Planning / Ultimate Guide To Wedding Day Photos

On a scale from 1-10 (1 being your sister takes your photos on her iPad, 10 being the best photographer you can afford) how important is your wedding day photography? FYI, the correct answer should be, "15... being the best photographer I can get for who I will sacrifice other things in my budget"! Duh!

But you know, even the best photographers in the business need your help in planning and on your wedding day to make sure your wedding day photos are everything you ever dreamed of! And this, my friend, is how to absolutely ROCK your wedding day photos! 

details

First, let's talk details. Before your wedding I will email you a little list of everything you should have ready that morning when we get there. This is a great job for a bridesmaid! I mean... they DO have a job other than to stand there and look cute and take selfies ;)  I ask you to bring a copy of your entire invitation suite and have that along with your jewelry, shoes, rings, etc waiting in a spot when we get there. Why is this important? Well... first of all, it ensures we don't forget anything! Also, when we meet for your consultation you will realize that our time with you is limited and we set your timeline down to the minute sometimes, so having these items ready to go lets us shoot your details photos quickly and efficiently so we can get back to your rooms and get some amazing getting ready shots!! Which brings me to my next point: getting ready photos.

getting ready

Sometimes brides don't feel like this is an important part of the day but it really is. Your wedding photos should tell the story of your wedding day and it should always be a complete story. When I am designing an album I move through the album as I move through your wedding day images, telling each piece of the story. And the best way to make sure your getting ready pictures are amazing is to try to get ready in a room that is well lit with natural light (think windows!) and especially when you're having your makeup done! I promise you, your makeup artist will appreciate this one as much as I do! Another thing that really helps make your getting ready photos stand out is keeping the room as clutter-free as possible. I know this is really hard with so many people in a small space but try to think about this as you're planning and choosing your venue. Some venues have really great getting ready spaces!

ceremony

The only advice I have for you for your ceremony is this: Look at each other. Hold each others' hands. Look into each others' eyes. Take a deep breath and look around you. Take it all in. So when times get rough you can remember this time and feel exactly what you felt in that moment. 

family and bridal party portraits

The next thing we're going to talk about is the formal portraits. I know, I know... this is everyone's least favorite part of the day! But there are some things you can do to help it really move quickly! At your consultation we will talk about your shot list and I will email you the template to fill out! All you have to do is make a list of everyone you want formal portraits of and their first names so that when it comes time for this part of the day, we can hold that list and call out names and they come, have their photo snapped and we move on to the next! It really makes this time streamlined and we almost never take as much time as you might expect us to take! ... which leaves more time for couple portraits! 

couple portraits

Couple portraits are my favorite part of the day! It allows you to have some time, just the two of you, to unwind a little bit, have a little bit of fun, laugh and talk about your day. The most important factor for your couple portraits is light. Typically, I will research ahead of time what time the sun will set and we will arrange your portraits around the sunset. When we meet at your consultation, if you're flexible in your timeline, and you tell me that these photos are the most important to you as well...  I'm telling you, we will time your entire day around sunset and your portraits! It is that important! I remember how rushed and pressured I felt the entire day at my wedding so allowing you to have a moment together where you can relax and just be together in your real emotions and your real relationship is sooo important! Minimal posing, just a little coaching and maybe whispering a little something dirty in the others' ear to get a genuine smile... it's painless and makes for beautiful images! And then you can go party!

reception

What makes good reception photos? Everyone happy and having a great time... especially YOU! The thing you can do is just smile, interact with your new husband or wife and your guests and make sure everyone is having fun! We will cover the cake cutting and the first dance and all the other reception events but don't get so bogged down by all the details that you forget to enjoy the party you've been planning for so long. The thing I've learned over the years is if you want your guests to get up and dance... you have to get up and dance! If it is important to thank everyone who came to your wedding, after you've finished dinner and the guests are still eating, go to each table to say hello and thank you, instead of going to each person/couple individually. It will take less time to go to 20 tables for a few minutes than it will to talk to 200 people. That way when it's time to party, you can feel free to party! 

And I know you've been planning this day for so long! You deserve to party!