What do you do when you want two different events covered on your wedding day? Basically, when there’s a big gap in proceedings – morning ceremony and evening reception, for example? Every now and then, I get this question:

We’re having an early wedding ceremony, then a gap in our day before our reception / meal. Can we have some photos at the ceremony, then have our photographer join us later for photos with our larger group having a meal together?

I call this kind of deal ‘split photography coverage’ and in this article, I’m going to explain what we do when asked this question. Then you can figure out if the workaround is right for you. Let’s dive in!

What happens if you have a gap in the photography hours needed?

What if you’re having a City Hall wedding and you’d like to split the photography coverage into two parts? That is, you’d like to have a break in the coverage hours between a) the ceremony and b) a meal or other photography session? 

When a couple requests this, I have a special plan in place. 😉

As you know from reading my pricing & info guide, our coverage hours are continuous. No idle time or breaks in the coverage are permitted. (Well, technically they could be but they’d be charged at the same rate if we need to be there – shooting or not shooting – so it wouldn’t be worth it for you). 

So, here’s what we’ll do. The special split coverage plan is this: 

I would cover the ceremony portion of the day, and my associate photographer would photograph the reception event. Simple! 

Find out what an associate photographer is at the link below.

READ MORE  What is an associate photographer in wedding photography?

And then, meet the ZLP team here! 👋🏾

This also works for having a portrait session of the newlyweds in more favorable light. For example, your City Hall ceremony is at 11am in June – but you don’t want romantic photos taken at high noon! 😳

That’s fine, I can have my associate meet you later. This can be at whatever location you like in San Francisco for those sweet golden hour photos. 

Usually, only the minimum we offer for this is sufficient, (whether for a photo session or restaurant event). If it’s more than that, that’s totally fine (and definitely encouraged!), as hours can be added on at the usual associate photographer rate.

Example of a wedding where I photographed the City Hall part, and my associate photographed the reception event | Zoe Larkin Photography

How split photography coverage works with me

If you’re looking to split your photography coverage, please make sure you read all of the following terms: 

  • There is a flat rate $250 split coverage fee on top whatever is due for the coverage hours (base package with me + hours on top with the associate). (Current hourly rates are on this page)
  • The additional session must be at least 1.5 hours in duration, with the primary session being subject to its own minimum as given in the pricing guide you received.
  • Both events must take place within San Francisco itself.
  • Split wedding coverage is only available on weekdays (Monday – Friday).
  • The gap between the sessions must be at least 1.5 hours.
  • The sessions must be on the same day.
  • There is a maximum of two sessions per split day. (You cannot break it up into three or more chunks).
  • You will get an associate photographer (to be determined nearer the time) shoot the reception event, allocated by me. 
  • If you already have an associate photographer shooting the ceremony portion, you may have a different associate photographer for the evening events.
  • The associate photographer’s hourly rate will be due for the portion that they shoot. If there is no associate photographer available, I will personally shoot the later event and my hourly fee will be due. This would be made known to you in advance of the event so you can decide whether you’d like to go ahead or not.
  • You cannot purchase this as a standalone item – split coverage is only possible when you have booked a wedding session earlier the same day.
  • Wedding ceremonies cannot be covered in the part of the split serviced by the associate photographer. Only events such as reception events, group photo sessions and romantic portrait sessions can be accommodated and requests are granted at Zoe’s sole discretion.
  • Split coverage is subject to availability. For some dates, there are no team members available.
  • Other terms and conditions may apply – each request is judged on a case-by-case basis and may not be able to be accommodated. 
  • I may change this offering at any time without notice, including withdrawing the option.

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That’s really it! Please check the info & pricing guide that you’ve been sent to check the current pricing for our photography services.

A few things to consider

Wedding days always run late, even with the best planning in the world. You may be expecting dead time, but oftentimes that doesn’t end up being the case. 

It’ll likely be your only opportunity to have all your loved ones from both sides together in one place. I definitely encourage having your photographer there for the entire day to capture those in-between events as well.

Alternatively, consider having an extended photo session with just you and your partner, to fill some of that so-called dead time. 

A little breather away from the frantic energy can work wonders to ground you and allow you to savor the event. As well as having gorgeous, unrushed photos that you’ll want to frame. 

Everything you need you know about having a gap in your wedding photo coverage
Get the best of both worlds when you have one photographer shoot at City Hall, and another at your later events | Zoe Larkin Photography

I hope that this works for your wedding plans!

Most photographers would not dream of offering something like this, as solo operators. So, I hope that it’s met with the spirit in which it was intended! That is, to offer flexible options for my clients who often have unconventional wedding days and request bespoke arrangements.

Luckily, I’ve built a business with fantastic associate photographers. I completely trust them to represent my brand! This allows me to offer something quite flexible, unique and creative in its scope. 

You’ll benefit from having complete flexibility over your two completely independent events. You will be charged as if it were one event, rather than paying for two separate events (that just happen to be on the same day!).

There’s no maximum length of the gap, as two separate photographers are being employed and they’re fully contained within one calendar day.

And you’ll still get complete cohesion in your final set of images! The two events will be edited and presented together in a seamless sequence of photographs that capture the day fully. 

If you haven’t yet booked your San Francisco City Hall wedding photography with me, check out my guide to getting married at City Hall. There’s also information about my services photographing there

Thank you for reading, please let me know if you have any questions.

photography options for san francisco city hall weddings - zoe larkin photography
Photography options for San Francisco City Hall weddings – when your wedding has a gap! | Zoe Larkin Photography

Zoe Larkin

I’m Zoe, a wedding photographer based in San Francisco! My style is candid, capturing authentic moments for my couples all over the Bay Area and Northern California. Creating content is my passion! Follow along the blog and Insta!

can you split your photography hours? Zoe Larkin Photography

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Split photography coverage – when you want non-continuous hours

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