ADVICE

After shooting hundreds of weddings over the years I have developed an intimate, insider’s perspective into the entire wedding experience. To make everyone’s life a little easier I would like to share some pro tips to potential clients and colleagues alike.

WHAT TO DO & WHAT not TO DO

DO

  • First things first, BE AS CREATIVE AS YOU WANT TO BE — There is no right or wrong when it comes to YOUR wedding. Do whatever your hearts’ desire. Want to get married at midnight? Do it. Want everyone in white? Do it. Want to get married in the middle of the ocean? Do it. I’m game!
  • Your wedding day will go by in a flash. Enjoy the process getting there. Make your cake tasting a date, your seating chart planning a game; everything an opportunity to create forever memories
  • When researching wedding photographers you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed with this decision. Hire someone that you personally like and will look forward to spending much of your BIG day with, someone that makes you feel comfortable and at-ease
  • Hire someone who shoots in a perspective you admire. You must like the way they see the world and the way they tell a story
  • Prioritize a budget for photography. Remember that you get what you pay for. You are paying for expertise, professional equipment, a developed eye and hours of editing after your event but most importantly you are paying for someone who will be your memory-keeper
  • Second shooter? If you have the budget, go for it! A second shooter guarantees that all those early moments (we can’t be in two places at once), additional details and extra camera angles are captured
  • INDUSTRY INSIDER NOTICE: if you hire a videographer from a team that is separate from your photographer make sure you introduce and connect them. We are all there to make some beautiful art for our couples but the video team has different expectations on them and it is important that they let the photographers take the lead
  • Make sure you share a detailed shot list {more on this later}, timeline and schedule with your photographer in advance
  • Choose your wedding party wisely. I know this can be really hard.Try to remember that there are no rules here. This is your day, the only thing that matters is that you two are happy. Your wedding is about your love and your future life together. The last thing you need to worry about on your wedding day is friend drama
  • Consider the size of your wedding party! A giant wedding party can be really fun, but it can also add extra stress to the day. Make sure your wedding party is in the “know” with the program, e.g. if you don’t want anyone in the wedding party drinking before the ceremony let them know. Additionally, if you choose to not have a wedding party that is fine too!
  • One more note on the booze: make sure everyone knows how to handle their alcohol so that photos aren’t a total nightmare
  • First look? I say: YES YES YES! Why? 1. We will have additional time for photos 2. Family photos can be shot BEFORE the ceremony so you two can enjoy some of your cocktail hour 3. and most importantly, you two will have the opportunity to have some valuable alone time before the main event and craziness begins
  • Family and wedding Party photos: MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT TIME THIS IS HAPPENING!
  • Remember a copy of your wedding invite for your photographer to shoot with your other details
  • If there’s a desired dress code that you would like your vendors to adhere to, be clear with them upfront
  • If the day is running a little behind, that’s okay! It’s your wedding day. Nothing will start without the two of you
  • ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES! No one else will know that your garden roses should have been peonies or that they played the wrong song for the first dance. Sssshhhhh… it’s your little secret
  • When planning with your officiant, kindly request that they move to the side when you two share your first kiss
  • SMILE! Please. Please. Please. Wedding days can be stressful, but don’t forget you’re on camera! Your wedding day will be filled with a lot of emotion and sometimes a little chaos, remember to stay in the moment and BREATHE, it’s your wedding day!
  • P L A Y ! The more you two interact with each other the more magic we will capture. This is about documenting real, authentic memories that you two will look back on and cherish forever  
  • Kiss! Touch! Cuddle! Laugh! Tell each other weird inside jokes! I know there is a lot going on but don’t forget what this day is all about… be yourselves
  • Make sure your wedding day is not the first time you wear your wedding shoes (no blisters, please)!
  • Have an emergency kit (for stains, etc) and mending kit ready to go!
  • Hire a planner or day-of coordinator
  • Make sure you vibe with your DJ’s taste and MC style
  • Consider a dress code for your guests. Appropriately dressed guests make for better pictures
  • Tip your vendors

::Honeymoon tip: when you go on your honeymoon tell EVERYONE it is your honeymoon. People LOVE love!

After the big day and the dust has settled, what do you do with all of these pictures? With the help of your photographer and a professional printer and album company you will give life to your investment and this most monumental adventure. Don’t allow these moments to lay dormant on your hard drive. Let’s make some art!::

DO NOT

  • feel obligated to say “hi” to everyone or every table
  • get caught up in the stress
  • freak out things that are out of your control- like the weather
  • invite people you don’t like
  • bore your guests with ten million speeches
  • keep people waiting too long in the sun OR for food or drinks
  • worry about kids when they’re crying. This is what kids do. Emotion is great for photos! — It’s also okay to have an adults-only wedding
  • hire your friend’s cousin to shoot your wedding because he/she is low-budget or free. There’s a reason he/she is low-budget or free
  • overextend yourselves for your wedding. This makes everything really stressful when it’s a time meant to be joyful
  • encourage guests to bring their own cameras and phones. This is a hard one. I know you want as many memories as possible. I really understand that. But when you see your photos of your beautiful ceremony you don’t want to see guests holding up their cameras and obscuring the view or distracting from your moment. I recommend a conversation with your bridal party and your family on this topic. If you two choose to ask people to refrain, send a note in your invite or mention it on your website. It is NOT our place or obligation as your professional wedding photographer(s) to ask your friends or family to not use their devices

Did someone say shot list?

  • PLEASE make a list of all important portraits that you two want. This list should be explicitly defined and listed in the order in which they will be taken. Remember: LESS IS MORE! Really. This is a big one. If you want portraits with each bridesmaid and groomsman that’s fine, just let us know, it all takes time
  • Average 5 minutes per portrait when planning
  • There are a lot of things that are standard protocol that should be in any wedding professional’s repertoire. The photographer will take photos of the rings, bouquet, dress, shoes, etc. Let us know about the special things, the heirlooms and the special guests that you want to see in your album looking back
    • Once we finalize the details, we will walk through this process together!

I absolutely wish you the most beautiful day and hope these thoughts can help in the process!