The 20 Minute Photo Session - Leah Goetzel Photography

The 20 Minute Photo Session
Maximizing your photos while still enjoying your day

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When I first chat with a couple, I tell them something super controversial.

“Your photos are not my top priority.” People usually look at me like I’m crazy. I continue, “your experience is my top priority.” (Followed closely by your photos of course.) But yes, I value your experience over your wedding photos.

You might be asking yourself– Leah why?? We are hiring you to take photos of us.

To that I answer, absolutely. I want you to have the most gorgeous, stunning wedding photos that will transport you back to your day and you’ll want to hang all over your house. BUT. I want you to enjoy your wedding day even more. I don’t want your wedding day to feel like an 8 hour photoshoot. I don’t want you to be taking photos and hearing your guests laughing 30 feet away and feel like you’re missing out. I don’t want your photo time with me to feel forced, awkward or overwhelming.

So my solution? The 20 minute photo session.

This is me prioritizing your experience and your wedding day while still guaranteeing beautiful photos.

What it looks like is me literally setting a 20 minute timer on my watch and getting every single beautiful photo you could ever want– all in that 20 minute time frame. I’ve found this is the perfect amount of time where you and your partner can take a bit of alone time away from your guests, but not too much time that you start wishing you were back in the party. I play some music, coach you through a variety of poses and prompts and we just have some fun!

But 20 minutes is nothing, you might be asking. There’s absolutely no way we can get a variety of photos in that amount of time. Well, let me show you! Below are a some recent weddings, the total time of the session and the gorgeous images my couple received.

Emma & Eric

Session 1: 10 minutes

Session 2: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Total Portrait Images Delivered: 174 images

Caitlyn & Brian

Session 1: 12 minutes

Session 2: 6 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Total Portrait Images Delivered: 118 images

Katie & Will

Session 1: 15 minutes

Session 2: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Total Portrait Images Delivered: 146 images

Some important things to note

  1. Schedule about 45 minutes in your timeline. Even though your session will likely only be 20 minutes, I highly recommend putting double that on your timeline in case of rain, things running late, etc. It’s great to have ample buffer time to keep everything stress free. And if everything is going to plan you can take that extra 25 minutes to just relax and enjoy the day.
  2. Plan for multiple sessions. Most of my couples will do a First Look, which means we can usually squeeze in about 10 minutes of additional photo time. Having multiple sessions (First Look, post-ceremony, sunset) means that you can get a variety of lighting and locations AND is great in case of inclement weather! When there’s multiple sessions, usually each one is about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add 20 minutes for travel. If you’re wanting to go off site for photos add 20 minutes PLUS travel time. Those 20 minutes account for parking, loading and unloading and any unforeseen traffic.
  4. If you want more time, just say! If you’re thinking to yourself, Leah this is great and all but I WANT a 45 minute photo session– just tell me! This post was designed to show you how much you can get in a short period of time, but if you want more time alone as a couple or want even more photos, believe me, I happy to accomodate. Whatever your vision is for your wedding, we’ll make it happen!
  5. If you want less time, just say! Some couples don’t want any portrait time and just want candids, if that’s you, just let me know and I won’t pull you at all during the day. If you do want any posed couples photos though, I encourage you to follow the above tips. But if you don’t, hell yeah, I will be a fly on the wall the whole day!

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