What are “Post Nuptial” or “After The Wedding Formals”?
Sometimes couples, for various reasons, prefer to have their formal wedding pictures as a couple (just bride and groom) taken after the wedding day. Sometimes it is the same location as the wedding venue and sometimes it is in an entirely different location. One of the benefits of having the bride and groom formals on a different day is we can spend more time together in a relaxed atmosphere. Their are no time constraints and the couples can truly relax into the photography session.
I was fortunate enough to photograph a wonderful couple –Melanie and Jared on their wedding day. Time constraints did not allow for more photos of just the two of them on their wedding day, so they decided to get some “post nuptial” photos done. We lucked out with some beautiful Syracuse fall weather and a sunset on the horizon.
So if you are concerned about time constraints on your wedding day or just prefer to have your couple’s session at a different time and day, “After The Wedding, Wedding Formals” may just be a good option for you!
To view my wedding photography portfolio click on the “Wedding Portfolio” link below.
I have never been married, but if I were going to get married, here are some questions I would be asking the potential photographer. Besides the obvious such as loving the photographs you see online, it is important to know and be confident in your wedding photographers ability, professionalism and preparedness for anything they may encounter. Besides loving their wedding photos, it is also important to look through their entire portfolio (besides wedding photography) since wedding photography includes many kinds of photography such as architectural and product-type photography (details of the wedding), photojournalism, candid and portrait photography. I realize that as a professional wedding photographer, equipment doesn’t make beautiful images.. the photographer does.. however, many of my questions I would ask would be technical (many of which you may not fully understand) since they point to the photographers dedication to his/her craft and their ability to capture beautiful wedding photos in challenging and changing conditions.
How long have you been photographing weddings and How did you learn? If you are going to entrust them to capture one of the most important days in your life, it is very important IMO that they have a lot of experience. Wedding photography is easily one of the most demanding forms of photography there is. This is why so many photographers loathe photographing weddings. It is a high-paced environment which requires you to KNOW your equipment inside and out. It requires you to handle an immense amount of pressure (no second chances here), with a huge amount of responsibility. Your photographer should be able to photograph the bride and groom in all kinds of situations from dark churches as they walk out into bright sunny outdoors (seamlessly and on the fly).
Can I see at least 2 or 3 FULL weddings? This is really essential IMO… Posting 2 or 3 photos on a website from a bunch weddings doesn’t give you an honest impression of what you can expect from your wedding photographer. Being able to see all the pictures from 3 or more ENTIRE weddings will give you an idea of how well they can handle the changing conditions and environments (inside, outside, dark, bright, etc..) as well as how many pictures and photographers style in general. When you do meet your potential photographer to review a few weddings, pay particular attention to their indoor pictures and portraits. This will tell you a lot about their ability. Stay away from photographers where their indoor portraits look “flashy”. This would mean really bright on subject with dark background. Being able to balance background and subject lighting will say a lot about a photographer’s abilities.
Check Reviews. I had ALL of my Google reviews taken down when they revamped their layout. That was YEARS of reviews gone in an instant. So it can happen that a wedding photographer may not have online Google reviews. If they don’t have Google reviews, Wedding Wire reviews, or a site with reviews and testimonials, then ask for several past wedding references. This can be tricky, since we don’t want to bother our past clients.. but if a photographer has been doing weddings for a while, he or she should be able to grab at least a few.
Do they have an assistant? I feel an assistant is absolutely necessary for reasons I won’t go into great detail here, but it says something about the photographers willingness to pay someone so that they, – the photographer – can get the best possible images. A photographer without an assistant indicates to me that they are cutting corners – a quality you don’t want from your wedding photographer.
What equipment do you own? They should have a minimum of 3 camera’s (I bring 5 along with 7 lenses, 5 flashes, etc.. ). Three camera’s are essential because your photographer should be using two during your entire wedding (third one for backup in case one malfunctions). But why two cameras for the wedding John? Good lenses don’t have a super long zoom range like many think. Though they are big in size, it is because of the glass and doesn’t mean anything as far as their zoom range. A typical wedding photographer should have a 24-70mm 2.8 (or something similar like a 17-30mm 2.8 or 17-50mm 2.8, etc..) as well as a long telephoto lens such as a (70-200mm 2.8). The wide zoom is for capturing the environment, groups, etc.. the longer one is for portraits and covering distances, portraits, etc… All lenses should have a maximum aperture of 2.8 or wider. In other wards take the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L for example. 70-200mm is the zoom range. 2.8 is the maximum aperture. Aperture is how much light the lens lets in. It should be 2.8 or lower (1.8, 1.2, etc…). Why is this important? Because not only is it considered the minimum for portraiture, but it is also ESSENTIAL for low light situations. The lower the number (2.8 lets in less light than 2.0 which lets in less light than 1.2…etc.. ) the greater the amount of light it will let into the camera and greater ability to photograph in darker situations (not sunlight). There are a host of other reasons, but these are the most important.Another thing to look for is do they own and use prime lenses? Prime lenses are fixed focal length lenses such as 85mm 1.2 or 50mm 1.2 or 35mm 1.4 (I own all three). Like I mentioned above, it creates more beautiful portraiture and is essential for low light situations which are common for weddings. It isn’t absolutely essential, but it does say a lot about their preparedness. I can’t image photographing weddings without using them… especially in dim lit churches and receptions. They also produce stunning images.IMO, if they don’t own these things, it indicates to me, that they are may not serious about wedding photography or at the very least, prepared.
Do you use a crop sensor or full frame sensor camera? I personally would not want a photographer photographing my wedding if they primarily were using a crop sensor camera. It should be Full Frame Sensor. Why? Because the pictures are simply better in quality (bigger sensor = more area for more information to be collected). Particularly in dim lit situations such as indoor ceremony and reception. There is no reason to be using a crop sensor camera for a wedding IMO. The image quality is less and again it points to the photographers dedication or lack-there-of, towards capturing the best, highest quality photographs.Let me emphasize that MORE Megapixels (MP) do not matter!! That is right! There is this myth being propagated by some camera manufacturers that more megapixels produce better images. This is simply not true. Not only is it not true, but in many cases it actually deteriorates the image quality. Cramming more megapixels into a small sensor destroys the sharpness and the camera’s image quality when photographing in low light and high ISO’s.For instance the Canon 40D has 10.1 megapixels and the newer Canon 7D has 18 megapixels. The 40 D produces sharper images and has less noise (like grain in film) than the much newer, much more expensive 7D. I would take the 40D over the 7D any day of the week.For more information regarding the Megapixel Myth, click on the following link;
I hope this helps you narrow down your search when looking for a wedding photographer.
Taking the picture is only part of the process to creating a beautiful photograph. Developing and working on RAW (Digital Negative) files not only can enhance a well taken photograph, it can take it to another level all together. I feel that a substantial part of my style comes from what happens AFTER I take the picture.
Q. Why do you use long lenses and what are advantages when photographing weddings or bridal portraits?
A. I use them for several reasons. One reason is they allow for a more comfortable shooting distances. With longer focal length lenses (100mm – 300mm) I don’t need to be in the bride and groom’s face. In fact, they may not even be aware that I am taking their picture. This holds true for guests during the ceremony and reception. Having longer focal length lenses allows for more candid and photo journalistic wedding photos.
There is also another benefit … they diminish distortion of the face and the
compression allows for a more flattering photos. It can be somewhat complicated to explain so I have provided some pictures taken by the Stephen Eastwood which show how different focal lengths can distort a persons face. With longer focal lengths it compresses the facial features, which in general, produce more flattering wedding photos..
Q. Do you have any suggestions for brides and grooms?
A. If you are considering a wedding photographer, inquire about the kinds of equipment they have. In my opinion it is vital that the photographer have various lenses at their disposal. Wide angle lenses are wonderful for capturing the whole scene, but longer focal lengths are essential IMO for beautiful wedding portraits. So make sure they have at least one lens that is 100mm or longer (ie 135mm, 200mm, etc).
Q. What kinds of lenses do you use for wedding photography? Which lenses are best for wedding photography in your opinion?
A. I use the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS as well as the Canon 135mm f/2 for wedding portraits. I also like to use the 85mm 1.2 because of its razor thin DOF (depth of field). When I want to capture the entire scene whether it be the ceremony or reception I use the Tamron 17-35mm, Canon 24-70mm 2.8 or the Canon 35mm 1.4.
Here are some examples as well as link from Steven showing the difference in focal lengths, distortion and perspective.
As you can see their are subtle differences between the focal lengths 100mm and 350mm. The changes start to become apparent at 70mm and very apparent by 50mm.
Sometimes brides and grooms will wonder if they should get photographs of the couple getting ready before the ceremony. If their budget allows, I often suggest they do. These actually tend to be some of my favorite photographs. The energy is high and emotions are flowing. During this time I try to stay inconspicuous and out of the way. I want people to feel free to be themselves and not constantly aware that they are being photographed.