Dear Bride to be,
I have experienced many different wedding setups. From the classic inside the chapel wedding, to inside barn ceremony, to the sandy beaches. All of these venues are beautiful and ready for a big day like yours to draw attention to the happiness you and your significant other are going to share. I count down the hours until I get to grab my camera and take beautiful pictures of your wonderful day, but I want to let you know a few things before that day comes.
Though these locations are beautiful, if they are not properly prepared for pictures than the images I will be able to capture will not be the best of the best. I want to make sure you receive the most beautiful pictures possible. Here are a few things to consider to help ensure that the photographs you receive are perfect in every way.
I am going to follow the timeline for a wedding and cover the basic stages of the day so you know how best to prepare for my arrival.
Before I get started on the wedding day, let’s talk about itineraries. A schedule of any kind is much appreciated and will help me gauge how long I will have to take photos throughout the day. I can help make this with you so I can have plenty of time making sure I get all the little moments of your wedding day photographed. Thirty minutes to an hour is plenty of time to plan for pictures in each of these sections or for specialty picture requests. If I have that much time the day will feel relaxing and I will feel better knowing I got every picture you wanted.
Preparation: This is normally in a dressing room or a house where all the ladies, and sometimes the men, get prepared to walk down the aisle. Small rooms can be hard for me to maneuver around and raise the risk of me not getting the perfect shot. Make sure there is plenty of light in the preparation space. Big glass doors, windows, ceiling and wall lights help me out a lot to get the best lighting possible, we don’t want a huge shadow on your face covering up that big smile. We need to make sure the bride is getting ready in a timely fashion to make sure that we have plenty of time to take portraits of you in your dress with your makeup and hair done. No one wants to feel rushed especially on your special day.
First Look(Pros and Cons): You two might decide that you do not want to see each other before the ceremony(my wife and I wanted our first look to be her coming down the aisle). This can get amazing reaction picture opportunities of your future partner at the altar but there are some possible issues. When you choose not to have a first look before the ceremony this means that combined family and couple photographs will have to be taken after the ceremony, if your wedding is in the late afternoon then this can cause lighting concerns. When the sun starts setting it gets dark very fast. Also, time is an issue. Your wedding has ended and everyone is heading toward reception. You cannot join them until all of your photos are taken. Also, your attendants and family members will not be able to join them until all the photos are taken, and this can make everyone feel rushed. If you choose to have a first look before the ceremony, all of these images can be taken before guests arrive directly after the first look.
A Ceremony for Outdoor Weddings: This is the moment when you take those first steps toward your loved one and the crowd goes silent. They hold their breath as you come down the aisle and make eye contact with the love of your life. One thing to make sure of is that the crowd can hear you when you make it to the altar(vow area). If the ceremony is outside, the wind might be screaming through and the crowd will want to hear your vows, but when they gather around you, it will block me from getting some angles and won’t allow me to do my best work. If the ceremony is outside, ask uncle jo or cousin buddy(or an actual DJ) if they have a PA system or some sort of speaker they can set up so everyone can hear your confession of love to one another and I can sneak around like a ninja in the crowd.
A Ceremony for Indoor Weddings: If you go for the more traditional indoor church wedding, the lights in sanctuaries are not always flattering. Most churches use fluorescent lights to save on energy bills. I completely understand this but they can cast a blue tinted light making everyone look like they just stepped out of the freezer. Some Churches use more yellow-tinted lights which can make people appear to have a spray on tan that stayed on too long. Make sure if you do use a church for a venue that you have a place in mind to take photos outside around the church, where natural light can be used.
Reception: This is a big one. Most receptions are at night or start when the sun begins to fall. If it is an option to have lights over the dance floor, eating area, drink area this will all help me. Any kind of light is better than no light at all, except for just a DJ colored light, those don’t do much for me or the people that look like green aliens or blue smurfs. Twinkle lights, candles, white string lights, wire LED lights all will help me have more options of what lenses I can use and will get my creativity flowing with all the possibilities of places I can pose you and your new partner. This will also allow me to better photograph the big moments like first dances, cake cuttings, and exits.
Exits: When you exit your wedding you want it to be magical because this is the start of your life together as a married couple. PLAN IT OUT. I am not meaning that to sound rude, but I have watched many brides not plan this out. They do not have a specified time to leave, they do not have a plan of where and how their guests will stand, and they have not chosen an item(sparklers, bubbles, streamers, etc) to exit with. Once you have planned this out please voice these plan with me, your photographer. This will allow you to have the most beautiful exit that you can remember through pictures.
**These are some things that can be done during the planning of your wedding to help your photographer do a better job and to get the photos that you will love.
Some of the images from this post were taken from a wonderful couples wedding. Check out that blog post here Mr and Mrs B