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A Photographer's Checklist For Your Wedding

In these unique times and moving on to the new normal, don't be surprised if your photographer requests these from you

The talk of safety is a two-way street even for the wedding and events industry—both clients and suppliers need to ensure that everyone participating at an event is healthy. While brides and grooms may initially think of themselves and their guests primarily, it’s important to note that your suppliers are just as cautious when it comes to health. Why? They too want to keep being healthy while working, and still provide clients the dream wedding they are hoping for. 

This is why Jervy Santiago, who recently shot his first wedding since the quarantine began and one of Themes & Motifs and Inspiration.ph’s guests for Love Wins Live Forum: Capturing Events in the New Normal last June 13 shared that as a wedding supplier, he has his own checklist to ask clients and couples who book him. Below are five points he raises, in his own words, for future bookings—something you might want to look into for your own wedding or event!

1. Number of guests. My definition of an intimate wedding is a good five hours coverage with around 10 to 20 guests only.

2. Venue size. It should be adequate according to the number of guests. Meaning, we should have enough space for social distancing especially for venues like the prep room, ceremony venue, and of course the reception venue. 

3. Pack my meal, please. I always request for a packed meal for my crew and I. Even if most of the time, clients want me to join their meal. It’s better for the entire table to be filled with guests and if I’m included in the seating chart, the table will have a vacant spot when I begin shooting. This will not look good in photos. (Eds—This may also be a good protocol to ensure one another’s safety.) 

4. Number of people during prep. If the room is small, the video team and I need to take turns. I haven’t done a wedding inside a hotel since the pandemic but when I do, I will request for another room if the one available is too small.

For example, if the hair and makeup team is present (for the bride and other members of the bridal party), one photographer, one videographer, and at least one coordinator—it will be too tight already. If my client declines to get another room because it will add to the cost, I will decline shooting the preparation time. Not unless we can agree on having more time for preparations [so the suppliers can take turns and not crowd one room]. The makeup artist can start and I won’t shoot yet. I will arrive once hair and makeup is finished. The makeup artist may just reenact makeup application for the sake of the photos, which will take only about five minutes at most. After this, our team will be the only shooter of the bride, that way, we will be able to minimize the number of people inside the room. 

In other words, preparations will take longer. But the client should consider the cost implications that may incur for the extra time. May it be from the hotel, from the makeup artist who might have to come in earlier than the usual call time pre-covid-19, etc. Now if we compare this to other countries, three to four hours is the basic duration for an entire intimate wedding in the US. There are no postnuptial shots. Most of the time, it’s just documentation. But because we’re very competitive here in the Philippines, I set our coverage at five to six hours including travel time.

5. Rapid tests. For the first wedding I covered during this pandemic, the couple and I both agreed that both parties (suppliers and couples) should do a rapid test care of the client. We were tested on the spot.

"We have this checklist to make sure that we can have beautiful and safe weddings during this pandemic," he says. Contact Jervy Santiago Photography for more info.

Tune into our Love Wins Live Forum: Quarantine & New Normal Wedding Celebrations featuring Robert Blancaflor, Christine Ong Te, Jet Verzosa of Josiah’s Catering, and quarantine groom and bride Alvin and Trisha Sy June 20, 10 AM at Themes & Motifs Facebook and YouTube. 

Photo courtesy of Jervy Santiago

 



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