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Wedding Day Photography Guide

We have created this guide to give you an idea of what to expect from us and how to think about your wedding when it comes to photography. Each wedding is different and though we make a number of suggestions below we are happy to accommodate any preferences you may have.

Details: When we first arrive we will focus on getting some initial detail shots. We generally like to arrive 60-90 minutes before you leave to walk down the aisle. Standard preparation detail shots include dress/suits/kilts, stationary, rings, shoes, jewels, flowers, & accessories. If you are getting ready at the same venue where you are getting married it can also be nice to take shots of the venue and the surrounding landscape. Ideally, we would photograph your detail shots first and then turn our attention to documenting the getting ready process.

Preparation: For best results, get ready in a place with as much natural light as possible. Artificial lights create a strong yellow tone in photographs and as such we usually request that all artificial lights be turned off when we arrive. We also like to take this opportunity to recommend against using any fake tan sprays, lotions, or tanning beds in the run up to your wedding. Artificial tanning creates an unflattering orange cast in photographs that is hard to adjust in post-production, and we can’t tell you how many brides we’ve talked to who spent the night before their weddings in a panic trying to scrub off tanning lotion after applying too much!

Ceremony: As long as there aren’t tight restrictions on our movements during the ceremony our standard shots include: people walking down the aisle, the wedding party, readers, the officiant, parents, key ceremony moments, including ring exchange, the first kiss, and the registry signing. We usually try to photograph the newlyweds actually signing the register and don’t often take a formal posed shot then but if you would like one we are happy to take it. Please let us know if there are any unique or unexpected elements to your ceremony that you want to make certain that we don’t miss.

Formals: An outdoor spot with closed shade or an indoor space with a plain background and natural light make for the best spaces for formal photographs. Please budget 3 minutes for each picture on your list. We are pretty informal when it comes to formals and try to get through them quickly. We generally line people up, making sure that we can see everyone’s faces, crack a few jokes, and shoot away. It is very helpful if we have one or two people who are familiar with the people in the pictures to help us round everyone up and get them into place.

Here is a suggested/sample list for formals. Please feel free to add or take away any shots that you prefer. We are also happy to take any less formal posed shots of anyone who wants them throughout the day.

Newlyweds +

Intimate Family (Both sides + together – 3 pictures total)

Siblings and/or parents/God Parents/Important People separately

Extended Family (Both sides – 2 pictures total)

Wedding Party  (Both sides + together – 3 pictures total)

Additional shots if needed

Newlywed Portraits: After the formals it’s nice for newlyweds to get a moment to themselves for some portraits. We find that these pictures go best if it is just the couple and ourselves. We usually recommend that people budget anywhere from 15-60 minutes for newlywed portraits. The longer we spend the better and more numerous the pictures will be but we know that people don’t like to be away from their guests for too long so we leave it to you to decide how you would like to balance those considerations. Depending on the time of year, the weather and your wedding day timeline, we often recommend a second brief 10-15 minute portrait session during golden hour just around sunset. The longer light makes for gorgeous pictures and often at this point all of the day’s formalities are out of the way and you will likely be feeling more relaxed, which also makes for excellent pictures.

Reception: Please alert us to any reception details you would like for us to capture. Our usual list includes seating chart, place settings, table numbers, venue decor, flowers, and cakes. If there is anything extra or special please let us know. During the reception, we usually split our focus between documenting planned events such as speeches, cake cutting, first dance, as well as taking lots of candid pictures of you and your guests enjoying themselves. We usually continue documenting your wedding up until people sit down for the meal and start eating, at which time we take a break until the meal is finished.

If you have unlimited coverage it is very helpful for travel/childcare plans if you can give us an estimate of how late you would like for us to stay. We’ve noticed that people can start to feel a bit photo fatigued after a while so the standard is that we stay for around for 3-4 dances but we can stay longer if required.

The information we will need about your wedding in advance of the day is as follows:

Where and when would you like for us to show up? If a 2nd shooter is included where and when should they show up?

Are you okay with us sharing your photos with your other vendors? If so, can you list who they are (venue, flowers, officiant, hair/makeup, dress, suits/kilts, rings, shoes, etc)?

Can we please have 1-2 wedding day contact people and their phone numbers?

A list of preparation and reception details that you want us to be sure to capture.

A list of family and wedding party formal shots that you would like.

For 8+ hour weddings, will a meal be provided?

If you have unlimited coverage how late would you like for us to stay? It’s okay if this is an approximation as we know that weddings often run late, this is just so we can make travel and childcare arrangements.

Anything unexpected or anything else that you think that we should know? ( Unless we have already addressed it – please include any information that may be helpful for me to know in order to show extra sensitivity about – deaths/divorces/etc)

Sometimes in the week following your wedding, we may share a photo on Instagram and sometimes we may also do a preview post on our blog.  Please let us know if you have a wedding related hashtag that you want us to use for social media. Alternately, let us know if you would like to opt out of any of these things as we absolutely want to respect your privacy 🙂

Your wedding gallery should be up and ready to download within 12 weeks of your wedding. 

Hopefully, this guide has been helpful but as always please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything at all that we can do to help you in the run-up to your wedding. We look forward to seeing you on your wedding day and taking lots of beautiful pictures!