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10 Tips for Best Photos

August 4, 2015


While wedding planning, brides have SO MUCH to think about how the actual day is going to run. Sometimes they miss the little things, and that’s OKAY! But your photography is what is going to help you remember all these things that you put so much effort into. SO here are some times that I have found helpful to educate my brides on. And as odd as it sounds, you can actually get much better photography results, just by tweaking your timeline a little! 5 of them are excellent points made by my girl, Katelyn James.

1. Have the bouquets need to be delivered to your getting ready location.
If you have your bouquets delivered to where you are getting ready, you’ll be able to have detail shots with your florals incorporated! Even if you’re not sharing a first look, we still need your bouquets for bridesmaids portraits! Same for the boutonnieres! TIP: For the optimal getting ready photos, make sure you have a large window in the room with lots of natural light pouring in,

2. Don’t run away with the rings! Have them in your getting ready location too!
Every planning book says to give the best man the rings to hold onto before the ceremony but that actually isn’t ideal for your pictures! You’ll have more variety and natural light if I shoot them during your details in the morning! They can be incorporated very well into shoe and invite shots. The maid of honour can bring them to the ceremony and hand them over to the best man then.

3. Speaking of wedding details…
Here’s the full list of everything you could possibly have at your getting ready location to provide for the most variety of detail shots. Not saying you have to have all of them, just what suits you! I like to say if you’re going to have any of these items anyway, may as well get details shots of it. After I arrive and give the bride a big “It’s your WEDDING DAY!” hug, I begin to get settled and these are the items I start looking for! I realize not EVERY bride is going to have ALL of these details…. these are just the most common items I shoot:
– Dress (TIP: make sure you have a nice hanger for your beautiful gown. Having a classy wooden hanger makes a HUGE difference in your images.)
– Rings (all THREE!!)
– Veil & hairpieces
– Shoes
– Earrings, necklace (don’t put them on until you have your dress on so I can shoot you putting them on)
Wooden Jewelry by Urban Designer
– Keepsakes (handkerchiefs, heirloom pins, something blue, etc)
– Perfume
– Invitations
– Bouquets & bouts
– Gifts (bride’s gift to groom, groom’s gift to bride, if you wait for me it makes for great emotional shots if you wait for me to shoot you opening them for the first time)
– Clutch/purse

4. Sit down in your dress before the wedding so you’re aware of how hard that may be!
I can tell you, I should have done this with my prom dress! The last thing you want is not being able to sit for dinner because your dress is too tight! Try your dress on beforehand and try sitting to make sure it’s possible! This is especially important if you’re having a sit down dinner!

5. Good portraits usually require grass, and your heels are going to sink in the grass!
Let’s go take some amazing portraits under some gorgeous trees… but your precious heels are going to SINK on their walk out to the their portrait location. Having a spare pair of flats or some HEEL STOPPERS will save the day!

Nicole tom wedding 201203

I adore this golden hour shot of nicole + tom

6. You can’t see that little smudge on your dress!
I don’t know how many times during the day that my brides freak out because there is a small dirt stain after doing their first look. Maybe you can see it, your guests probably won’t, but I’ll tell you your photos most definitely will not. It is never noticeable so don’t fret the small stuff. If there’s ever something crazy, I won’t leave you hanging, I can fix it, girl.

7. Slow down and enjoy your day.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I have gotten an email from every one of my brides saying to tell my future brides to slow down and enjoy the day. You hear it all of the time, but it seriously goes by so fast. Your wedding day is going to go how it goes, and you can’t change it. Take it for how it is and enjoy every minute of it. If you’re a worrier like me, hire a day of planner, or a friend to keep everything in check for you.

8. Make sure you leave time for me to get the untouched shots.
You put so much time and money into your beautiful ceremony location and reception space. I’d love if there is some padding in the timeline for me to get some great wide editorial space shots of both locations before any guests see or touch anything (especially the reception location because a lot of guests like to try to leave their jackets at their seat). Often the bride & groom don’t even get to see either space without guests in it as they arrive later!!! It’s super important for publication and it’s part of your “wedding experience story” in your album. I also like to share these shots with the vendors who put so much work into it as well.you.

9. Professional lighting goes a long way.
I don’t mean my flash, I mean decor lighting such as uplights. A lot of couples think this is frivolous and unnecessary but they actually improve the ambiance a lot as well as make your photos look fantastic. It’s another dimension for me & your guests. It’s a little something that does a whole heck of a lot.

10. Ponder a first look.
Even if you are completely against it. Sit down, and ponder it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s the happening thing right now, and I’ll tell you not because it’s just a “trend.” It actually benefits a lot of things on your wedding day. Yes, it’s not “traditional” but what’s him seeing you before the ceremony going to harm if you’re meant to be together forever?
– In a day full of craziness and being apart for most of the day, you actually get to spend time together on your wedding day. If you don’t do a first look, you may not see your hubby to be until your 1pm ceremony, or I’ve had ceremonies as late as 6:30pm!!
– You cut the nerves in half (well a lot more than half). There are brides who are against the first look and the reasoning is usually because they don’t want to “ruin” him not crying while you’re walking down the aisle. Well, here’s a surprise. You’ll actually get BOTH! TWO reactions!! And often the walking down the aisle cry is MORE than what it would have been AFTER a first look!! If your man isn’t a crier, I’ll tell you, don’t have your hopes up. But I have seen the groom cry during the first look in an, “OMG you’re so beautiful” sense. Then he cries AGAIN when you walk down the aisle, because he’s seen you, let his guard down, not concerned about the guests staring at him, then has an, “OMG it’s happening right NOW” cry.
– You get more portraits in better light. We can get all of your bride and groom portraits, bridal party portraits, and often family formals done before the ceremony. This leaves you time to actually go to your cocktail hour with your guests, OR run off with me again for more portraits ;) Escaping from your reception for a couple of minutes during golden hour also deems for some amazing romantic shots.



ABOUT Nicole

At home wherever my daughters are. Adventures wherever my husband takes me. Excitement whenever weddings are involved.

Mama, wedding photographer, creative, entrepreneur, tech geek, cat lover. There were no other options, no backup plan. From the tender age of fifteen, I knew I needed to create; art and family.




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