Photos of your details?
If photos of your details are important, please have a clean copy of your Iinvitation, Dress, Rings, Bouquet, Shoes & any other personal details with the bride wherever she is getting ready.
KEEP It CLUTTER Free
I know there's a lot going on, but lets try to keep bags, suitcases, gift packaging, etc in a different room, or a single corner. Unfortunately its not that easy to "photoshop out".
Window light is best. Those orange lights add weird color-casts that are unflattering to your skin. I try to tun off all lights when possible for beautiful window lighting.
Typical hotel rooms aren’t the best for light or decor. I recommend other options, like a nice AirBnB, VRBO or Suite. There are tons of affordable options out there with great aesthetics.
My lighting and editing reflects more of what is truly what is there, so I just recommend that if you want to look like yourself, don't overdo it because your "it looks lighter in the photos". This is entirely personal preference, so just do you!
Use a mirror while looking out a window to see your makeup in its best light.
DON'T FORGET THE GROOM
Sometimes the groom gets the dark tiny room. Give us dudes the same treatment please!
What is a First Look?
A first look is when you see each other before the ceremony. This is totally up to you, but with an earlier sunset it can help timing. It also doesn’t have to be a grand staged moment, in fact, I prefer it not to be.
IT CALMS THE NERVES
A quiet moment alone is the best thing to calm the nerves. I’ve seen couples relax significantly after their first look.
If we do a first look, we can also take all family/bridal party portraits before the ceremony, which means more time at cocktail hour or for sunset photos!
MAKE IT PRIVATE IF YOU WANT
I don’t even need to be present if you’d rather have alone time. You can take 5-10 minutes alone for your first look, and then we'll take some photos after. It’s your day, we can do it your way.
FAMILY PORTRAITS & Bridal Party
PRE-CEREMONY IS BEST
Bridal Party and Individual photos with your bridal party is ideal to shoot before the ceremony. So that everyone can enjoy the cocktail hour in full! Also, gathering people after the ceremony tends to be time consuming.
KEEP IT SHORT
I recommend keeping the list short (about 6-8 groups is perfect). You two are in every shot, and you’ll be sick of smiling for that many shots! Allow 20 minutes for this.
HELP me, help you
I recommend assigning a bridesmaid/groomsmen or sibling to the task of gathering family. This speeds up the process since I don’t know what Grandma or Aunt Jane might look like.
PUT THE SUN BEHIND or In Front
For an outdoor ceremony, Even lighting is very important especially in direct Arizona sun, its best to place the sun behind your officiant, for even backlight. Looking towards the sun you’ll be squinty in your ceremony shots. But harsh cross lighting is a photographers worst enemy .
MIC STANDS are ugly
Microphones are fine, but the big black mic stand is distracting and not pretty. If possible, have your officiant use a wireless or hand-held mic (lapel mics are ideal).
Enjoy your day – your photos depend on it.
Weddings are stressful, and some brides have planned for their big day their whole lives. But when the day arrives, don’t sweat the details. Things will go wrong – they always do. Your task now is not to stress over minutiae, but to enjoy the day as it unfolds. Be happy. Smile. Slow things down and enjoy all the moments. But mostly, enjoy the company of your new husband/wife. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Happiness = beautiful wedding photos.
Cell Phones "SORT OF UNPLUGGED"
An “unplugged” ceremony is when you ask your guests to not take any photos during the ceremony. I honestly don't mind if guests take photos, as long as they don't stand up, or hold their cameras/phones in the aisle. So its up to you how unplugged you want to ask your guests to be!
BE IN THE MOMENT
Unplugging allows your guests to enjoy the ceremony without fussing over cell phones and flashes. It also keeps the aisle open for me so I can take better photos with no one in the way.
LET YOUR GUESTS KNOW
You can have your officiant do a quick announcement to let guests know. Or have a sign at the entrance to the ceremony area.
If we do a “first look”, that will be the first time slot for portraits. About 15 minutes for this is great.
Sunset + Twilight
Most of my couples tell me this was their favorite part of the day: sneaking away to have time to take it all in. It also happens to be the best light of the day! 30-45 min is ideal
End of the Night
Perfect if you want something dramatic with the stars or a rainy evening.
Market/Bistro lights and candlelight set a gorgeous romantic mood. Just make sure you use enough so I don't have to use flash (which ruins the romantic vibe). If you're unsure, just ask me and I'll help out!
Colorful PARTY LIGHTS
Colorful lights can be fun for party time, but they're not so great for first dance or parent dances. If your DJ has these, I just ask that he keeps them off for those moments. After that, feel free to go crazy!
TIME FOR TABLE DETAILS
If you have lots of details (table settings, centerpieces, etc) and would like photos of these, consider a package with a 2nd Photographer or please allow 10-20min for me to shoot these before the guests enter the area.
If possible, I prefer my meal to be considered a guest, not a "vendor," for timing purposes. This guarantees that I’ll get to eat when guests do, so I can be free to shoot the toasts/dances that happen after.