I am so beyond thrilled that you chose me as your wedding photographer! It truly is an honor to me to get to document the most special day of each couple's lives. I'm so happy that you are one of them! To me, a photograph is the only tangible thing we have left of our memories, of the best times of our lives. When you look at a photograph, you're immediately transported back to that memory. I can't wait to create beautiful images with you.
Below is a small guide I put together of some helpful tips for your day regarding photos.
Keep Clutter Away
There can be a lot going on during the getting ready portion of the day, and it's very easy to clutter up the area. Please try and keep as much clutter away (such as bags, suitcases, laundry, etc) so as not to distract in the photos.
Let the light in!
Window light is always best. I'm assuming one of the reasons you chose me is my style! In order to achieve that style in my photos, I shoot using only natural light as much as possible.
Hotel rooms aren't usually the best as far as lighting & decor go. I highly recommend renting an affordable and cute airbnb for the getting ready portion of the day!
Don't Forget the Groom
Usually the groom & his guys end up with the darker, more cramped space for getting ready. Give the guys the same treatment as the ladies!
Heavy makeup doesn't always look best on camera. Since I use natural light, it is going to show more. I recommend if you want to look like yourself, don't overdo it. Unless that is you, then do you!
Don't forget to have your announcement, bouquet, shoes, etc nearby for inclusion in detail photos.
Wedding Dress Tip
Keep in mind when choosing your dress: you want to be able to move freely in it! Keep in mind your comfort on your wedding day. You'll probably want to be able to bust a move on the dance floor, sit comfortbaly in it, & still look happy & free while doing it!
Keep It Natural
A first look is a moment before the ceremony where you see each other. It doesn't have to be a grand staged moment, just a few quiet moments between the 2 of you.
It Calms the Nerves
A quiet moment alone away from all of the chaos of the day is just what is needed to calm any nerves. You'll be so relaxed going into the ceremony!
If we do a first look, we can get portraits done before the ceremony, that way after the ceremony you can have more time to relax and enjoy time with your guests! I highly recommend this if you are having an evening ceremony, as there won't be much time for portraits afterwards.
Make It Private
If you'd like to make your first look completely private, I don't even have to be there. I can give you 5-10 minutes on your own and then we can take portraits of the 2 of you after. Even during portrait time, I highly recommend it be just you 2 and not any additional family members or friends tagging along.
Pre-Ceremony Is Best
Gathering all family members after the ceremony can be very chaotic & time-consuming, so if possible I highly recommend getting them done before the ceremony.
Keep It Short
I recommend keeping the list fairly short. You two will be in every photo, and you're going to get tired of smiling that much! Blocking out about 20-30 minutes for this is perfect!
Assign A Helper
I recommend choosing a bridemaid or groomsman to help gather up family members. This will speed up the process since I don't know what anyone looks like.
The more locations you have to travel to on your wedding day, the more stressed and rushed you'll feel all day. I recommend having no more than 2 locations max! (including portrait locations) If you do have more than 2, please allow more time than you think for each place, as the day usually runs a little behind and you don't want to feel rushed.
Say No To Spotty Light
For an outdoor ceremony in direct sun, it's best to avoid spotty sunlight. If your ceremony is near trees, try to put the sun behind you (backlight). Otherwise you'll have weird bright spots on your faces! If there are no trees/other elements between you & the sun, front or backlight is fine! Just keep in mind that if you're facing the sun, you & your partner might be squinting. If you are unsure about how to plan for this, please ask me!
Microphones are fine, but big mic stands are distracting & not pretty. If possible, have your officiant use a lapel mic or even a handheld mic. If you must have a mic stand, let the officiant know to move it out of the way right before the kiss.
It's also a good idea to remind the officiant to step off to the side before the kiss!
Unless you have a small wedding, I recommend against receiving lines. They can take up a lot of time and are very repetitive.
An "unplugged" ceremony is when you ask your guests not to take any photos during that time.
Be In the Moment
This allows your guests to really be there in the moment with you and not be distracted by their phones. This also allows me to get better photos, as phones or other cameras in the aisle can get in the way.
How Do You Let Your Guests Know?
Have your officiant make a quick announcement, or have a sign at the entrance to the ceremony area.
"Sort Of" Unplugged
I don't mind if guests take photos, as long as they aren't sticking their phones/cameras into the aisle or standing up. It's up to you how unplugged you want your guests to be!
The follwing 3 time slots are best for couple portraits:
If you are doing a first look, we will grab some portraits right after! Please allow 15-20 minutes for this.
Right after you walk down the aisle the energy is so happy! We will grab a few more portraits then. About 15 minutes will be good.
Golden Hour ~ Sunset
Sneaking away at sunset to have a few moments to take it all in might be your favorite part of the day! The light is also the best at this time. I recommend 30 minutes for this. If there's only enough time for one of these time slots, I recommend this one the most!
String lights & candlelight set a romantic mood! Just make sure to use enough so flash isn't needed (which can ruin the romantic vibe). If you're unsure, just ask me!
Colorful lights & disco balls can be fun for party time, but if your DJ has these I ask that they be left off for first dances. After that, go crazy!
Time For Details
If you have lots of details (such as table settings, centerpieces, etc), please allow 20-30 minutes before guests are allowed in so that I have time to photograph these.
If possible, I'd prefer to be considered a guest instead of a vendor. This is for timing purposes. This guarantees that I eat the same time guests do, so I can be available for toasts/dances that happen after. If buffet style, I usually grab my food immediately after the bride & groom.