Hannah & Curt
Everyone has a love story. I believe everyone’s love story is beautiful and unique. I am simply fascinated by them. But believe it or not, putting them together in an album or a gallery takes a bit of elbow grease. Here are a few things I tell my couples before their wedding day to help ensure their wedding story is fairytale worthy.
Wedding days are CRAZY town. Everyone is getting ready, rushing, taking clothes off, throwing shoe boxes, it’s hectic and I LOVE it. But sometimes that may hinder those beautiful Pinterest images you’ve been saving and dreaming about. When I sit down with my couples for their consult, I really encourage them to task their wedding parties with keeping the bride and groom suites as tidy as possible. We plan out when and where certain shots will take place. Like makeup and hair will be in this section of the room. The bride viewing her dress in her fancy bathrobe will be over here by the mirrors. Putting the dress on and Mom seeing you for the first time all dolled up will be by the window….etc. All the while we are making sure no trash, empty shoe boxes, cellphones are in the shot because we have planned and kept things organized and (somewhat) tidy.
So so many times, I get lost in what would look good in my portfolio or my Instagram feed, I forget that these are real couples and this is their REAL wedding day. This isn’t a styled shoot or paid and hired models. They have limits. The bride’s feet hurt, the groom’s face hurts from smiling so much. Sometimes I may push too far. These are instances where I may have not communicated to them before hand what shot are important to them and what shots aren't. Asking for a specific shot list from the couple is key to making sure you aren’t pushing them to hard for photos they don’t even want and that you just have to have for you website. I email my clients a questionnaire that they can go over together and fill out in order for me to really understand how they see their love story manifesting. I also discuss different photo opps with them during their consult. Do they want some night time shots? Are they willing to travel to a secondary location to get their golden hour shots? Do they want a first look? Do they want time alone before the reception instead of golden hour shots? All of these communicated before hand will ensure that there is no tension and overworked bride and groom on their happy day.
More often than not, the wedding party and wedding guests will be down to help you create fun shots during the reception and dancing. I’ve learned, when I’m just walking around as an outsider awkwardly snapping at moments with out giving a warning to the guests…I get very little amazing fun, bomb moments. Talking to the guests, telling them you want them to interact with the camera, asking them to hold your twinkle lights over your lens to get this cool affect of them dancing….involving them in the process renders more amazing, life filled images that the bride and groom will be so stoked to see delivered in their gallery. Ive seen so many times couples more excited to see the images of their friends and loved ones enjoying the celebration, than table and cake details.
It takes a village to create a love story. The grand exit is no exception. Getting everyone hyped to send off the couple is key for great exit photos. If there are bubbles involved, asking everyone to start blowing bubbles before the couple walks out fills the air with more bubbles and creates more excitement for the couple when they walk out. If there are sparklers involved, asking the couples to hold a sparkler to create some light on their face and turning down your flash helps create an amazing lighting affect that doesn’t just look like them walking thru some sparklers and you shooting them with a flash. Even better, asking your second shooter or a wedding guest to CAREFULLY hold a sparkler slightly to the side of your lens so that you can create a bokeh affect as the couple exits.
Friends, not every couple will want the shots you want. They want their love story told their way, with your creative help. Make this journey special for them and the images unforgettable for them. Send your questionnaires, communicate, get involved, keep things tidy, get creative and most of all be prepared to be able to deliver amazing shots in any situation that gets thrown at you. Thank you for reading and please comment your helpful tips below.