BEHIND THE SCENES: SESSIONS

WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE DURING AND AFTER A SESSION?

WASHINGTON PHOTOGRAPHER

So you’ve made it to my blog. WELCOME!! Maybe you’re here because you’re thinking about booking a session or wedding with me. Maybe you’re here because you’re a fellow photographer interested in my process. Or maybe you’ve already booked your wedding with me and want a little more information on how everything goes. Whoever you are, and why ever you’re here, I’m glad you are!! I’m going to break down this post into three sections: what goes into preparing for a photo shoot, for you and for me, what will happen during the actual shoot, and how everything will go after the shoot. If you still have any questions afterwards, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on my contact page, or leave a comment below. You can also check out my FAQ post here

Before the Session:

So you’ve looked at my website, and are interested in reaching out to book your wedding, or plan a session with me! YAY!!!!!! Finding a photographer you trust can be tough, but is SO IMPORTANT!! From the moment I first get your email, I get super excited about being there for your day, or for your session, and making it perfect becomes so important to me. We’ll email back and forth a little bit, just so I can make sure I have all the information I need, and we know that we’re a good fit for each other, and then I’ll send over a contract and an invoice. Generally, 30% of the total amount is due at the time of booking (unless you’re booking within the week of the session), and once I receive that, as well as the signed contract, I immediately put you on my calendar and don’t book anyone else for your day! I’m a total paper girl, so I put it in my master planner, as well as in my phone and computer calendar for good measure.

Once you’re all booked and in my calendar, we start planning the details of the session. By this point, we usually already have a location(s) chosen, and the day and time. Whenever possible, I go scout out the location beforehand, or get there early to scout it out before it’s time to actually take your photos. Or, if it’s particularly far away, we can even go together! The weeks and days leading up to a non-wedding session, I’m there to answer any questions you have and help you with outfits and props! For an outfit guide, click here

For weddings, I always try to meet in person before the wedding day if we aren’t already doing an engagement or bridal session. We will go over all the details of the day together, ESPECIALLY the timeline, and I can even help you plan out timing to make sure we have time for photos and for everything that happens during the day. I also send you a photo list 2 weeks before the wedding day for you to go over and make adjustments to. After that, the week of the wedding, I’m just there to help you in any way possible and answer any questions you may have.

Then it’s time for the session!

During the session/wedding:

For non-wedding sessions – I’ll meet you at the location we have set (or wherever our meeting spot is) and we’ll jump right in! I like to chat as we go, so I’ll ask questions as we walk, and talk and joke and make a fool of myself the whole time! We’ll take photos of you looking at my camera and smiling (for mom), but we’ll also take LOTS of candid, laughing, and sweet looking-at-each-other photos. We’ll walk all around and explore the area, and I’ll probably trip once or twice (I’m the biggest klutz–ask me about the time I fell into an ice-fishing hole during a session…it’s a true story). I’ll also guide your poses, and give you prompts! I love using prompts because they lead to real emotions, and moments. Prompts include things like, spin her around and practice your first dance, run up behind her and wrap her in a huge hug, run towards me while looking at each other and try not to trip. I know, they sound silly, but when you guys trust me and are willing to try them, it ALWAYS pays off and we get the best photos!! We will take photos for 60-90 minutes. I don’t like to put a strict time limit on it because every session and location is different. And as we get to finishing, I’ll ask if you have any last requests that we didn’t already get. I’m always a fan of inspiration photos if you bring them to your session, and I’ll always do my very best to get all your requests!! Then when we both feel great about all the photos we’ve gotten, we’ll call it a day and I’ll go home and edit!

For weddings – Naturally, weddings are a little different. I’m not guiding you and posing you the entire time, but rather I’m guiding group photos, and following you like paparazzi while you hug a million people and dance the night away. When the day starts with getting ready photos, I’ll take lots of detail shots, and pose you for a few photos. I’ll also get the real moments of your mom and bridesmaids helping with your dress and your veil, and I always encourage you all to take a moment together just to breathe and be together. Then it’s the ceremony!!!! For the ceremony, I’m more of a fly on the wall. I find the best places to stand to get the best angle, and I just capture it as it goes. Ceremonies are always so full of emotions, excitement and joy and I LOVE photographing that. I usually even tear up a little bit behind my camera, but the good thing is no one gets to see 😉 After the ceremony is usually group pictures, which is usually the most hands-on I get during the day. I’ll follow the photo list we discussed the weeks leading up to the wedding, and just go down checking them off. The rest of the day can vary, and is totally up to you! I love getting a chance to sneak away with you and get some couple’s photos during the day, and those are typical to a non-wedding session. I’ll pose and prompt you, and get lots of great photos in a short amount of time so you can get back to your guests. The joy and emotions you feel right after your ceremony though, are so important and sweet to capture, so this is usually one of my favorite moments of the day! During the reception, I take a TON of hugging photos, detail photos, and candid photos. I’m also there for all the planned events and the dancing, just photographing all the little moments. Then it’s time to edit!

 

After the session:

After we finish up for the day, I go home, upload the photos to my computer and back them up. I’ll go through and cull them (choosing the good ones), and start editing them, which is generally color-correction, and touch ups. I hand edit every photo individually, and usually get super excited about them! There are many nights when I start editing, and then end up staying up super late because I don’t want to stop! Editing is one of my favorite parts because when it’s when everything comes together and I can see my visions come to life. I also get to sit on my bed in sweats and a messy bun with my doggo sleeping next to me, so it’s pretty great! After I’ve finished editing, I go through them all one more time to make sure they are all perfect, then I upload them to an online gallery. From there, I send it to you, and you get to see them all and download them! I LOVE hearing your reactions and it is honestly the most rewarding part of the entire process. The moment I get to hear how much you love them is the reason I do this. From there, the photos are all yours to print and share with your friends and family.

 

So there ya go!! That’s what goes into planning and having a session with me!! I am always there for you every step of the way, and try to make it as fun and joyful for you as possible. I absolutely love what I do, and I can’t wait start this whole process with you! Feel free to contact with me any more questions, or if you’re ready to plan a session for yourself!!

XO,

TAM

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