With 14 Years of photography experience and shooting over 300 weddings we wanted to share a few tips and/or things to consider to ensure you get great photos.
Just some things to think about and understand...
Style for Movement.
Playing with wedding day style is so fun. Finding the perfect dress (or pant suit, am I right!) is such a wedding planning highlight for most. We love nothing more than photographing a bride or groom in the style choice that really speaks to them, one that says this is my wedding day and this is me! But, when choosing your unique wedding style think about movement. Your wedding images will rely on your ability to move with freedom. If your dress leaves you stiff and lacking in the ability to bend or walk without assistance this will, without question, affect your images. If you are not comfortable on your wedding day that will certainly come through in your photos. So, have fun, play with style and show who you are but think about style you can move in. Your wedding images will thank you for it.
This is YOUR day.
Though this may seem like a simple concept we find it essential to drive it home. We are going to get pretty honest here. We have never shot a wedding where someone other than the couple getting married booked with us and the wedding was a success. Luckily, we learned this early on. Are there exceptions to the rule, yes, but not often. If it is YOUR wedding then you are the two people that should be holding the reigns. This is essential for us when booking with couples. Photographing a wedding is so much more than just showing up and photographing. There is a connection that develops between the couple and us from the time we book until the day we come to document your wedding day. This connection can't develop if we are only speaking with a third party. This is not to say that we don't love also connecting and meeting mom's, dad's, sister's or other but it is our goal to create a meaningful relationship with the couple getting married first so that can come through in the images we capture.
We are always working with couples to come up with timelines that help their wedding day flow easily so they can feel free and less rushed when we photograph them. Whether it is an elopement, mini-wedding or large wedding, the ease of how your day flows is so important to the outcome of your images. Typically, the larger a wedding the more creative you need to be with the photography timeline so that you are able to make time for great portraits while also being conscious of what is important to you on your wedding day. What is most important to us is that every couple gets incredible, natural portraits to look back on all while being able to fully enjoy their wedding day. This goal can only be achieved if a couple feels relaxed and the photography portion of the day doesn’t feel rushed or forced. To achieve this, we ask every couple to really think about what is important to them when it comes to the photography portion of their day. Think about the time of year you are getting married. For instance, a summer wedding where the sun sets later in the evening and you aren’t in a race with daylight the timeline will have a little more flexibility. You can do a First Look and have most of your images done prior to your ceremony, but you will also have time even after your cocktail hour for more images as the sun set will be later. But if you are getting married in the winter months where the sun sets earlier in the afternoon, a First Look may be a good solution for you so that you can utilize daylight and be more at ease knowing you were able to get great portrait images prior to the sun setting. If a First Look is not your thing, that is ok, but be sure that you are alright with portrait images with a more evening setting. These are all things to think about when planning the times for your day and as your photographer we are always here to educate you and help you through the process of your day of photography timeline no matter what style of wedding you are having.
In keeping with the timing for your wedding day, it is important to talk about the number of locations you plan on having. We have seen it often, start the day with getting ready images at one place or two, then off to another place for portraits, then off to another location for the ceremony then lastly, the reception. We know that sometimes there are circumstances (sometimes sentimental ones) that make multiple locations a necessity. If that is the case, it can be done, and we will make it work. We just always say to keep in mind, the more locations you have on your wedding day the more limited your time will be for photography. The more locations you have the tighter your timeline will be. Minimizing the amount of your locations on your day will allow more time for amazing portraits and just all-around enjoyment of your day and happy, joyful couples equals incredible images.
Movement creates authentic moments.
We don't want to sound like a broken record but again we are talking about movement. Images that feel natural are almost always created when the couple is moving in some way. Great wedding images or at east those that stand out to us are always the images where the couple is moving, walking or just talking. Some of the best moments we've captured are candid moments when walking from one place to another. But even when you are standing in one spot with your partner, move around, change position and have fun with it. Moving breaks up the awkward and helps you forget that you're being photographed. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed and worried at all about looking natural in your images just relax and walk and your unique chemistry will present itself without you even knowing it.
Decide if photography is important to you.
It’s a simple question but a very important one for you and your partner to ask prior to searching for a photographer. How important is photography to you? If on a scale of 1 to 10 photography is a 6 or below, we may not be the right fit for you. We say that because wedding photography is an investment and a very important one. As wedding photographer’s we invest a lot of ourselves in your wedding day and are there to make sure we capture the important moments, moments that we only have one chance, one day to capture. Our experience, artistry, commitment and love for what we do are what you are investing in so be sure that you are excited and ready to take on that investment with us.
We are who we are.
We know that searching for a wedding photographer can sometimes be over whelming, with so many different styles and personalities. We are always excited to talk with couples that love our work and can really see themselves in our photography – those that can’t wait to have us document their day. Be sure before inquiring with any photographer that you have researched and looked through all the images that they provide to help you decide if their style is the right fit for you. Most photographers put a lot of time and effort to continually update their website, blog and social media pages to be sure that you are seeing a variety of examples of their work. Spend time reviewing their style and make sure that everything you see is something that excites you and makes you want them to document your wedding day. Photographers do not want to adjust their style to meet your needs. And you shouldn’t want that either. We want you to be excited for us to tell your story.
Trust and letting go means authenticity.
As we said, when hiring us the most important part is your full trust that we are going to capture your day in the most authentic way. Nothing too forced or formal, just us documenting freely while you enjoy every moment exactly how it was meant to be. To capture images organically it is important for us to feel a sense of freedom to document your day through our eyes. There is a bit of letting go that must happen for us to do what we do. Therefore, we tell our couples to not worry about shot lists – we don’t use them. If we are focusing on a shot list that tells us you would like an image of your niece posing in your wedding shoes or anything specific like that it is so hard for us to focus on capturing the authentic moments happening around us. A shot list truly goes against who we are as photographers and how we photograph weddings. If you are drawn to our photography via its candid nature than you do not require a shot list. Again, not having a shot list also allows you as a couple to let go and trust in the process – we will be there capturing so many amazing moments that no shot list could ever provide.