I am a natural light photographer and rely on natural light to produce images that reflect the style and look that you hired me for. So, whenever possible, try to get ready in a room with lots of window light!
Hotel rooms are often dark with little personality. Your own home or an Airbnb is a great alternative.
If you want detail images of your dress, shoes, stationary etc allow at least 30 minutes for these photos. Make sure to schedule them before your finishing touches happen so I don't miss anything.
Keep it Simple
My style tends to go towards clean and minimal. To achieve this while getting ready, ask your wedding party and family to help clean up the room before photos begin.
Make sure your bridesmaids (mom, grandma etc) are dressed by the time you are ready to put on your dress. An image of you getting your dress on might not look the best if your mom is still in her sweat pants. Same goes for the men!
A first look is a private moment between the two of you when you see each other for the first time before the ceremony. Here are some reasons why they work great.* First looks are totally up to you! Regardless if you plan to do one or not, we can make a timeline that allows for everything to get covered!
It relaxes you
One thing that I hear time and time again from my couples is that seeing each other before the ceremony really helped relax them. All the anticipations and nervousness subsides when you see your person.
Doing a first look allows you the option to do your portraits and wedding party photos before the ceremony. This also allows you more time to spend with your guests.
If you are doing a first look, you have the option to do your family photos before the ceremony. I would only recommend this options if your family photo list is short and if you can coordinate and trust that everyone will be there before the ceremony. Otherwise, we can do family photos immediately following the ceremony. Make sure your family knows to stick around for photos! Trying to find them if they have gone off to cocktail hour is like herding cats. You can also have your officiant make an announcement before the ceremony begins to remind them.
Make a list
I will request a list of the family photos you want about 2 weeks before the wedding. Having a list ensures we don't miss anything! Please use everyones names on this list rather than their relationship to you. For example, instead of saying photo of bride with sister, write out your sisters name. Expect each grouping to take 3-5 minutes.
Have a helper
Please have a friend or family member there to help locate family members as I have no idea who's who!
Talk to your family
I always recommend talking with your parents before the wedding about which family photos you plan on taking. If you don't get their input ahead of time, they will often request photos that are not on the list, which can throw us off with the timeline.
Wedding Party Photos
If you are doing a first look, I recommend doing wedding party photos before the ceremony. Again, more time for cocktail hour!
Let me know what is important to you so we can make a timeline that reflects that. If you want lots of photos with your wedding party in different locations we can do that. If you want just a couple with the same backdrop, that's great too. I would recommend at least 30 minutes for these photos, more time if you want to go to different locations and if your wedding party is large.
If we plan to do your wedding party and portrait photos on the beach, in the forest, out on rocks etc, please have the girls bring along flip flops to walk to and from the locations.
Portraits don't have to be "smile and look at me" I like to give direction that gets the two of you to interact and be present with each other. I always suggest breaking up your portraits into two sessions. The first being during your first look or directly after the ceremony and the final session being at sunset. Most of the images I love to share and create happen during sunset. The light is warm and I can create soft, dreamy imagery. Allowing at least an hour total for these two session is perfect.
Put the sun behind you!
If there is any advice I can give you for getting the best photos this is it! For an outdoor ceremony, it's best to place the sun behind you. Otherwise there will be lots of harsh shadows and unflattering light. Whenever possible, getting married later in the day is ideal for lighting. If you are getting married in the early afternoon, definitely be backlit or even better, pick a spot in the shade.
When you're nervous, you often walk fast. Take a deep breath and walk down the aisle slowly!
This one is up to you but I recommend having an unplugged ceremony. Often times, people will stand in the aisle with their cell phone and instead of getting a photo of the two of you, I get a photo of them.
I really love shooting detail shots and consider them to be a big part of the story of your day. Allow at least 25 minutes for me to capture these and have someone make sure the reception space is unaccessible to guests before the reception so that there are no coats, purses or cell phones on the tables.
Say no to flash
I really gravitate towards ambient light, especially once it gets dark. When possible, try to light up your receptions with lots of candles or bistro lights. This gives off an intimate and warm light that I really enjoy shooting in.
I eat when you Eat
Please allow my vendor meal to be ready at the same time as guests so that I am done with my meal when toasts and dances begin. I don't want to miss anything!
Dancing photos are tons of fun but they begin to all look the same after about 30 minutes. I usually suggest wrapping up my coverage about 30 minutes after the dance floor opens.
Ask me anything!
I am here to work with you to create a timeline that reflects what is important to you while trying to get the best images I can. Feel free to email me with any questions and remember, things almost always take longer than expected. Create a timeline with lots of wiggle room.