Just the other day, I had a call from a groom that was wondering how the whole food thing worked for me as a photographer on the wedding day.
"So, um, do you eat?" I think is how the conversation started. heh.
Oh, most definitely. Eating is one of my most favorite things to do in the world. Probably higher on my list than Photoshop and consultations at Starbucks combined! Just ask my husband what happens if I start getting too hungry.... ;)
I figured there might be others out there who also wondered what in the world "to do with your photographer" when it comes time for the meal. So, here's some food for thought from a photographer's perspective.
First off, we love the cocktail hour. If we're all caught up and on time with the family photos, bride and groom photos, etc, this gives us 5-10 minutes to take a few deep breaths and clear our heads before the reception starts.
Plus, there's a lot of neat food artists out there. How cute is this apple-bird?
The main answer is "yes." We do need to eat since we have been with you, working, the entire day. Many photographers actually have this in the agreement that you sign. I personally do not include a "food clause" but figure you all are kind enough to include me in your meal plan.
In fact, if you're planning out seating arrangements, please put your photographer as close to the head table as possible.
We don't bite (honest) and we love to sit with your family. True story!
We love finding out all your silly secrets and relationship quirks from our table mates during the meal.
We also love being close to the action when the toasts start.
Unfortunately, we are not always the best dinner companions as we rarely stay in our seat for more than a minute or two at a time. We also usually eat with our cameras around our necks as we're scanning the room looking for anything "of interest" that's happening.
However, we appreciate when our table companions stop the wait-staff from stealing our half-eaten plates of food. :) Some of the waiters and waitresses are just too darn efficient.
And yes, we like to sample the cake. :)
Also, one other thing...
Be sure to ask your photographer what their policy is about alcohol when they photograph weddings.
My personal drink of choice during a reception is ice water. Or coffee. But then again, when doesn't coffee go well?
However, should your photographer take a few alcoholic liberties during your wedding day, you might start to wonder why your images look like this as the night progresses....
Now, I promise I was only under the influence of coffee for this shot. ;)
So, in summary:
How to treat your wedding photographer, food edition:
1. Yes, please feed us. We'll take both the steak and chicken. Just kidding. Maybe.
2. Let us sit as close to you as possible. Photographers can damage their cameras (and themselves) when they run through crowded ballrooms trying to catch a shot.
3. Cake. Nothing else needs to be said.
4. Alcohol. Ask them how they treat that situation.
Happy wedding planning! And thanks for treating your photographer so well! :)