Obviously you are on my website because either your thinking of hiring me or you have already hired me for your wedding. In order to get the photos that I take it does take a little planning so I have organized some wedding tips and planning. Below I have written up some tips on the best lighting for all the scenarios of your day as well as some suggestions on ceremony setup and unplugged weddings. Also, there is some information on when to do portraits as well.
Getting ready can be such a beautiful time to get those genuine pre-wedding shots. But sometimes the energy is ruined by the aesthetic. A cluttered, messy, dark room takes away from the genuine moments happening and the beauty of the morning. Be minful of these tips for the bride and groom.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Keep Cutter to a minimum! I know its hard to keep a room clean with everything going on during wedding prep but you will be so happy when you see clean, beautiful photos instead of a cluttered mess. When I arrive I typically do a quick clean up around the room as well.
Light! It is no secret that natural light is the best light so try and be mindful of that when you are picking your getting ready space. Whether it be a hotel room or Airbnb, make sure you have great window light, your photographer and makeup artist will love you for it!
A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time in a more private setting before they walk down the isle. It doesn’t have to be a big staged moment. It can be simple, genuine and intimate. A lot of photographers push this for several reasons:
Nerves: It is a great way to have one on one time with each other before the craziness of the wedding day begins. It honestly takes a lot of pressure off for the rest of the day.
Tight Timeline: One of the main reasons I recommend doing a first look is if we are on a very tight timeline. This may be due to it getting dark directly after your ceremony or due to the fact we have a lot of ground to cover as far as locations.
Whether we do a first look or not I will still pull you aside for some epic sunset portraits after the ceremony.
The best time to do immediate family portraits is prior to the ceremony when everyone is freshly dressed and ready to go. This way everyone can go enjoy cocktail hour directly after the ceremony.
It’s possible to do them after the ceremony, but gathering everyone once they’ve gone to cocktail hour is always a difficult and time-consuming task. You can tell people to stay after the ceremony but there is always a few people who will try and sneak off, then we are scrambling to find them for pictures, which takes up time.
I suggest keeping these portraits to strictly immediate family only. We can get extended family group shots throughout the night at the reception. Believe me, you don’t want to be sitting there for an hour posed and smiling for the camera. I will help you create a shot list for these photos so that everything moves quickly and we have every person covered that you want photographed.
Whether we do a first look or not I will always pull you away for sunset time. Typically, in total we will be shoot for around 20 – 30 minutes. I want this time to be about you guys and your love! These will be relaxed, fun portraits. I want you guys to enjoy your day and not have the day feel like a photoshoot all day.
Creating a perfect setting for your ceremony is something I speak about all the time with brides. You want everything to be beautifully lit and perfect. When dealing with natural light ceremonies sometimes it is hard to work with the light as it could be changing constantly. I can help guide you to the right times and angles to set your ceremony up in. Sometimes having your arch back lit is ideal sometimes direct sunlight is best.
An unplugged ceremony is somewhat of a new concept in the wedding world. It seems these days more and more guests want to get as many photos on their phones, cameras, ipads ect as they can during the ceremony. For me, having the guests put the technology down and just be present during the ceremony is one of the most important things for your day. Honestly, I don’t mind a few guests standing up to snap a few pictures for their own memories but the problem begins when guests start jumping in the isle and then you have arms and cells phones in all of your photos. There are several ways to have guests put their electronics away, you can place a sign at the beginning of the isle or just simply have your officiant make a sweet announcement about no cell phones. This is something I can help you word and set up.
This is the time for romantic, soft lighting. Market lights are my favorite and I could literally shoot in that light all night long ( you can use market lights indoors too!) I try to not use flash if I can and save the flash for the crazy dancing shots. Having this type of lighting allows for beautiful natural shots. Flash can take away that romantic feel of your day.