big dinner party for everyone we love - I want pictures of it, and them enjoying it, but it's not my top priority where photos are concerned.


    We're not models, or movie stars, and I don't want to spend any more time than I have to that day pretending otherwise - I don't need all my closest friends to jump in the air while holding balloons to get a clever photo.


    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • We had a photographer for about 9 hours I think, but then again it was our gift from my SIL since she was owner of the studio. You just have to figure out what is important to you to capture. For me I didn't want photos of us getting ready. I know what I look like w/o makeup & my hair not done, I don't need it documented. The photographer came to the church early to scope out the cermony location & good places for her to get different shots from. She then took a few photos of my girls & me in last minute of getting ready. She did GM shots before wedding & hubby w/parents & sister.

    We had a gap (OMG, I know end of the world wedding mistake, so lets not go there) so we did photos between ceremony & reception for family & then BP. It was great to get photos of friends and family dancing at reception.

    What it comes down to, what is important for you to have photographed. Obviously your ceremony, and parts of the reception. Figure out the time frame that falls under and that will let you know how long you need photographer. With a good photographer, you won't even realize have the time they are taking photos unless they are the posed ones.

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    So everything I read is stressing me out about photos.


    "74 must-have wedding photos!"


    Good grief.


    Neither my FI or I are particularly fond of having our pictures taken, but we do want some nice photos to remember the day. We've gotten a couple of very, very generous quotes from photographers for about 4 hours of coverage (about 45 minutes pre-ceremony, the ceremony, photos during cocktail hour, and an hour or so of the reception) and I think this is enough but the internet is making me second-guess myself.


    How many hours of photography did you do? Were you happy with the result? Do you like having your picture taken? I feel like having a photog follow me around for an entire day will only result in a migraine.

    @grumbledore - I HATE having my picture taken.  My biggest fear was that I'd only walk away from the day with one or two pictures that were halfway good.  Truly.  THIS is what I worried about for my wedding day.  Boy was I silly.  The day of....after my hair and make were done and I put on my dress.....I never felt more beautiful and excited.  I LOVED having my photo taken that day.  

    We had our photographer for 10 hours.  We didn't have him when we were at the salon (I didn't care about those photos).  He came and took some getting ready photos, our first look, bridal party and immediate family before the ceremony.  He then shot during the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and finally left a little after the cake was cut.

    I am so glad we had him there for almost the full day.  I think you can definitely get enough photos with 4 hours, but hope you think about your schedule and what you want to capture.  Will you have regrets after?   

    Throughout the day, never once did I feel like I was a model or superstar.  I just felt like a beautiful bride excited to get married and share the day with family and friends.  I also didn't have any of the cheesy photos.   I just had some of the classic, timeless photos and then candids throughout the day.  We can look back and see the progression of the day and I couldn't be happier.  

    PS - We got back almost 1000 photos from the photographer.  I'm sure there were more that he weeded out that weren't good.  But those 1000?  I love them all!  Good luck!

  • Other than my wedding, I think fewer than 20 photos exist of me from the last 10 years.  I had 8 hours of photography on my wedding day (3.5 hours pre-ceremony through the end of the reception). We did a first look and all our family/WP portraits before the ceremony.  After the ceremony though, the photographers were covering all the guests and goings on, so it was very easy to forget they were even there.  We had two photographers and frequently one was giving us some instruction and we barely even noticed the one who was doing the shooting.  The only time I felt a little wierd with the photographers was when they first showed up.  One of them immediately came up close and personal while I was putting my earrings and lipstick on.  That was the only time they felt "in my face" and after a few minutes of shooting having them around started to feel more natural.  We got back around 750 images.  Going through them feels like reliving the day of.
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    We are having 7 hours of coverage because I want the whole day documented (friends laughing, kids dancing, people making s'mores, etc.) not just a ton of pictures of me and FI, although those are important too.

    It is okay to scan those "One Million Must Have Wedding Pictures" lists, but they aren't really must have pictures.  I don't like the overly posed, obviously staged pictures of the B&G, or the bridal party jumping on the bed or holding up signs.  If it takes that much prep work it didn't happen naturally and therefore I personally don't want it.  I did use those lists for inspiration, that I do want pictures of me drinking a mimosa while getting my hair done, but I told my photographer that if it doesn't happen naturally that I didn't want to recreate the moment.

    I typed out a photo list that was mainly family pictures I wanted taken along with some shots our rings that I wanted to replicate, but I tried not to do too much because I didn't want to stifle their creativity by handing them a binder full of things I wanted and I wanted to focus on accurate documentation of the day versus what Pinterest makes us think wedding days look like.

    These are your pictures and you get to do whatever makes you happy.  :)
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