As your photographer, I care about your wedding photos! A lot! And I’ve done this before…

Here are a few details to consider as you plan your wedding. Take what you will! Maybe you haven’t started planning, and can take all this advice, or maybe you have other constraints and simply can’t plan everything around lighting. We understand, and a great photographer can absolutely capture your beauty in whatever condition you throw at us, but in ideal conditions, and perfect light, that’s when the true magic happens. We want your photos to be stunning, and to reflect your taste and the love between you and your partner! Here is a list of 6 dreams your wedding photographer has for

1) Lighting is everything! If you take nothing else from this post, take that tip to heart! If photos are of the utmost importance to you, plan your timeline around the light as much as possible. The BEST lighting is one hour before sunset. Photographer’s call it ‘the golden hour.’ It’s a hugely special thing, and you should plan to be outdoors taking photos one hour before sunset on your wedding day. My preference is to do bride and groom only photos at this time. Sunset time changes everyday. In summer it can be as late as 8-9 pm, and in winter it can be as early at 4pm! Check the sunset time on your wedding day (google it), and plan accordingly! Light is harshest mid day (11-2)! When the sun is high in the sky, it makes for monstrous lighting. So many timelines have us doing formals with the bridal party at 1 pm. If we have to shoot at this time, we sure can, but you bet your sweet bippy that we’ll be seeking out shade! If you know we have to do bridal party photos mid day, shade is the best! 

2) Your dress will probably get dirty! If it’s full length, and touches the ground, of course it will get dirty. No one ever notices, and it doesn’t show in photos! The sad face you make does show. Prepare mentally for this, and don’t sweat it! Think of it as getting good use out of your lovely gown!

3) iPhone paparazzi can ruin your pictures. A simple sign saying ‘be present on our celebration day, please put your phones away’ or a request from the Mother of the Bride at the alter just before the ceremony starts, it’s a good idea to ask your guests to refrain from taking pictures, at least during key parts of your wedding. The majestic moment when the bride walks down the aisle, and the first kiss are two moments that are notoriously tainted with well intentioned friends and family and their phones / cameras. This concept is has already been beat to death in media, such as this article,  so I won’t go on too much. But its awkward to be constantly harrangued by guests for phone photos. If you’re not careful you will miss the night you have been planning for months! Create a culture of presence for your guests, you won’t regret it!

4) Ceremony lighting is key! The exchange of rings. The first kiss. So many of the iconic shots will be taken during the ceremony. It’s in one fixed spot, so have a golden opportunity to get that lighting right. Get an arch, a Chuppah, sail shades, if you have to consult a lighting designer, but you should be aware of the impact on your pics if you choose to get married in the bright mid day sun with no consideration of light and shadows. And watch out for dappling sun with streaks of bright sun across half your face, and stripes of dark shade on the other half. There just isn’t a whole lot we can do to fix that in post (well, we can lower the contrast, make it B&W and a few other tricks, but that limits the photo styles you can get for these key moments!) Plus, if it’s mid day it’s likely to be very hot and uncomfortable. It will be a cool move to get hitched in full shade, or in late afternoon light with no dappling shadows!

5) Hire a wedding planner! We’ve worked weddings that didn’t have a planner before, and they are less than ideal. Much less than ideal. Things are going to come up that day. You need a central point of contact to direct people to, or else it ends up being YOU, the bride, and your entire day gets filled with coordinating instead of beautifying, pampering, enjoying family and friends, and enjoying your celebration. Most planners will offer you vendor lists, and SAVE you more money than you spend on their fee, so it would be silly not to hire a planner. They will also help you develop a timeline that allows the right time for photos, and for the contingencies that come up during the day. Seriously, just get a professional. You’ll thank yourself later.

6) Make sure you click with your photographer! Get it ‘click’ – ha ha! Seriously though, your photographer will be with you nearly all day. More than your intended, more than your new in laws, maybe even more than your maid of honor or best man. We’ll be with you for getting ready, the first look, the last dance, and every step of the way between. They will be by your side with safety pins, bobby pins, the timeline, and other things you hadn’t thought to have on hand. The way your photographer makes you feel will reflect in your photos. Don’t choose someone who intimidates you because you think their portfolio is awesome. Charisma matters. Meet them in person beforehand, and check how they make you feel. When your photographer makes you feel at ease, you will radiate confidence, beauty, and you will  look amazing! Many photographers even offer a free engagement session to ensure you’re a good fit! Ask about this, and take ’em up on the offer! You’ll get an idea of how the pictures may come out, but you should also take note of how you feel in their lens.

Nothing looks better in photos than confidence, and if you prepare with all the above tips, you can exude confidence and let the joy of the day flow! I hope you will contact us to discuss your free engagement shoot, but whatever course you choose, following the above tips will help ensure you have memories in tangible form to keep in your albums, on your walls, and close to your heart to celebrate your lifetime of love!

(805) 637-0752