These are some tips I’ve come up with through my years of experience that will help brides and grooms think through the planning of their weddings in order to get the best results.
I. – Plan out the timing of your wedding thoughtfully.
To start let me make clear that I honestly don’t think every bride out there is right for me or me right for them. When you choose your wedding photographer you got to make sure that your vision for wedding photography matches the photographers’ vision. My particular style and vision requires more time for photographs that most photographers may require. There is no right or wrong here, just something you got to be aware of.
Now if you value your wedding images and want them to look spectacular, as good as fashion magazines and that it honestly reflect your wedding style and personality, read on…
If you do not have your heart set on not seeing each other until the ceremony, I highly recommend shooting all of the formal portraits before the ceremony. Although this varies from wedding to wedding based on number of wedding party and other factors, I generally require around hour for portraits (20-30 min. for bride & groom alone; 20 min. for bridal party; and 20 min. for family). If you choose to see each other before the ceremony, the time that I spend shooting you as a couple can be a special time for the two of you to interact before the craziness of the day.
After the ceremony I find that brides and grooms are not very excited to do portraits but would rather, understandingly so, spend time interacting with their loved ones and guests. This is why I recommend getting the portraits out of the way ahead of time.
Now, if you choose the traditional approach of shooting the portraits after the ceremony, make sure to time your ceremony so there is sufficient light available. Natural light makes all the difference in the quality of your photos. Always plan at least a half hour after the ceremony to interact with your guests or family before even beginning the portraits. So overall, make sure the ceremony ends 2 hours before sunset to be safe. In addition, I recommend planning in extra time between different events of your day as there are always unexpected things that come up and this will help to reduce stress and allow you to enjoy your day.
II. – Let me know any “must have” shots.
I will typically shoot the following formal portraits:
- Bride & Groom
- Bride & Groom with Bride’s Family
- Bride & Groom with Groom’s family
- Bride & Groom with Bridal Party
- Bride with Bridesmaids
- Groom with Groomsmen
If there are others that you would like to have, simply email them to me. I encourage you to not get too carried away with the list. I will be shooting constantly and am sure to get a wide variety of shots that you will like. As an artist it is important for me to be able to stay in the creative zone and shoot moments as they happen instead of being tied to a long list of shots that need to be checked off. I do want to accommodate your desires so please make them known.
III. – Prepare your family and friends for the style of photography you have chosen.
I call my style “Fine Art Documentary Photography”. This simply means that I am at your wedding to document your day, in an artistic way, from beginning to end. People, details, emotions, events, all of it! And I want to be as unobtrusive as I can possibly can. A proverbial “fly on the wall” for most of the night.
What I would suggest is to email them with links to my site and blog so they can see for themselves and have a better understanding of why you chose me and what we will be doing that day. Encourage them to ignore me as much as possible. We want to capture them having fun and not posing for a camera. I think this way they will enjoy the day much more.
IV. – Trust me
I hope you hired me because you loved what we do and you trust us that we will do a fabulous job documenting one of the most important days in your life. We want you to enjoy your day and not be worry if we are taking the right shots. Our commitment to you is to do our best always. Our goal is to capture images that will allow you to enjoy your wedding day every time you look at them.