After you booked your favorite venue for your wedding day, when you should book your wedding photographer? we highly recommend you secure your photographer at least 8 months in advance. For many wedding couples, photography is very important. You should consider to ask for full photo gallery for the past weddings. A full gallery should have at least 150 photos of the wedding day, and it should show you getting ready moments, bridal party group photos, ceremony photos and some immediate family photos. Ask questions about how the photographer capture a typical wedding day.
Do your research to compare pricing and packages. Some photographers will work with couples’ available budgets, some stand firm on their pricing. Please be aware that wedding photographers do have lot of basic operational expenses, such as liability insurance, software subscription fee, travel expense, staffs’ compensation.
Most photographers require security deposits for wedding day booking. The remaining balance should be due on or before your wedding day. Some photographers accept 3 different installment payment. For payment methods, many photographers accept common online payment methods, but you can negotiate with the photographer if you want discounts by paying cash. Wedding photography prices vary from a little over $1000 to $5000 or higher in California. Most photographers offer packages include 8 hours photo coverage, while others may charge by hour. Additional charge may apply for overtime stay. Photo package should include general photo editing, and if you need photo retouching, there may be additional cost per photo. Some photo packages may include a second photographer, and some may only have one photographer. How many photos you will receive from the package is another important question. Some packages offer unlimited photo shots, while others only offer limited photo shots for a wedding day, so you should find out more from the photographer you want to hire. Last but not least, a wedding photography contract may be necessary between the vendor and the clients.
Here in Southern California, there are plenty of gorgeous locations for engagement photo session. Finding the perfect location may not be that easy for most people. I always suggest my clients to consider what they love doing together or a location that means a lot to them. Some require photo permits, others do not. Following are some of the favorite locations that many couples like a lot, and they are not arranged in any particular order
Santa Monica Pier - a perfect playground for
couple who like hang out at the beach, play rollercoaster and other fun games
Walt Disney Concert Hall - a Los Angeles
landmark iconic location that has unique architectural design, ideal spot for
couple who like urban setting and scenery
El Matador Beach : one of the most gorgeous
beaches in Los Angeles County
Venice Canal - a hidden gem of Los Angeles, where
you can take photo at a boat
UCLA campus - one of the most beautiful campus
in Los Angeles
Art District – this is a perfect spot for
couples who love beer and good food
Greystone Mansion - a super elegant and gorgeous
estate, with beautiful landscape, garden and pools
Descano Gardens - a beautiful picturesque garden
for couple to take a walk and spend time together
Malaga Cove Plaza - a tiny unique shopping plaza
with a European water fountain
Rodeo Drive - an iconic location with European vibe
The Mission - a historic missionary architecture site in San Juan Capistrano is truly a gorgeous location
for couple photo shoot
Victoria Beach - the only beach that has unique famous pirate tower
Noguchi Garden - a lesser known garden in the city of Irvine that has special landscape design
If you are looking for an unique location for your engagement photo session, there are other amazing locations in Southern California that are perfect for engagement photo shoot; please contact us for more details
I always advised my clients that how important it is to have well-planned wedding day timeline. When you plan your timeline, there are many things you need to consider:
1) You need to know how much time you need for bridal getting ready. Are you going to get ready at the venue? at a hotel suite or your home? make sure you need to add your commute time to your timeline.
2) Makeup and hair styling can take at least 2 hours, depends on how big is your bridal party.
3) You need time for photo shoot with your bridemaids before you put your wedding gown on.
4) Do you want to do “first look”? bridal group photo before the ceremony? 5) How about couple portraits?
6) How long is your wedding ceremony?
7) At the reception, are you going to first dance, parent dances? toasts?
8) are you going to have cake cutting? bouquet toss?
Every wedding is different. You can start planning your timeline based on your wedding ceremony start time. Find out how much time you need for each session for your wedding day. If your ceremony going to start at 5pm, then your prep time should start at around 9:30am or 10am. Don’t underestimate how much time you need. Starting your wedding day early is highly recommended.
When you finalize your timeline, you should pass it around to all your vendors, so that everyone understand where and when they are supposed to be at. You should send out the finalized timeline few days before your wedding day.