How Long Should I Hire Elopement Photographers?
Have you asked yourself, “how long should I hire elopement photographers?” It’s likely that you don’t hire professional photographers or get married very often. How long you hire your photographers depends upon the journey you want to take and the love story you want to tell and reminisce about forever.
The following information will explain our process, philosophy, and approach to elopements to help you get a better understanding of how much time you might need with your photographers, and more importantly, why you might need that time.
Not an All Day Photoshoot
Photography is not an objective task like building a table or changing a tire. There are many variables to consider and artistic directions to explore. Your unique portrait ideas are not predetermined. They happen organically and evolve moment to moment. Your photographs are a cooperative and collaborative effort between the four of us. We take the lead and guide you throughout the process. This includes your interpretation and application of our cues, suggestions, and overall vision. It can also include your input and ideas, too.
Hiring an experienced elopement photographer isn’t the same as asking a stranger at a scenic overlook to take your photograph. Natural, candid portraits take creativity, thoughtful communication, and time well spent to be their best. Your elopement day will not feel like or be an all day photo shoot. It is much more intricate and interactive than that.
Eloping isn’t a shortcut to getting married. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Instead of cutting corners, you are being more intentional on what really matters in your life and allocating your budget on your complete experience. Signing your marriage license isn’t the means to the end of your engagement. It’s the beginning of the rest of your life together, and deserves to be treated as such.
Marriage is an Adventure
The excursion you embark upon the day you get married can be a microcosm of the incredible journey it took to find each other and fall in love. Your elopement day is an adventure and should be full of fun and celebration! Naturally, we want to help you create memories. Ask yourself:
What are your favorite memories with your partner and why? What sets your heart afire? When and where do you thrive and exude pure joy? What ignites your passion and makes you feel fully alive?
We sincerely believe that traveling helps create great memories. Being somewhere new in a different culture can be transcendent. Incredibly, embracing the unfamiliar through travel can actually promote neuroplasticity and encourage your brain to grow! Without expectations, your initial experiences in a new place will evoke raw and candid emotions. If we create these types of experiences as they pertain to photography, your portraits will reflect these emotions.
Also, the activities you entertain on your elopement day will create fantastic memories! If you could have the opportunity to do anything you like on your elopement day, what would that be? Swim in a lake, horseback ride through a canyon, sightsee from a hot air balloon, embark on a craft brewery tour, practice yoga on a beach, parasail over the shoreline, and do any and everything that makes you happy.
So wherever you travel to get married and whatever you do to celebrate your love, be yourself. Feel free to start your own traditions that represent who you are. By creating time for just you and your partner, you can simply focus on each other and the present. These are the moments that will truly stick with you when you reminisce about your elopement day.
Initially, our primary goal is to get to know you and help you feel comfortable. This starts from our very first conversation! We believe that great photographs are taken well ahead of time during the process leading up to your elopement. Establishing a trusting relationship early on goes a long way to facilitating your comfort during your elopement. The better we know each other, the less conscious you will be about having your pictures taken. Great communication and preparation ahead of time leads to great portraits.
Emotionally Driven Photographs
Your emotions during and after your vow exchange will feel exhilarating. This raw experience will ascend with passion and intensity in real time and will likely be the emotional pinnacle of your day. Your focus will be absolute and utterly on your partner and the moment. You will feel open and vulnerable in the most natural and beautiful way possible! When this emotional inertia drives the rest of the day, your photographs will transcend and dazzle.
As artists, we want to be absolutely thorough with your final gallery. The more time that we have together, the more completely we can capture your raw emotions. That’s not to say that your photos can’t turn out great with less time, but they will most certainly be better and more abundant with more time.
Whether you’re having a full traditional wedding or eloping without any guests, you deserve to have it all documented. You might truly be surprised at how fast a few hours will pass on your wedding day. If you want lots of intimate, unique, and candid portraits of you and your partner, consider more time with your photographers. Allowing room for spontaneity and an overall sense of being present and patient will enhance your portraits.
Not only are your portraits not predetermined, neither is every specific site you will visit. Having space to explore freely is invaluable. When you know there’s no rush to see anything specific, say something profound, or be anywhere in particular, you can fully relax and live in the moment. These things will unfold and occur naturally.
Moreover, any given day can present something new in any given location whether that’s variations of the landscapes, lighting, wildlife, weather, or popularity of a place. Sometimes, it’s necessary to wait for one of these variables to change.
Hours of Coverage
We recommend having photographers for the majority of your day if it fits your budget. You will benefit greatly from this and when it’s all said and done, you will appreciate all of the moments you will have to relive through your portraits.
If you are eloping with no guests, four hours is a great place to start. This can include getting ready portraits, a first look, ceremony, and subsequent newlywed portraits in the area. If you want to visit multiple locations or plan an extensive adventure to enhance your experience, it’s likely you will need more time.
We recommend having photographers for at least 6 or 8 hours if you are going to have any guests. Furthermore, we recommend having a portion of your time dedicated to just the two of you and another portion dedicated with guests in mind. Having your ceremony with guests, celebrating candidly, and taking group portraits takes multiple hours. Keep in mind that hiring two photographers for 4 hours is not the same as hiring one photographer for 8.
The following are links to a few elopement days that were 6-8 hours:
Grand Tetons Elopement
Understand Your Photographer’s Talents
Hire photographers whose skill sets you fully utilize.
For example, consider that in a very subjective field like photography, ceremonies are fairly objective to capture. Ceremonies specifically present a time to document what is happening. During your vow exchange, your photographers will not interrupt to direct or dictate anything in particular.
It really wouldn’t make sense to have us solely photograph your ceremony because you wouldn’t be taking advantage of our strongest attributes. Sure, Kevin could officiate and Meg could simultaneously photograph, which is certainly efficient. Though from a standpoint of achieving unique, intimate portraits of you two and the love you share, we have so much more to offer.
Moreover, part of our approach includes verbalizing and articulating different ways for you to interact, which serves as a conduit for you to spark joy and playfulness. Actively guiding couples together is how we achieve candidness in our photography. We make it fun and often play off of each other and with you to get creative and try new things.
If you see a photographer’s work that you really like, we recommend trusting their process and being open to their suggestions. Feel free to have a conversation and ask specific questions to help you learn more.