TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR PHOTO SESSION
Engagement Photography Session
Our passion is to provide our couples with as many beautiful images as possible. However, creativity does take time. We like to capture relaxed, unposed moments and interaction shots. Your session will last one to two hours. We shoot in the morning before the sun is too high or two hours before sunset. However, if it is overcast we can shoot at mid afternoon also. Your dress attire for the session is completely up to you. The key to engagement pictures is effortlessness. In order to look comfortable in front of a camera you should feel and look comfortable. You don’t want to be in a dress or pair of shoes that you usually don’t wear or does not reflect your personality. Consider how you will showcase your photos; ie: will they be printed, displayed on a slideshow, etc. Once you have your engagement images there are many things you can do with them. They can be given, as gifts to the family, parents especially always appreciate photographs of their children. You can make a small album or a coffee table box for yourselves. You might consider some sort of wall collage or portrait to hang on the wall in your new home. Pick out one or two locations that is important or that has some meaning to the two of you. This could be a place you got engaged or a first date, it could be at a place you both like to spend time, or something you like to do together such as a shared interest, a favorite restaurant or bar, a museum, the zoo, a movie theater, some place where you are both comfortable, without a lot of outside interference. Consider bringing items that show case your personalities and/or hobbies. But most of all, come prepared to have fun, enjoy your time together. We look forward to getting to know you, and plan to use this opportunity to plan for your big day.
Wedding Day Photography Planning
While planning your wedding photography is something I take total ownership and care of, I find it’s often helpful for my couples to have an idea of what to anticipate at certain parts of the wedding day. On the wedding day, everything moves so quickly and there is always lots going on, so while I don’t like to direct, I do like my couples to know what to expect in order to plan ahead of time. That way, we can ensure we are all on the same page going in so as to lay the groundwork for the best possible wedding photographs for you to look back on. Getting
Ready - On most wedding days, I first meet up with my brides as they are getting their hair and make-up done. It’s normally a really fun time to document as all the planning of the last few months is finally coming to fruition. There’s sometimes a hint of nerves and there’s often a lot of laughter. My main advice for brides at this time is to just be aware that I tend to shoot the room as it is to convey the true mood of the day, so if your room looks like teenage girls bedroom, that’s what your images will look like. If you’d rather I tidied things up, let me know ahead of time so we can do a quick sweep of the room to get things looking more organized for you. If you’re getting ready or even just getting into your dress at the church, you might want to have a look at the room you’ll be using ahead of time; you might find that they are not the most ornate setting for your images, so you might want to bear that in mind ahead of time too. Some brides prefer to put on their dress elsewhere for pictures, even if it means slipping into something else for the trip the the venue. When you’re getting ready, I really do prefer to use available light whenever I can, but if your make-up artist is using some kind of lamp or artificial lighting, I will go with the flow there in order to respect their work. That being said, if you are sitting right next to window and I think the light it might provide is going to add to the quality of the photography, I might just step in and suggest/politely request we try using that, at least for a few frames. To this last point, I do sometimes like to manipulate the light I am working with in order to enhance the images, so don’t be surprised if I draw curtains or block the light in some way. If I do this, it’s purely to enhance the mood of the image I am envisioning. I say this more for moms and other people in the room who might think I am a bit crazy. You need to trust me on this one! Details - While the girls are getting ready, I will normally take some time to photograph some of the details: dress, shoes, ring, jewelry, garter, etc. You might just want to have these handy for when I ask for them. I would also recommend getting a nice coat hanger for your dress as some of the ones the bridal shops provide are functional, but not very photogenic.
The Guys - Most of the time, the guys really want very little interaction with the photographer ahead of time. That being said, there is a lot of great potential for some cool photographs as the guys hang out and get ready. I will chat with you about this ahead of time to see what your preferences are, but even 5 minutes with the guys once they’re in their suits will provide some great photos for the album. The one below was a spontaneous shot taken outside the hotel as we walked to a spot to have the formal photos taken and is one of my favorites to this day.
The Ceremony - The last thing you should be thinking about is your photography. If your church or venue has special guidelines for photographers, I will have made myself aware of them. I will not be naughty or break any rules.
Family & Group Formals - This is probably the part of the day when we need to be the most organized. We’ll chat through this when we come to planning the day’s proceedings, but I basically ask my couples to put some thought into who they want in each photo so we can get through them as quickly as possible to get the guests off to the cocktail hour. A little thought can go a long way into making things run smoother and releasing people as quickly as we can so they can head to the food!
Wedding Portraits - My goal here is to take the pictures for you as quickly and painlessly as possible in order to get you back to your guests. Some couples who want a wider selection of photographs will talk to me about doing a pre-wedding portrait session, but, at the very minimum, we will spend 15-20 minutes taking some photos of the newlywed couple together after the formal photos.
The Reception - Now it’s time to let your hair down and have some fun. I’ll chat with you ahead of time and work with the band or DJ to ensure we’re all on the same page with regard to the timeline for dances, toasts, cake-cutting, bouquet toss, etc. That way, you can just relax and enjoy yourselves.