12 Feb

Why All-Day Coverage?

Posted by Brent Looyenga
All day wedding coverage, Wedding Blog, Engagements, Photography, Spokane Wedding Photographers

The Why Series: All-Day Coverage

This is the second part of an ongoing series called “The Why Series.” This is where I explain why I include certain things in my wedding packages, and why it’s so important. If you’d like to read the first installment, “Why Two Photographers?” check it out here.
Every wedding package I have includes all-day coverage. That is literal, by the way. Why the clarification, you ask? Well, the vast majority of wedding photographers who include “all-day coverage” write it this way: “All-day coverage!* — *Up to 8 hours,” or “*Up to 10 hours.” I’m not sure about you, but I’m often awake longer than eight hours in a day, and just as often, a wedding day lasts longer than eight or ten hours. So what exactly do you miss with only eight or ten hours of coverage? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to answer, and that answer is the reason why every single wedding package I include is an all-day deal, literally.
Every photo in this blog would not exist had I only covered ten hours. I didn’t even consider what would be gone if I had only covered eight. My desire is to capture your day — your story. This means I want to be there when you start getting ready, I want to get the little details — the rings, the dress, the hair — and I want to be there for your first dance and your exciting exit. Your story doesn’t start or end at a specific time, and some of the most beautiful things aren’t things that were scripted or planned. So let’s play the “what if” game for a second and see what would have happened if I covered weddings for only ten hours.
I examined photos from four of my weddings this summer and looked at the time stamps on the files. I then either counted forward ten hours (as if I had showed up when I did, but left earlier) or counted backwards (as if I had left when I did, but had a later start to the day). In this case, let’s look at the wedding featured in the first three photos of this post — Adam & Dana. The first three photos would not have been taken had I stayed for ten hours, covering things like the cake cutting, their shoe game, the first dances, and, of course, their exit. In fact, if I had stayed till the end, and showed up later, Adam and Dana would have received (in terms of photos delivered, not taken) 300 fewer photos than they did. That’s a lot of memories. I would have missed details like the dress, the rings, the preparation, the salon, and even the first look. Had I arrived ten hours before their exit, I would have arrived in the middle of their portraits.
So what if I showed up for the first look and prep time? In that case, I would have left right after dinner. I would have delivered 385 fewer photos and missed nearly the entire reception. Here are three photos that never would have been.
So was Adam and Dana’s wedding an anomaly? Not at all. I photographed people’s stories for over ten hours on most of my weddings last summer. But there’s more to it than that. Because I didn’t have a time limit, there was never an “Oh no! We need to get such and such done before Brent leaves!” When a couple plans their wedding, there is never a question of when I will arrive or leave. Couples can plan their weddings however they want. They don’t have to worry about coverage times, or what happens before or after the photographer is present. They can plan their day, have fun, and leave it at that.
Yer and Kia’s wedding, planned by Cameo Events, is another day that I’ll use to illustrate the importance of a literal day’s worth of coverage. If I showed up at the beginning of their day, I would have missed some big things, such as the bouquet and garter toss, cake cutting, toasts, and the first dances. In all, they would have received 280 fewer images than they did, including the one above and the others below.
Now say they wanted to make sure I was there for the above events, and I showed up ten hours before their planned exit. They would have received 370 fewer images than they did with all-day coverage. I would have arrived toward the end of family portraits.
Let’s look at a couple more weddings, to be thorough. Billy and Melissa would have received 182 fewer photos had I shown up in the morning but left early in the evening, or 80 fewer photos had I left when they did, but arrived later in the day. Some of my favorite photos of the year would never have been taken. Part of their story would have gone undocumented.
We can also look at Chris and Britany’s wedding. They would have received 119 fewer photos if I started early but left before the end. I wouldn’t have been there for the cake cutting, bouquet and garter tosses, the dancing, or the party. If I had arrived later in the day and left when they did, I would have missed out on some of the best prep photos of the year, and they would have received 173 fewer images.
These moments are too valuable for me to cut out. This is the reason why I will be there when you want me to arrive, and I’ll leave when you leave. It’s your wedding day, it happens once, and I want to capture Every. Single. Moment.


Brent Looyenga is a Spokane Wedding Photographer based out of Coeur d’Alene. He loves people and specializes in wedding, engagement, family, and senior photography. You can like Looyenga Photography on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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