Category Archives: wedding photographer questions

First Look Wedding

alley 477firstlook“I’m so happy that I listened to Tonya’s advice and had a first look at my wedding. The opportunity to relax and spend time with my fiancé before the wedding was special and intimate. We had hundreds of gorgeous photos to choose from since our first look photo shoot gave us time to be together on our wedding day. The idea of taking photos together before the wedding was truly wonderful! We had an evening wedding and the first look photos were phenomenal. ” poprock bride


There are so many wedding traditions that makes me wonder why it ever started and why do we keep perpetuating these wedding traditions.  Top on my list is seeing the bride before the wedding. This probably originated when parents picked your mate, so the groom wouldn’t run off if he didn’t like what he saw and yet we still have the tradition.  Many brides want to surprise their groom or they fear it’s bad luck to see the bride, but really it’s so much better to have a first look hours before the wedding.

A first look allows the wedding couple to have a minute to see each other and have a REAL moment instead of in the ceremony in front of everyone. And an even better time for your photographer to document!

Sidenote: Everyone wants to witness this, I would be very adamant about this time only being the wedding couple and photographer only.  You will not have your real reaction when your mother and friends are watching. Trust me.

Think about standard photography during weddings, including all the weddings you’ve been in.  The photographer has to get all your bridal party shots and of course, the whole family (on both sides no less) because the whole family is never together, your mom has insisted on it, all the while the sun is going down.  This is the most stressful time for the photographer because no one listens and family members are not where they are supposed to be during family photo time.  So your photographer has just been trying to deal with your family, (you know how they are) for over an hour and the wedding couple has been here for this hour too..  All they want to do is go to the reception and start partying, but the photographer wants you to go somewhere alone to capture a few shots too.

It would be so much easier, if you get ready, have a first look by yourself, take an hour to shoot around your location or drive to a location for a totally different look.  Then add the wedding party.   You can tell immediate family members exactly what time and where to be and stagger the times.  It’s best to be finished an hour before the start time of the wedding. Then after the wedding, all that needs to be done is the large family photos.  Takes about an hour, then boom, reception time.

Not only does this run more efficiently, the wedding party always behaves better during this time too because there is no open bar yet.  You also have enough photos to fill your album and your wedding hasn’t even started yet.  And believe me, you will be nervous and the person waiting for you at the end of the aisle still gives you the reaction you want. DSC_2393


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POPROCK Timeline

Every bride always wants a timeline from me after I get off the floor from laughter I tell them we can make a timeline, but nothing ever goes as planned. EVER.  Someone is always late, missing, retrieving missing shoes, it’s always something..

But just so you can get an idea of how my day goes. here is an imaginary timeline..

Of course we will start at 10a, because my brides get married around 4p so there’s plenty of daylight for group photos afterwards, right?  Dare to dream, but hey, it’s my imaginary timeline….

10a-  I meet brides and bridesmaids in the hotel room/salon where they are getting ready.

11a- go to bar, eat lunch/cocktails with grooms/ groomsmen.

1230p – Go back to girls and stay with them.

2p sneak away and grab some shots of groom getting ready..

230p back with girls / bride gets her dress on/finishing touches

This would be a great time if we do a First Look!  In my world the bride and groom always see each other before!!!


3p- in car on way to wedding space.

Some advice I love to give my couples.  Try to get a good night’s sleep the day before, I know it’s hard tying up loose ends and partying with everyone, but if you can avoid it, there is nothing worse than being green, hungover with bags under your eyes for you wedding day.

Eat protein that day, I see so much bread and fruit in hotel rooms, what the H?  Have some turkey sandwiches!!!

And it’s really cute if bridesmaids have matching robes, tshirts or shirt, as cornball as it sounds, if it’s your style, do it!!

When planning your wedding, ask your event planner to have a cooler READY and snacks when the group is hiding out, waiting to be introduced or during photos..  It’s like an afterthought with waiters asking what you want and bringing cocktails later, or groomsmen running off for a beer run duh, have it ready!!

When planning your wedding, always consider daylight savings time!!!

rintoul 295

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Filed under offbeat wedding, poprock photography, timeline, wedding photographer questions, wedding photography

Questions for your Wedding Photographer

Questions you should ask your photographer.

  Answered by Poprock Photography


•  What’s your primary style? Posed & formal, relaxed, photojournalistic, candid, traditional?

I prefer natural images, showing genuine emotion but I understand  the need for formals. My strong suit is candid.  I think everyone can take a good photo, you just have to know the tricks.  This is where an engagement session really comes in handy, never say no to save a few dollars, it is valuable to you and the photographer.

• Do you use an assistant/second shooter? Is there an extra charge for this?

$500 extra for a whole day- Second shooters are fantastic if your budget allows.

• Will you be present at our wedding or send an employee? I am a one man show, unless a second shooter is arranged.

• Will you have backup equipment available? Yes, I have two cameras and two external flashes, plenty of batteries and plenty of memory cards. One of my cameras even backs up itself with two memory cards.
• And what happens if you get ill? I would have to be in the hospital not to show up at your wedding, I have a list for my husband to call photographers if something catastrophic happens.

• Can other people take photos while you are taking photos? Yes.

Not my second shooter!!

• How many photos come in each package?  Mucho!  You will get over 500 images from me of your wedding, I rarely delete old people, even if the photo is average.  Sometimes you even get blurry, non-perfect  photos because I alter them and I end up loving them!!! You could also ask a photographer to see a whole album of a wedding.  Most have them on a site that your friends and family can purchase images anyway, so you can peek at a wedding.

• Will you accept a list of specific photos to be taken? I will certainly accept a list, but it isn’t necessary.  It is good to remind photographers of blending families, so you aren’t calling a step mom the mother of the bride.  And sometimes people have a time frame, then they aren’t ready, someone forgets their lipgloss and one groomsmen/bridesmaid has to go somewhere.. parents are ready, Uncle Larry  is drunk behind the building…  It gets done, you just have to ebb and flow and trust your photographer, this is when it’s important to hire someone who has done multiple weddings.

We know you want a picture with Grandma!

• What attire will you and/or assistants wear? I wear comfort, I usually wear dresses and Converse.

Literally running circles around everyone at a wedding, comfortable shoes a must!!

• What time will you arrive and how long will you stay? I take photos of bride and groom getting ready and stay till the shut down time of event space,  unless specified otherwise.  8 to 10 hours is the norm. Say the wedding is at 4p- I arrive 2p- leave around  10p or 11p.  This is not set in stone, sometimes I go to brunches, bars or lunch with my bride or groom hours before the wedding.

• Should the event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge? Yes, if there turns out to be an after party, I will stay for $100 an hour.

• How long after the event will the images be ready?  I try to put 20-100 images on Facebook immediately, then I take my time and go through EVERY image and edit, crop and enhance. Usually disk is in your hands within 40 days.

• What type and how much assistance will your provide in planning an album? Albums can be purchased.  Albums can be anything you desire, mostly are hardback, lay flat, black leather bound albums.

• Do we get the negatives/disk/access to FTP site? You get a disk of all images, free of watermarks.

• Is this your recent work that I’m seeing on your website? Yes, you can look at my blog, and on Facebook

• Do you provide a written contract and guarantee? YES!  Poprock Photography Prenuptial Agreement!  This is the single most reason to hire a professional.  If a friend is doing your wedding, what if they panic when it gets close?  What if their camera malfunctions?  Will they edit all the images and give you a disk? Will it arrive in a timely matter?  Can you hold them accountable if something goes wrong?

• When is the remaining balance after deposit due?  Full payment due 30 days before wedding.


Filed under engagement, offbeat wedding, poprock photography, wedding photographer questions, wedding photography