the wedding photography guidebook
all the tips, tricks and suggestions needed to make
your wedding photos amazing
I vow to always show up with my A game for you but let's be honest, we all need a little help. With some teamwork, this is how we can really take your wedding photos to the next level.
I've created this guidebook to help share the information that I think makes a world of a difference, but remember the most important rule..... there are no rules. Shake it up and make the day yours. Are you cutting the cake because you want to, or because that's what the venue said you're supposed to do at 8:00pm? If a certain tradition doesn't resonate with you, scrap it. Why is it always ceremony first, reception after? White dress, high heels, beef or fish? Is this what’s important?
Have tacos for dinner, have a friend perform the ceremony and sign the papers later, get ready together, play rock paper scissors for who gets to pick the first dance song.
Just make it YOU. Break the rules
I'm going to sound like a broken record on this one. Lighting, lighting, lighting.
If you can, have your makeup artist set you up in front of a window. There's nothing more flattering than soft, natural light coming in through a window. Think about what's around you where you're getting ready and remove ALL of the clutter.
Consider this when choosing the location you'll get ready in. There's not much that can be done to make a dark dirty basement look beautiful. Pick a place that has lots of space, light and minimal clutter (this goes for the guys too)! White walls and light colours work wonders. Think about the room as a blank canvas for this portion of the day.
This is what it's all about. The part of the day that everything is revolved around. Time to make it official!
I'll dive into more detailed timelines below but if you're getting married outdoors, try to avoid a mid-day ceremony where the sun is beaming down from directly above. Sweat, harsh shadows and squinting - let's avoid all that.
Golden hour is your best friend, it's those last few hours before the sun sets. Everything glows and the light hits your face just right - it's natures way of airbrushing you.
What do you want to see when you're walking down the aisle? The faces of everyone you love, not 50 iPhones and iPads held in the air. A guest leaning into the aisle to catch their own shot can really take away from that photo of your Dad walking you in. Sadly, in our technology driven age I've found that we really have to be extra bold in reminding guests to tuck their phones away. Sometimes just a sign doesn't do it anymore. Have your officiant let them know that the photographer will share all the professional images with them (of course!) and that you request that they're present and watching with their eyes. It's a beautiful thing to see a full room totally connected to the ceremony - and disconnected from their screens - promise!
I'd love to work with you to specifically tailor this to your venue and your exact date, but generally speaking these are the timelines that will maximize your photos. It's about keeping your ceremony and portraits as close to golden hour as possible (without ending up in the dark) but remember... there are no rules. Want to flip things on their head and get married under the stars? Let's chat about how we can make that happen!
You might be wondering, what is a first look?
It's an intimate moment set up for you and your soon to be spouse to see each other before the ceremony.
In the summer I strongly suggest staying with a traditional timeline and doing photos after the ceremony because of the extended daylight, but when the days are shorter it's much more ideal to do photos before hand!
sunset around 8:30-9:00pm
2:30 - photography starts / getting ready photos
4:00 - ceremony
4:30 - family photos
5:00 - cocktail hour / bridal party photos
6:00 - grand entrance to reception
6:30 - dinner / speeches
7:30 - bride & groom photos
spring & fall weddings
sunset around 6:30-7:00pm
2:00 - photography starts / getting ready photos
3:30 - first look
4:00 - bridal party photos
4:30 - bride & groom photos
5:30 - family photos
6:00 - ceremony
6:30 - cocktail hour / reception follows
sunset around 4:30-5:00pm
12:30 - photography starts / getting ready photos
2:00 - first look
2:30 - bridal party photos
3:00 - bride & groom photos
4:00 - family photos
4:30 - candlelit ceremony
5:00 - cocktail hour / reception follows
My goal is to use flash as little as possible. Sure, it's great when it's absolutely needed, but it's my feeling that flash takes away from the ambience of a room. I want your photos to honestly represent how that moment looked through your eyes and how it felt to be there. They key to this is using only the light that is naturally available.
This is where you can help me! Make Italian String Lights (sometimes called Bistro Lights) your best friend. Candles too.
Light your room up with a warm, natural glow - the more the better!
make it your own
At the end of the day, it's about you, your fiancé and your guests. It's about celebrating your love and commitment to each other and maybe throwing one hell of a party. Ask yourself, are you copying Pinterest boards or following the cookie-cutter bridal magazine checklist? What decisions are you making because someone told you that was 'the norm'.
Screw the norm. Kick your shoes off, switch it up, break some traditions and create new ones.
I can't wait to capture it all for you.