You are not a photographer… Or maybe you are! But unless you have the background to understand light, set-ups, etc., photography can be overwhelming! I believe communication is key if you want to have a positive and productive relationship. Educating my clients is something I consider crucial for a balanced relationship as I want to produce top quality images, and you want me to capture top quality images… To do this, we must work together to ensure I have the correct tools to do so!
I want your wedding photographs to be everything you imagined and more… That is why I have compiled this page of information that will allow me do my job to it’s fullest potential and provide you with gorgeous wedding photographs. Please reach out to me if something provokes questions or concern, or if you would like clarification or a second opinion… I love meeting up for coffee to plan a wedding or to meet with you and other vendors to go over the day. Here are some ideas that have struck a cord with my heart, and maybe it will with you as well!
Believe it or not, I find this time to be one of my favourite times to a wedding day. It is such an exciting, special and emotional times for everyone involved, and offering a great beginning to your story.
As convenient as a hotel room is, I would not always recommend it. They are typically a small space, poorly lit, and have a “hotel” background that tends to not always be the most visually appealing. Check out Airbnb for a neat & large space to get ready in! You will be happy you did!
Locations for getting ready that are always a great idea:
- Your parents home… Perfect for backyard weddings
- Cottage, cabin or farm house… Perfect for rustic/natural/boho weddings
- AIRBNB rental
You probably have in mind the kind of set-up you would like to have in terms of who will be with you as you get ready… But here is the top three most popular, and special ways people choose to get ready.
- The Bride & Groom getting ready together. This is very intimate way of getting ready, as you are together and helping each other. This is especially popular with elopements & small, intimate weddings.
- The Bride getting ready at her parents home with her friends & parents, and the Groom getting ready at his parents home with friends & parents.
- Same as above, but at separate groovy locations. See “LOCATION” above for details on this.
Having large windows for a well-lit room to get ready in will allow for a magical story. Window light is the only light source I will use during the prep process. Please try to choose a room with as much natural light as possible to get ready in. Not only that, but your hair and make-up artists will also be really happy as they need natural light too. Artificial lighting (lamps, etc.,) does not count as “natural light” and I will most likely turn it off when I arrive.
It is such a busy time with people coming and going, but try to keep clutter to a minimum. Tell your bridal party in advance that it is really important to you and explain why it is important. Education is key!
I recommend putting your suitcases in closets, out of view, and have somebody in charge to keep things as tidy as possible throughout the morning.
When I arrive I like to take time to do a quick sweep to be sure the surroundings will be an accent to your photos instead of a distraction, but I also cannot be cleaning a room that has already been trashed of food and baggage so please do your best to be respectful of this if you intend on having clean and beautiful getting ready photographs. It is a shame when people rent a really beautiful space only to have it filled with luggage and food in their photographs.
– Have matching robes during this time instead of pj’s. The best material… Lace!
– Have your wedding invitations to include in details shots of flowers, rings, jewellery, etc., You can also an invite to me and I will bring them to the wedding.
– Have a plain wooden hanger for your dress to hang on.
THE FIRST LOOK
You will read in several articles that a “First Look” is the way to go. So what is all the hype about? They are no doubt trending right now…
But is it right for you?
If you are looking for a more relaxed pre-ceremony set-up, than a first look might just be for you.
A first look is very intimate and special as the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony.
There are several reasons why a first look can be really great. Firstly, first looks allow you to take it all in and calm your nerves before the ceremony. It gives you the privacy and can be very intimate and emotional for the bride and groom, seeing each other for the first time. It makes the timeline stress-free and easy-going because portraits can be done before the ceremony; opening up time after the ceremony for quality time with your friends and family. If you are still unsure or have questions about this, please get in touch and we can discuss what works best for you and your love!
The best time to do these is before the ceremony. Everyone is ready to go and no one will miss mingling with friends and family. Like I mentioned above, first-looks make timelines stress-free and easy-going! 🙂
It is possible to do them after the ceremony, but be for-warned that gathering everyone afterwards when it is time to be social is always difficult and often a very time consuming task, creating stress for those involved.
With a handful of shots, I have broke down how much time I need for immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents) and bridal party. If you plan to include more than your immediate family please set-up a time to talk with me as you will need more time to accommodate larger groups.
Tip: Inform all family members who will be on the portrait list that they will be needed for portraits before or after the ceremony!
- Immediate Family (parents, siblings, grandparents)… 20 minutes
- Wedding Party… 15 minutes
If you have not yet received your portrait-list template, it will be sent to you in your questionnaire that is to be filled out before our pre-wedding phone conversation that will take place one month before the wedding. I recommend keeping this list short as smiling at the camera with several different groups and individuals’ can feel overwhelming and also results in people wandering off for drinks, etc., while they are waiting, resulting in it taking longer than planned.
BRIDE + GROOM PORTRAITS
Bride + Groom… 20 minutes before or after ceremony
Bride + Groom… 15-20 minutes at sunset
I suggest sneaking out with me in-between courses at sunset if you are concerned as to how you could fit that into your dinner. Often clients will just have me approach them when I think it is the best time to sneak off for sunset photos. If your ceremony is later in the day, closer to sunset, we will just merge these two into one, resulting in bride and groom portraits being 30 minutes total at sunset.
This ceremony took place two hours before sunset. as you can see, the sun is back-lighting the officiant and makes for a great lighting scenario.
For outdoor ceremonies, spotty sunlight and harsh uneven light are not ideal. If you are having your ceremony close to midday, try to always back light yourselves (bride and groom). This means, try to set up the ceremony so that the sun is behind your officiant, so the two of you are back lit, evenly. If this sounds really confusing, check-in with me and I will explain the why and how!
Another option is to plan your ceremony later in the day, so that the light is nicer, closer to sunset. Just be sure to leave enough time for any delays, as well as couple portraits around sunset! If your ceremony is later in the day, closer to sunset, we will merge the bride & groom portraits into one, resulting in bride & groom portraits being 30 minutes total at sunset.
Setting the mood properly for your event is very important. That is why I try my best (pending on the lighting) to not use flash for anything other than the dance party. For a romantic mood; several strings of market lights and candles are great, I have seen chandeliers work too, as they provide great light for photos as long as you use enough! Just try to stay away from using only candles or really dim lighting! If you are unsure about your set-up, just ask and I will be glad to help!
DJ Lights: They are extremely fun for the party and make awesome party photos, but please have them turned off for your first dances as they ruin the romantic mood we are going for!
Tip #1 : Don’t be afraid to sit close to your love at the dinner table… You should be able to EASILY lean in for a snuggle or kiss!
Tip #2 : I know EVERYONE sais this, but the day really does FLY BY… Take time to smell the roses and enjoy the little things!
Speeches / Toasts: Explain to whoever is doing a speech/toast, that they print it out on paper instead of using their iPad/iPhone. The reason I ask for the old-school method is because the light that comes off the iPad/iPhone projects a blue colour onto the face and creates shadowing around the mouth, nose, eyes, etc., It is very hard to make a nice photograph out of this lighting.
Feeding your photographer: Most photographers will go the entire day without eating, drinking, using the washroom or taking a break. For the most part, I can do that. But when it comes to food… I need my three meals a day! 🙂
At dinner, I do not have to sit near you to eat, but please do not seat me in a separate room to eat my food… With me sitting in the same room as you or at a table of guests, I am able to capture the mood, laughter, and details that I would not otherwise be able to. Things like mid-course toasts, kisses and laughter will go un-photographed if I am in a separate room for dinner and for me that is a big part to your story!
The most important thing to ensure we get great photos is trust. If you trust me to create the photos you’ll love, I’ll be able to do my thing and guide and direct you well. It’s all about collaboration and trust!
Please get in touch if you have any ideas or questions you would like to run by me! I cannot wait to work with you on the day of your wedding!
Lots of love,