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Reception Photographs - A Must Have?

Hi all! We are currently in the process of choosing our photography package and I need some feedback on what is necessary.

One package has two photographers for the entire day from each of us getting ready up until the sweets table comes out (basically all night).
The other package has two photographers from the time we each get ready until right after the cocktail hour but will also take photos of the first dance, cake cutting.

What is the general consensus on how long the photographer should stay? Are pictures of the dancing portion of the reception keepers (i.e. will they be included in your photo album, are you happy that you have these shots). Or did you find you didn't really miss having these photos?

We are also getting cinematography done for the day which may make up for the lack of reception pictures.

I would love everyone's thoughts on this. Thanks!!

Re: Reception Photographs - A Must Have?

  • Personally, I don't want to pay for pictures of my family and friends dancing.  I figure there will be enough people there with cameras anyways...I think as long as you have the important stuff (cake cutting, first dance, speeches, etc) then you should be okay.

  • What's the price difference? I'm surprised that the 2nd package has the photographers leaving  just when it's getting good!
    I haven't had my wedding yet, but in looking at tons of wedding photography out there (and pics from my 2 sisters' weddings), I love the candids that some photogs get during the reception and dancing part (when people are more relaxed etc).
    Personally I would go for the photographer who sticks around for the entire event. I'm kind of turned off of that 2nd package! It's almost like they're giving the bare minimum...
    Your videographer will pick up the slack, but you can't frame a moving image ;)
  • I think it will also depend on the styles of the photographers - have you seen their work? Do you like their styles?  Do you want candid shots of your guests dancing?  Because like Christinavy, I'm sure there will be quite a few people taking photos. 

    Also, like Wittybride, I'm interested to know the price difference becuase that might make a difference when it comes to your budget and what you can afford.  What's important to you?
  • I really like the idea of the candid, more relaxed shots of my family and friends. I keep hearing about how much the bride and groom miss on the big day and these would give us a chance to catch up with that. And that's a good point wittybride, you can't frame a moving image.

    There is about a $2000 difference between the two packages the 1st package also incldues an engagement session that we don't really have any desire to do. Both packages are from the same photographer and we LOVE his work. The pictures are not posed at all, more casual and candid.

    Perhaps I will talk to him abuot creating our own package with no engagement session but extra photos at the reception.

    Thanks everyone, you gave me a lot of great quesitons to ask!


  • If you are interested in looking at other photographers, check out http://www.documentographer.com/ and http://www.nikkileighmckean.com
    Both are awesome! And lovely, lovely people.
    Meghasaurus, could I ask who your quotes are from?
  • Thanks wittybride! I will check them out, if only for comparison. We are currently speaking with Ian Liwanag http://www.ianliwanag.com/. One of the big bonuses is that his company also offers dj-ing and because he is working on his cinematography portfolio, he is offering us cinematography free of charge.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_canada-toronto_reception-photographs-a-must-have?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:613Discussion:01911a9a-bf19-480f-932a-0291a850bf08Post:cfbfa30f-039a-42fb-ad5a-fb15ea6bb863">Re: Reception Photographs - A Must Have?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks wittybride! I will check them out, if only for comparison. We are currently speaking with Ian Liwanag <a href="http://www.ianliwanag.com/." rel="nofollow">http://www.ianliwanag.com/.</a> One of the big bonuses is that his company also offers dj-ing and because he is working on his cinematography portfolio, he is offering us cinematography free of charge.
    Posted by meghasaurus[/QUOTE]

    Meghasaurus - Ian's actually one of my friends and I do know his work.  He is pretty flexible so talk to him and he'll come up with a package to make everyone happy.  I would suggest that you do an e-session, they're a nice to have for when you send out save the dates and works great as a photo for your reception as well as photos for your wedding site if you have one.  You may regret it later.
  • Thanks Jewel224. We met with Ian last night and are IN LOVE with him. he is so cool and friendly and was totally flexible with what we were looking for. We are so excited to be working with him and feel really lucky to have stumbled upon him. Can't say enough great things about him!

    Question: Is it pretty standard to have photos of the bride and groom at the reception? I never even thought to do this.
  • For us it wasn't worth paying for dancing pictures.  Our photographer stayed through dinner (did speech shots, first dance, etc.) and we did a fake cake cutting and then he left.  I didn't want to pay for 2 more hours and we opted to have him come do preparation photos instead of dancing photos.  I don't miss not having them.  He got lots of shots of guests during cocktail hour and dinner.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_canada-toronto_reception-photographs-a-must-have?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:613Discussion:01911a9a-bf19-480f-932a-0291a850bf08Post:c25d5a0b-c78b-4c8d-a450-a572e9a05784">Re: Reception Photographs - A Must Have?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks Jewel224. We met with Ian last night and are IN LOVE with him. he is so cool and friendly and was totally flexible with what we were looking for. We are so excited to be working with him and feel really lucky to have stumbled upon him. Can't say enough great things about him! <strong>Question: Is it pretty standard to have photos of the bride and groom at the reception? I never even thought to do this.</strong>
    Posted by meghasaurus[/QUOTE]
    Some people do it - they get guests to sign a mat that gets put into a frame that goes around a picture.  Or sometimes there's a picture of the couple on the receiving table/escort card table.  It's definitely not mandatory though, and honestly I find them rather self-absorbed and unnecessary.

  • Glad everything worked out!

    I like how relax everyone is at reception and I couldn't imagine not having those photos. I would rather find a photographer who can accomodate/squeeze in at least some time during the reception. 
  • if the e-session is part of the package and you really don't want them, consider asking if you could swap that for a maternity shoot (if you plan on having babies) instead.  a friend of mine did that with her photographer.

    ~d
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