WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
I'm so happy to be here with you to not only photograph your big day, but to help along the way so that you to get the most out of your photography investment! I have put together a list to help get the best photos possible (keep in mind, some of these tips may not apply to your specific wedding day)!
1. If you can't get ready at your venue, try looking at your airbnb/VBRO options that are close by. Typical hotel rooms (Marriott, DoubleTree, etc) all tend to have poor light and small spaces. Choosing an airbnb/rental home will give you more space and a more unique look for photos! Try looking for airbnb's/homes with lots of windows and lighter toned features. If this isn't an option, then please don't fret. I have shot in my fair share of tiny hotel rooms but if we can avoid them - I promise it's worth it :) In the past, when it's easier for my couples to book a hotel, I still try to do as much as I can at the venue to provide you with the most cohesion in your final gallery. I can always take some getting ready images and detail images at the hotel and we can have you two get dressed at the venue and take all preliminary photos at the venue.
2. Assign a bridesmaid and groomsman to keep the room tidy. I can/will help clean up the spaces I need but having a tidy area makes everything run smoother.
3. Have your details ready 30 minutes before our start time. Having the details already available allows us to start right away and keeps you in the hair and makeup chair. We always start with the little details to begin the story of your day. The bride usually includes things such as, the dress, the rings, the full invitation suite, jewelry, cute shoes, cute perfume bottle, garter, family heirlooms, etc. The groom typically has shoes, jacket, cuff links, watch.
4 - Have your bridesmaids wear cute robes! The light, floral ones photograph best (and don't show wrinkles as much)! Here are some good sites for bridal party robes: Plum Pretty Sugar, BHLDN, Show Me Your Mumu
5 - Cute ring boxes are always fun to use as a wedding keepsake, and for detail photographs! Check out The Mrs. Box or Lace Byrd!
6 - Don't be surprised if I take you outside to finish up your getting ready photos (such as putting on jewelry, finishing touches on the dress, putting on shoes, etc - It's all about the light and often times the lighting is just better outside :)
1. If you're having a first look, I encourage you to have just us and you two in the area. Take this time to hug, kiss, talk, relax, and ignore us! We love the real emotion so take this time to just be together!
2. This one might sting a little bit but is SO important to remember - YOUR DRESS MAY GET DIRTY. I know, the dress it's a staple, a style statement, the most precious piece of white, ivory, or blush that you have laid your eyes on but you will be walking around, having fun with guests, taking killer portraits and it is all worth it! Enjoy your day - don't worry about the bottom of the dress and what it picks up or gets on it - none of it will ever show up in your photos! It is more important to be in the moment rather than worrying about the dress getting a little dirty.
3. Typically, as long as hair and makeup don’t run behind, after your first look we will go into bridal party photos. This way your friends can go to cocktail hour while you two spend some alone time in the golden light before the reception! Depending on your final timeline, we sometimes are able to do most of the family portraits after the first look and bridal party too!
1. Keep your bouquet at your belly button. Many times we see the bride and bridesmaids bouquets rise up near their faces but we love to see your face as you go down the aisle.
2. Walk slowly, enjoy the moment!
3. This is a time of the day where I can’t step in and change anything. Try to do your best to remember to smile a lot and never be afraid to wipe your tears (they always make for lovely, emotional ceremony shots!)
4. Be cautious of your ceremony time. Before you set it for the invitation, check the sunset. You’ll want at least an hour after ceremony if you have a first look and at least two hours if you don’t have a first look of sunlight. For example, if sunset is at 5:00 you’ll want your ceremony to end no later than 4:00 if you had a first look. If you don’t do a first look make sure your ceremony ends at 3:00. The key to my style is lighting and I’d hate to have your photos shot in the dark! The more time with light the better, especially since things can run behind on the big day!
1. When you fill out our wedding day questionnaire before the wedding day, this will help formals run so smoothly! This is the toughest part of the day for couples but together we can make it quick and painless so we can get to taking more photos or get you two to the party!
2. Family formals should only include immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents). I want the best light for you two but we can do some larger extended groups at the reception. I can always have the DJ make an announcement and get some big group shots for you.
3. Per our contract, I cannot be responsible for tardiness or absence during the time set for family photos. It is suggested that you have one person that you can put in charge to wrangle up any missing family members. We typically do immediate family photos right after the ceremony to prevent anyone from leaving since we will already be in that space.
1. Enjoy this time together. Much like the first look (if you do one), just have fun, get close, laugh, have some quiet time. We'll guide you through everything but remember to be close and have some quality time together before the reception.
2. Make time for golden hour, even if it's just 15 minutes! Sunset offers the best lighting of the day and you'll love to have those extra romantic photos.
3. This will be the most quiet time you'll get on your wedding day to really soak it in!
4. Don't ever be a afraid laugh, smile, and share some quiet moments. A great mix of both is perfect for photographs!
1. If your dj offers colored lights on your dance floor, please know that your photos will have some interesting color casts at the reception. If uplighting/dj lights are a must, try to use white. It looks classy, elegant, and photographs well! For open dancing the crazy lights aren't an issue, it's really just for the formal parts of the reception such as the dances.
2. White dance floors look AMAZING in photographs
3. Chairs make all of the difference in the images
4. Grab us if you'd like a photo with ANYONE! With a large group of people it's hard to know who goes with who. While I do scope out couples and guests who are hanging out together, you can let us know if you'd like a quick, fun photo with ANYONE at the reception! Those are always great images to look back on :)
STYLING tips to enhance your photos
1. Check out silk table runners and ribbons! Companies such as Tono & Co., Silk and Willow, and Frou Frou Chic, and Adorn Company have beautiful silks for styling your tables and bouquet!
2. Bridesmaid dresses can be fun! Try different places such as Lulu's, Morning Lavender, or Show Me Your Mumu, and more for dresses.
3. Lighting is everything! Natural light is the best for photos during the day, so when choosing locations think of places that will have a lot of natural light.
4. The Mrs. Box is a great keepsake for your ring! They have plenty of different colors and monogramming options and they photograph beautifully!
My number one tip: Hire at minimum a "day of coordinator". I have so many that will take good care of you. Having a coordinator (not a "venue" coordinator) will help you keep on track and give you peace of mind. Hiring a coordinator for full planning will not only keep your wedding running smoothly, but it could also save you time and money! They know exactly what you NEED, they have great styling/design tips, they keep you on budget, and their vendor referrals are the best! Definitely something to look into because having a stress free wedding day is the key to everything :) In the past I have worked weddings without a planner/event designer and when this happens I have to become the person who is keeping us on time, running errands around on the wedding, and more rather than being with you to capture the beautiful moments.
Lastly, Martha Stewart hosts one of my FAVORITE articles: https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/399809/things-your-wedding-photographer-wishes-you-knew There is some great advice in there and worth checking out!
Again, these are just tips that I have thought about over the past few years, please don't feel like you absolutely have to do any of these things, it is YOUR day and I want it to be everything that you have ever dreamed of!
Many of my couples absolutely love seeing their photos in print and online wedding blogs! Not only is it fun for them to have others rave about their wedding but it truly does help other brides help in planning their wedding too! Just think, what sites are you using for inspiration? Are you using Pinterest to search out some handy tips and stylistic ideas? All of these things help fellow brides plan their wedding, even your own wedding could help them!
All of the details and hard work that you put into your wedding deserved to be showed off! I love getting my clients featured and I shoot in such a way that I know what to look for when it comes to publication. I love details, I love pretty light, and I love staging photos in the right place to make sure you get the best photos possible. I know you spent a lot of time putting it all together so I want to make sure nothing goes unnoticed! This is the same with blogs, they love details, natural light, they love color, they love unique ideas. I have put together some tips that blogs look for if getting featured is something you're interested in!
1. Natural light. Natural light is your best friend - the more natural light, the more of a chance you'll have in getting your wedding featured in publication. A good example of this is if you're getting ready somewhere that has a dark bridal room or hotel room. I will have you put your dress on, but do all of the finishing touches outside in the best lighting. Lighting is everything.
2. Chairs. I know it might seem silly but chairs really do make a huge difference! Look at Chiavari Chairs, Chameleon Chair, Ghost Chair, Cross-back Chair, Marais Chair, Bentwood Cafe Chair, and King Louis XVI Chairs. Folding chairs are typically a no go for publications.
3. Charger plates. Pretty plates and glassware can make a huge impact on your stylistic vision of the wedding. Rental companies are so much fun to go look at for plates, glasses, and napkins. A few faves are Sundrop Vintage, Sweet Salvage Rentals, Cherished Rentals, Borrowed Blu and Archive Rentals.
4. Talk to your florist about silk ribbons and a unique bouquet. The shiny ribbons that most florists use are just too ordinary. Look at Tono and Co (they have awesome table runners too!)
5. Linens. I suggest looking at linen companies like Luxe Linen, La Tavola Fine Linen, and Wildflower Linen. Think fun patterns, no glitter/sequins, silk table runners are great, and even solids look great!
6. Details. In a nutshell, the more unique details you have the more likely you are to get featured. Having an event designer can do wonders for your overall design/concept!
7. Ceremony. Many couples put so much effort into the reception (which is completely fine, and natural!) but it's also important to blogs that the ceremony matches the style of the reception space. Think of a cool way to enhance your backdrop, like a floral wall, a round arbor, lots of greenery, etc.