Timing

The first and most important tip that I have is:  if you want to have beautiful photos like the ones you see here on my website, you have to make time for pictures on your wedding day.  In my opinion, allocating at least 1.5 to 2 hours for formal portraits is necessary (about 1/2 hour will be spent photographing you and your fiance and the rest with the bridal party and family members).  


Lighting

Lighting is everything because it changes throughout the day and different light will create different results. Here are my tips for making the best use of light throughout your wedding day:

  • Getting ready photos: I recommend choosing a room with large windows where there is a lot of natural light.  Not only will this benefit you as you’re getting your makeup done but it will also help capture the intricate details of your dress, ring and other items.  Most brides will get ready in their home or in a hotel room and if there are limited natural light coming through the windows, I will utilize the surrounding outdoor area to photograph the dress and details.
  • Formal portraits:  Typically this will take place in mid-afternoon when the sun is at its highest which will create unflattering and harsh shadows on faces and cause people to squint.  Consider doing the formal portraits in a location that not only has a beautiful backdrop but also areas that have shades (for example: trees or pavilions).
  • Ceremony:  If your ceremony is taking place inside a church, be sure to check on any restrictions on the use of cameras and/or flash.  It’s often dimmer inside of a church and therefore will typically require a flash.
  • Reception:  As most reception take place in the evening, I bring my own flashes to set up.  Any additional lights that you plan on putting out will definitely help add to the ambient light (such as candles, Christmas lights, or DJ lights)

Detail shots

This is where we get intimate with all the intricate and delicate details – dress, rings, shoes, jewelry, invitation suite, decor and venue setting.  You’ve worked so hard on every detail of the wedding and now I get to photograph them for you!  To ensure we capture all the details you want, I recommend the following:

  • Aside from the ring, start thinking about items that you’d like to have photographed, specifically items that are special to you (i.e. jewelry that was gifted to you from a special family member or friend).
  • Place all the items that you want photographed into a box prior to your wedding day.   When I arrive, I will start with the detail shots as you and your bridesmaids are getting ready.  
  • Venue and reception settings – before the ceremony starts and the guests start arriving, I will photograph the empty settings (from the entire scene to the untouched details on the desert table).


Getting ready photos

  • Designate one of your bridesmaid or family member to help clean and organize the surrounding area so that all the clutters are not included in the photos.
  • If you and your bridesmaids are wearing robes while getting ready, be sure to iron out all the wrinkles on the robes prior to your wedding day.  The camera will pick up on all these little details.
  • Most brides prefer that they have at least half of their makeup on before I start photographing which works out great as this will give me some time to photograph the dress and details.


Bridal party

Most often than not, many bridesmaids meet the groomsmen for the very first time on the day of the wedding.  You can definitely tell when they’re awkwardly standing next to each other during the formal portraits or walking down the aisle together which then shows through in the photos.  To create a more energetic vibe, I recommend introducing the bridal party members to one another prior to the wedding so that they get to know each other and are more comfortable being physically close together.  Go and and have some drinks together or invite the bridal party over for dinner prior to the wedding.  


Ceremony

You will cry.  Yes you will.  Just prepare to have some tissues on hand.

For the groom and groomsmen – I often see the groom and his groomsmen having their cell phones in their pockets creating some unflattering bulk in their side or back pockets.  I’d recommend that the bridal party leave their cell phones behind during the ceremony portion of the wedding


Reception

Cake cutting – I have to admit that this is probably the one part of the wedding that I struggle with the most because the cake is often located in a cramped corner or against a wall.  Therefore the bride and groom will typically have their backs to me and all I can capture is half of their face.  If you’d like to capture the whole cake cutting scene, I recommend that you leave some space in front and behind the cake so that it allows me to photograph you from the front rather than from the back.  One option would be to place the cake on a rolling round table so that you can pull it out in front of the guests, cut the cake, and roll it back to the desert area.  


Sunset photos

If you’ve chosen to get sunset photos done during your wedding, I will pull you and and your fiance aside for 15-20 minutes and find an ideal spot outdoors for a few shots.  In my opinion, these can be some of the most beautiful wedding photos ever.

Tips for beautiful wedding photos

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