A GUIDE TO GETTING THE BEST FROM YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
My number one Tip is pick something authentically YOU
Something youll feel comfortable in & can move freely in then you'll truly be able to relax and enjoy the day
Being uncomfortable or feeling like you constantly have to pull something up or tug at something will be a stress you don't need.
Let go of worrying about the weather and the forecast, it is completely outside of your control
Embrace it instead! As long as you're up for an adventure it will be incredible
If it rains I have enough umbrellas for you and the bridal party, we can try and stay dry (or not!) Rain makes the colours pop and can make for some pretty epic images! I also have a hair-dryer in the car to dry the bottom of the dress (the dirtier it gets, the more fun we had) + you can always clean it after!
Let's keep it short and sweet - I recommend 2 locations maximum for bridal parties. We try and quickly shoot an assortment of photos so you can spend more time with your guests and with each other.
I recommend having a hamper of snacks and drinks ready so you can rehydrate with your besties before we start bridal party photos. It's the perfect way to relax and create some memories after a whirlwind ceremony (trust me on that one) It's going to be a blast X
There are no right or wrongs here!
Whether you want to do your photo's before or after the ceremony we can make it work! It is, however, worth noting that in NZ the light is often quite harsh between 12pm-5pm during the summer months and the quality of your images can be hugely influenced by the quality of the light.
I often get asked about how I feel about doing the bulk of images pre-ceremony. It's totally fine, however, please be aware that it may affect your hair, makeup and dress cleanliness for the ceremony. I love walking/transitional shots with the dress down so also if there is a little wind or rain it may be hard to keep you looking super pristine for the ceremony. My preference is always after *if we can* also many couples are usually a little more relaxed after the ceremony as the nerves are over which makes for more relaxed images.
If you are planning/have to do a bulk of the bridal party/couples photos during the middle of the afternoon and it is hot, it's worth making sure there is plenty of shaded areas for you all to relax under and stay cool. Also, solid shade photographs much nicer on the skin than open areas in full sun ☀️ Also remember to make sure there is plenty of shade for your guests too - I have shot 36 degree days and it can be really uncomfortable for everyone including you and the guests if there is no shade/shelter.
I love my couples to have lots of guest time, especially between the ceremony & reception. If the light is pretty harsh on the day I may do a short session with the bridal party (up to 30mins) & then a few portraits of the two of you (up to 20mins), and then let you go back to the guests - this means I can pull you out for a little longer later on when the light is at its best and no one should miss you as you would have already had a chance to say hello and be present!
Sometimes when the guests are being seated it's really nice to do a quick couple of portraits with the two of you outside while everyone is busy finding their seats and grabbing a drink - it won't cut into your guest time and by then the light is typically starting to get softer. (I will coordinate this on the day if I feel like we need to so don't worry about scheduling anything - easy!)
Personally, I don't need/want a super detailed timeline down to 15minute slots - It will depend on the type of weather on your day (full sun/high cloud/rain etc) as to how long/where we shoot on the day. I find its best if you give me a start time, ceremony time, and time you need to be back for dinner. This way it allows the flexibility to make the call on the day to what is going to work best for you! You don't have to schedule it, but be aware when the light gets low and glows- I get excited and will sneak you away for some magical memories (don't worry, it won't take long and will be SO worth it.
A space to get ready...
Clear the mess
I know there's a lot going on, but try to keep extra bags, suitcases, laundry, etc in a different room, or the closet. Having a clear space to get dressed in not only makes your prep photographs super clean, it can help with stress levels on the day!
Windows are best
Chose a space with as much natural window light as possible. The light that filters in is the most flattering and the more windows the better (just make sure they are clean!) I love to use as much natural window light as possible and I will turn off any downlights to avoid that yellow tinted spotlight feel!
Looking to hire a house to get ready in?
Consider an AirBnB - most hotels/motels are dark and dated and don't have many windows. Consider hunting down a cute AirBnB with a little character, they are super affordable.
All the white walls
It sounds a little crazy, but white walls really help to get the cleanest crispest prep photos. Yellow or cream walls can really bounce colour casts around, which can confuse the camera sensor. This can make images look a little muddy and dark. If the walls are a warmer tint, I will probably place you a little closer to the beautiful white window light
Don't forget the boys!
The same tricks apply - If they are being photographed put a little thought into their space. Or maybe they could head out to breaky/golf/a funky bar?
Organise all your special details the night before so when I arrive there isn't anything that gets left behind for the beautiful detail shots
Boys: Shoes/Tie/Belt/Cufflinks/Invitations/Cologne/Watch/Buttonhole flower
Put the sun behind you, or behind your guests
For an outdoor ceremony, especially in NZ's harsh sun, its best to place the sun behind your officiant, for even backlighting - or directly behind your guests. Otherwise, you might be super squinty in your ceremony shots, or harshly lit. Make sure you are in the same lighting conditions as your guests. Don't hide in the shade and seat them in the sun - It's really hard to photograph and doesn't look awesome! Even is best!
Consider an unplugged ceremony
An “unplugged” ceremony is when you ask your guests to not take any photos during the ceremony. Unplugging allows your guests to enjoy and be present during 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
Get your celebrant to guests know at the start of the ceremony with the other housekeeping (ask them they will know what's best). Or have a sign at the entrance to the ceremony space!
I honestly don't mind guest taking photos, as long as they don't stand up, or block the aisle. If I miss the first kiss because Aunty Susan jumps in front of me last minute you will probably be a bit sad! It's up to you how unplugged you want to ask your guests to be!
Just Married Confetti
I am a massive fan of down the aisle/just married/yay confetti!! Just make sure you check with your venue what you are allowed! You can use lavender, rose petals, eco confetti, rice etc. Make some little cones, fill'em up and put them on the seats closest to the aisle. Or perhaps a confetti canon?! Just make sure your celebrant gives everyone the low-down on what to do!
I feel so strongly about the importance of these amazing photos
Please take the time to plan them properly as one day they might be your most cherished memories of the ones you love.
Here is some help to make it run as smoothly as possible (so it doesn't take all day!)
Make a list!
Write out individuals names so the important people don't get missed!
Give a copy to your MC or family members on each side and make sure there is a mic or someone with a good yelling voice
I often don't know anyone so it's best to have someone on the 'inside' calling the list which leaves me to focus on making sure everyone looks good in the lineup
As a guide, this generally works well (feel free to make changes)
Group Photo (everyone! PS - this is totally optional)
Parents (each side)
Parents (with their child)
Parents & Siblings (each side)
Grandparents (each side)
Grandparents (with their grandchild)
Extended Family (each side)
Friends (each side)
It sounds a lot, but in time these will be some of your most priceless images!
If you take the time to plan them properly it only takes me about 1-2 mins per photo so it's time well spent
You've spent so much time planning, turn off your phone and enjoy!
Take a few quiet moments throughout the day to soak it up. It goes way too fast.
Be comfortable with who you are and embrace it.
Make sure you dress and have your makeup done in a way that makes you feel like a special version of you - not someone else.
Have a delegation person
You don't need anyone's drama on the day, and if there are any problems, let others sort it!
Or at the minimum have a person for vendors etc to go to before they decide to make it your problem!
Don't sweat the small stuff
Sometimes everything doesn't go exactly as planned (sometimes it's better) embrace it and allow time for things to happen naturally - these are the moments you will treasure. I have a pretty good emergency kit full of bug sprays, sewing kits, hairspray, pins, band-aids and more. I also can help with buttonholes, veils and everything in between. It's not my first rodeo!
SHARE IT ALL WITH ME
I can only capture your real personalities if you allow me into your world. Remember how you interact when you’re alone and don’t hide it. Whether you're both goofy and laugh a lot, or your both introverts let me into your loud and vulnerable moments. I will, of course, guide you through your shoot, but I need you to meet me in the middle and let yourselves shine. Just be you! I want to capture all of those beautiful little between moments so let them unfold.
Night-time can be awesome.
Consider fireworks, laterns, festoons and other cool night events and lighting. I love finishing my day with some night magic which also finishes the final gallery perfectly. A bit stuck on this? Lets talk!