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SO. You paid $5,000+ for your wedding photographer and now you’re wondering exactly how much time should you set aside for the ‘wedding portraits’? Honestly – if you just paid $5,000+ then the answer is HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES. Because damn – that’s a lot of money and you definitely want to get the most for your money.

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But your wedding day shouldn’t be one long photo shoot. So how much dedicated time should you schedule for your photographer? We use the template below as a guide. This one assumes that you are having a first look before your ceremony.


27 Minutes first look & couples portrait session:

I start with the first look – and then we move into the specific couples portrait session. After that we go into the wedding party photos.


13 minutes wedding party photos:

All of the bridesmaids/bridesmen and groomsmen/groomsladies along with the couple. Every Combination Conceivable. Combinatorics people!


17 minutes family formals:

These usually take place after the ceremony – it’s when ALL of the people involved are RIGHT THERE since they were already gathered for the ceremony. Even if we have to fight to keep them from running to the bar! I RUN THESE FAST. Some photographers take for f*cken ever to get through family formals. You’ve probably been a part of those sessions. The photographer speaks quietly, doesn’t direct anyone, waits for people to get in formation – well F*ck that. This is where I DIRECT PEOPLE.

Of course there are ways to direct 50 people without making them feel bad – you just have to do it LOUDLY. Well – and you have to know WHAT THE F*CK you’re doing. Hopefully this isn’t your photographer’s first rodeo.

Wedding Portrait Session

11 minutes after ceremony couples portrait (short, again):

If we can, I’ll steal the couple for a quick 11 minutes after the family formals and before they enter the end of their cocktail hour. Often times we’re in a completely different location than the earlier session but more importantly – the light will be completely different. It’s usually around sunset by this time and WOW THE LIGHT IS AMAZING. So we take 11 minutes and knock out the BEST PHOTOS YOU’VE EVER SEEN.

Total Specific Portrait Session Time: 68 minutes. Sixty-Eight Minutes.

(That’s not including travel time to any locations…)

Yeah. Amazing and Great photos don’t always JUST HAPPEN. You have to make time for them. And even if that 68 minutes sounds like a lot – it’s 68 minutes that you will basically have forever. Unlike the food. Or the chair covers. So yes, make time for your amazing photos.


All Photos byLeahAndMark & Co.

Comments? Questions? Need more information?

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. How. Much. Time. Needed. Scheduled. Portrait. Session. Family. Formals. First Look.





One Reply to “How Much Time For Wedding Photos?

  1. <3 this. you rock so much. so so excited to have such amazing photographer at our wedding!! =D

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