[By Omar Jaramillo in Berlin] For people that have all, having somebody sketch their wedding is the new trend. It is a well paid job for an urban sketcher. I have done a few and I will share some secrets, how to do your best.
|The bride and groom took their shoes to do the photo shooting at the beach.|
- Low down expectations: The first e-mail exchanges or conversation are very important. Here is where you would tell your future clients how many drawings are getting. I tell them that I do approximately a drawing every twenty minutes. So in an hour they will no have more than 3 drawings. Communicate clearly what you will deliver.
- Size does matters: Small is better.They will probably ask to work in a bigger format. Keep it small and simple. Work in your usual sketch format, approximately A5 size. If you work in a bigger format you would have less time to do more drawings.
An oriental wedding on my neighborhood. People dancing around the musicians
- Don't go down on the price: Drawing a wedding is a hard work, and something I would don't do unless is properly paid. You are into a lot of pressure to full fill expectations. Drawing a wedding will cost not less than 1000 Euros for an 8 hours event. Add transport and accommodation if you don't live in that city. I usually ask the clients to provide accommodation since they might have some good deals. Hiring a wedding sketcher could also be a great wedding present if a group of friends decide to share the cost.
A Jewish wedding in Berlin
- Prepare and practice:Ask your client for the wedding plan, the address of the venue (google it and get use to the locations), many recent pictures of the groom and bride: remember that they might loose some weight until the wedding day. Draw them many times to get confident. Ask for an image of the wedding invitation. If you work on a sketchbook, you could add some drawings in advance like maps, or the temple, or the wedding invitation to fill some space.
- Be there an hour before: that will help you to relax and get to know to the people and location.
- Work with materials you know: It is not time for experiments, keep it simple and use materials you know, but good quality. I usually use an Stillman & Birn sketchbook, and tell the client that the paper is archival quality. They appreciate that you care about such details.
- Tell a story: Try to follow the schedule of the wedding: the ceremony, the photo session, the greetings to the groom and bride (people in line are great to draw), the weeding banquet, the dance, the toasts, the children, some guests and locations. Add some small and fast images of flowers, bottles and presents to fill some pages.
The band is a also a good motive to draw.
- Follow the photographer: If it is your first time, look what the photographer does. It is also very good idea to join the groom and bride during the photo session.
Remember during the photo session that they are not posing for you but for the photographer. However they would stay for a long time in the same place trying similar poses.
- Plan your food: It is always good to bring some energy bars with you. If there is a buffet you might eat there but if the food is served on the table, it takes ages and it is better to take your food separated. Talk with your clients about it. Ask them what the photograph will do.
- Create some documentation: I usually give the original book 15 days after the wedding. That gives me some time, to add some text, color, details and scan the sketchbook, Later I send the client the sketchbook via certificate mail with a CD with all single images and a pdf of the sketchbook. The pdf is also good way for to promote my work. Ask your client for some images of you drawing during the wedding.
Drawing a wedding is not easy. Try first it first at some friends wedding,without the pressure to deliver anything, to get use to it. They will love it. If you have any questions, please write in the comments, I will be happy to answer them.