Autumn's wedding photo tips
- Plan on getting up-lighting from your DJ or venue. The background of your reception photos will be washed with beautiful color and enables me as a photographer to give some interesting effects to your photos.
- Planning with your photographer is so important. Do a detailed timeline for every part of the day, including backup locations for possible bad weather such as the covered convention center walkway or the CMU pillars. And don't forget an xtra large black umbrella, big enough to fit you, your hubby, and your entire dress under!
- Consider the lighting differences at different times of day for your formal portraits. Although a first look can be really convenient and allow more time for portraits, it also might force you to do those photos at noon, when the light is more harsh, hot, and directly overhead – as opposed to the softer light of later afternoon.
- Check the scheduled time for sunset, and plan 10 minutes around that time of your day to go outside with your photographer - wherever you are, even if its during dinner! It will be worth it!
- When you're getting ready in the morning, wear a strapless bra or none at all if possible, for at least 30 minutes prior to getting your dress on. If not, you may have indent lines on your shoulders during your bridal portraits since those are often taken immediately after getting dressed.
- It is important that you connect with you photographer's personality. Remember that we are going to be at your side all day for the biggest event of your life!
- Girls... Don't over-tan your skin. Your natural skin tone or slightly tan is best. Trust me! And professional makeup artist is a must in my opinion. They use the highest quality so it will not budge all day long.
- If possible, the bride and groom should try to get ready in the same building or area so that we can get photos prior to wedding of both the guys and girls. For example - the same hotel but different rooms.
- Be sure to assign someone in your bridal party to be the cell phone leader of the day. What does that mean? I understand and wouldn't expect either the bride or groom to even touch their cell phone once the day begins, but there could be an emergency where I need to reach someone who is with you. For example, if I am following the limo from the church to a photo location I've never been before, and lose the limo through a stoplight - I'll need to reach you. So assign someone to be my contact for the day, and make sure they have my number, as well as my assistant's.
- While on the subject of assigning bridal party members to have jobs... lets talk about other jobs to delegate. (1) A bridesmaid to be in charge of checking your makeup and letting you know when to reapply lipstick or blotting the shine from your forehead. (2) A bridesmaid in charge of always having a bottle of water for you nearby. (3) A groomsman on cell phone duty (see #9 above!) You get the idea... Having each person remember one item, assures it will not be forgotten.
- Make sure to eat! Sounds crazy? Not really.. I've seen many sick brides/grooms and bridal party due to not eating all day... then that first sip of champagne just doesn't sit well. Water is equally essential! It is also important not to over do the alcohol prior to the main events of the reception, especially in the limo. Its easy to get a little too tipsy prior to photos when you're just enjoying the day. You certainly will be able to notice if your expressions in the photos were a little alcohol induced.
- Plan your events with your dj to end earlier in the night, so that the dancing does not get interrupted too many times. Its hard to get the crowd going again after they have been asked to sit down and get back up several times.
- Of course on a long wedding day, we photographers need to eat dinner too. Often we begin our day by packing up the studio a few hours before we even arrive at the first location. We'll typically bring a power bar for some midday snack along the way, but we are very anxiously waiting for a real meal by 6pm. So if possible, we greatly appreciate a hot meal, served at the same time or shortly after the first table is served. Many venues try to feed vendors like photographers, videographers, and dj after all guests have received their meals. And although I understand their reason why, it doesn't help us do our best job. We need to be ready to start shooting again when you are finished with your meal. Often when the bride and groom are finished and ready to visit tables, we haven't even received the meal yet, sometimes we are not even in the same room (a vendor room down the hall). So please request ahead of time for your photographers to be fed early in the table order.
- Group photos at the reception are welcome, but tough to get due to the nature of the party atmosphere. However I've come up with the best way to accomplish these shots in an easy, quick way. If you want specific shots with groups (ie: bride's sororiety girls, groom's golf buddies, all your cousins, etc) just assign one person from each group well in advance to be in charge of making this happen. For example, as the photographer, I have no idea who these specific people are. But those groups know every person who should be included in that shot. So let them assemble themselves. Here's what to do - a few weeks prior to your wedding email one person from that group who is the most organized and least forgetful, then CC the rest of that group as well on the email. Tell that person you need a favor on the wedding day (they will be thrilled to have a wedding "job"). Ask them to organize a group shot after dinner (before the events begin). Once they are all assembled and in the same place, all they need to do is send someone to find you and flag me down. The shot can be accomplished in no time!
- Have a good time. Enjoy your time with guests. And don't sweat the small stuff... Thats what your vendors are hired for!