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.
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.
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.
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:
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)
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.
The images of the Wedding day:
To see the full collection of Taylor and Ben’s Wedding
To view the condensed version of Taylor and Ben’s Wedding