I don’t shoot weddings anymore, but… I secretly still accept small wedding gigs from time to time.
Back in 2014, I realized photographing weddings was not something I desired to continue. This was due to many reasons. There’s aspects of weddings that don’t really excite me, like the endless posed pictures of the couple, the bridal party, and family. Also, carrying my heavy gear all day while on my feet was starting to affect my back. So I stopped taking wedding clients in early 2015.
Since that time, I have photographed a few small weddings. Small weddings are usually a much shorter day, there’s not a lot of people in attendance (under 30), and there’s very little need for a lot of formal family or bridal party photographs. At the end of the post, I’ll list the criteria I look for when considering photographing a small wedding.
I normally don’t blog weddings anymore, but I couldn’t resist showing this one. Linda and Kyle are a sweet young couple who contacted me a few months before their wedding. They were looking for a photographer, and everything lined up just right so I was able to help them out. Their wedding was at the Verrado Golf Club in Buckeye, AZ, which is where my journey with Linda and Kyle began.
Linda and Kyle opted for a First Look. This allowed for us to get the bride and groom portraits out of the way so they could enjoy their reception later that day.
The First Look wasn’t just for Kyle. Linda’s dad also got to see his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.
Linda’s gorgeous bouquet was created by Jacque, over at the Wedding and Event Warehouse.
A First Look also allowed us to get the family portraits out of the way before the ceremony began.
Linda and Kyle’s reception was a in the late morning, and they hosted a lovely brunch for all of their guests. I should warn you, some of these photos are going to make you very hungry!
A little side note… the staff at Verrado was amazing, and Karie was the sweetest wedding coordinator I’ve ever worked with… just had to put that out there!
Lisa at Kismet Cake Company designed this gorgeous wedding cake.
We eventually made our way outside for the butterfly release, followed by the bouquet toss (the garter toss was moved back inside).
Wasn’t this such a cute wedding?! I love this couple and their simple, yet elegant, brunch reception. I’m glad I got to do this for them!
The criteria I am looking for when deciding to take a small wedding job is:
- A small wedding usually has less than thirty guests. Above is a photo of all the guests at Linda and Kyle’s wedding. This is actually larger than most “small” weddings, but I don’t like to go too much larger than this wedding.
- Timing is important for me. Most small weddings usually look for a photographer a few months before the wedding date. I do not like to book more than four months in advance for any wedding.
- Location is also important. If I decide to take a small wedding, the location has to be in the Phoenix valley (Buckeye was only a 40 minute drive from my house). I prefer not to drive more than 45 minutes to photograph small weddings.
- Wedding clients that prefer a photojournalism approach, and less emphasis on posed pictures, will surely get my attention. In my perfect world, I would rather spend 80% documenting a wedding as it unfolds naturally and 20% on posed images and the details. However, I find most weddings are reversed, which is mostly why I don’t photograph larger weddings anymore.
- Every small wedding is different from the other, so I have to provide custom quotes for clients. I’ll have lots of questions for you before determining the cost. Feel free to email me if you think these factors fit your wedding day, and we can discuss the possibility of working together.
I hope this post helps people who come to my website curious about wedding services. I also have some great photographer suggestions on my Investment Page, for people who are having a traditional wedding.