There's no more important element to a successful wedding or elopement than the photography. No matter what happens in between, you want to know at the end of the day that your beautiful memories are preserved and that the photos truly capture the essence of your special day.
A professional elopement photographer is able to help guide your entire ceremony, acting as a conductor to arrange perfect photo opportunities and even help to plan the ceremony itself. Experienced photographers bring more to the table than artistic ability - they are invaluable resources that anchor your ceremony and help make everything come together.
You might be looking for ways to save money on your elopement and you are wondering if you can afford not to have a good photographer, and this guide will help you see why this is not an area you want to shortchange yourself on. If you want to capture the best moments of your elopement and ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible, the right photographer can make a world of difference.
The Difference Between an Elopement Photographer and a Wedding Photographer
You might be inclined to believe that these two terms are interchangeable, but they honestly aren't. There is a sizable difference between a typical wedding photographer and one who is skilled in photographing elopements.
To be sure, wedding photographers must be adept in their own right. They have to have all of the right equipment on hand for the venue in question and have a solid grasp on how to shoot in tight spaces to get the best angles of the bride and groom. Wedding photographers are essential to any successful wedding, which is why their rates differ from that of a normal photographer.
Elopement photographers on the other hand usually have a much larger role to play than do your average wedding photographers. While those who shoot weddings simply show up and do their job, they usually aren't all that involved in the planning and execution of the ceremony itself. They are merely one small part to a much larger assortment of characters and roles. Typically, the wedding planner (be them a family member or professional) is in charge of orchestrating the photographer, helping them to fit into the background and not intrude on the ceremony itself.
In an elopement however, the photographer is often the conductor. They are prepared to walk around town with the bride and groom just to get shots of them in candid situations as they go about their elopement adventures. Many aspects of an elopement are "off script", which means that an elopement photographer must be prepared for random situations, excitement, and must be ever-vigilant for cute candid photo opportunities.
Elopement photographers must also have equipment on hand that will fit a variety of situations. The ceremony may start in a hotel and wind up in a park, or vice versa. There could be sunset shots on the bay or a carriage ride at noon, all in the same day. The photographer must be adept at taking exquisite shots in a multitude of locations and in varying conditions. This is in stark contrast to a wedding photographer's job, which is not nearly as complex in terms of what equipment is needed.
What's more, since there is typically no kind of large traditional wedding reception involved with an elopement, it is imperative that you get as many of these kinds of candid or "street" shots as possible. Your elopement will have you traveling around town, venturing to historic sites, kissing in the park or maybe even visiting a parade. Your photographer has to be prepared for all of these scenarios and will often be intimately involved with mapping these scenarios out for you as well.
An Elopement Photographer Will Act as Your Wedding Planner
You may assume that you will completely forgo a wedding planner during your elopement because they are much more simple in terms of requirements and moving pieces, but the truth is that there are still certain aspects of the day to plan if you want everything to go right.
A skilled and knowledgeable elopement photographer will often act as your guide, planning photo opportunities and connecting you with the best local services to create a fun and affordable elopement package that fits your needs. In many cases, your photographer will be very much like a wedding planner, creating a timeline for you that will help streamline the day. This is not to dismiss the importance of a professional seasoned wedding planner. At Ibay Photography, we recommend a wedding planner is secured on your wedding day for destination weddings that include 20 guests or more.
This not only takes away responsibilities from the couple, helping them to relax and remain carefree, but makes it easier in general to get the best possible pictures. As the photographer will likely know all of the best spots around town to get amazing photos, they can help guide and lead the couple around for beautiful opportunities that feel candid but are actually somewhat planned.
Not only are they able to do all of this, they must carry the proper equipment suited for all of these different types of lighting and situations. And they must be skilled enough to use it when the time comes. An elopement photographer is an invaluable professional and the cornerstone of most successful ceremonies.
The Perfect Guide to an Unfamiliar City
Many couples opt to have their elopement in a beautiful and exotic location that they either haven't been to in years or have never been to at all. This is partially the point, as an elopement should be a beautiful beginning full of fun and excitement, but on the practical end of things, it can be difficult to navigate a new city or unfamiliar area, especially during the excitement of an elopement.
An elopement photographer will be able to help guide the couple around, offering them expert advise on the best spots to eat, the best locations for photo opportunities, and the best places for romance and excitement. All the while, keeping their eyes out for memorable photo opportunities that the couple will treasure for a lifetime.
Benefits of Hiring an Elopement Photographer
There are several key benefits to hiring a skilled photographer to handle your elopement. When you are budgeting out your elopement, this is where you will get the best value in return for the money you spend.
There is no question that a skilled elopement photographer can help make sure your big day goes as smoothly as possible while also capturing those beautiful shots that you will want to hold onto for years to come.
Are you interested in having a professional photographer help you arrange the perfect elopement for you and your significant other? Get in touch with me here or take a look at our incredible New Orleans elopement packages that include photography