Throughout the years of photographing weddings, I've compiled a list of ways that we can take your wedding images up a notch, and make them that much better by sharing a couple of tips that seem to work, but sometimes get over looked.
I'm not about to boss you around and tell you how your wedding should go. That's not my style. I believe it's your day, and I truly want to make it an amazing experience for you.
Consider picking a getting ready space that has a lot of natural light. This will create beautifully lit, and natural looking photos. Get ready by a large window. The more natural light the better!
Make sure all luggage, food wrappers, cups, etc. are in another room or hidden away. Having a perfectly clean room photographs well. Pizza boxes and Subway wrappers do not.
Braless & flawless
Sounds crazy, but don’t wear a bra for an hour or two before getting into your gown. Especially if it has low cut sides or an open back. It creates lines in your skin that can take an hour or two to disappear.
An unplugged ceremony is the way to go, to allow me to do the best possible job. Nothing is more unfortunate than an excited Auntie stepping right in front of my shot as you're walking down the aisle, having someone’s i-pad in my shot, or having a guest’s flash over-expose my shot. (Some people have an unplugged ceremony with a designated section in the program for photos of the entire bridal party). The best way to delicately tell your guests this is to have the officiant announce this at the start of the ceremony. You can also tell guests that they don't need to worry about capturing ceremony photos as you will send them the link to your images, so they can have a copy.
EXAMPLE: The guest behind the Bride was super excited to take his phone photo (can't really blame him) but this image would be stronger if he was elsewhere, and present.
Mr. Golden Sun
For Outdoor Ceremonies: The lighting is best later in the afternoon (after 2pm in Summer). Try to have the sun behind or in front of you. If the sun is off to one side of you, it may create odd shadows or one of you may be completely shaded with your back to the sun, while the other is fully lit by the sun.
EXAMPLE: This ceremony had the sun in front of them. They are nicely evenly lit. Because the sun is directly lighting them, they are the same exposure as the mountains in the background. That is why the mountains show up so nicely in this image.
Arch you glad I didn't say banana?
I'm a wee bit of a perfectionist, and off center arches are something that I like to prevent. If you plan on using an arch and want your ceremony to be picture perfect, try to center yourselves exactly in the center of the arch. (It helps if you mark the ground with something prior to the ceremony to let yourself know where half way is)
EXAMPLE: These guys definitely practiced where to stand. Doesn't being perfectly centered look so good?!
Slow & steady
I know you're in a big rush to marry the love of your life, but slow down that entrance. The best chance for pretty photos of both you and your partner is walking (almost painfully) slow down the aisle.
When choosing a location for mid-day photographs, the more shade the better! Mid-day sunlight is not only harsh, it also causes squinty eyes. If the weather is overcast, we can go anywhere!
Having a list of every family combination you are wanting not only ensures speedy family portraits, it also guarantees we won’t miss an important picture.
To stay within the designated time allotted for family photographs it is recommended to stick to immediate family & grandparents. If you are planning to have a larger family group, please let me know so that she can make adjustments to the timeline. Ample shade coverage is strongly suggested for large groups.
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks
full belly, trigger happy
To allow for more reception photos, it is recommended that my “table” eats after the bridal party & family of course! We would hate for the festivities commence while my mouth is full.
Front & center
Sometimes there isn’t room for me to move around in front of the head table. Placing me at a reserved table close to the front allows for me to get awesome shots, without disrupting your guests. Let me know if there is a spot up there for me in advance.
Head table cleanliness
Try to make sure the head table is cleared of dirty plates before the speeches begin. Chicken bones, and grundgey napkins are super uggo! Another thing to consider if you're wanting to take your speech photos up a notch, is to try to have your bridal party drink out of fancy glasses or beer bottles rather than cans. I personally like how a can-less table looks, but do your thang! (This tip is super nit picky and definitely not going to ruin your photos if you decide against it).
newly wedded bliss
Sit close together during speeches. The best head table shots are the ones where the couple are cuddled up close during speeches. If one person is against the table while the others chair is pushed back closer to the backdrop, it’s harder to capture moments between the two of you.
I can't spy with my little eye
Try to keep large items to either side of you (not between), especially if the table is raised up. Move your flowers off to either side, so I can get great shots of your smooches & interactions during the speeches. Wine bottles look best beside or behind large centrepieces. Tall centerpieces often block me from capturing the odd person at the head table. It's hard to get their reactions behind a large bouquet. Low flower arrangements or floral table runners solve this problem.
I'm not a nudey pants, I swear!
A stepping stool, or some type of platform that raises the speaker above to podium is recommended (especially for shorter people). Aim to have the chest visible over the podium. This is important for strapless dresses, to make it look like you are in fact wearing clothes.
EXAMPLE: Floral table runner, low center pieces, glass cups, no dirty plates, and no sight of a bright can in sight. It's pretty picture perfect eh?
pucker up buttercup!
Get yo heinie off your chair, and stand up to kiss. This ensures no centrepieces are covering your faces, and it allows all your guests to see the big smoocheroo! (You don't have to do this everytime, but give me a couple chances to get that shot. )
Be aware of venue signage
If there is a “No Smoking” sign (or something like that) avoid putting the podium/head table in front of it OR cover it up with decorations.
Don't forget to bring these things that often get overlooked
Hot /rainy weather
For cold winter days bring:
-hand warmers: men can warm their hands up in their pockets and the girls can hold them against their bouquets.
- blankets to warm up with in the vehicle and while waiting for photos
- A thermos of hot chocolate, tea or coffee is sure to be a hit.
-Winter boots & wool socks: you typically can't see these under long dresses and your toes will thank you!
-To stand out against the snow, an off-white/cream coloured dress is the way to go.
For hot summer days bring:
- A handheld fan
- Blotting paper
-A cooler of ice cold water bottles
For rainy days bring:
-Extra Bobby-pins and hairspray
-Blow dryer may come in handy
Comfort is always key, especially if we are hiking. Wear or bring comfortable walking shoes, that you can wear if we end up walking or if it's cold outside. I definitely recommend wool socks and boots for any outdoor winter photos.
I also recommend having an extra pair of socks/shoes for the guys to change into if their feet get damp from sweat, puddles or snow. It never hurts to have a backup.
This one is probably the MOST IMPORTANT if you want to have a good time. More often than not food is forgotten. You end up being so busy you forget to eat lunch/brunch before your ceremony, then you head out for portraits and not a snack is in sight. Make sure you eat before your ceremony, and also that you bring snacks along for the afternoon. Your wedding party will thank you!
Not necessary, but super helpful
extra bobby pins
stain remover (tide-to-go)
altering your skin tone
PLEASE OH PLEASE be careful with this if you were planning to get a spray tan. When you alter the colour of your skin substantially it shows up in photos as orange, and has potential to look really unnatural.
Another thing to consider is if your partner is pale and not getting a spray tan, it's hard to get their skin tone right in the photos if you've got an orange "tan" undertone to your skin.
If you or your wedding party needs to fly in, make sure the wedding attire is in their carry on. Baggage gets lost, and I've had wedding attire emergencies where the bag is completely lost and all they have is the clothing they wore on the plane.
Another thing is to make sure you fly in a day or two before hand in case of delays (especially with the lack of flights recently due to Covid-19)
empty your pockets
Please keep your belongings like phones, wallets, and sunglasses in a bag that you can drop them whenever we start taking photos. The items in your pockets bulge awkwardly in photos.
Lace or underwear with gemstones show up through certain fabrics (especially form fitting dresses). Definitely something to consider when getting ready for your wedding day.
other tid bits