Your wedding day is more than just a special moment in time. It marks the beginning of a brand new life with someone who you’ll share everything with. You’ll want to remember it all – not just the posed moments, but also the intimate, the unexpected and the once-in-a-lifetime moments that are a part of every wedding, whether big or small.
We want to help you capture every part of that special day so you can cherish the memories for years to come. Here you’ll find everything from tips about scheduling, to lighting and how to communicate with your photographer. I hope you find this information helpful, valuable and one less thing to stress about on your wedding day!
Having a clear and complete schedule for your day will allow us to get the best shots and recognize any problems before they occur. For example, a clear schedule will ensure we know when your toasts are beginning and when we have time to get detailed shots of your venue and the setting. It is especially important to make sure you have carved out enough time for formals and romantic shots. Please plan for at least five minutes per pose or grouping. It is always a good idea to have a buffer around each of these types of important times, to account for any transportation issues or just the unexpected.
Lighting will play an important part in getting the highest quality images on your wedding day. Make sure you consider the following:
• Getting Ready Photos
If at all possible, try to select rooms to get ready in that allow for a lot of natural light. Not only will this make for great photos, windows and glass doors can often add character and depth. Make sure you’ve opened shades as well to bring in as much light as possible and allow the background to add color and texture to your shots.
No matter where you hold your reception, make sure it is well lit. If you’ll be outdoors the sun may be all you need. But if you’ll be indoors, or having your reception at night, it is probably a good idea to hire a lighting company to make the most of the details on the dance floor or on the cake.
While everyone likes the lights turned down to get their groove on, make sure the lights aren’t too dim for your photographer! If you want to capture the fun your guests are having, and especially grab a few of those unexpected moments, make sure you arrange for some lighting to remain on the dance floor. And, don’t be shy when you’re taking your first dance – maybe even ask for a spotlight!
When planning for group shots, it is best to choose a place where the lighting is even. If you’ll be outdoors, choose a place in the shade to eliminate squinting, and to keep your wedding party as cool as possible. If the sun is super bright, try keeping your eyes closed until the instant before the shot is taken – we will give you a signal.
• Bride & Groom
If you’ll be taking your bride and groom photos outdoors, it is important to remember that the best time for photos is during golden hour, which is about an hour after sunrise, and before sunset. Consider taking some bride and groom photos both before and after the ceremony so that you can have photos within a variety of lighting conditions.
We all want to look our best on our wedding day, and all the more so in photos! Here are some tips about how to look your best as you pose for your wedding day portraits:
• Use Angles To Thin Down
If you want to appear thinner in photos, always choose to face the camera at an angle and never straight on. You can also slide slightly behind your partner or under their arm to minimize your size.
• No Double Chins
If you are worried about a double chin, make sure your photos are taken at a level above your eyes and face. You can also tilt your head sideways slightly; to completely hide your chin.
• Hands On Hips
What do you do about your arms – especially in a strapless dress? The answer is simple. Instead of having your arms hanging straight down the side of your body, place your hand on your hip to slim it down and add a sense of tone.
• Balancing Act
You can slim down and strike a pose that everyone loves by placing your weight on your back foot while crossing your other foot in front of it like a “T.” Then, kick your hip out at an angle towards the camera.
• Be yourself
Don’t try to be anyone or anything other than you. Let your personality, quirks and special qualities shine through in every photo – it is your day! When you attempt to be something or someone you’re not, it comes through in the photography.
• Relax and laugh
Rather than worrying about the outcome of the photos, enjoy the moment and the day as it is happening. Laugh as much as possible, not only because it will make you feel good, but because it always looks great in photos.
Because your photographer is the person you’re trusting to capture this special day, and you’ve paid for their creativity and input, make sure they are in the know about the following items:
• Individuals With Special Considerations
Make sure your photographer knows about any individuals with hearing, vision or mobility impairments. Also consider less obvious issues such as allergies, heat sensitivity, people who sweat a lot or have an aversion to flashes. By letting your photographer in on these details as much as possible, they can plan better and anticipate problems. It is also helpful to know if someone needs a wheelchair or walker, so that settings can be chosen to accommodate and adequate time is allotted.
• Any Type of Planned Craziness
Every wedding comes with at least one unexpected or surprise event – it is just the nature of the beast. However, these surprises are not necessarily something you want to have happen for your photographer. So if you’re going to spring a crazy dance when everyone is expecting a romantic moment – let us know so we can plan accordingly and get the best shots possible.
• DIY Details
If you’ve put time and effort into the details of your wedding, you want to make sure they are preserved for the years. Inform your photographer about any DIY decorations or settings or other parts of your day that you’ve invested in personally. We will make sure to capture these in detail so that you can remember every little bit.
• Dealing With Drama
Families come in all shapes, sizes and structures – and some of these include divorce, discontent and just plain dislike. If you think there is a potential for some drama during your wedding day, let your photographer know. This will provide an opportunity for you to talk through how you will handle these types of situations and what you’ll agree on as far as the “must have” shots.
Will it be an issue if my venue is dark or if my reception is in the evening?
Even though we do prefer more light, we are very comfortable working in all types of lighting conditions. We are equipped with professional external flashes to compensate for dimly lit venues, and our cameras and lenses also have low light capabilities that enable us to take photos in situations where we may not be allowed to use a flash, such as during a Catholic ceremony.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Our studio uses only top of the line professional Canon equipment for our regular sessions, events and all wedding day coverage. If you are interested in knowing more about what we pack in our camera bag for a wedding please view the My Gear link here.
Do you bring back-up equipment with in case of a malfunction?
Absolutely! We always bring back up equipment, such as an extra professional grade camera, lenses, batteries and more.
How soon after the wedding will I be able to view my photos?
Your online wedding gallery is a private, password protected gallery on my website where you and your family and friends can view your wedding day photographs. Your wedding gallery will be available to view within 4 - 6 weeks after your wedding. We know that you can't wait to view all of your beautiful wedding day portraits that we captured for you. Our studio strives to curate each wedding gallery in the most efficient time possible by carefully selecting which portraits to include and then touching them up with our post-processing techniques.
What is the total number of images I can expect to receive?
Since every wedding is different, we do not guarantee a set amount of images. There are several factors that impact the amount of images shot at your wedding, including the amount of hours you have contracted us, activities you have scheduled and the number of people in your wedding party. As a guideline you can expect approx. 25-35 images per hour.
How does the album design process work?
Once your wedding gallery has been uploaded on our website, we start designing your custom wedding album per the specifications that you supplied to our studio during an earlier meeting. Please allow 2 - 3 weeks until your wedding album layouts are ready to be previewed for your approval. Once we have received the approval on your wedding album layouts, and you have finalized your cover material and album color selections, we will fulfill your wedding album order. It usually takes about 10 - 14 business days until your custom wedding album is ready to be picked up from our studio.
Our studio has many wedding products and wedding albums on display for you to view and look through. If you would like more information about the beautiful custom wedding albums that our studio offers, please view our Custom Album link here.
What will my wedding album look like once it's completed?
Our wedding albums offer fresh, modern designs giving them a clean and classic look and feel. Your wedding images are printed directly onto the album paper creating a beautiful book that will be an heirloom for future generations to cherish. We also offer a few options to upgrade your custom wedding album as well. Please view our Custom Album link here for more information about our wedding albums and remember to view the wedding albums that we have on display in our studio during your next visit.
Why do you offer a complimentary engagement session with each wedding collection?
Is an engagement session really necessary? After all, don’t the wedding portraits represent the beginning of our lives together? Our studio believes that there are many benefits in photographing an engagement session before you become husband and wife. An engagement session allows you, as a couple, to get comfortable in front of the camera with your photographer, and figure out how you work best together before the main event. You can showcase your personalities in a more casual setting, while creating some fun, memorable photographs for wall portraits, your wedding sign-in book, guest signature board or even Thank You cards. Engagement sessions also add another dimension to your wedding album, chronicling your story from frolicking fiancées to husband and wife. Best of all, you can remember this special time forever with personal memories of just the two of you.
When is the best time to schedule my engagement session?
We would advise you to schedule your engagement session as soon as possible so that you have the option to use the photos for your Save the Date announcements. We can schedule your engagement sessions during the week or even on a weekend. We prefer to photograph your session during golden hour, which is about an hour after sunrise, and before sunset.
Will you visit my venue prior to my wedding day?
If we haven’t shot a wedding at your location in the past, we can arrange a visit prior to your wedding date to scout for the best photo locations. We prefer to visit your venue approximately two weeks prior to your wedding at around the same time that your ceremony will be so that we can get an idea of the lighting. Many couples choose to have their engagement session at their wedding venue too. This is an ideal way for us to become familiar with you and your venue while we scout for photo opportunities.
When should we take our bridal party photos?
This depends on whether you want to see each other prior to the ceremony. If not, you may want to take photos separately with the bridesmaids and groomsmen and then take group photos after the ceremony. The remainders of your wedding party, who are not required for family photos, can then go straight to cocktail hour and mingle with the other guests.
How much time do you recommend we set aside for formal portraits?
A good rule of thumb is to set aside approx. 5 minutes for each group photo that you’d like to take. For individual photos of the bride with each of her bridesmaids and the groom with each of his groomsmen, we usually set aside 30-45 minutes for each group. We also love to have at least 45-60 minutes for photos with the bride and groom. For family photos we recommend allowing approx. 5 minutes for each grouping.
How far in advance do I need to book you?
Couples usually book us 12 – 18 months in advance. Other times couples book us a few months in advance.
If we're running late, will you stay later than you were scheduled?
Surely! We do have an overtime rate and it goes into effect only with your permission and approval that I continue coverage. Our studio will bill you for those hours after you return from your honeymoon.
How do I reserve you as my wedding photographer?
We require a non-refundable retainer fee of $300 to secure your date. This prevents us from booking other weddings on your date. The remaining balance is due two weeks prior to your wedding date.