A SMALL WELCOME GUIDE TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PROCESS
First off, I want to say YAAAY for booking me! I am so incredibly happy that you trust me to capture one of the most important days of your life. I guarantee I was ecstatic when you told me you wanted me for your wedding. It’s that same amazing feeling when you get a call-back from an interview, and they tell you that you got the job! 🙂
Once the contract is signed and the deposit is paid, the next step is to think about your engagement session (if you are doing one!). During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know me, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. The next thing to consider is location! In home, outdoor, cafe, special date spot?
There are many location ideas... and if you need help, I can make suggestions.
Hiring either a full event planner or just a day-of coordinator is SO important!! Brides realize very quickly that if they do not have someone in charge of the coordination of the day, that responsibility will automatically fall on the mother of the bride, the photographer or the BRIDE! When a photographer is in charge of the timeline and the coordination of the day, the images will suffer. All of my most stressful wedding situations were caused by a lack of organization and coordination. It’s so important to make this a priority. For me, the key is to make sure there is enough time for what you value. This will be a gradual process as plans for the day take shape over time. The coordinator will have a final timeline run-through about a week or two before your wedding. If you need any recommendations on wedding coordination services I would love to share some of my favorite vendors with you!
From a photographer’s point of view, getting ready is incredibly important because it lays the context for your story. I show up, get to hang out with you for a few hours during hair and makeup/bro-bonding time. I watch your friends laugh with you. I watch your mom look at you through the hotel room door as you get your makeup done – and I recognize that look (the one where she’s choking back tears). All these moments happen when you’re hanging out with people who matter the most. When else in your life do you get to have photos of you and your friends just enjoying each other’s company? Bring a box with all of your jewelry, special trinkets, invitations or any other memorabilia you would like incorporated into a special flat lay images. These items can really help tell your story. A bride’s details often include several accessories like bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, in addition to the dress, shoes, and rings.
While I am a fan of the romanticism of waiting to see each other as the bride is walking down the aisle, I can assure you that no emotion or intimacy is lost by doing a first look. In fact, a first look is often times more intimate than what is displayed by a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. In a private space, you and your soon-to-be husband or wife can share as much time as you need gawking at each other and how beautiful you look in that dress or suite. Typically, first looks provide a privacy and intimacy for seeing each other on the first day that just can't be had with 75-300 people staring at you. Want to put a spin on the first look? You can share your written vows in private moment where you can hear each other, but not see each other. There are so many creative ways to incorporate special moments in your day that are just for you and your partner.
Make a list of all of the formal photos you would like. For example; need a picture with your great aunt that you have not seen in ages? Make sure to write it down so we will capture all of the important family photos you are wanting.
After that list is made, please designate a family member or friend that will hold onto that list and be in charge of gathering all of the group of people for the photos. Formal photos are the busiest part of the wedding day for the photographer, and being organized is a must!
IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET PHOTOS OF JUST YOU TWO! AFTER ALL THIS DAY IS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR CELEBRATION OF LOVE. I WILL PULL YOU BOTH AWAY FOR 20-30 MINUTES TO GET THOSE IMAGES YOU HIRED ME FOR! IF YOUR WEDDING IS SCHEDULED LATER IN THE DAY WE WILL FULLY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GOLDEN HOUR TO CAPTURE THE PERFECT LIGHT TO CREATE SOME ART THAT WILL LOOK GREAT ON THE MANTLE. I WILL CAPTURE A COMBINATION OF POSED, UNPOSED AND DETAIL SHOTS DURING THIS TIME. IF YOU HAVE ANY POSES IN MIND...SEND THEM MY WAY AND WE WILL RECREATE THEM. DON'T WORRY, MOST WEDDING PLANNERS/DAY OF COORDINATORS WILL FIT THIS INTO THE TIMELINE TO ENSURE WE HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO CREATE SOME AFTER WEDDING MAGIC!
(This info applies to non-sparkler exits as well)
Invest in good sparklers – The standard, 4th of July sparklers will not do the trick. They burn for no more than 30 seconds, and that’s not enough time. When couples use these sparklers, the problem is that the guests who light theirs first at the front of the line have burnt out by the time the back of the line is sparkling. So you don’t get the desired effect of lots of glowing sparklers at once. Instead, make sure to buy the long sparklers that are designed especially for weddings. The 20 to 36 inch sparklers will give everyone in line a chance to light up and start sparkling before the couple makes their way through the crowd.
Prepare the guests -Make sure you include your sparkler send off in the reception’s program. If you have a chalkboard sign that outlines when events are happening like the entrance, dinner, toasts, first dance, cake cutting, etc… make sure to include the big send off too! This way, your guests won’t run off before the send off happens. Sometimes, we will schedule in a "fake exit" to ensure you have enough guests to participate in the send off to get that glowing effect.
Put someone in charge – If you have a planner then you’re golden. Make sure your planner discusses with your photographers how they would like the photos to be set up. Let’s face it, most of this effort for the big send off is to grab that iconic photo of it! So if your photographer isn’t able to get the best shot, you might be disappointed. Have your planner or person in charge (Maid of Honor, sibling, or trusted friend with a loud voice) go over the best location, timing and lighting situation with the photographer so everything is in place and ready for the perfect moment.
Walk, do not run! – So here’s the thing about a sparkler exit… you need make the most of it. If you sprint past your guests it’s over all too quickly and your photographer will have time for maybe 1 or 2 shots. Frankly, that’s not enough. So, as we tell all of our couples before they make their exit “walk, do not run”. Grab your bouquet, hold hands and with big smiles make your exit. Walking past your family and friends as they cheer you on. Cheer back at them, wave, smile at each other, and of course smile at your photographer once or twice as well. We’ll be working with low light and slow shutter speeds, we’ll need you to move slowly in order to make these settings work to our advantage.
KISS HER! – Please, for crying out loud, make it a point to go in for a big kiss as you exit! It’s what everyone is hoping to see, and it makes for one heck of a photo. Make it a long one, make it a good one, and don’t be afraid to do a little dip. Heck, don’t be afraid to give the crowd a few good smooches. In fact, make it a plan to stop halfway down the aisle for a good long kiss, then once you reach the end do it again! As long as those sparklers are burning, we’re taking photos. So use up all of those 2 minutes and stretch out the grand exit.