1- Plan your day carefully, leave time to ‘breathe’.
Preparation photos typically start 2 hours prior to leaving for the ceremony. I usually ask for hair and makeup to be completed and for you to be in a robe ready to dress when I arrive. During this time I will photograph details such as stationary, flowers, rings and the dress prior to you putting it on. We leave lots of time for bridal portraits and beauty shots.
Formal Portraits – If you do not have your heart set on not seeing each other until the ceremony, I highly recommend shooting all of the formal portraits before the ceremony. The portraits generally take 1 1/2 hours (30 min. for bride & groom alone; 30 min. for bridal party; 30 min. for family). If you choose to see each other before the ceremony, the 30 minutes that I spend shooting you as a couple can be a special time for the two of you to interact before the craziness of the day.
After the ceremony I find that brides and grooms are not very excited to do portraits but would rather spend time interacting with their loved ones and guests. This is why I recommend getting the portraits out of the way ahead of time. If you choose the traditional approach of shooting the portraits after the ceremony, make sure to time your ceremony so there is sufficient light available. Natural light makes all the difference in the quality of your photos. Always plan at least a half hour after the ceremony to interact with your guests or family before even beginning the portraits. So overall, make sure the ceremony ends 2 hours before sunset to be safe. In addition, I recommend planning in extra time between different events of your day as there are always unexpected things that come up and this will help to reduce stress and allow you to enjoy your day.
2 – Communicate to me any “must have” shots.
I will typically shoot the following formal portraits:
-Bride & Groom
-B & G with Bride’s extended family
-B & G with Groom’s extended family
-Bridal party all together
-Bride with bridesmaids (grouped & individually)
-Groom with groomsmen (grouped & individually)
If there are others that you would like to have, simply email them to me. I encourage you to keep this list short yet detailed. As an artist it is important to shoot moments as they happen, however I do want to accommodate your desires, so please be sure to communicate with me what is important to you.
3 – Prepare your family and friends for the style of photography you have chosen.
As you know, my style of photography is a combination of photojournalism and classically stylish portraits. This means that I will follow you throughout the day and shoot all the details and special moments as they happen but I will also stop to create styled fine art portraits as we go. It is important to communicate your excitement about your choice for photography to your family and friends. Write them all an email and include my website encouraging them to take a look. When they see examples of my work they will better understand what I am doing on your wedding day. They will feel more comfortable around the camera. Encourage them to ignore me as much as possible. I strive to be unobtrusive and invisible as much as possible. This way I get much more natural shots. Preparing your family and friends will help everyone to enjoy the day and will insure that I capture the best images of your day.
4 – Trust Me.
It is my hope that you have hired me because you trust that I will do a fabulous job documenting one of the most important days of your life. I take that honor seriously and promise to do my best for you. What I want most for you is that you will be able to enjoy your wedding day, free of any worry that all the right shots are being taken. So determine ahead of time to relinquish control over the photography, trust me and enjoy what is sure to be the best day of your life!