Category Archives: Photography tips

When photographing a wedding the amount of detail that is given to a brides attire is extremely important. But with that said, we can’t forget about the groom that is standing next her. His outfit can completely ruin the mood or style of the wedding day.

Whether it’s traditional, modern, contemporary, or even a mix of both, the outfits do matter.

When choosing his attire, take into account what kind of ceremony you are having, if you are more of the traditional style and are having something more elegant and black attire; you might want to consider something in the darker pallets. A tuxedo is a very formal and traditional choice. Take for example, this tuxedo that was worn at a Florence, Italy garden and ballroom wedding at the Four Seasons Firenze. Solomon our groom below, definitely played the traditional very sophisticated choice of wearing a black tuxedo from Duchamp London.  This was a great compliment with his Gucci shoes. His wife to be so happened to be a designer and she added a nice little bit of flare to this traditional look with a colorful ombre tie from The House of Perna (his wife’s company).

 

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Sticking to a traditional look can also mean you stick to a nice tailor suit. The suit can be navy, black, or even something a little bit in between. This look really is just about keeping it simple with a white shirt with a bowtie or a tie.  I personally love when the groom will layer his look with a vest.  Sascha was able to pull off a very traditional look and keep it casual during the reception by removing his jacket.  He also didn’t match his groomsmen which is also okay to do. I love that the groomsmen kinda follow the same style of dressing but leaving it different for the groom to stand out.  I mean, it is his special day to. He should be able to kinda stand out as well!

 

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If you are having an outdoor wedding and want to keep it more casual; than maybe explore a different color palette all together. Try not to let your environment dictate what you wear, but uses those tones as compliments to your attire. A beach wedding colors are usually muted, and sometimes even brighter than normal ballroom or garden weddings. You can either have khaki tones or very blue-green hues that sometimes surface during these type of ceremonies. I love when the groom takes a small piece from the beach location and just makes it his own. Below are a few of my favorites; and some nice alternatives to the traditional and even modern attire.

 

 

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And when all fails, and you already have your own uniform, why not wear it.. A man in a uniform has always been a hit.  Definitely capitalize on it if your groom is a man in service. Its a great way to show your respect to what he does for a living, and also nothing beats some dress blues at a wedding..

 

 

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And after all is said and done, its the small moments that matter really.. If your groom can feel comfortable, than you’ll have the best memories captured, because after all that’s what it’s all about 🙂

 

 

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Photographing families, can be a hard task and an easy one. It all depends on the family, and the chemistry you both provide off one another. I love photographing people one on one, so I use this technique when photographing families and try and break up the dynamic before bringing them together. When photographing a family you not only have to showcase the family, but also the personalities in the family to the best of your abilities.

I photographed a family this summer, who was all girls! The dad was definitely out numbered by these five woman in his family. They are all strong personalities and all were very different. The wife was very calm, and easy going and I feel her energy provided a nice landscape for her girls. The youngest of the bunch was full of energy and at points, definitely made me struggle to get the images I wanted.

But when this happened, I just kinda sat back for a little bit, and watched her and them interact as a family, and then started shooting.

The moral of the story is sometimes posed is not the way to go. Also sometimes you just don’t get the images you have imagined either. Life happens, and after all, that’s what memories are all about. I was able to shoot candidly and also shoot posed, but my favorites are definitely the images of the girls just being girls, and the parents interacting with their kids as if no one was there. Lifestyle photography definitely emulates this style of photography and I am definitely a fan of it.

 

So tips on photographing families, allow them to be themselves, allow them to run around, this brings out true emotions. Encourage them to laugh, to talk, to smile, to play, and your images will not only be awesome portfolio pieces but treasures for the families that have chosen you to photograph their moments.

 

So, take a step back, and enjoy your families, and just take the images so they can relive their memories through print.

 

here are few of the Johnson families portraits

Location: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Photographer: Paula Stauffer of Paula Andrea Photography

Style: Lifestyle Candid

 

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Tips for your next Wedding…

Weddings  are one of the most important and difficult events to photograph. I have been a photographer now for 5 years professionally. And everyday I am still learning from my mistakes, other’s mistakes, and tips and tutorials I watch or read along the way. I am a list maker and I bring this aesthetic to my business as well. I tend to write out my goals, and check them off as I go. Wedding photography is definitely a tough concentration because it’s that one day you can’t recreate. As a photographer I need to do my job to document it perfectly! Writing goals and checking them off, has definitely been a system that has been extremely effective for all my wedding and portrait sessions.

I’m going to show some examples of what you can shoot the day prior if you are able to attend a rehearsal ceremony the day before the wedding.

 I took images of the invitation and the venue decorated. This was extremely awesome because I was able to knock out items the day before! And anything you can photograph the day before is definitely a plus!

I decided to go to the rehearsal so I could see the flow of the event. This included seeing the way the light hit the walls, the placement of furniture and also seeing the flow of the ceremony. I was very lucky to have gone to this rehearsal because I noticed the lighting was really harsh at the time of what would be the ceremony time. I was able to figure out my settings and write them down so I could reference back the following day and be prepared to photograph the ceremony beautifully. I also was able to wander in the building (PORT CITY CHURCH) and find some cool rooms that I could use for bridal portraits, and groom portraits. As well as even finding a few rooms that I thought would fit an air conditioned family portrait room.

I brought my husband and my little sister with me, and they were gracious enough to be my guinea pigs for lighting and camera settings.  They were definitely great because I definitely wanted to re-create and practice some poses. They were great sports about it all.

I strongly suggest bringing a friend or your assistant to a rehearsal so you can prepare, practice, and pre-position your subjects as you would for the actual day. This is priceless if you can achieve it!

Quick Wrap up of what I consider a PREPARATION CHECK LIST:

1. Charge all batteries several nights before, at latest the night before the session

2. Buy extra double AA batteries, and or charge the ones you have as well.

3. Buy tissues, and or Tylenol travel size to bring for brides, groom, family members and or yourself. Tissues are great for blotting makeup, if you don’t have blotting paper. And for special occasions when you get a little emotional (it is a wedding after all!) and also any type of medication for aches and pains is always good just in case you have a headache the day of. It’s better to be prepared than uncomfortable.

3. Bring a snack. Pack some water, and or a granola bar. Yes, some brides and grooms will offer to feed you. But this can be a little weird for some of us (ME!) and I feel like if I’m not a guest, I appreciate the gesture, but don’t want your guest seeing me relax on the job. Therefore, bring a granola bar, or something quick and handy preferably not greasy or that needs a spoon. This will help keep your hunger down till your time is up with your clients.

4. Clean your items! Clean your lens, camera body, and make sure your bag is nice and clean. You don’t want to put in your lens in something that is dirty, so just double check all your pockets are cleaned and don’t have crumbs from the food at the last wedding.

 5. If possible, pack your bag the night before. Get your lenses, camera body, batteries, lens wipes, filter, reflectors,memory cards, business cards (to hand out to guest if they ask to view images) and any backup you may have of the items mentioned into your bag.

6. Clear your memory cards so there all ready to go for your session. Organize your memory cards with numbers if you can. This will help you with your uploading.

7. If you have a cheat sheet of family member names to address bring it with you. It’s nice to address people by their name not just “hey you, over there, I think your a grandma of the groom”?  Learn the family members names and the bridal party. It’ll definitely mean more to the people involved. It will also make you look more professional and sincere when your assisting them into a pose.

8. Dress accordingly for the day. I always dress in a black dress (CALVIN KLEIN or JCREW) with FLATS (MICHAEL KORS OR ANN KLEIN).  I now have decided to add a little bit of more flair to my outfits, by choosing navy colors, and or darker clothing. But, alas sometimes it’s too darn hot, so just choose accordingly make sure your bits and pieces aren’t showing. And I feel that if your trying to be a PROFESSIONAL you may want to dress as one. And this should be done with your assistants or anyone that is supposed to be with you the day of. You want to make sure your brand is represented as professionally as possible. And sometimes, flip flops and jeans don’t really fit that stereotype.

9. Don’t forget your shot list if you have created one. This could be a few words you jot down to trigger poses you wanted to try out, and also may help you when you are feeling a brain freeze and can’t seem to think of a pose for your bride and groom to try out.

10. HAVE FUN! Pack your fun and enthusiasm. You are the main component that will keep your clients calm and collective. Your energy will help them produce great images. So if you can’t be happy, excited, and willing to be silly for them, than you can’t expect to have beautiful images. You want them to feel like their with a friend and family, and sometimes you just gotta be yourself and push forward. And by doing so, you’ll get those awesome captures, that will make you swoon during editing time!

Here are some of my before’s and the actual image that was steered for my inspiration posing of my husband and sis.

preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical wedding This was the before image, that was taken the day of the rehearsal, it was a small room int he church and I thought the colors would fit the grooms attire for his special day.. Below are the images I took the day of. preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical wedding

I was able to snag these images below as well during the rehearsal. Their venue was decorated the day before. It was nice and empty! This allowed me to shoot the venue without guest! I also asked the Bride to bring an invitation so I could shoot this as well.

 preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding preppreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding preppreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical wedding

The Baby Nursery was used for Bridal Portraits and Family Inserts. The bride and groom love the ocean feel of coastal carolina. Their theme was very nautical so when I saw this baby blue wall I thought it would be a perfect backdrop for their family and friends to photograph at. The day was very warm too, so we had previous discussed a spot that would have controlled temperatures for their older family members. 

The Before Image the day of Rehearsal:preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep

 

The images below were taken the day of the Wedding

(We moved the chairs, and some baby accessories to hide the fact that the room was a nursery. We than made sure to turn the blinds up so we would get more natural light, and light the room better) preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical weddingpreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep,wedding photography, nc wedding photography, nc wedding, bridal photos, nc bridal, beach wedding, blue wedding, hydrangea wedding, nautical wedding

 

For the Couple Portraits, I wanted to showcase the the nice scenery we had beside the church. The bride and groom wanted tree’s for their backdrop, so we luckily stumble upon a nice area right beside the church that we could get to within a few steps. I mapped out the area I would be at and started to practice my camera settings with what would be the lighting the day after.

Before images:

preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding preppreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding preppreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding preppreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep

preparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding preppreparing for a wedding shoot, wedding session, port city community church, wilmington wedding, wedding prep

The images of the Wedding day:

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To see the full collection of Taylor and Ben’s Wedding

To view the condensed version of Taylor and Ben’s Wedding 

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