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  By Mike Valeriani

How to Choose Photography Styles About Photography Tips 4 Pros DIY Weddings

Transportation, the Journey
and the Routes

Incredible traffic on a highwayThe journey to a wedding can be a nightmare, because a wedding photographer simply cannot be late.

If everything is planned carefully, you’ll have nothing to worry about; the important thing is planning well ahead.

When the photographer is late, the whole wedding comes to a standstill: nobody wants to start the ceremony without the photographer.

Imagine this: tens of people sitting in the church just waiting for you to arrive. What are you going to say when you arrive there an hour late?

Not to talk about the financial losses: you can be sure that you will be charged for some extras the bride and groom will incurred into because of you.

The journey to a wedding doesn’t have to be this stressful. Planning early and well, will almost guarantee that you will be there on time.


The Vehicle

A nice car in front of a nice houseWhatever vehicle you use, make sure it’s well looked after.

If you have a vehicle that is more than five years old, make sure you have it checked out at least a couple of weeks before the wedding.

This is because if there are repairs to be made, you want to be sure you’ll get it back before the wedding.

If your vehicle is not reliable or presentable, rent one. Nowadays renting a car can be very cheap and this can easily be included in the expenses. The vehicle you travel with tells a lot about the way you work. Much more than you think.


A plumber costumeImagine: you call a plumber and he arrives at your home with an old noisy bitten up pickup truck with a dirty camper top and you can tell he lives in it. Then your neighbor’s plumber arrives in the latest van, quietly, a professional ad on the side, wearing a work uniform. I bet you would wish you had called the other guy. You automatically assume your plumber will not do the job properly. First impressions do count a lot.

It’s the same with a wedding photographer: how you arrive tells how you will work. Arrive in style and they will already trust you more, even without having touched a camera. The bride and groom are paying a lot of money to you and they want to see their money well spent and of course they want to show their family and friends that they have selected a real pro.

Just in case that something goes wrong with my vehicle and the journey, I always keep a folding bicycle in the back. When such an important thing like a wedding is at stake, you have to think about the unthinkable.

What if you have an accident and your car can no longer be driven? You are still required to attend the wedding. Remember that accidents do happen and they are not necessarily your fault, but you will be expected to have allowed enough time for accidents. This is not a normal 9 to 5 job; you are in charge of the only memories the couple will have of their wedding day and you must do anything in your power to attend AND to be on time (which means early).

Always have a membership with the local automobile club, so that whatever happens you have less worries and you’ll have someone to help you. Think: even if you get only a flat tire, can you change it by yourself while wearing a nice suit and a white shirt? How clean (or dirty) will you arrive at the church?

Always respect the speed limits. Other than dramatically reducing the chances of having an accident, you also reduce the chances of being pulled over by the police. Even if you get a straightforward fine, you will waste precious minutes and you will be upset for most of the day. You are going to create art on commission and your mind needs to be clear, peaceful and happy.


The Journey

The journey to a wedding is not like going to work at rush hour on weekdays, where everything is more or less predictable. Weddings usually happen on the weekend, where sometimes (always if you live in London) unusual road works take place, trains are limited and diversions are common.

A Tom Tom navigator showing a daylight mapSince it is a weekend and most people do not work, the authorities don’t usually give much weight to congestion, which becomes extremely unpredictable and very heavy at times.

If you can, avoid travelling on the day of the wedding. Even if the event takes place at only 50 miles from your home, travel there the day before and stay at a cheap hotel.

You will wake up nice and fresh, with plenty of time for everything... maybe even to have a nice walk in the morning before the wedding. Make sure you know what is going on around you. A good way to do this is to watch the evening news the day before the wedding and to check for the local news website as soon as you get up in the morning. Go to any extent to make the journey go as smoothly as possible.


The Routes

A diversion signAlways plan at least three routes. The first should be the quickest, the send should be the shortest and the third an emergency alternative. If your route includes a motorway, plan an alternative route using local roads. Always think of the unthinkable.

Nowadays we use navigators, which are a fantastic aid in these sort of situations, but do not rely 100% on them. Always carry a city mad and a larger area map. The day before plan your route on a real map and match that with the navigator. Keep in mind that on the weekend some roads might be closed and diversions might be in place. The journey can be severely altered and delayed, especially on a Saturday morning. Remember: navigators are delicate electronic devices and they do brake or turn off all of a sudden... it might have never happened to you or anyone you know, but it does happen, so always carry a real map with you.




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