10 Tips to make your wedding day photographs awesome!

You’ve dreamed about it, you’ve planned it down to the very last detail and now your wedding day is finally here!   You’ve hired a photographer that you love to capture and preserve every last one of those details, and you want your wedding photos to be awesome, right?!   If you have hired a professional photographer, they are going to know exactly what to do to give you beautiful images that you are going to love for a lifetime.  But with a little input and planning from the bride, you can help your wedding day photos run smoothly and be absolutely amazing!  Here are our 10 tips to make your wedding photographs awesome:

1. Timing – When scheduling your wedding day photography, it is best to schedule your photographer to arrive during the last 25 – 30 minutes of the bride’s hair/makeup being completed. The photographer will arrive and begin with your details, and capture the last finishing touches of your makeup being done.  Most brides really don’t want a lot of images of them without makeup or of them with their hair in curlers, so capturing those last final few minutes is really all your photographer needs.  Also, if hair and makeup run late, you have not used up your photographer’s time budget waiting on you to be finished.

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2.  Speaking of details – When your photographer arrives, they will begin by photographing your details.  You can help this go smoothly by being prepared and having all of your details gathered in one place.  Have your dress unwrapped and hanging on a nice hanger.  If you want your bridesmaids dresses to be photographed, have them already unwrapped and hanging.  Have all details such as your shoes, garters, jewelry, handkerchiefs, bridesmaids gifts, invitations, and sentimental details all gathered in one place. Be sure and point out the sentimental details.  Having them in a shopping bag is good; having them laid out with items unpackaged is better. Bonus tip:  Having two copies of your invitation suite will insure that we can capture both front and back!

New Orleans Wedding PhotographersNew Orleans Wedding Photographers3. Light is essential – Keep in mind that good photography is about good light.  As a matter of fact, the word photography literally means “to draw with light”.  Choosing a get ready location that has lots of light may not be within your control, but if you have a choice, more light is always better.  If booking a hotel suite, ask if you can have one with windows. (This one has large windows to the left.) If getting ready at home, try to have the get ready activities occur in an open room that has lots of natural window light.  Of course, a professional photographer will be able to light any situation, but good natural light is always desirable.

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4.  Control clutter – Try to keep the area where the bride will be putting on her dress free of clutter.  Your images will ultimately be cleaner and much more appealing if clutter in the get ready room is kept in check.  If all activity is happening in the same room, a great bridesmaid gift would be large accessory bags so that they can put all of their belongings in one bag and then stow them quickly when the room needs to be cleared out.

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5.  Timeline – Pay attention to your timeline or appoint someone, such as your maid of honor, to keep an eye on the time.  Photographers work very closely with their clients to make sure they have enough time scheduled to accomplish all the photographs that they want.  However, if the timeline starts to go astray, adjustments and choices have to made about what to eliminate and photography suffers.  Be sure to allow adequate time to put on your dress and plan for an extra 15 minutes to lace up a corset back. (Need instructions on how to do that?  Click here.) After the dress is on, we like to photograph the bride being helped on with her garters, shoes and jewelry and then take a few of the bride alone.  This accounts for about 20 additional minutes after the dress is on. You can estimate the total amount of time you should book your photographer here.

New Orleans Wedding PhotographersNew Orleans Wedding Photographers6.  First Look – For the absolute best photos of the bride and groom together on the wedding day, schedule a first look.  This allows the photographer to capture the groom’s reaction to seeing the bride for the first time, then allows a little time for the bride and groom to be photographed together in a little mini-session before the wedding or to photograph the whole wedding party together before the wedding.  If the bride and groom choose not to first look and to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle, the only time for bride and groom photos alone is between the wedding and the reception.  This can certainly be accomplished but it is often rushed and cuts into reception time. Another advantage to having a first look is that family formal portraits can be scheduled before the wedding. This allows everyone to go directly from the wedding to the reception.

New Orleans Wedding PhotographersNew Orleans Wedding PhotographersAnother good alternative if the couple decides not to do a first look is to schedule a post bridal wedding session, which tend to be very relaxed because the pressure of the wedding day is off and there is time to get some fun and really creative shots.

New Orleans Wedding Photographers7. Formal Portraits – Getting your wedding party and/or family together to take formal portraits is, as we like to say, akin to cat-herding.  Once people begin enjoying the reception, they simply do not want to come stand for a formal portrait.  Our studio finds that the most efficient way to handle these is to take them immediately after the ceremony, and to take them in the place where the ceremony took place.  For example, if the ceremony is in a church, we ask that the couple turn back around after the recessional and go to the altar where we will photograph the couple, the bridal party and the extended family formals.  The couple can move this along by providing the photographer with a list of formal family shots ahead of time and to appoint someone who knows the people on the list to be a “wrangler”.  Plan about 5 minutes for setup and bridal party, and then about 1 1/2 minutes per each different family grouping.  Therefore bridal party and 10 family formals = 5 + (10X1.5) = 20 minutes.   Make sure that everyone who is included on the list knows that they are supposed to be photographed which will save valuable hunt time.New Orleans Wedding Photographers

8.  Transitions – Make sure that your event coordinator understands #3 above, and that lighting needs to be set up when you make transitions.  This is especially applicable to when the bride and groom make their entrance and do first dances.  Coming from outdoors to indoors requires a few minutes of lighting setup time, so when you are planning your entrances, make sure to account for this.  A great way to handle this is for the bride and groom to go into a back entrance for dress bustling when arriving at the reception, during which time the photographer can be setting up the lighting and be ready to capture the big entrance.  New Orleans Wedding Photographers

9.  Surprise your guests, but don’t surprise your photographers – If there is something special that you have planned, like choreographed dances, special toasts, customs or ceremonies, be sure to let us know.  While the element of surprise can be a lot of fun for your guests, your  photographer wants to make sure they don’t miss a thing for you.  Knowing what you have planned ahead of time assures that they will capture it all!New Orleans Wedding Photographers

10.  Try to relax and have fun!  We want nothing more for you than for you to have a wonderful day and to capture the day as it unfolds.  Know that we will adjust, and, as we like to say “pivot” no matter what happens … even if that means dancing in the rain with you!New Orleans Wedding Photographers

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Amanda + Chris // Married

We met Chris and Amanda about a year before their wedding when we shot their engagement photos.  We instantly fell in love with how adorable they are individually, but it was their connection as a couple that we couldn’t help notice was just electric!  We were so excited for their wedding and when it finally arrived in early December, they did not disappoint!   Their ceremony took place in New Orleans at the beautiful chapel on the Ursuline Campus, The National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.  In order to be married in the Shrine, the bride must be an alumnae of Ursuline, so it holds a very special place in her heart!  After the ceremony, the party kicked into high gear a little further uptown at Rosy’s Jazz Hall, where the Boogie Men kept everyone on their feet all evening. There is no doubt that a truly good time was had by all!  From some of the sweetest father/daughter moments ever, to groom tears, to the smokin’ hot sparkler exit … from beginning to end the day was perfect! Congratulations again and wishing you many, many years of happiness!
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Vendor Love

Get Ready Venue: Hampton Inn Convention Center
Hair:  Beth Washington
Makeup: Sarah Walsh
Bride’s Dress Purchased from Town and Country
Bride’s Dress Designer: Stella York
Wedding Venue: National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Reception Venue:  Rosy’s Jazz Hall
Wedding Cake:  Chez Pierre
Florist: Plantation Decor
Band:  The Boogie Men
Transportation: Riculfy Livery
Stationery: GEM Printing
Video music licenses: TripleScoop through Animoto and FyrFly-SongFreedom

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A New Orleans Anniversary Celebration

Its been a wonderful and whirlwind year for Bruce and LS.  What started with a New Orleans engagement turned into a wedding in Paris, and found them back in New Orleans to celebrate their engagement anniversary! Whew! What a fantastic place to begin and continue to celebrate a romance.  I love that they chose two of the most romantic cities to celebrate their love story, New Orleans and Paris … worlds apart, but so similar in so many ways.  Often times when we are strolling the French Quarter on a quiet evening, I like to let my imagination run wild and say, “tonight, we are in Paris” … and its not a big imaginative stretch at all!

 

On the  morning of our shoot, we headed out early to take advantage of beautiful morning light, and also to capture the charm of the French Quarter while it was still quiet.  There is a beautiful, mysterious calm in the Quarter, just after the sun rises and the streets have been cleaned, and the tourists are still asleep.  We made our way on two pedicabs to cover the most distance in the shortest amount of time and we had a blast whizzing through the streets from location to location in our own little pedicab convoy!  We visited all the French Quarter highlights, then ended back at Wellington & Co. Fine Jewelry on Royal Street, the place where Bruce bought LS’ engagement ring, and the very spot where he proposed.  They closed the circle on a wonderful year of firsts and new beginnings, but just like that ring that began this whole adventure, this story will continue in an unending circle of love. Happy Anniversary Bruce and LS, and wishing you many, many more!
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Hair and Makeup:  Verde Beauty
Outfits:  Untuckit
Pedicabs: Nola Pedicabs

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