Maximize Your Time with Guests AND Get the Photos You Want

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You’ve put a lot of time and energy into planning your wedding. When the big day comes, you want to enjoy every moment possible. 

But you find yourself in somewhat of a predicament.

You don’t want your day to be a photoshoot, but you want to ensure you get enough photos with everyone you’ve chosen to celebrate with.

It comes down to maximizing your time – and your photographers.

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As a New Jersey wedding photography team who has worked with just about every kind of timeline, we have a few thoughts about how you can get the most from yours. 

The advice below will help you get the photos you want without sacrificing quality time with your guests – and still have the best day ever.  

Keep Your Group Shots Realistic

Sometimes couples get a little overzealous with their group shot expectations. They’ll bring us a list of every possible combination of family members and friends, not realizing how much time and effort such a task takes. Fast forward to the wedding day, they end up raising their hands in surrender because they just want to get back to the party.

You see, group portraits aren’t a wedding cakewalk on a good day, so adding extra shots won’t make the process any easier. And, keep in mind that formal portraits take place during cocktail hour. Even if you have a first look, your aunts/uncles/cousins won’t be there, which means we’ll have to take them after the ceremony. Trust me, if you want to be part of the party, keep the group shot requests realistic.

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To help maximize your time (and ours!), I like to batch group photos. For example, we’ll photograph all of family X or family Y first. And then move on to the next batch.    

And, when tradition dictates formal portraits with every table, consider turning it into a game. Ask your DJ to play a long song while you and your partner take fun photos with as many tables as possible. 

It’ll be an entertaining way to get photos with your guests and a great way to get the party started. 

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Don’t Stuff Your Timeline 

Some things, like Oreos and ravioli, are great when stuffed.

Noses and timelines, however, don’t function well when tightly packed. 

Stuffing a photography timeline can look like detailing every moment (putting on lipstick, tying shoe, etc.). This can lead to another timeline squeeze – forcing memories versus letting things naturally unfold. You may want that photo of your mom buttoning your dress, but letting it happen naturally (and us photographing the authentic emotion in that moment) is more ideal than going back and making it happen. 

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I also want to mention first looks because they can be a great way to maximize your time but they can also be a time suck. 

They maximize time by allowing us to capture portraits of the two of you before cocktail hour. That means we’ll save time elsewhere. We can also use the first look to spread out photo-taking time by finishing the bulk of the portraits after the first look. Then, we can do the rest in smaller batches. It’s a more relaxed process and gives you more time to mingle.

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The problem arises when someone wants to do a first look with Mom, Dad, Brother, and Grandmother. The combinations quickly add up. And what was once supposed to maximize time now impedes it. 

I understand how special the moment is and how important it is to capture it with family. So I recommend having a first look with your partner, then with family as a group photo. You still save time and get the first look moment. 

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Trust Your Photographer

There’s a reason you’ve chosen your photographer to capture such a significant day of your life. If you’ve trusted them this far in the journey, continue to trust them with your time. 

A good photographer will collaborate and communicate with the planner and venue in advance of your day and create realistic expectations around photos and time. And if they need to, they’ll offer suggestions on how to modify things to make the most of your day and the photos. 

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Personally speaking, when you book us as your wedding photographer, we will give you the essence of what you want while still working within the timeline. Because we also know how important it is for you to enjoy your day and your people. If that doesn’t happen, the pictures won’t mean anything anyway. You might as well be posing with paper dolls in front of pretty backgrounds, right?

With our team by your side, I’ll be there to guide you if needed, whether it’s during the planning process or on wedding day. You’ll always know you’re spending your time wisely and getting the photos you want most. 

If you’d like to spend a little time telling us about your wedding plans, reach out today!

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mike zawadzki photography

is a New Jersey Wedding Photography Studio based out of Livingston, NJ.

take a select number of winter weddings on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and are available for travel world-wide!
info@mikezawadzki.com | 973-941-2940

is a New Jersey Wedding Photography Studio based out of Livingston, NJ. take a select number of winter weddings on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and are available for travel world-wide!
info@mikezawadzki.com | 973-941-2940

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